Jaka Babnik
Why So Serious?

7. 7. – 3. 9. 2017

Exhibition curator: Miha Colner

 

ROBERT HUTINSKI
Simultaneity

2.6. - 2.7. 2017

 

Robert Hutinski uses photography to think about and interpret the crises of the contemporary times. In order to sharpen and articulate his own view on social events, he often turns to archival documents, where he seeks visual images that testify to the continuous presence of violence within society. In doing so, he highlights violence as a constitutive element of every political formation and explores how various ideologies in their radicalism occur within everyday life, from religious delineations (Legacy, 2010–2016) to controversial scientific experiments (The Structures of the Divine Corridor, 2013–2015) and war crimes (Home – Children's Story, 2013–2015). What is essential for his work is that while researching the archives, he uncovers the shocking stories of the destinies of people, the victims of degraded ideologies (Za-bris – (behind the) Effacement, 2014–2015). Their silhouettes and portraits often appear in photographs, since the actualization of collective memory of past traumatic events is a key aspect for the artist. He merges archival material with his own interventions and demonstrates his understanding of photography as a space of simultaneous encounters through the processes of layering image onto image.

Simultaneityis also the title of the series, which he presents at Likovni salon. This time there are no figures or documents to bear witness to the cracks of time. Instead, he uses landscape to talk about crisis as the final condition. In the exhibition we see shots of landscapes, whose shooting location is difficult to ascertain, they are more excerpts of a desolate landscape, hints of certain moods or sentiments of a time.

A suffocating anxiety prevails within the fragmented images, which stretches and grows between the individual elements like a dark mass. Or, just the opposite, settles into the form of the shining whiteness, giving rise to a feeling of unease because of its apparent boundlessness. The elements in the photographs are barely visible given the expansive background, only upon careful observation can their motifs be discerned. These are often isolated, faraway and hazy trees, sometimes brought to such proximity so as to appear somewhat abstract. We see close transparent shots of flowers, their aesthetic is reminiscent of x-rays and generates a sense of alienation in the viewer. Alienation and an anticipated presence of horror prevail in the Simultaneousness series and transpose the viewer, who initially expects scenes of beautiful landscapes, into a zone of discomfort. By demarcating the space and recreating the dynamics of dark and light, the installation in Likovni salon presents the viewer with the artist's reflection and sentiment of the desperate situation into which we are trapped, as well as the simultaneousness of the progression of the future, which is taking place concurrently to our gazes.

Robert Hutinski (1969) lives and works in Celje. He has presented his work in solo (The City under the Boot, Museum of Recent History Celje, 2015, Ecce Homo, AXx Gallery, 2015, Celje Portraits, Museum of Recent History Celje, 2009 …) and group exhibitions (Art matters, but art is not enough, Center for Contemporary Arts Celje, 2016, Timeless Ophelia, Small Gallery, Cankarjev dom, 2016, Infinity, Arezzo & Photography – International Biennale of Photographic Art, 2016 …).

His work is included in numerous specialized magazines (1000 Words Photography Magazine, GUP Magazine, Eyemazing ...) and books (Mono Vol. 2, Gomma Books, 2015, Atavism, AKINA Books, 2013 ...).
He has received many accolades for his work. He is represented by EYEMAZING Editions. He has also been running the AQ Gallery in Celje since 2013.

 

SANELA JAHIĆ
Traces of Labor


7. 4. - 21. 5. 2017


Intermedia artist Sanela Jahić is presenting a selection of recent projects at Likovni salon. These address issues of labour in conjunction with technological advances, they deal with the subjectivity of the worker and the manager, and explore forms of ownership opposed to the capitalist division of labour.

Her art practice is based on investigating the phenomena that touch upon the changes tied to the capitalist order of production, particularly with the growing robotics industry, and the effect it has on the structure of labour and the participation of the worker. She studies the attempts at optimizing the work process, such as for instance the analyses of behaviours and their potential adaptations intent on speeding up production and increasing efficiency. Often such attempts see the relationship between man and machine as the identification of man with machine. This aspect has been particularly highlighted by the artist in her work Tempo Tempo (2014). She has researched the studies of the speed of movement performed in the second half of the 19th century by scientist Frank Bunker Gilbreth in order to find the most efficient movements performed by workers during particular tasks to achieve optimum efficiency, resulting in increased productivity.

Likovni salon will be host to an exhibition of her continued explorations. Typical for her art work is the creation of experiments, integration with other disciplines, and collaboration with various social groups. Works on display include the installation Deregulated Vision (2013), consisting of an old pair of glasses and kaleidoscopic lenses, which presents the obsession with the multiplication of value as a dominant commandment of late capitalism. That the system is immune to criticism and seeks to depoliticise all that is social, is indicated in the piece Friction Machine (2013), where she has interleaved the pages of two key books – both of which present a critical analysis of the political economy – into a joint formation. By transferring the force of four workers, which she measured in an experiment conceived specifically for the project, she bound the books into the object which functions as a pulling device and replicates the strength of the workers in attempting to unbind the two books. In her piece Five Handshakes (2016) she addresses shaking hands as the fundamental gesture in doing business. She invited various managers to participate in the experiment. She placed sensors on their hands and measured the strength of their handshake and muscle contraction while shaking hands. The exhibition presents a graphic analysis of the measured data. The project speaks of the invisible, affective impulses that influence the building of trust, while at the same time establishing a balance of power in subtle ways.

The video Mine, Yours, Ours (2016) presents those practices that consider ownership outside the capitalist frameworks of function. The piece speaks of co-ownership and focuses on two cases of worker buyouts, the Gorenjski glas newspaper from Kranj and the Domel company from Železniki. Featured are interviews with employees, who present the selling-off process and highlight the advantages of co-ownership, as well as the impact on the ways in which the company is perceived.

Sanela Jahić(1980) graduated in the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and gained her master's degree at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. She has shown her work in many solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad. She received the Jakopič Recognition Award in 2016, A Look 7 Biennial award in 2014, the Pixxelpoint Award in 2011, and was nominated for the OHO Group Award in 2014. 

She lives and works in Škofja Loka.

 

IZA PAVLINA
Isabelle Peacocks 

5. 8. - 4. 9. 2016

 

Young Celje artist Iza Pavlina is presenting her multimedia project entitled Isabelle Peacocks for the first time at Likovni salon. An interest for issues related to sexuality is a characteristic aspect of her work. She creates fictional identities, through which she steps into the virtual space to explore the phenomena of social anomalies, power relations and the question of how to establish communication with a specific target group of web users by manipulating the image of her own self. She uses specific strategies to objectify her body, primarily addressing the male population on various online portals. She presented herself to the general public for the first time with her piece Talk to Strangers (2014), where she dealt with the phenomenon of paedophilia on social networks. For the project she took on the role of an underage teen, getting into sexual conversations with much older men in online chat rooms. She unveils the lightness of online scams, where role playing is common practice, even when it cuts into the field of the illegal. What is the hierarchical structure of those involved and how much reality lies within the conversations is difficult to define, the piece particularly highlights the typical nature of the virtual space as a place of encounter of manifold interests.

With the project prepared specifically for Likovni salon, she continues to explore the links between art and sexuality within the virtual. This time, sexual practices directed towards unusual fetishes are presented as her point of interest. She has focused on fetishes that include quicksand, balloons, food and animals, and looked into the ways in which they appear in porn videos. In conceiving the piece, she again used her own body as the basic medium of communication. She recorded four staged situations in the studio, where she performs the selected fetishes in quite a different manner as is usual for porn videos. She has again created a fictional identity and published the recorded videos on a pornographic website under the pseudonym of Isabelle Peacocks. In addition to the staged videos, we can view a series of images from the chat room in the exhibition, as well as read the conversations and get an insight into the other users. These are positioned into the space as wallpaper, accompanied by a poster of the profile of Isabelle Peacocks, from which we also learn about her interests, hobbies, etc.

The work of Iza Pavlina is marked by working in the public space using processes in which various entities appear, who are unaware of the fact that they are not merely spectators, but an integral part of the artwork. In such a way, in addition to her own image, strangers, as well as current social and intimate worlds, become the medium by which the artist addresses the viewer in the gallery space.

Iza Pavlina (1991) is completing her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She presented her work in a solo show in 2014 with the exhibition Talk to Strangers at the Račka Gallery of Erotic Art. She has participated in many group exhibitions (Situation Dogville, DUM Project Space, Ljubljana, 2015, Mediterranea 17 – No Food's Land (Biennial of Young Artists), Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano, 2015, 3rd Triennial of Young Artists– Premiera 2015, Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, 2015, This is not a love song, Miklova hiša Gallery, Ribnica, 2014, …).In 2015 she received the Special Achievement Award given by the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

 

SMALL BUT DANGERS
If I were God, I would not exist.


1. 4. – 1. 5. 2015

Small but Dangers is an artist duo, whose meaningful and 'incorrectly' written name draws the attention to a game between form and meaning right from the start. Their solo presentation at Likovni salon is composed of various works from their art collections. These are marked off within the medium, but their common denominator can be found in their artistic expression, predominantly based on a multifaceted experience of the world in all its simplicity. Fascinated by the overlooked banalities of everyday life, the meanings of artistic forms, found objects and ambiguity of technical principles, SBD establish new systems of visual perception, either formally or narratively. Through a semiological game, which means rethinking the visible, they are looking for layers of meaning beneath the set codes of objects or occurrences. In such a way their ready-made objects, installations, or any material that has been designated as art – as well as their video and power-point presentations – explore the relationship between materiality/form and (non) sense. The exhibition presents simple, mechanically manipulated visual effects, such as little clouds that move around aided by a fan, or a small piece of fur fluttering in an artificial breeze. The geometric systems in their drawings and paintings appear like conceptual games. Gobelins are given a new dimension in terms of colour, composition and content, which is typical of abstract paintings. Simple mischievous animations show the surreality of the PowerPoint computer programme. The figures in their animation – like a yogi performing asanas, a dead bird and a leaf in the wind – become meaningless and absurd in their endless repetitive motion without purpose, place and time. SBD build new systems of signs in their art practice, adding to and taking away from the unambiguous message of things. According to Barthes, the mythical signifier is similar to the alibi: "I am not where you think I am; I am where you think I am not."1  Precisely this elusive harmony between form and sense can be applied to many of the works by SBD, in the same way that 'mythical' meaning constantly eludes us. The artists intentionally leave a gap in their as well as the viewer's interpretation, a doubt as to whether the artwork is being read correctly. On the other hand, they simplify the meaning of some of their pieces to the extent that it is returned to the primary level of understanding. Through a considered spatial display and treatment of the relationship between the individual parts of the whole, they create a playroom of visual languages, leaving the viewer the empty spaces to comprehend the seen, to form associations, laugh or feel a sense of absurdity. "We understand displays and each of their details as a rebus without predetermined solutions, or whose solutions might even be non-existent. The manipulation of the contents is minimised to the point at which it is just still able to arouse the suspicion that it means something. The simpler the works, the greater space is given to what remains non-signified in them. This poetic provocation serves to question reading between the lines: we understand that such reading is made possible precisely by the existence of lines, and is determined by them. The moment we step out of one sign system, we create another. The non-signified in language appears only as a possibility, which evaporates as soon as it is made real. It is at the boundary that we seek a solution. We manipulate the image to the point where what is non-signified acquires potential, which we refrain from fulfilling. That creates a metaphysical effect, reminiscent of a magical spell." say the artists. As builders and destroyers of meanings they therefore conquer a polygon of signs, 'myths' and languages, where meanings shy away precisely from that excessive enthusiasm of wider social and cultural reality.


