contact D.V. NIKT

Dejan Vlaisavljević Nikt was born in Belgrade (Beograd) Yugoslavia in 1967. He sites as his mentors, Miroslav Bata Petrović, prolific avant-garde filmmaker, and Jovan Jovanović, director and film theorist.

At 14, Nikt began to make fiction movies with his schoolmate, Igor Toholj, using Igor's father's super-8 camera. He starts to make electronic and live music at 19.

In 1985, collaboration with artist/writer Nenad "Johnny" Racković, led to the short fiction film Organizam (Organism), an expressionistic portrayal of frantic sexual obsession played out with an inanimate mannequin.

Nikt's 1986 Made In Yugoslavia and Film Vlaisavljević Dejana were recognized as important Yugoslav alternative films of that year. Employing a collage of film cut-ups, acted scenes, frame-by-frame filming, and direct intervention on the film stock, these later super-8 shorts speak of alienation, desperation, repulsion and no-way-out situations in a violent, post-modern socialist society. These films were often banned from public screenings.

front page of Last 12 Years of Nikt's Future, 1987 (Serbo-Croatian and German editions)

In 1987, Nikt writes and self-publishes his manifesto Last 12 Years Of Nikt's Future, a text outline of 37 statements of a neo-futuristic nature, which directly address radical undertakings in visual arts, music, media and politics.

inspiration for Generals Wake Up Early, 1987

The same year, he wrote, directed and acted in Generals Wake Up Early, a multimedia anti-theatre show. Performed by an ensemble cast, the controversial show, embodying contradictory strains of militarism and anarchism, provoked mixed reactions. Generals… also predicted the coming tragedy in Yugoslavia.

The cast of Generals… continued to work together forming the group Plasticno Pozoriste Nikt (Plastic Theater Nikt). In the summer of 1988 they performed 13 August 1961 in Sarajevo and several other Yugoslav cities. This street action event was a de facto physical recreation of the Berlin Wall in pedestrian malls, which blocked normal foot traffic. A protest from local citizens in Sarajevo led to police engagement and the performance was called off.

on the set of The Film will not be Screened, 1988

Nikt's first feature length movie The Film Will Not Be Screened was shot on video in 1988 and openly deals with problems of drugs, sexual identity, filmmaking and suicide. Operating with no budget, the movie was shot in less than two weeks using professional and non-professional actors alike. The Film… was the first Yugoslav alternative, feature-length video film.

posters for Up and Besmrtnost, 1989

After being rejected as over qualified from admission to Belgrade's Film & TV Academy, Nikt self-publishes music soundtracks on audio cassettes from his 1989 video works Besmrtnost (Immortality), Up, and Private Eyes. He also releases Great Movies, Vol. 1 & 2, soundtracks he composed for the short movies of Igor Toholj. Nikt's video work Up was an informal remake of Tomislav Gotovac's '60s avant-garde movies Pravac (Direction) and Kruznica (Circle).

live concert photo, Immortality, 1989; poster, Amazing Flight Stories, 1991

Around the same time Nikt began to make live concerts, mostly as a one-man band but sometimes with the video/sound artist Petar Milić. The concerts combine video and film screenings, live instrumental music and spoken word. Nikt's friendship with Mirko Mikulić (founder of the music group, Pandovisia) and Dragan Ve Ignjatović (founder of the theater group EXT) lead to the formation of the experimental pop and rock trio, P.P. Nikt. This line up performed in Belgrade and Warsaw in the spring of 1990. After a few personnel changes, the band was simply renamed Nikt.

In 1991, with the addition of film/video maker Igor Toholj as front man/singer and co-writer of songs, the new band launched their new material Amazing Flight Stories inspired by 1950s pulp magazines and movies, comic books, pop culture, and progressive rock of the 1970s. Their song Infinity reached number one on Belgrade's demo top charts in May 1991. After two sold-out Belgrade concerts in June of that year, their ambitious Yugoslav tour was canceled as the country verged on civil war. Refusing to take any part or role in the war, Nikt left Belgrade and moved to Amsterdam.

Radio Beograd, 1991,Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

In 1992, Nikt had a few solo exhibits of his "found object" constructs in Amsterdam. In 1993, Nikt teamed up with Vladan "Lucky" Lazarević song writer, musician and sound engineer. They created Radio Beograd, a kinetic sound machine which was shown in the group exhibition Parameter '93 at the Stedelijk Museum. The piece contains a 15 minute electronic/rock soundtrack, the mechanics of which were controlled by clockwork timers. Radio Beograd was inspired by visions of a pre-Galilean universe, and by work of the artist Edward Kienholz.

Collaboration with Lucky lead to making the short music video work Aviator. In the form of an unconventional video clip, Aviator is a dark work combining themes of personal obscurity, religious toxification and war, with the look of horror B movies. The black and white work was signed as a project of the "minimal protection device." It was limited release videotape available in independent music shops.

