23. jul 2011. godine.

23 July 2011
One girl died.
Fragile and young girl who was lonely.
Alcohol, drugs, depression, self-injury.
A bunch of consequences which hide the problem.
The problem is in loneliness.
The loneliness you feel when you are surrounded by people.
When you don’t want to get out, because it’s cold and people are there.
When you get huge support and love.
When you are sick of your talent.
When you just don’t know how to absorb the beauty.

She created out of her own heart.
From the depth where personal darkness, pain, sorrow and nothingness are hidden.
From the depth which each of us have.
But only a few know how to make art out of it.

 

Amy Winehouse was a British singer and songwriter known for her strong vocals and eclectic mix of musical genres that included R & B, soul and jazz. Amy Winehouse had her last concert in Belgrade,  on June 18, 2011. This concert in Belgrade was a debacle, and not just for Amy, it was a debacle for civilisation which led for this to happen.
Belgrade forgot about it.
Belgrade was confused.
Belgrade is Amy Winehouse.
Belgrade has to have her monument.
The monument which is consistent with her style.
One that’s not made of marble or concrete.
But the one which  creates and runs.
The one that warns and that is high.

“Back to Amy” is the monument for her in Belgrade.
“Back to Amy” is my personal monument of time.
“Back to Amy” is a reminder of how difficult it is to keep a personal battle against the whole world.
“Back to Amy” is back to us.

Depression falls under the mood disorders. Depressive disorders are divided into: depressive episode of varying intensity and quality with somatic symptoms and psychotic symptoms; Recurrent depressive disorder that includes at least two depressive episodes that are separated by an interval without any symptoms for a period of two months, and persistent depressive disorder – dysthymia. Depressed mood is characterized by patient withdrawing into oneself, despondency, decline of vital dynamisms, insomnia, loss of appetite, pessimism, slowing down of thought processes, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

“Depression is inadequate. The collapse of the whole emotional scale is the minimum required to justify the betrayal of all.” Sarah Kane

Amy spoke just one thing, she tried all the time to tell us that she was alone and she needed help. Amy is a distress call. How many people in your area call for help and are you aware of that? Are you willing to help? She has already said everything in her songs while she still had the strength for it: that she loves too much, that she doesn’t want to drink but she just needs a friend, that she doesn’t have seventy days for rehabilitation, and also that “dad just thinks that she is well”. She yelled with all strength of her voice and prayed for help, but the world just watched and enjoyed her music. It speaks about our guilt as well, a culture with insatiable desire to absorb every video, picture or story of scandals and difficulties through which she passed.

Concert in Belgrade was another attempt to prove to herself that she is loved. But all that love just passed by her. That moment when you need only one more giant step to reach the heaven. Heaven on earth or heaven. She doesn’t hide her loneliness at the concert in Belgrade. The band plays, back vocals are singing, the lights are on, thousands of people are sending her love, but she refuses to sing, she crosses her own hands and hugging herself. She can’t sing. She has to hug herself because she is necessary for herself, she mustn’t stay alone with herself.
There is one picture of her that I love a lot, where she stands in front of a wall with a sign that says “No ball games”. Yeah, it probably says it was forbidden to play ball. But if we look at the world through analysis and understanding of Amy, it is clear that “ball” represent “balls” and she asks us not to play with “balls”. Not to play with power in relation to her and to use power to help and be there, not to confirm our strength and firmness.

“Back to Black” was an album that launched Amy to the top.
She wrote that album in serious condition.
She wrote that album from her heart.
That album is her gut.

She was not a performer.
She created and experienced.
She sang and it ached her.
She sang and she was there where she once was.

Do you want to get back to where you were?
If you understand me?! There.

She couldn’t sing songs from that album anymore, but we asked that from her. Who is the owner of a work of art? Does the author has the right to dispose with it or civilization has the right to ask for? Is the artist obliged to meet the needs of consumers of art, regardless of needs of an artist?
Would we want that Amy is alive, and that this world never got the «Back to black» album? Would we want this world with some other Amy? Would she wished that she was alive, but that she didn’t create music that millions of people are alive from? Music which is a way out for many?
How does an artist create anyway? What does artist needs to know and give? What happens with the body of a talented singer and tormented soul?
She went through the various stages of unbelievable success and scandalous fall, Amy was and remained brilliant, inteligent, but persistent, stubborn and stronger than most in a way, but at the same time weaker than others in other way.

The body of Amy was found at 4PM, at 6PM already on Amy’s page on Wikipedia was inscribed the date of death «23 July 2011». Two hours was needed. Two hours in the world of speed and tracking. Two hours that describe the greed and voyeurism of humanity, which we may have to reconcile ourselves with. Watching how the media and public, from an excellent artist, in addition to money and business, make the star and then make a controversial person denied of any support. Again for the money and business.
My professor Ljubiša Ristić, once told me that the problem is in me, because I believe in change. And for me, if I did not believe in change, I would have no reasons to drink coffee.
Life is coping with the wishes and fears. It’s stupid to negotiate about it. We have our bodies and souls in this energy field and it isn’t right to conserve oneself. Use all the potentials and love to the top of the pylon of Ada Bridge, but also to create all the way to the top, suffer to the top, hope to the top, to change to the top, but to still remain being a good person to the top – on the streets where people walk unaware of the height and of opportunities they have. To always love and to believe.
“It’s all for you, all about you, or I wouldn’t even get up. Each step, inhale – exhale, otherwise I would give up. It’s all for you, all about you, the rain, the sun, the moon and the birds, but they are not people, they sweat, while they badly count our little things.” says Bojana Vunturišević in her song “Amy and Blake”. If you don’t have your Blake, I don’t want you to have him. Clean up, sharp cut and the end. We go from the beginning. Heights are there. Consciousness not.

For me, Amy Winehouse is a way out.
Some rope that is above the head.
Some crunching of the teeth in a sleep.
Some airplane flight in the wrong direction.

I want to make the “Back to Amy” play because we owe it to her.
I want to make the “Back to Amy” play because I owe it to myself.
Those demons appear, take away your control and your knowledge.
They can defeat you, but you can also win the game.
I dare to say that I want to make the “Back to Amy” play because I understand Amy. When I was little, my parents died from the consequences of drug use – and I understand them. When I felt relaxed and felt safe, dizzyingly I found myself in another world – and I understand myself. This world will be a better place if we try to understand the people around us and people inside of us.

I believe in this play. I believe in Belgrade. I believe in something new. I believe in the people that I work with who are my friends above all and who are strongly a part of my life and personaly a part of this project. Because theater can’t be honest if it’s not personal, and personal is political. Because we consider art to be inseparable from its activism, and its aesthetic inseparable from its ethic.
And again we come to changes. Personal and civilizational that we must believe in, otherwise we would have no reason to drink coffee.

Vojislav Arsić