Small but Dangers is an artist duo made up of Mateja Rojc and Simon Hudolin. The two artists have been working together successfully under the joint name since 2004. They both completed their studies at the Arthouse College for Visual Arts in Ljubljana, Simon Hudolin also completed a postgraduate course of study at the Academy of Fine Arts. They regularly show their work in group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad. Currently, their installation is included in the Crises and New Beginnings: Art in Slovenia 2005–2015 exhibition. They are the recipients of the VIG Special Invitation as part of the Essl Award 2015. They also received the second prize for the Photograph of the Year 2013 together with Matija Brumen, and were nominated for the OHO Group Award in 2008. In addition to their art practice presented in the Celje exhibition, they also work in audio-visual performance and scenography for animation.

 

Curator: Maja Antončič

 

1 Roland BARTHES, Mythologies, Noonday Press – New York, 1972

 

NEVENA ALEKSOVSKI and ANA MAKUC
Between your perfidious words rest my sentences


8. 2. - 13. 3. 2016

 


The exhibition 'Between your perfidious words rest my sentences' is an interweaving of poetry by Ana Makuc and drawings by Nevena Aleksovski. This is a layering of images and a harmony of voices. Many women from history, literature, mythology, speak out at the same time in the sound installation of poetry by Ana Makuc. "Lyrical women subjects are drawn from traditional positions, deprived from their sacrificial role or stereotyped mythical fatality, making them decisive, independent, thoughtful" (Vesna Lemaić). Through the use of a variety of media, the chaotic images of the self and others by Nevena Aleksovski are drawn and overlapped across the walled surfaces. The foreground features the attitude of the individual woman towards herself, as well as her relation to Others, and the relationship between the individual woman and (patriarchal) society. The authors, as in their previous project (Roland Barthes' Lover, 2015), thus deal with the nature of the relational, exploring their positions as precarious workers, artists, migrants, women, nomads, the situation of women in the literary canon, the socio-historical situation of women, the relationship between the genders, sexuality, yet they upgrade it by deconstructing it. Many voices become a single voice and a single female subject becomes more thereof, while the images of the self are all the time multiplied, blurred, recreated. Multiplicity, schizophrenia and fluidity of female identity becomes a solid position on which we can act in the collective to battle against the structural inequalities of patriarchal capitalist neoliberalism. The personal is political, art is direct. It serves as a means of psychological if not material survival, and as a strategy of resistance.

Nevena Aleksovskiis an academy trained painter with a master degree in cultural studies. She is also active as a pedagogue, working in the media of drawing, painting and video.

Ana Makucis a literary comparativist with a doctorate in women's and gender studies. She is also a poet and a translator.

Both are collaborators of the Red Dawns feminist and queer festival.Their two joint projects to date are the exhibition Roland Barthes' Lover, which combined the poetry of Ana Makuc and the drawings of Nevena Aleksovski at the 16th Red Dawns Festival, and the eponymous collection of poems with drawings published by Apokalipsa in the Fraktal collection in 2015.

 

 

SHAME ON YOU!

Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Matej Čepin, Robert Hutinski, Staš Kleindeinst, Aino-Marjatta Mäki and Jaakko Karhunen, Luiza Margan, Paula Muhr, Pleurad Xhafa, Adrian Paci, Ana Pečar and Oliver Ressler, Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak jr., Vahida Ramujkić (together with: Aviv Kruglanski, Dejan Došljak), Zgodovinski arhiv Celje (Historical Archive Celje)

 

Curator: Maja Hodošček
Locations: Gallery of Contemporary Art, Likovni salon and Chapel of St Elisabeth
26. 11. 2015 - 17. 1. 2016

                 

Shame on you! is an interdisciplinary project spanning over four years, produced in concept and programme by the cultural institutions Celeia Institute – Centre for Contemporary Art in Celje (Slovenia) and the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery in Zagreb (Croatia).

The project functions as an artistic and theoretical platform, focused on analysing the affect of shame. As part of the project, and alongside the lectures and presentations, an art residency programme also took place in the period between 2013 and 2015. During their residencies, the invited artists produced  the works that will be shown in the exhibition for the first time. Anna Dašović, Paula Muhr, Aina-Marjatta Mäki and Jaakko Karhunen, as well as Miloš Trakilović were hosted in Celje.

The starting hypothesis of the Shame on you! project is based on the assumption that feeling shame is a symptom that reveals various forms of social inequality since this is in its core a socially conditioned affect. In the process of coming up with the concept for the exhibition, we focused on the area of the economy and its division of labour as it is an essential producer of sociality (through work we enter into relationships and form a variety of social ties). It is worrying that in the contemporary times a singular form of economy is becoming established that is based on massive exploitation of the work force, which presents itself as the only possible social reality that should be adapted to. Theoreticians Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson write that it is precisely the naturalization of the economy, which has established itself in the public space to a totality after the demise of socialism, that has led to a shift from understanding the economy as a field of transformation, or at least as a field which can be communally managed, to exercising the latter as hegemonic formations of governing.[1] The governing of society from the standpoint of the interests of the economy, new production processes and changed forms of labour have a significant impact on social relations, creating new subjectivities and various social classes. As part of the project, we were predominantly interested in what type of working conditions, within situations where neo-liberalism appears as the fundamental discourse, the affect of shame occurs and the relations that it discloses.In doing so, we took into account the mentality of the neo-liberal ideology which spreads awareness that economic and social success depends on our own capacity for action on the labour market and that the individual is solely responsible for his own social status. Tomaž Flajs, Gestalt psychotherapist, stresses that shame is experienced by the individual in an intimate situation as something painful. This experience is inextricably linked with the external environment since by humiliating certain identities or ways of living, society establishes the mechanisms of control, thereby allowing the reproduction of socially acceptable norms.[2] Conformism is therefore essential for the maintenance of shame given that this affect appears as the individual or the community no longer has the ability or wish to adapt to the given norms of reality.

By establishing different relations to the concept of work in the present times, the works presented in the exhibition demonstrate that multiple diverse different identities are not able to adapt to the existing economic reality. The inability to achieve economic independence is experienced as personal guilt and shame.Such an intimate experiencing of one’s own inadequacy or failure significantly contributes to maintaining the system aimed at continuously exploiting the available resources in order to create surplus value. Through the artworks, the exhibition seeks to deconstruct the ideological idea which proposes that the social position in the economic division of labour taken up by the individual is his own fault. It draws attention to systemic violence that does not offer any, or else barely minimal, social security to the individual, yet demands increasingly more impossible ways of working, by which it has a fundamental impact on the reduction of the quality of life.

The works highlight precarity (Luiza Margan), which is, according to recent sociological research, becoming the most widespread present-day form of employment.[3] It is defined by a continuing state of uncertainty and is realized through the manifold forms of irregular working relations. Transnational capitalist action requires a global market and the countries that had in the past ensured at least the minimum social protection of the workforce due to national interests, have been abolishing this minimum security measure and are cooperating in spreading the neo-liberal discourse. The political decision-making system has completely distanced itself from citizens and is taking place separately, independently of the needs and will of the community (Matej Čepin).

The works in the exhibition address the increase of labour migrations (Adrian Paci) and link the exploitation of the labour of the global south to the historical phenomena of state racism, which is still exercised today through invisible mechanisms (Robert Hutinski).

They deal with the consequences of privatizations in rural areas (Vahida Ramujkić, in collaboration with Aviv Kruglanski and Dejan Došljak) and point to the proliferation of the so-called “working poor” (Pleurad Xhafa) in which workers do not earn enough to survive in their paid employment. They expose deviant practices (goodbye letter kept by the Historical Archives Celje) and activist situations that oppose the profitable mode of governing society (Ana Pečar and Oliver Ressler). They disclose capitalist strategies that are used to try and influence political decisions (Libia Castro and Ólafur Olafsson) and cast a doubt in democracy as a form of governance (Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak jr., Staš Kleindeinst).

They wonder what kind of subjectivities are produced by capitalism (Aino-Marjatta Mäki and Jaakko Karhunen) and look for connections between the demands of the economy and an increase in all kinds of mental illness (Paula Muhr).

But they also offer different ways of thinking and living, such as the proposal to step out of the system of labour and into life (Dalibor Bori Zupančič).

 


[1] J.K. Gibson-Graham, A Postcapitalist Politics, p. 54

[2] Tomaž Flajs, Sram: Med intimo in družbo [Shame: Between Intimacy and Society], lecture, Likovni salon (2 April 2015)

[3]Vassilis S. Tsianos and Dimitris Papadopoulos: DIWY! Precarity in Embodied Capitalism

 

BORIS OBLIŠAR
ZH (zero hour) – lying, applying, replying, complying
spatial installation


15. 10. – 15. 11. 2015
 

You are cordially invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, 15 October at 7 pm at Likovni salon. The opening will be accompanied by the artist’s performance.

