Matija Ferlin: Sad Sam Revisited


Matija Ferlin: Sad Sam Revisited Foto / Photo: Santiago Sepulveda

Sunday, 6 November 2022, at 19.00
Duša Počkaj Hall, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana

Ferlin's first solo Sad Sam Revisited, which made a significant impact on the contemporary dance scene in Croatia and more broadly in the region, also in Slovenia. Fifteen years later, he is back on our stages. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion.

This is the fortune of manhood.
Images and image.
Burning the calm fever of love.
I press the button.
He feels.
Fainting upon the obstacle of touching.
Nothing I care remains.
He took the silence.
I took the devotion of a staring fantasy.
I’ve made a comedy of becoming a man next to an animal.


Ferlin’s first solo piece Sad Sam Revisited goes back to the final year of his studies in Amsterdam. Although the performance was shown only twice on Slovenian stages, it triggered a number of resounding critical (and theoretical) responses. Marina Gržinić, for example, wrote that the performance is “almost an ontology of dance” and Ferlin a “pure terrorist (of the Deleuzian type), who has decided to eliminate the too many returns of all there is in the theatre of contemporary dance and opted for difference in its purest form, which is life.” Sad Sam Revisited encapsulates the procedures of contemporary theatre and dance with unexpected maturity and boldly sets out to face the demanding performative non-acts of duration, of persisting in forming a state, albeit never wavering to interrupt the narrative. The palette of Ferlin’s performing corpus in Sad Sam Revisited already incorporates recognisable sequences of the physical procedures he commonly uses, as well as the skilful shifting between humour and dryness, which performatively plays with the poetic fragments by Katalina Mella in the field of contemporary dance (and theatre).

Solo, duration 45 min
Premiere: 2004

The performance is part of the Sad Sam Manifestation festival co-produced by Cankarjev dom and Emanat Institute.

Ticket purchase:

Round table: Staging a Conversation: Manifestation of Discourse

to run across the surface, to sew gaps, to pair commas, to be here and there, in the performance and in the text, to go back and forth, to write out a thought before it is quite clear, before the cursor stops, before despair settles in over the impossibility of embracing the performative set and its effects

The accompanying event to Sad Sam Manifestations will try to play with a discursive format: the starting point will be short papers by the participants, diverse in genre and theme, from which will emerge a dialogue between two of Matija Ferlin's close collaborators, a conversation with his professional audience and a moderated discussion. The staging of the conversation will thus not only translate the performance (or opus) into a vocabulary of reflection, but will also interrogate the basic coordinates of the discursive event by shifting and interweaving, thereby reiterating Ferlin's departure from conventional staging. What then are the relations of his staging, what kind of affectivity does it produce, in what ways do different levels of narrativity participate, how does the spectator become embedded in this web of meaning through his or her experience?

Guests: Maša Radi Buh, Jasna Jasna Žmak, Goran Ferčec, Blaž Lukan
Moderator: Rok Bozovičar