In 1995 Nikt continued working on several cut up video works, reediting classic Hollywood B horror movies, archive footage and TV broadcasts, and adding original soundtracking. These works, including Recognition, Best Years, Jazz Is Not Dead and Activity, were broadcast on the local Amsterdam television channel.

Nikt's 1996's video work Godware was an official selection of the Clemont Ferrant Video Festival in France 1997. Godware, with camera-work by video/film maker Dan Oki, uses military miniatures and scale models to create an imaginative warscape. Telling three separate stories from the Second World War, Godware was also broadcast on Amsterdam's local TV channels.

Blue Side Of The Sun, 1999

In 1999 Nikt formed a 2-piece band, eponymously named Nikt, with bass player/writer Nensi Mujcinović. The following year the band self-produced and published the CD album Blue Side Of The Sun. One of the songs from Blue Side… titled Eldorado vocalizes the verses of Edgar Allan Poe's last poem to the sound of minimal, syncopated electro-blues endemic to the album. The band performed several live multi-media shows in Amsterdam underground clubs. The work, on a few occasions, was also radio broadcast.

In 2000, at the invitation of filmmaker Laurent Foissac, Nikt went to France to make the soundtrack for the semi-documentary film Message to Andy Warhol, a chronicle of the life of Ultra Violet. Around the same time Nikt made three short video works with the help of film/video editor Marko Mormil. Final Sunset, Sleep On, and American Pie all use cut-up, reediting, and reframing methods, and have original Nikt soundtracks.

on the set of Twisted Spirits, 2000/2001

From 2000 to 2001, Nikt co-wrote, shot, directed and edited Twisted Spirits, a black and white video film shot in a combination of cinema verité and noir influenced styles. The screenplay was written in collaboration with writer/musician Djordje Matić. The work, which relies on non-linear storytelling, extreme camera angles, and fast jump cut editing, is a story of murder, obsession, secret flying missions and war. Shot in Amsterdam over a period of nine months on a shoestring budget, Twisted Spirits utilizes professional and non-professional actors, Cast included in Vlatka Šimac and Ivica "Razorblade Junior" Kosavić. The soundtrack was created largely from Nikt's own back catalog. Twisted Spirits had a few screenings in Belgrade, and was selected and shown in the Alternative Film Video Festival 2003 Belgrade.

Nikt returned to performing in Belgrade in the fall of 2001, ten years after his last concert there in 1991. Two live shows consisted of material largely from the Blue Side Of The Sun. In 2002, Nikt's Belgrade production of Undertaking collapsed for various reasons after two months of shooting. Nikt co-wrote, acted, and directed the 3 noir-like stories about betrayal, exploited vulnerability, push over, greed and murder, which were co-written with Igor Toholj. The incomplete footage was never edited. Later that year, in the Belgrade studio of "Lucky" Lazarević Nikt recorded an album with a 3-piece band. Initially titled Iron Horse, the work was later renamed Available. Still waiting to be released, this material includes the remake of the Madonna's song I Deserve and new versions of Nikt's back catalogue such as Eldorado. He also co-wrote the first draft of a new screenplay with screen and theatre writer, Petar Grujicić, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's novel Hound of the Baskervilles. The Book Of The Undertaker project was postponed due to lack of funding.

Guns, 2003; oil pastel on carton

Back in Amsterdam in 2003, Nikt dedicated himself to the solitary pursuit of drawing and painting autobiographical works using techniques of pointillism, art brut, and expressionism.

on the set of Big Bang Kiss, 2004

In 2005 Nikt worked to complete the feature movie Big Bang Kiss, which he made with Bez Ocko. Nikt co-wrote the screenplay, directed and edited the film which was shot in Amsterdam in the winter of 2004/5. He also did the soundtrack.

In 2005/6 Nikt worked on his first documentary film, Birdman Of Belgrade and on a new album Jugoton (Yugotone), a remaking of personal favorites from Yugoslav rock, new wave and punk from the 1980s. These project are still works-in-progress.

Jovan Jovanović speaking at the Film Festival in Belgrade; DV Nikt with Jovanović, 2006

In February 2006, Nikt went to the 34th International Film Festival in Belgrade, to begin work on The Hidden Face Of Yugoslav Cinema, a documentary film about film director Jovan Jovanović. Jovanović's 1971 film, Young And Healthy As A Rose, had its premiere after 35 years of being unofficially banned. This project is still being considered as a work-in-progress.

poster and DVD packaging Big Bang Kiss, 2006

Big Bang Kiss is realized on DVD in the U.S. in September 2006 and is available for sale.

Devil's Garden, 2007

In November 2006 Nikt started work on Devil's Garden, a film trilogy about the WW2. This project is a work-in-progress.