As a longstanding art and primary school teacher, artist Boris Oblišar is very much involved in the school environment. Within his profession, he is constantly trying to look for creative pedagogical opportunities as permitted by the formal educational framework, thinking about his own and the child’s position in school as an institution. Art classes actually still oscillate between the formality required by the school curriculum and a general desire to encourage the child’s creative thinking. The results of art as a subject are ultimately measurable in the same way as the results of other subjects, whereas pupils’ behaviour is in close relation to expected results. John Dewey wrote in his work The School and Society in as early as 1889: I believe that the ideal school contains a reconciliation between individualistic and institutional ideals. The fluctuation between the “human factor” and the formal structure of the educational institution is also pondered upon by artist Boris Oblišar. Except that he is not seeking the ideal, but is asking how to understand the freedom of the teacher and the pupil within a defined system of rules, norms and evaluation criteria. An insight into what is actually happening in the background, either during the breaks or secretly during the lessons, this other side of the school story, has become the basis for the Zero Hour project, which has been going on over a number of years. Through observation, treatment and collection of various materials (drawings, discarded art objects, creative tools ...) Oblišar examines how children, who spend a large part of their lives in school, respond to the situations of their micro and macro environment. And how he responds to it himself. In Zero Hour he highlights the reflection of the teaching profession, which contains individual curiosity and creative desire. He primarily records the informal dynamics of the school institution through the view of a teacher on the one hand, and that of the artist on the other. Oblišar exhibited his project Zero Hour for the first time at Likovni salon in 2003, the second time at the Slovenian Fine Artists Society DSLU Gallery in 2004, followed by presentations in various forms in Koper in 2006, and Velenje in 2008.1  Zero Hour became a trademark of an individual deconstruction of the system (...)2, for the unconventional activities of the users of this system, a sign for the space of freedom and dialogue within a more or less rigid institutional machine.  In this spatial installation, the artist primarily questions his own position in the school education process. Given all the internal and external characteristics of those involved, the school environment is very unpredictable, variable. And controlled and defined, on the other hand. This is why the artist asks himself about the nature of his role in selecting teaching methods, addressing knowledge, assigning responsibilities and creating truth. He reaches deeply into the core of his own interests that raise the question of whether the teacher is primarily an executive figure or can he be the creator of a defined school system. The installation thus contains static elements – sculptures, adapted from products from art classes, the artist’s portraits and self-portraits as well as dynamic elements – prepared materials and compositions which can be manipulated by the visitor. The exhibition is a symbolic reflection of two sets of combinatorics. One belonging to formal teaching and the other to the artist’s personal viewpoints. The applying, replying, complying of the “prohibited” school material with the artist’s interpretation acts as a mirror in which the human factor within the artistic field comes into conflict with the institutional ideal.


Boris Oblišar (1964) graduated from the Academy of Pedagogy in Ljubljana. He has been teaching art since the 1990s, therefore his interest for the school discourse takes a prominent position in his art practice. He has received several accolades for his work as an art mentor. He uses a variety of artistic media in conceiving his works, particularly spatial installation and performance, and is a regular contributor to the Free Admission festival with his artistic actions as a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Celje (DLUC).


Maja Antončič

 

 

1 “BESEDAPRESEDA”, Nultaura, multimedia spatial installation, MC Velenje, 2008, “NULTAURA”, photo/video installation with lecture, PINA, Koper, 2006, internal installations and actions at Elementary School Šalek Velenje as part of the Nultaura (Zero Hour) project, 2003–2015

2 Nevenka Šivavec, O privlačnosti lokalnega [On the Attractiveness of the Local](lecture), Svet umetnosti, SCCA – Ljubljana, 2003 http://www.worldofart.org/0203/predavanje-NS.htm

 

MITO GEGIČ 

Waiting and Wanting and Waiting

 

3. 9. 2015 - 4. 10. 2015

 

Mito Gegič (1982) completed his studies in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He is currently completing his postgraduate studies at the same faculty. 

His painting practice is recognized by the specific process of building up the painting, which is characterized by the use of adhesive tapes. The artist covers the entire canvas with duct tape, depicts an image found online on the covered support, and transfers it onto a new canvas, but not in its entirety. He cuts it into narrow strips of various lengths. He then sticks it on the base again, but leaving blank white spaces in between. By doing so, he opens up the original image and tears it into individual parts, which breaks up the density of the depicted, adding a more airy quality to the painting. He lays the strips in a systematic and random manner; the final shape is a permeable dynamic formation, which resides in a demarcated area. It is a translation from the digital environment into a tactile painting. The appearance of the artist’s works reminds of the intangible virtual space within which an incalculable amount of data is stored. Out of the infinite set of options, Gegič searches for a very specific motif online. He is interested in the phenomenon of elitist sports hunting that involves killing for fun, which significantly affects the balance of the natural environment through the killing of large numbers of animals. 

The artist selects scenes of hunting observatories and hunters lying in wait, sequences of scared wild animals and their last close-up gazes, the moment of capture and the end of life. The dark, cold applications of paint, and the cut-up image, persuasively highlight the dispassionate killing. The artist’s continuous staging of the hunt can be read as an allegory to the asymmetrical social order based on the discrimination of the stronger and the weaker. It highlights the inability of exceeding boundaries; the vertically laid bands reflect power and deny any eventual entering of the horizontal, which would open up the possibility of equality. The relationship of inequality is retained, just as the processes of reckless hunting for profit are reproduced and normalized in the current times, which require immeasurable numbers of victims for their existence.

 

The artist presents a selection of paintings at Likovni salon Celje, which are, besides hunting motifs, also linked by the element of temporality. The models for the presented works are taken from the footage of game cameras. These are special cameras that are placed in a natural environment and serve to define the time in which a particular animal appears in a specific place. Gegič adds the exact time of the recording to the painting, thus emphasizing the documentary nature of what is displayed. The staged is the intermediate state of waiting and the tension of life and death. The emphasis on temporality raises the question of how to exploit a limited amount of time; in contemporary society, focused on incessant production, time seems like trying to grasp surplus value. Through a continuous display of hunting motifs, the artist points to the absurdity of such action. 

The paintings of Gegič ontologically explore both the medium of painting in contemporaneity, as well as question human activity in a system that is set up so as to represent competitiveness, individualism and the hierarchical organisation of relationships as a fundamental form of social action. His work expresses the topical nature of the painting medium since it successfully includes social occurrences, virtual phenomena and their related new ways of seeing and understanding reality.

 

Mito Gegič presents his work in Slovenia as well as abroad, in solo (Encryption, Gaia Gallery, Istanbul, 2015, UN-DO, Ivan Grohar Gallery , Škofja Loka, 2014 …) and group exhibitions (Squeezing Times, Miklova hiša Gallery, Ribnica, 2015, Arte Laguna Art Prize 13.14: Finalists exhibition, Nappe, Arsenale, Venice, 2014 …).

 

BOJAN MRĐENOVIĆ
Imported Desert

 

20 June – 16 August 2015

 

Bojan Mrđenović (1987) is a Zagreb-based artist. He works in photography, and recently also in video. He uses the photographic medium to record the social reality in the wider local context. To work in the local environment is the conscious decision of the author, since this direct and investigative relation to the place of residence affords him a more in-depth understanding of the broader geopolitical tendencies and their impact on societal structure. He is particularly interested in spaces of a social character, whose appearance indicates a place of passage and a process of transition. His photographic series trigger the collective memory, yet the artist does not address the socialist period through the prism of nostalgia. He takes on the position of an observer and spectator, drawing attention to the unceasing variability of the social classes and their direct involvement in experiencing life for both the individual and the community.

The series of photographs Adriatic Postcards (2013 – 2014) shows the crumbling hotel complexes along the Adriatic coast. The hotels, which were in the past intended for all the social classes, are now abandoned or in the process of waiting for foreign investors to transform them into luxurious leisure amenities largely unattainable to ordinary people. The series Budućnost (2011) highlights border houses, sometimes commercial buildings, today abandoned architectural formations, also in a state of an indefinite future. The ideology of community and unity is in the photographs replaced by a feeling of emptiness and a state of alienation.

The artist will present the piece Imported Desert for the first time at Likovni salon. This is a multi-faceted project, in which he explores the phenomenon of the degradation of local industries. He is interested in the economic, political, social and ecological effects, as well as the repercussions of this phenomenon on everyday life. Mrđenović highlights the tendency of combining local and global interests, which in most cases take place in an asymmetric relationship with social interests. He deals with this issue in the example of a local factory, a producer of fertilizer, which is currently undergoing the process of privatization. The first part of the project, which exposes the environmental dimension of the aforementioned problem, will be presented at Likovni salon. The photographs show unrecognizable landscapes. The close-ups of these aesthetic images of undefined surfaces function almost like reliefs and appear completely abstract. They are like images of unknown spaces, made up of various textures that layer, overlap or refract each other. These are images of the waste product dumping ground of a factory, within whose immediate vicinity extensive imaginary landscapes are piling up and forming, translated into poetic landscapes by the artist in his work.

The exhibition is the fruit of co-production with the Galerija Miroslav Kraljević in Zagreb.

Bojan Mrđenović(1987, Vitrovica) has completed his studies of art history and has graduated from the Department of Film and Television at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists. Solo exhibitions include: Toplice (Spas),Galerija Lang, Samobor, Zagreb, 2014, Budućnost (The Future), Galerija PM, HDLU Zagreb, 2014, … He has taken part in several group exhibitions:Likvidacija (Liquidation), Galerija Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, 2014, Fotograf u javnom prostoru (The Photographer in the Public Space), Galerija Greta, Zagreb, 2014, Aftermath – Changing Cultural Landscape, National Museum of Slovenia, Ljubljana, 2012, …

 

ALICE MYERS
Nothing is Impossible Under the Sun

Alice Myers, NIUS, photograph

 

26. 3. - 26. 4. 2015

 

Artist Alice Myers expresses herself primarily through photography and text. Her work is concerned with the antagonisms that occur in the field of documentary photography and the role of the photographer within specific social contexts. It deals with the question of how to think about social inequality through photography. In order to articulate this question, she works closely with various social groups over longer periods of time.

At the Celje Likovni salon Gallery she presents a project bearing a title borrowed from an Arabic proverb: Nothing is Impossible under the Sun.

The work deals with the issue of migration and was produced in the port of Calais, which is located in France and is one of the main crossing points to Great Britain. As such, it signifies a space of passing and multiple encounters, whereas for the immigrants it is predominantly a place of constant waiting. The artist spent almost two years collecting material which presents, without creating positions, the state of entrapment experienced by a diverse range of people who are brought together by their situation. Often they have no legal status and they constantly face the threat of prosecution. Refugees are often represented as either victims or criminals. Through a process of negotiation and by bringing together diverse materials, Myers shapes a more complex picture. An essential feature of the project is temporality, as it is precisely the time span that contributes to the personal dimension of the work.

The exhibition presents negotiated portraits, images of personal objects, drawings, handwriting, and the port shrouded in fog, with silhouettes visible in the distance. Some of the photographs were taken with mobile phones by the immigrants themselves. These reveal the personal lives of those waiting in the port and the past reality that is becoming memory on European soil. The text takes the form of a wall banner that reveals shocking, intimate stories of their lives. The artist was also interested in the dreams that the refugees were having and fragments of the descriptions of their dreams are also included in the text. The installation challenges the dominant ways of representing refugees with a poetic experience that moves away from labelling the presented subjects through the perspective of others. The project highlights the importance of equality and draws attention to the repressive policies of the European Union.

