The Cause Of Death
HD video

Positioning the Black Wave of Yugoslav cinema at the centre of social change, Bojan Fajfrić’s video work The Cause of Death revives the legacy of that movement through examining the possibilities of art to encourage system shifts. Uniting collective and personal experience, he plays with the boundaries of recognisability of both, in a changed context.

It was shown at the 56th October Salon and received the Cultural Centre of Belgrade Award.

The New Yugoslav Film, better known as ‘Black Wave’, was a prolific phase in the Yugoslav cinema in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. It introduced the failure of the protagonist as a means of critical examination of the society. The authors of these films rejected the rules and results of the official optimistic culture, and openly exposed the dark side of the Yugoslav socialist society, caused by the implementation of market economy and its harmful social consequences. In The Cause of Death, the author takes over the personalities of 5 major Black Wave iconic characters and re-enacts their culminating scenes. These characters are: Milena from the film W.R. Mysteries of the Organism (1971) by Dušan Makavejev; Jugoslav from Early Works (1969) by Želimir Žilnik; Ivo, from The Ambush (1969) by Živojin Pavlović, Tom, from Plastic Jesus (1971) by Lazar Stojanović and Džimi Barka, from the film When I Am Dead and White (1967) by Živojin Pavlović.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-426/2.11.2018.
Inventory No. 1606
Photo: still from the video work


Bojan Fajfrić (1976, Belgrade, SFRY) lives and works in Amsterdam. He left Yugoslavia in 1995 and went to the Netherlands to study art. He graduated from the Royal Academy in The Hague and was a resident artist at the Rijks Academy in Amsterdam. Exhibitions: La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Paris; Theta Rhythm, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; 1966 I Constellations Gaur I 2016, San Sebastian; STEM TERUG! VOTE BACK!, De Appel, Amsterdam; Was ist Kunst…Resuming a Fragmented History, Graz; The Suspension of TimeSpaceship Yugoslavia, NGBK Berlin; December 5, 1978, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, Tirana Contemporary Art Biennial. Film festivals: Tempo Documentary Festival, Stockholm; Recontres Internationales Paris / Berlin / Madrid; International Film Festival Rotterdam; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen; International Film Festival in Vienna; Dok Leipzig; Impakt Festival, Utrecht. More information at