Shoum (study)

The video work focuses on the “infantile” practice of learning without understanding. A middle-aged person from Belgrade was recorded in the process of decoding the lyrics of a song that is, presumably, their favourite music hit from the youth, from the 1980s: it is the song Shout by the British new wave / new romantic pop band Tears for Fears. The experience of listening to the English language translates into the experience of speaking it.

The work Shoum was exhibited at the 50th October Salon.

The man who decodes the lyrics does not speak English at all, so he phonetically transcribes what he hears based on his own “vocabulary” and the capacity to vocally interpret and reproduce what he hears. In order to understand and memorize the words of the song, he writes down what he understands as English. Through errors and deformations of the words of the song, a fun “new language” is created, so that instead of “shout, shout, let it all out, these are the things I can do without …”, he writes “šaum, šaum, lejdi o lav, pizat d pizat du ju raund…” and goes on in that style until he writes the text of the whole song. In the end, he sings his version of the song to the lyrics he wrote himself. The intended meaning of the song, its cultural context and its specificity are lost in order to give way to a “personal language” …
Branislav Dimitrijević, from the catalogue of the 50th October Salon

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-294/12.8.2016.
Inventory No. 1428
Photo: still from the video work 

Selected Bibliography:
50th October Salon, Circumstance. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2009


Katarina Zdjelar (1979, Belgrade, Serbia) graduated from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade. Lives and works in Belgrade and Rotterdam. In 2017, Katarina was shortlisted for the Dutch Prix de Rome and won the Dolf Henkes Art Award. She has presented her works at the Stuki Museum of Modern Art, Lodz; Kunstverein Bielefeld; Serbian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale; Museums of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA) and Bucharest (MNAC); De Appel Centre for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam; 5th Marrakesh Biennale; Power Plant Gallery of Contemporary Art in Toronto; Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; HMKV in Dortmund; MuHKA Museum in Antwerp; Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, etc. More information at