Alice Myers (1986, Edinburgh) completed her postgraduate studies at the London College of Communication. She has presented her work in various group exhibitions (Defining Lines, Brewery Tap, Folkestone Triennial Fringe, 2014, Fresh Faced + Wild Eyed, Photographers Gallery, London, 2014, IdeasTap Finalists’ Exhibition, Magnum Print Room, London, 2013, …), festivals (In Common, IC-Visual Lab, Bristol, 2013, Night Contact Festival, Dalston, 2013, …) and has received several awards for her work (MACK First Book Award, Highly Commended, 2014, IdeasTap Photographic Award, Winner, 2013, Jerwood Award, 2008 …)

More: http://www.alicemyers.net/

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KLEMEN ZUPANC
The Four Seasons, the Fireman, the Doctor and the Man with the Silver Mercedes-Benz

 

The Doctor, egg tempera on canvas, 33 x 24 cm, 2014


Likovni salon, 6. 2. – 15. 3. 2015


Klemen Zupanc is a representative of the youngest generation of artists. He works in painting and printmaking. His work in the expanded field of painting is characteristic for his practice, in which he seeks the models for his paintings in the digital space or uses ready-made consumer objects. He transfers found images into paintings, magnifying, transforming and multiplying them. He arranges canvases into compositional wholes. The image composed from several parts therefore gains a three-dimensional character and functions as an installation. In terms of content, the pieces are documents of the time of sorts, since the artist successfully combines elements of popular visual culture, industrial products and virtual images within them. The images reflect the collective subjectivity that is defined by a sense of emptiness, loneliness, transience and dedication to continuous repetition of the habitual quotidian life. The Gained in Translation series highlights fragments from consumer life. It shows the dull architectural masses of shopping centres, the frozen images from television screens or the scenes of car-sales showrooms in which the western subject buys himself status objects.
In the Crash series, the artist uses the title of the film by David Cronenberg, in which we observe people who are so emotionally numb that the experience of a car accident spurs them into a state of sexual excitement. The overabundance of the material, typical for the consumer era, produces the opposite, since the quality of interpersonal relationships is being lost and it seems that escaping into a state of destruction allows one to again feel as if something has been lost or creates the possibility for a new beginning. Zupanc uses toys to depict accidents. He crushes the toy cars, shapes them to obtain the desired appearance of the devastating collision, before photographing and transferring them onto canvas.

At Likovni salon, he presents for the first time his series of paintings entitled The Four Seasons, the Fireman, the Doctor and the Man with the Silver Mercedes-Benz, which highlights two iconographic motifs, the portrait and the landscape. The artist makes use of the classical painting technique. The portraits are painted with egg tempera, framed in rich frames and fitted with brass plates. The feeling that we are entering a past time when painters at court depicted their patrons is interrupted by the figures – the portrayed belong to the middle and upper social class: a fireman, a doctor, a man with a silver Mercedes and a lady with a hat, which remind us that we are in the present time. The artist has once again delved into the mass-produced children’s toys, this time choosing Duplo brick figurines.

Although choosing a different motif, he is still dealing with the concept of time – the images show the cycle of the seasons. The viewer watches a unique calendar, in which the artist plays with fictional and realistic elements. The summer scene Surf Soap Banner contains, in addition to a painted seascape, information on the “Milo za žajfo” facebook profile. It is a real website, in this case the artwork is also the advertising space. A somewhat gloomily portrayed autumn time is entitled Spaceship. It presents a copy of a work by Ed Rusha, to which the artist adds a scene of a car accident – a motif that has become characteristic for him by now.  February represents the romantic winter, reminding us of the scenes featured in calendars hanging in homes. The series concludes with the artist’s self-portrait with a hat, which represents spring. Each image separately creates a specific mood with its formal characteristics, which is consistent with the idea of the represented season. Just like in the series of portraits, here Zupanc also deals with the heritage of classical painting and successfully transmits its legacy into topical contemporaneity.

Klemen Zupanc (Celje, 1989) received the ex-tempore award in Piran in 2010. He has participated in several group exhibitions, including We Want to be Free as the Fathers Were, MGLC, Ljubljana, 2012 and Premiere, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Celje. In 2013, he presented his work in the solo show From the Conveyor Belt to a Crash/Meeting at the P74 Gallery, Ljubljana. He is currently completing his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

 

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The ZVONO Group
accompanying the overview exhibition of Narcis Kantardžić

Sport and Art, 1986

18. 12. 2014 – 1. 2. 2015

Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon Gallery

The Gallery of Contemporary Art presents the artist’s oeuvre spanning over thirty years of creativity, whereas the Likovni salon Gallery hosts a display of works by the Zvono group (1982–1992), in which Narcis Kantardžić was actively involved for the entire ten years of its existence.

The ZVONO Group was founded by a group of colleagues from the Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts on 2 April 1982, three years after the opening of the unusual set-up for the time – a café combining a gallery, after which the young students named themselves. Its members: sculptor Aleksandar Saša Bukvić, painters Sead Čizmić, Biljana Gavranović, Sadko Hadžihasanović, Narcis Kantardžić and the later addition of photographer Kemal Hadžić, woke up the Sarajevo cultural scene of the time with their self-organisation, creative passion and wide-ranging activity. From their position of collective action as well as everyday life to a large extent – like many groups from the 1960s and 1970s, and concurrently with the activities of the Slovenian Irwin group – Zvono used the principles of the avant-garde, with each member maintaining their own art language despite their group projects. Their activities did therefore not represent a tendency towards changing art and its contents in the formal and strict sense, but rather a reflection on the status of the artist, on the ways of involving art more directly in the social (and local) environment and communication with the latter, on presenting art. It was an exploration of the intertwining of traditional and “new” media, irrespective of academic orientation. In the first stage of their activities, the Zvono group reserved their right to exhibit outside established institutions, on the streets, in cafés and in nature. Through a humorous toying with art historical references and given social moments, by questioning many artistic directions and practices, they particularly wanted to bring art closer to the audience, they wanted to turn the wheels of creativity here and now, among the people, in life itself. They became the “rock stars” of the Sarajevo art world and ultimately also the awareness of the significant changes in the perception of contemporary art that the group set off with some of its rare individuals (Jusuf Hadžifejzović) was unquestionable in the eyes of the expert public. By organising exhibitions in the café of the same name, street actions, performances at the openings of exhibitions, site-specific installations, study trips, combining art and nature, they created the terrain for their artistic expression as they went along. Through a “serious game”, and especially with the social connection between art and life, they expressed their views on the phenomena of the contemporary world. This game overgrew into a conceptually conceived promotion that encroached into the space of the public media, ultimately winning over a relatively wide audience through the new means of communication between the artist and his work. The television ad for their solo exhibition or their intervention during the halftime of the football game between Sarajevo and Dinamo in front of a thirty thousand strong crowd, were two of the approaches which the artists used to step out of the shackles of artistic convention. More than provocation, such acts were meant to question the meaning of artistic activity in a hermetically sealed and self-sufficient art system. Zvono became and remains one of the leading Yugoslav art groups of the 1980s.

Curator: Maja Antončič

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue NARCIS KANTARDŽIĆ, published in January 2015.

 

The exhibition and catalogue are supported by:



Thanks: Robin Bolić, Saša Bukvić, Jure Cvitan, Tomaž Črnej, Niđejm Djukić, Vili Einspieler, Marjan Furlan, Anton Jošt, Izidor Krivec, Kristina Ljevak, Andrej Pavlič, Iztok Pikl, Rade Spasovski, Nevenka Šivavec, Katica Trajkovska Abjanić, Manja Vadla, Stanislav Veniger, Marko Založnik, Jožef Žgank

Umjetnička galerija Bosne i Hercegovine, Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana, SCCA – Ljubljana

 

OUTDOOR MEETINGS
Social Ecology within Artistic Action

Documentary group exhibition

Jana Putrle Srdić, Zoran Srdić Janežič, Petja Grafenauer, Slađana Mitrović, Andrej Cvetnič, Urban Zorko, Marko Murč, Lenka Đorojević, Neža Jurman, Matej Stupica, Jasna Jernejšek, Nika Autor, Miha Cigler, Tina Valentan, Nika Arhar, Pia Brezavšček, Katja Čičigoj, Saška Rakef, Jasmina Založnik, Saša Huzjak, Sunčan Stone, Andreja Džakušič, Simon Macuh, Iva Tratnik (SIVA)

Curated by: Ida Hiršenfelder

 

10. 11. - 7. 12. 2014

A meeting is a gathering of a usually bigger prescribed group of people at which a certain matter is discussed, agreed upon or concluded. The term free on the other hand is open and multifaceted as far as the context of the exhibition is concerned. It can mean very contradictory notions such as an open public space and exterior, or working outside the closed gallery context. It may denote the free labour market, the free market economy, which is the driving force of precarious and flexible employment and uncertain job vacancies. Free can also be understood in terms of the various production methods that promote interaction, joint authorship, free software or open licensing.

A selection of documents from public actions, performances and performative lectures of the younger generation of artists and artist groups, represents the artistic collaborations and open collective processes that seek freedom within predetermined social positions. Their artivism does not deal with the big stories, but rather with the direct existential experience. In contrast, the witty actions form an autonomous environment for creating and producing the conditions for constantly changing aesthetic decisions within the dynamics of interpersonal relations. One of the aims of the exhibition is to examine the diversity of the approaches to collective authorship, which may either be theoretical and filled with intelligent humour and parody, or may encourage the active participation of the gallery audience or address the bypassing audience within the public space, or may even appear in the public space as an unintelligible disconcerting element.

The recent gatherings of artists into groups with regard to the history of artistic collaboration again express the desire for solidarity, the complementarity of skills, and the burgeoning of power and mobilization of activities that walk on the edge between independent culture and convention, and take a critical stance towards the social system. The exhibition has a documentary character since it is founded on time-based art, which can only exist live or through documentation. The aim of the exhibition is to record the actions with all available modes of documentation (video, photography, text) in order to evidence the position and the significance held by time-based actions in the understanding of contemporary working conditions and relations. All artist groups will be present at the opening of the exhibition.

Exhibited works:

-       Jana Putrle Srdićand Zoran Srdić Janežič: Intellectual Whores, action in the public space, 2012; Participating intellectuals Petja Grafenauer and Slađana Mitrović; Photo documentation: Andrej Cvetnič; Video documentation: Urban Zorko and Marko Murč

-       Lenka Đorojević, Neža Jurman and Matej Stupica: Boxing Match, participatory action, 2012; Photo documentation: Jasna Jernejšek; Video: [manjkajoče ime]

-       Nika Autor, Miha Cigler and Tina Valentan: Fictive Situations, intermedia audio-video-dance performance, 2009; Photo documentation: Nika Arhar, Pia Brezavšček, Katja Čičigoj, Saška Rakef and Jasmina Založnik: Choreographing Calculations, performative lecture, 2012; Photo documentation: Saša Huzjak, Sunčan Stone

-       Andreja Džakušič, Simon Macuh, Iva Tratnik (SIVA): clothes ... man, video performance in the public space, 2010

 

More about the exhibition can be accessed at Sestanki na prostem

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Producer: CELEIA – Center for Contemporary Arts, Likovni salon
Co-producer: Center for Contemporary Arts, SCCA-Ljubljana
Supported by:Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Celje

 

 

HELEN STRATFORD
Market Meditations
 

Likovni salon, 18. 9. – 26. 10. 2014

Helen Stratford (United Kingdom) is an interdisciplinary artist who works in architecture, performance and writing. As a trained architect, she explores the influence of architecture on everyday life in her art work. She is primarily interested in how this field shapes our ways of living, determines the behaviours and movements of people within a space, and establishes daily rhythms of life and social networks. She combines this interest with the quest for the expressive possibilities that go beyond the traditional conventions of architectural practice. Most of her projects are realized as site-specific pieces, interventions and actions in the space, speculative texts, discursive platforms and video works.

In 2013, she was artist in residence in Celje, during which time she conceived a new project that will be shown for the first time in Likovni salon.

The starting point of the project is Celje City Market. The artist was interested in how the renovated market functions in the space and how it affects its users. She paid particular attention to considering the possibilities of using the market in alternative ways. She carried out actions in the market with the students of the Gimnazije Celje – Center high school, intervened in the space, talked with vendors and random visitors, and made an extensive interview with the architectural firm responsible for the renovation of the market. The high school students carried out the collective actions, through which they brought to fruition their ideas on using the market in a different way. They played table tennis on the stalls, meditated, played hide and seek and so on. The exhibition presents the concrete proposals, as well as the photographic and video actions produced during the artist’s stay in Celje. The artist also intervened in the market place by transforming one of the market stalls. She prepared some cakes in the form of architectural constructions planned by the city, and offered them to visitors. Viewers to the exhibition will once again be able to enjoy the sugary snacks. The artist also translated the collected conceptual drafts that would improve the vendors’ workspace into architecturally styled drawings. The exhibition set-up as a whole is accompanied by a market  table positioned in the gallery space, which bears a social role in addition to a representational one, as it is the point of the encounter of different viewpoints and opinions on the exposed set of problems.

The project seeks to draw attention to the lack of dialogue between the fields of architecture and its users, whose ongoing relationship should be taken as a basis in urban planning. The project therefore highlights the key but invisible elements of the visible object: the relationships that form, become conditional to, and coexist in direct reference to the space. The artist points out that architecture in this expanded sense is a structural formation that makes relationships possible and that these relationships produce a positive social network of encounters and integrations with their own concrete spatial implications.

Photography: Nik Jarh
 

TOMAŽ MILAČ
Digging through the men sky

 
 

21. 6. – 24. 8. 2014

The Celje artist Tomaž Milač works primarily in painting and uses the installation medium in some of his projects.The use of collage is typical for his early art practice (Bangbang, Bang, 2002),whereas in his later works he focuses on depicting urban spaces that are in the process of destruction (Urban Illusions, 2007-2009) or are located in a post-apocalyptic state already completely destroyed and abandoned (Post Destruction, 2007-2008).These are large scale canvases filled with expressive gestures and a predominantly cool colour scale. Compositionally dynamic and including unusual motifs,they feature elements that do not typically belong together, like for instance the image of an elephant or a samurai in the urban city.The works can be understood as the painter’s gaze on the possible future where the beauty of nature and the technological sophistication of urban areas are substituted by freed zoo animals, technological waste, unusual phantom creatures and a destroyed landscape.The work is marked by the impact of media reporting from the various crisis centres around the world on the perception of the individual, who is distanced from the crises yet constantly connected to them through the influx of images.The ubiquitous proximity to violence in everyday life leads the artist to reflect upon the relationship of the individual to the distant other and the helplessness that occurs as a result. Milač translates the helplessness of direct engagement into images.

In his later works, the expressiveness of articulation is replaced by a carefully treated pictorial surface, on which precise patterns, tapestry, a brighter colour palette and different motifs appear. Figuration with an emphasis on the depiction of friends (Baba Blaž, 2009), imaginary figures (Resistance, 2013), animals (Pink Flamingo Story, 2011) and the image of one’s own self (Stage 2, 2012-2013) dominate. The turn towards more intimate themes is still characterized by the interplay of subject matters surrounding the artist, referring to images from the history of film and literature, more recently often incorporating Slovenian folk elements into his paintings.

Milač has prepared a new installation especially for Likovni salon, in which he addresses violence through his own poetics. This time, he is interested in the form that violence takes within the field of the sensory. The installation consists of a series of paintings, objects in the space and wallpapers, and is a thoughtfully conceived spatial entity. The central element of the installation is a new series of paintings depicting a classic painterly motif, the female nude. The female figures are partly concealed by elements of different bird species. Each in itself represents a hybrid body, symbolizing the eternal quest for freedom and at the same time the entrapment within the utopian search for the space of the ideal. The paintings are accompanied by glass cases set up in the space into which stuffed birds of prey have been placed. This is the painter’s subjective view of the question of sexuality as a means of liberation. The question is metaphorically linked to death. The work emphasizes the understanding of the male gaze on the female body, which is on the one hand designated as the subject of liberation, whereas on the other hand it is precisely the male gaze that represents the source of the violent processes that are primarily expressed as influences on the physical and sensory experience of female identity.

Tomaž Milač has presented his work in solo (Infantile Stage, Plevnik-Kronkowska Gallery, Celje, 2011; In the Eye of the Observer, Račka Gallery of Erotic Art, 2011 ...) and group exhibitions (AQ Gallery, Celje, 2013; Creative Cities Collection Fine Arts Exhibition, Barbican Centre, London ...).

 


POLITICS WITHIN

Fokus Grupa, IC – 98, IRWIN, Borut Peterlin, Nives Sertić, Jonas Staal, Hito Steyerl

Curated by: Irena Borić


Borut Peterlin, Flower Power, photo serie, 2008-2013

 

Center for Contemporary Arts Celje, 17. 4. - 8. 6. 2014
Locations: Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon

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"Meanwhile, with this programme, as with all programmes, you receive images and meanings which are arranged. I hope you will consider what I arrange, but be sceptical of it."

John Berger, Ways of Seeing


 

When John Berger made the Ways of Seeing, a BBC television series, back in 1972, he introduced a new set of ideas about meanings and the ideological framework of historically acknowledged artworks into the mainstream media discussion. He exposed possibilities of manipulation with the ways of seeing and interpreting art, as well as issues of value, commercial images and institutionalised misogyny. These ways of thinking contradicted the common understanding of art history in which art is seen solely through the categories of style, form and genre. By outlining the effects and consequences of representation, Berger recognized the political as already inherited within the art field, and it is precisely this that makes his contribution so relevant today.

Referring to Berger's thoughts on politics of representation the exhibition Politics Within emphasises two main assumptions. The first one deals with the context of art practices, regardless of whether it has already been set up and defined by various political, economic and social elements or, created anew. The second assumption has to do with the politics of display inherent to the processes of exhibition-making and the mediation of its meanings. Despite of the ambiguity that allows negotiations between various readings, the construction and production of meaning is conditioned by a specific, often ideological, context. For this reason, the exhibition Politics Within tackles not only the meaning of artwork, but its ideological constructions as well, by posing questions on the effects and consequences of representation, its origins, content, intentional and hidden meanings, and the specific usage of visual language and message. Based on Berger's understanding of the context: "Everything around the image is parts of its meaning, everything around it confirms and consolidates its meaning.", the exhibition presents different positions artists take in relation to the ideologies of the image, its representational role, and the strategies of its deconstruction (subversion).

Furthermore, the essential question that the exhibition tackles is what is the political within art, and how political are the ways of seeing today? For instance, at the time when Ways of Seeing were broadcast on BBC, Berger used the most popular medium of television to be critical of the media manipulation of images. Which contemporary media are to address political urgencies today?

TO SHOW

The photo series Flower Power (2008-2013) by Borut Peterlin shows that meaning is not simply given, but that it can be subverted, deconstructed and recreated. Working as a photo journalist for years he shot various political meetings in which the scenography and dramaturgy were set in advance. All he needed was to find the right angle and light, and the image was ready for repository. The politicians, as the assumed main actors, use defined codes of style, speech, tone of language, smile (if needed), handshake gesture. The scenography of these events entail visual codes as well, since their design is conceived for an image that is supposed to be spread around the news. There is nothing extraordinary about the images, except for the flower arrangements that bring some colours to the dark suit scene. However, even though the intended meaning had been already arranged, Peterlin denies the politicians the right to power by transferring it to the decorative flower arrangements. Sharpened by the camera focus, the flowers have become the main protagonists of the scene, whereas the politicians remain passively present and their political importance irrelevant. They have become empty signifiers, as the alleged power they represent has been given to the flower arrangements.

The politicians ceased to bear meaning in Borut Peterlin's Flower Power, whereas in the Art, Property of Politics by Jonas Staal, politicians have the role of mediators, communicating the meaning of art to the public. The work Art, Property of Politics was originally presented in the form of a classical exhibition within another exhibition called The People United Will Never Be Defeated, which took place at Rotterdam’s Tent Gallery at the time of the City Council elections (2010). Perhaps there would not have been anything odd with this exhibition if the owners of the exhibited artworks had not been political parties, the candidates for the City Council of Rotterdam. Staal interviewed the politicians on the meaning of the exhibited artworks and on the relationship between art and politics. All of them found that art should be free and that the task of politics is to ensure this, although none of them questioned their own ideological partake on understanding the role of art in society. Just like the artworks from party “collections”, their opinions on the relationship between politics and art in fact reflect their parties’ ideological positions. Moreover, the original context of the artworks integrated in Art, Property of Politics were the party quarters of Rotterdam City Hall, but as they were shifted from the political into the art gallery context, their meaning changed as well. Interestingly enough, the works placed in a political context function as art, while in an art context they function as representations of particular ideologies.

But what happens when an image with clear ideological purpose gets deprived of its meaning? In Kapital1986-2013 the artist collective IRWIN use socialist-realist, Nazi art and folk art images in a very precise, repetitive and programmatic way. Yet again, these visuals are chosen because of their implications and the propaganda role they had in specific historical circumstances. Coming from contexts loaded with ideological connotations and as such composed in a single composition, these signs are deprived of their original content even though this very content is the reason of their selection in the first place. Assembled as icons, they frame a familiar repository creating at the same time the context of its representation. As Igor Zabel wrote: "The reconstitution of the notion of the icon represents, then, a reflection of the group’s own practice and development as painters, a redefinition of the icon, and the establishment of a frame that delineates in a new way the territory of the icon. The territory of the icon is in this case emphasised with flanking animal trophies. As they were often symbols placed on government buildings, their new position between the icons gives the icons the legitimacy of holy presence, which cannot be doubted.

Newly established state ideology needs a new historical legitimacy, which often implies the process of creating new archives of events. Through a careful selection – the existing materials can perhaps be re-arranged only through casting shadow or shedding light on certain events from the past. As this pattern of social behavior was in practice in Croatia, the Fokus Grupa framed an archive of events offering a different reading of the materials used. In a case study of Croatian nationalism of the nineties, they relate the language of nationalism to the discourse on nature and sexuality. The point of departure for the workP.H.S.H.N. (2014) was a monument Altar of the Homeland by the Croatian sculptor Kuzma Kovačić, erected in 1994 by the medieval fortress Medvedgrad above Zagreb. The monument reflects romanticism and delusions of grandeur by using the iconography celebrating the Middle Ages and by referring to theAltare de la Patria built in 19th century Rome. Conceived as an assamblage of cubes made out of various kinds of stone, the monument at first appears minimalist, but its total shape is that of the Croatian coat-of-arms inscribed with historical iconographic elements. The Fokus Grupa transforms the shape of the monument into plywood cubes of the same size, altering its function into furniture that opens up an ideological dispositive of an image of Croatian nationalism. The newly formed archives not only archive certain events, but produce them as well. Stored into the furniture set, organized in piles and caches, not all archival materials can be seen. Hence, the presented materials are just fragments, and as such they cannot be grasped at once. Therefore, this unfinished line of thought functions as a raw material of meaning.

Whereas the Fokus Grupa uses documentary material, IC- 98 take off from a myth and build up a fictional narrative. In their work Abendland: The Place That Was Promised (2013) the artist duo confronts the mythological past with a future fiction. When thinking of the past one, the reference is a myth on the Garden of Hesperides, where the evening nymphs resided somewhere in the West, the place of the sunset. While this place is often depicted as a beautiful, fruitful garden, in their idea of a possible future, IC-98 depicts a very old, crooked tree that exhausts rather than nourishes its surrounding environment. The dream of the West as a place of wealth is confronted with its darkened future. The decayed, barely alive ecosystem is situated at an old nuclear fuel repository site. Depicted as a rotten, forgotten place, it proposes the idea of Western Europe with a future of a parasite, resting on what we could hardly call the leftovers of a failed economy.

TO HIDE

Hito Steyerl in video work HOW NOT TO BE SEEN A Fucking Didactic Educational .Mov File. (2013) gives out a set of instructions on how to be invisible in an age swarming with images. The video was partially shot at one of the aerial photo calibration targets in the USA, land-based two-dimensional optical artefacts used for the development of aerial photography and aircraft. The targets function like an eye chart at the optometrist, where the smallest group of bars that can be resolved marks the limit of the resolution for the optical instrument that is being used.2 Hito Steyerl's work brings to mind Monty Pyhton's sketch How Not to Be Seen3, in which the narrator attempts to explain the importance of not being seen, since those who are seen end up being shot. On the one hand they are the targets of the camera, while on the other hand as they are shot they disappear out of the picture. Furthermore, in Hito's work the unseen are not only pixels of an image; she also refers to pixels of an image that represent people. She poses a question on today's invisible people: of the discrepancy between the extremely powerful ones, and the ones completely underrepresented in power. However, the proposed instructions on being invisible seem like a rather utopian objective in the given context, and yet the form of a moving image allows various kinds of visibilities. When shown in art designated venues, the video has a high resolution and distinct visibility, while when this video is transferred into a so-called "poor image"4due to the lack of resolution, it easily travels all over the digital media.

Unlike digital media that allow reproduced, low resolution images, white cube spaces still tend to follow a museum model that plays safe on what is displayed and how. When thinking of the politics of display within a white cube there are often certain predictable models to follow, and it is not often the case that such settings invite experimentation. And to see is the most important tool for understanding the displayed works. Nives Sertić approached the issue of seeing by transferring it into some sort of a choreography. Can ways of seeing physically become (path)ways of seeing? While doing performanceEverything I See, It Moves, she explores the designated space for the first time, even though the instructions on the desired movement are set up in advance. The movement and the view are intertwined in a set of given directions that result in a ludic choreography of imaginary pathways, forms and geometrical shapes. Later on, the viewers are invited to follow the instructions coming from the headphones and repeat the choreography. In a sense, the viewer becomes the visible one.


 

Irena Borić


 

[1] Zabel, Igor (2006) Irwinove ikone. V: IRWIN:RETROPRINCIP, (Ed.) Arns, Inke. Mladinska knjiga Založba, Ljubljana. str. 77

Optical calibration targets. BLDG BLOG. Retrieved at 27 February 2014 fromhttp://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/optical-calibration-targets.html

4Steyerl, Hito (2009) In Defense of the Poor Image. In: e-flux journal #10. Retrieved at 20 February 2014 from http://www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/


 

ŽELJKO OPAČAK: The Return to the Kingdom

Željko Opačak, Feel, 2008, intervention in the public space

Overview Exhibition
Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon, 6.2. – 30.3.2014

The first overview exhibition by Željko Opačak (Banja Luka, 1962) presents his creative path spanning over almost thirty years. It is characterized by its diversity of medium and the way it interweaves the personal, social and spiritual. During his early period in the late eighties, as he moved to Slovenia after completing his studies of Painting in Belgrade, he soon became one of Celje’s more prominent artists, with painting being most potently present in his image-making in the early nineties. These expressive, flatly formed compositions of intense, dense and luscious applications of paint do actually closely resemble the build-up of abstraction, yet their starting point predominantly rests with the landscape and the figure. The artist’s paintings are a sort of intimate record of his observations, memories and states that came about particularly through his constant journeys between Bosnia and Slovenia, his sentiments over the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the death of his father, as well as interest in the ideas of Taoism and Zen Buddhism (Memories series (1998) and Lovers in the Japanese Gardens (1991). In the nineties, he focused on installations, which were filled with symbolism and a mystical atmosphere (The Dreaming Machines (1991–1993), House (1995), mainly utilising materials such as wood, iron, brick and including candles and mirrors into his pieces, which are their most visible and most powerful element. Through a symbolic language, they spoke of the soul, the connection between the visible and the invisible, the worldly and the transcendent. Another important part of his creative work is represented by the works characterized by a critical stance towards the mechanisms and nature of contemporary society. Opačak used the process of appropriation in these works so as to comment on the commercialization of life and art (The Famous Works of an Unknown Author, 2001, installation with paintings and drawings depicted in the manner of Claude Lorrain) and social manipulation, which is carried out in contemporary society in various ways by the agents of power (in The Famous Stories, a series of prints that use the motifs from The Passion, the artist used the famous painting masterpieces, placing his own image where the main protagonists should have been depicted.) From the end of the nineties, especially in conjunction with the annual festival Admission Free run by the Association of Fine Artists of Celje, performances, interventions and actions in the public space, as well as collective work prevailed. A focus on audience participation, hospitality, attention to the world within and the spiritual dimensions of being (Eat a Piece of My Heart (1999), The Artist Loves his City (2006), Veni Veni Sancte Spiritus (2007) were typical for this period, as well as a sharp criticism of the system and state of the country in his collective projects (Commemoration (2013), Look Look (2012).

With the selection of 40 works from the artist’s oeuvre, which are more than chronologically juxtaposed in terms of the content of the individual units, the exhibition aims to outline the main stations of Opačak’s creative thinking.

Željko Opačak lives and works in Polzela near Celje. He is a professor at Velenje gimnazija. He graduated in 1986 and completed his postgraduate studies in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1988. He came onto the Slovenian art scene in 1989 with his exhibition of paintings at Likovni salon Celje. In addition to taking part in group exhibitions and festivals, he has also held solo shows at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Mostar (1990), ZDSLU Gallery in Ljubljana (1993), Likovni salon Celje (1995 and 2001), Gallery of Contemporary Arts Celje (1998), Museum of Contemporary Arts in Banja Luka (2006) and Velenje Gallery (2007).

The show has been curated by Irena Čerčnik, with the texts for the catalogue due to be issued in April, contributed by Alenka Domjan, Petra Kapš and Irena Čerčnik. The exhibition belongs to the cycle of retrospective presentations through which the Center for Contemporary Arts Celje (CSU) wishes to provide the first comprehensive information on the work of artists who, with their artistic oeuvres, make an important mark on the Celje region, and as a result on the Slovenian art scene as a whole. So far, CSU has accomplished the debut major solo presentations of Dalibor Borij Zupančič, Lilijana Praprotnik Zupančič, Franc Purg, Andreja Džakušič and Borut Hlupič. The overview exhibitions of Narcis Kantardžić, Ervin Potočnik, Konrad Topolovec and Manja Vadla are in the pipeline for the next four-year cycle.

The realisation of the exhibition and the publication of the catalogue have been made possible by the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Celje

 

                             MK_logo_splet

 

Sponzors:                 

 

 

 

MOMU & NO ES
Life of our Progressive Thinkers



Likovni salon, 13. 12. 2013 – 24. 1. 2014

The Center for Contemporary Art Celje cordially invites you to attend the opening of the exhibition Life of our Progressive Thinkers on Friday 13 December, at 7 pm, at Likovni salon.

The two Spanish artists Lucia Moreno Murillo (Momu) and Eva Noguera Escudero (No Es) have been working together as the Momu & No Es duo since 2005. Their art practice consists of video and sound works, installations and performances, which combine real and fictional elements. They create imaginary worlds, which are based on real events or people, although these are translated into new stories by the artists. Storytelling is the fundamental feature of the artistic expression of the Momu & No Es duo with their work process resembling the methodology of filmmaking. They write scripts, compose sets and costumes, make props, often playing the roles that they conceive themselves. Through their work, they ironically reflect on the prevalence of popular culture and the impact of the internet on everyday life. They merge the elements of pop with archaic forms of belief in such a way that their works often appear as totems, objects of wonder, crystals or speculative theories together with popular music, videos from YouTube, applications from the web or from mobile phones. In their last video Fan Boy (2013), we observe a young man, a fan of a Mexican singer, as he creates magical clay figurines through which anyone can be transformed into a media star. In their video Mohai (2012), the artists appear as two wacky subjectivities, spiritually empty in the middle of an urban city, who buy themselves a huge totem in a pawn shop in order to bring some happiness into their lives. In the Crandido (2011) project, they ponder on the future of technological development and invent a human-like robot, intended to coexist with people. Tales of Wonder Site (2010) is a video that the artists made in Japan, in which they star in the role of renowned writers. In an interview they explain how they created their last novel in which the main character is distinguished by the ability to see the future. The future is also predicted by the globe in the video Who Locked Bert & Ernie (2010). This time we observe the artists in the roles of Bert and Ernie, the famous characters from the popular American show Sesame Street.

Momu & No Es question the future development of mankind in their new installation composed of a video projection and  promotional video. The project will see its debut appearance at Likovni salon. The introduction to the exhibition is represented by a promotional video that presents the Ceres non-governmental organisation to the viewer. Two characters, based on real people, appear in the video projection Life of our Progressive Thinkers. American Robert Haag is a meteorite hunter, whom the artists met in Arizona and with whom they recorded several interviews in various locations. Spaniard Carlos Blanco is a young genius, who was fascinated by Egyptology at the early age of seven, and was already translating ancient Egyptian records by the time he was eleven years old. They are shown in the video as two figures that significantly contribute to the development of biotechnology and nanotechnology with their knowledge, which leads mankind to the next level of the evolutionary process. In terms of time, the video takes place in the future, the basic scenario consisting of a voice over, which describes the flow of events that have affected the situation in the future on the basis of past events. By creating special masks, the artists play the parts of Carlos and Robert in the video themselves.

Momu & No Es regularly exhibit their work around the world. A selection of recent exhibitions: Los Logrados, MAS, Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantábria, 2013 (solo exhibition), Three Artists Walk into a Bar, de Appel, Amsterdam, 2012, POP POLITICS: Activism at 33 Revolutions, CeCentro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, 2013, etc.

Exhibition Life of Our Progressive Thinkers is supported by:

                

 

 

SIMON MACUH
Radioactivity

Likovni salon, 16.5.-21.6.2013

 

The Celje Center for Contemporary Art cordially invites you to attend the opening of the exhibition Radioactivity by artist Simon Macuh on Thursday 16 May at 7 pm at Likovni salon Celje.
The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by an audio-visual performance by the SIVA group (Andreja Džakušič, Simon Macuh and Ivut Aivai).

Celje artist Simon Macuh works in performance, animation, sound, video and sculpture. He completed his degree in Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, before going on to complete another degree in Sculpture at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design.
He successfully merges theory and art in his practice, in a way that allows the activity of thinking to become matter, which he uses to create various situations, performative actions and discursive spaces. The essential feature of Macuh’s artistic engagement is the abolition of authorship. What is different in his position as an author is the placing of the viewer and his perception of the artistic arena as the starting point in the conception of his works. He is interested in the ways that allow the viewer to transgress from being an observer to becoming a co-creator of the artwork.  Through his art projects he seeks to separate the divide between the viewer and the artist, with the aim for it to be replaced by a horizontal line of reciprocal learning and activity. To this end, he establishes contexts and situations that develop or start to make sense only with the participation of the viewer. The point here is not the creation of complete pieces, but the initiation of processes that open up the space of collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, whereby the activation of differences and intergenerational interaction is an essential element. Macuh understands the concept of democracy through the prism of the coexistence of different modes of perception and reflection of social reality.

The Radioactivity project, presented for the first time at Likovni salon Celje, also incorporates into its concept the significance of process and participation. Already the title of the project suggests that this time the enquiry is about the space and function of the radio. The artist notes the absence of an alternative radio station in the Celje region. Currently we can listen to programmes offered by commercial radio stations that follow the populist manner of reporting and conveying topics on the radio. This is why the artist enquires about the type of content that could represent an alternative. The artist will transform the gallery space into a radio studio with a temporary station that will operate on the 103.0 MHz frequency.
The Radioactivity project addresses the medium of the radio through formal organization, legal structure, theoretical background and programme content. The formal organisation of the radio as a medium will be analyzed during the exhibition and practically checked through an education programme aimed at making radio receivers, which will be produced out of handy materials. The legal structure of the radio will be addressed through the question of the legal divide that separates the public radio from the pirate radio. This issue and the various modes of activist activity will be discussed at a round table with invited speakers. This issue is also touched upon in an interview, recorded especially for the exhibition, with sound and intermedia artist Brane Zorman, who conceived the radioCona project radio station for contemporary art together with artist Irena Pivka. The theoretical starting points for the conceptual analysis of the Radioactivity project will be given through the text displayed in the exhibition entitled Hydrarchy: Sailors, Pirates, and the Maritime State, written by historians Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker.
The radio station’s programme is conceived in a loose manner and will be shaped during the exhibition together with visitors. We invite along all interested persons who would like to contribute (music, texts, interviews, radio plays, etc.).Regular broadcasts will take place every Thursday from 4 pm to 6 pm during the time of the exhibition. A part of the transmitted programme was produced in the sound landscaping workshop by the students of Grammar School Celje – Center, Art Programme.The students of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the high school Celje School Centre made transmitters which will be used for interventions in the city.

Simon Macuh(1971) works independently as well as with the SIVA collective (with Andreja Džakušič and Ivut Aivai). He presents himself regularly with actions and performances as part of the Admission Free festival of artistic interventions, actions and performances.He participates in the Public Readings group performances, which take place in the public space in various locations in Slovenia and abroad. He has presented himself most recently at the Gallery of Contemporary Art – Hodnik Gallery with an interactive spatial installation (OB-BEFORE-BETWEEN-BEHIND-BELOW-ABOVE-OBJECTS), social artefacts (2010), and in the Plevnik-Kronkowska Gallery in Celje with the project, THE SOCIAL TOPIC OF ART (2010 ).  The project Man … Clothes by the SIVA group was presented in a solo exhibition at the Likovni salon gallery (2010) and at the SIZ gallery as part of the ZOOM festival, Rijeka (2011).

In addition to his art practice, he is also dedicated to education activities in the form of workshops, which he prepares for different generations (Not again CARTOOOOONS!, an intergenerational creative workshop of animation, Likovni salon, 2012).

Information on the submission of audio contributions or suggestions for the radio programme:

031 801 757 or simon.macuh@guest.arnes.si
051 681 994 or maja.hodoscek@celje.si

 

LENKA ĐOROJEVIĆ
No. 837456-9305.00


Likovni salon Celje
14. 3.-28. 4. 2013

You are cordially invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at the Likovni salon Gallery.

Cube No. 837456-9305.00, surrounded by graphic images, is a spatial graphic installation that, by using a seemingly simple idea of dealing with graphic art as a direction of art, opens an insight into the essence and extension of the medium, at a time when contemporary art practice is expanding the traditional notions of art genres and techniques over and over again. Artist Lenka Đorojević, who is just finishing her postgraduate studies in Printmaking in Ljubljana, thinks about printmaking as a technique with its own laws of intention and chance, as manipulation of physical and conceptual content, that includes a physical effort of production, while also in the sense of a mantra of repetition, differentiation, disintegration, in terms of the original and the copy. By means of scenic extension, she attempts to penetrate into the essence of printmaking, as she experiences it herself in relation to other art forms and phenomena.

The outside of the cube is surrounded by the same framed images, produced in various printmaking techniques (aquatint, etching, drypoint, collagraphy, vernis mou ...) and using commercial modes of reproduction (screen-printing, photocopying, digital printing). The artist complements individual graphic prints by using the concept of the ready-made and assemblage. She addresses the issue of reproduction and the original by encroaching into her own multiplied original work so that a collage-like façade of personal stories is produced, sorts of mental manifestoes, since the formation of the shell is also tied to the timeline of her creativity and life. The interior of the cube, with its interference of sound and light, into which visitors are to enter individually, is the opposite of the exterior. It is a staged reflection on the essence of multidimensional expansion of the graphic medium, which in contrast to the external social principle, allows isolation and consideration.

“I explore the field of contemporary graphic expression, its impact on the development of contemporary methods of perception, the construction of a position of the individual within society under the principles of multiplication and repeated reproduction, the various factors affecting visual perception (through the form of standardization of the format of the works themselves and the density of their presence on the walls, creating a view of the hyper-sensorial, oversaturated world of the visual image), as well as the position of contemporary printmaking in relation to other modes of artistic expression (painting, sculpture, installation, theatre).”

Through a fascination with numbers (the title of the exhibition, the titles of the individual works, etc.), where the denominations do not signify a sequential system, but nevertheless act as identifiers of graphic products, she redefines the seriality of artistic production. The artist tries to disclose what makes up our sensibility in contemporary society, questioning the role of the individual, of his “impression” in the discourse of the constant intertwining of culture, art and society.
Is repetition the creation of something new or is it in a sense the archiving of one-self?

Lenka Đorojević (1982)
Born in Nikšić, Montenegro. Graduated in 2008 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the same year she undertook further study at the International Summer Academy in Salzburg. She is in the process of completing her master’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, while she has also completed her two year elective course in Scenography at the Ljubljana Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. She exhibits in Slovenia and abroad, and is also involved in theatre productions with her set designs.

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ANDREJA DŽAKUŠIČ: Encounters

Overview Exhibition

Andreja Džakušič, Lunch, 2011

Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon, 20. 12. 2012 - 21.2.2013

Andreja Džakušič is one of Celje’s most prominent artists, and among the few in the Slovenian arena who express themselves mainly through performative practice. She mostly articulates her work around three pivotal points which are self-referential, inter-subjective and socially critical. She appeared on the art scene in 1999 with the multimedia installation Drawers of Memories that already encompassed some basic definitions that have marked her continuing artistic practice: the use of her own body as a means of communication, and making reference to personal situations as well as those within general society. Her next milestone direction occurred in 2002 with the exhibition Unusual Pairs (with Radivoj Mulić), when she stopped producing formally purified, aesthetic objects and focused her attention on the participation of viewers, as well as investigating and generating interpersonal relations, which become the essence of the artwork. Such artistic strategy, in which the visitors are those who make sense of the exhibited dispositive, can be found in her later works like Picnic on the Grass (2004) and Lunch (2011). We also come across it in the performative works like Washing Feet (2006) and Bloody Mary (2007), in which the significance of the piece depends entirely on the viewer’s willingness to cooperate, since only then is the real content and value of the work disclosed to him, through his own feelings and reactions. The majority of her production over the last ten years or more has therefore focused on the non-material and the creation of social spaces imbued with an atmosphere of spontaneity, or in the creation of thought-out situations that offer a certain experience to the coincidental passer-by, particularly in a street context.

When her work stems from the everyday situations of her life, she pours life itself into her art and that which she is surrounded by at a certain time – family, housework, motherhood, death, grief. This way of working can particularly be found in the pieces Developing Compassion (2006–2008) and Woman and Artist, Artist and Woman (2010). When she reflects and comments on the social climate and the state of the world – for example attitudes towards the environment (Hanging Gardens, 2012), cultural policy and the position of the artist (Survival Tactics, 2011), local reality (Cel'e 'as a deaf ear, 2010) – her engagement and critical stance are never coloured by aggression. She engages with her subtle, soft and precise presentation, which unobtrusively coaxes the viewer into reflection.

A significant number of her performative pieces have been produced as part of the Admission Free festival, organised for several years now by the Association of Fine Artists of Celje. Her openness to networking and cooperation, as well as the tendency to self-organize and function outside institutions, are reflected in her collective work: her participation in collective interventions and campaigns on the Celje art scene and beyond (Present, Teambuilding, Public Readings, Look Look) as well as the collaboration with the SIVA art group (Andreja Džakušič, Simon Macuh, Iva Tratnik).

Andreja Džakušič presented her work for the first time at the Celje Centre of Contemporary Arts, at Likovni salon to be exact. The cooperation between the Centre and the artist continues up till this day, as we open a retrospective exhibition of her work and a monographic publication that will be published on this occasion. The artist will present her art practice to date in the Gallery of Contemporary Art, while she is preparing a brand new piece for the Likovni salon venue.

After completing a Master’s degree in Design at the Ljubljana Academy she undertook further study at Vysoká škola Vytvarnych Umeni in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych in Krakow, Poland. She has also attended the Flaxart International Artist in Residency Programme in Belfast. Additionally, she works in the field of theatre, interior furnishing and design, as well as lectures on art, and organizes and conducts workshops for children and adults.

The realisation of the exhibition and publication of the monograph have been made possible by the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Celje.

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NIKA ŠPAN
Self Timer


Nika Špan, Self Timer, 2012 

Likovni salon, 25. 10. - 30. 11. 2012 

Nika Špan makes video and sound works, performances as well as installations and interventions in public and gallery spaces. Her diverse artistic practice is highly self-reflective and is not focused on the art object but on the form that is defined by the spatial, temporal and situational relations and relationships established between the artwork, its presentation space and the viewer.

The artist’s later creative period is marked by the reflection on how the systems of art operate, and the individual elements that make up and manage these systems. The projects from the initial period are particularly focused on studying the position of the artist and his work, by detecting and discussing the placing of the artwork in various contexts created by the systems of art. More than anything, her works reveal the complexity of established relations and relationships between the artwork and the institutional system. She contemplated the relationship between the artist and the curator and their mutual communication in her project Video not Video(conceived for U3 – 2nd Triennial of Slovene Art, Moderna galerija, 1997). On two screens, the viewer could observe the situation of the direct transfer of communication, in which the artist explained her projects to the curator of the exhibition (Peter Weibel) by means of drawing and writing rather than linguistic explanation. The curator commented on the entire scene by nodding (understanding of that which has been shown) and shaking his head (a lack of understanding of that which has been shown). In the project Sold Work(Mala galerija, 1998) she focused on the economic position of the artist in the system of art and society. The project stemmed from her own personal experience of performing painting and decorating jobs in the home, which she did to earn a living. She pained the interior of the gallery with coloured bands, identical to those that she had been hired to paint in the various homes of others. The artist includes herself in her works as the main vehicle of her work. In the group show Waiting Roomshe took on the job of guarding the exhibition, in the performance entitled Bellevue(City Art Museum, 2002) she only exhibited herself in the gallery drinking coffee. She dealt with the policy of exhibiting and the issue of placing artworks in contentious contexts in her audio visual event The Pollution in Art(SCCA – No Nails, No Pedestals, 2008), which was held in the form of an art lecture. She looked at the art market system, its characteristics and the position of the artwork within it, in the project The Big Sleep(Gallery Gregor Podnar, 2005).

The projects of Nika Špan do not merely reflect on the systems of art. The project, conceived for the exhibition Migration(Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2005) discussed the issue of migration. She installed seven flash bulbs in a public space, which were triggered off to light up random passers-by, thus creating an association with the surveillance practices utilised within secure and monitored state bodies. Her piece Fine Sciences(2006) dealt with the transfer of visual scientific ideas (found on the Internet) into an art context.

In the project Self Timer, with which she is representing herself at Likovni salon, she is addressing the process and technology of photography. The project consists of ink-jet prints in various formats. It was produced spontaneously over an extended period of time and in various situations and places. In this project she is concerned about the role of photography during the time of the hyper-production of reality, its position and potential. The presented photographs were made during posing in front of a self-shooting camera. They do not present the image of the person in front of the camera, but focus the attention on the camera positioned in a space during the time of waiting for it to take a photograph in self-shooting mode. Instead of an intimacy, the displayed photographs create a sense of absence and alienation, since the image of the spectacle has been replaced by the lonely image of the camera. Besides the exhibited photographs, the project consists of an edition of albums, which will be available for purchase during the exhibition.

Nika Špan (1967) lives and works in Düsseldorf and in Ljubljana. She completed her undergraduate studies in painting and her postgraduate studies in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. As a DAAD scholarship recipient she has undertaken further study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions such as Manifesta 3in Ljubljana (2000), the first three and the sixth U3. Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia(Moderna galerija, Ljubljana), Heimat/Homelandat the Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten, Klagenfurt (2010), Narratives in the Makingat the Celje Centre of Contemporary Arts (2011), etc.

 

HR-STAMENOV
Water, Suppositions and Urbanism

 

HR-Stamenov, Water, Suppositions and Urbanism, installation view, 2012

Likovni salon Gallery, 13. 9.–14. 10. 2012

https://vimeo.com/49503370

Bulgarian artist HR-Stamenov (1981, Plovdiv) is presenting himself with his project Water, Suppositions and Urbanism, conceived specifically for the Likovni salon Gallery.The project was developed during his two-month residency in Celje as part of the AIR CELEIA programme led by the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

The art practice of HR-Stamenov is defined by the exploration of public spaces as well as quantum-mechanical and optical phenomena.His work takes the form of light and sound installations, video projections, ‘in-situ’ pieces and experiments, in which he refers to historical events, scientific research and paranormal phenomena.

His work also includes book projects, such as the free of charge publication Practices in Public Environment that functions as an educational tool for mapping and contextualizing contemporary art practices operating in the public sphere.The publication was conceived together with artist Bora Petkova.He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Die Kunst der Intervention, Galerie im Ratskeller, Berlin (2012), Why Duchamp?, Sofia Arsenal – Museum for Contemporary Arts Sofia (2012), and has presented his work in solo exhibitions, such as Presence, Studio Tommaseo, Trieste (2011).Many of his projects are produced in public spaces, sometimes he works together with other artists, one of his most recent projects was The Nightmare of Prometheus, Pallazo Thea, Acqui Terme (2011), where he collaborated with artist Alzek Misheff.He is the recipient of the Young European Artist Trieste Contemporanea Award for 2011.

As part of his residency in Celje, he participated in this year’s thirteenth ADMISSION FREE festival with his projection The Phenomenon of  W24°58’59,43” N42°07’55,29”.The piece, which deals with the possibility of teleportation in the case of a vanished train, does not only refer to scientific research and paranormal phenomena.It also reminds of the period when the art of film began to develop, which held a characteristic fascination with the train motif (Lumière brothers L'Arrivée d'un Train, 1986, Phantom Ride: Menai Straits, 1904, Walter Ford: The Ghost Train, 1941, etc…).In the exhibition Images of Reality: Between Story and Fact. From the Permanent Collection of the Centre of Contemporary Arts he produced the Space 0 Space project.At the opening, he created a simulation of a storm inside Likovni salon Gallery.The author continually presents the project in different spaces as an intervention within architectural structures that differ in meaning and content.

In creating the project, Water, Suppositions and Urbanism,the artist focused on the urban plan of the city of Celje.He pinpointed his research on the analysis of those problematic urban solutions that reveal the irresponsible behaviour towards the natural environment, the depletion of natural resources and construction of buildings that are not in harmony with nature.Even though the project stems from the local context, it discusses global trends, which all too often make the construction and design of public spaces subject to the profitable mindset.Lowering costs and creating financial profit can be seen in the construction or renovation of urban spaces in the form of rapid and ongoing improvement works, undertaken by an ignorant approach to the issues of environmental protection, health and safety, functionality of solutions and their aesthetic placement in public spaces.The artist designates the irresponsible urban solutions as independent monuments that reflect the political, economic and social appearance of the space in which they are located.

Where does the current state of the system – oriented to the unconditional achievement of progress and accumulation of capital, also in the decisions that have a significant impact on our environment and quality of life – lead?One possible way to answer the question is offered by HR-Stamenov with his multichannel projection Water, Urbanism and Suppositions installed in Likovni salon Gallery.

 

DUBA SAMBOLEC
Situation Report No. 2

9. 3. – 26. 4. 2012
Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon Gallery Celje

The exhibition will be featuring a comprehensive selection of works by Duba Sambolec, created over the last four years. Following the first edition of the exhibition at the Škuc Gallery, which consisted of sculptures and a selection of drawings, Situation Report No. 2 on view in Celje will be extended to include works in other media. Through sculptures, objects, drawings, digital prints, printed banners and object painting, Duba Sambolec will present us with engaged, critical, (self)reflective and poetic reports about her own existence and the turbulent times and passive society in which she lives.

Exhibited at the Gallery of Contemporary Art will be sculptures created over the last three years: Balkans on My Mind, Temporary, ½ Volume Hanging, Lug-gage and This & That/Unplugged as well as a selection of drawings created between 2010 and 2011. The ambience Entertainment Place that Duba Sambolec will set up at the Fine Art Salon in Celje is a space of imaginary pleasure, since object paintings within it on the one hand seduce the spectator, while on the other hand prevent him/her from slipping into ease. An apparent opposition or the inverted side of the glowing inscription Entertainment Place will be represented once again by the exhibited printed banners that function as textual and visual labyrinths built from key words and free associations that deal with conformity, resignation, social repression, control and exclusion.

If on the one hand the exhibited works speak about the need for a critical response to the current social, economic and political situation as well as about the artist's questioning of her own identity that oscillates between different anchor points (gender, cultural space, art, …), on the other hand they testify to the interest and an almost physical need of the artist to explore the various materials and their artistic and semantic language. But above all, Duba Sambolec's works express a certain confidence in the power and need for art that rather than falling into a simplyfied slavishness of social utility, remains faithful to its own language.

Duba Sambolec (1949) graduated in sculpture and in 1978 finished her MFA studies at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Art. Between the years 1992–2007 she was Professor of Fine Art and The Head of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Art in Trondheim (Norway). Since 2008 she has worked as Professor of Fine Art at the National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, Norway. She has exhibited extensively in numerous solo exhibitions (among other at the Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art and the Mala galerija in Ljubljana, 1998; at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, 1988; at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, 1983) as well as in group exhibitions, amog other at the National Art Gallery Zacheta in Warshaw (2010), Museum of Modern Art Vienna (2009/10), at the Aperto / Venice Biennial (1988) and at the Sao Paulo Biennial (1985).

The exhibition Situation Report No. 1,2 & 3 is a co-production between the Škuc Gallery and Centre for Contemporary Arts – Celeia Celje. The exhibition will also be presented at the HDLU & PM Galleries in Zagreb.

More about the artist's work:
http://www.artreview.com/profile/DubaSambolec 1
http://artfem.tv/duba_sambolec/

     

 


FRANC PURG
Coming Soon, the Future!


Galerija sodobne umetnosti in Likovni salon, 15.12.2011 - 19.2.2012


Featured at the exhibition, which will be taking place in two locations, at the Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Likovni salon Gallery, will be his recent work Global Debt, as well as the most emblematic projects, or parts of them, that have defined his artistic production to date.

© Zavod Celeia Celje | Pravno obvestilo | Piškotki | Produkcija: ENKI d.o.o.
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