Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia
26 May – 15 July 2016
Curators: Petra Bole, Nina Jesih, Zala Kurinčič, Hana Ostan Ožbolt, Mojca Sfiligoj, Katarina Stopar
Personal, a group exhibition curated by the participants of the 15th year of the World of Art School, has been based on an overview of the recent production of young visual artists. Most of the artists are completing their formal academic training and beginning to define their course, also by exhibiting in quite significant contemporary art venues in Slovenia. Our selection is the result of several months of investigating existing works and projects in the making, and discussions during the second year of the World of Art, School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art.. We would like to present the work of artists who pose similar questions about life and who share similar experiences and challenges. The exhibiting artists are between twenty-five and thirty years old, with most of them focusing on the subject and reflections of their own position. This also shaped our selection and helped define the concept of the exhibition, which developed as we proceeded by perceiving the similarities between artists/works. In a time of general hyper-production, we do not promote the approach of maintaining an artistic presence through the constant production of new works, but prefer multiple presentations of works in different exhibition contexts.
The exhibited works reflect situations and details from the everyday life of the artists and their social environment. They are records of intimate experience, momentary impressions and continuing feelings. Using different approaches, the artists translate their relationship with themselves and their personal history, as well as with the individuals from their social circle. They turn also towards socially expected or required roles along with new life situations and transformations. The sincerity of experience that affected the making of the works has become a subtle part of them, so they have an effect even without giving a full revelation of personal experience. They are part of life, which provides ideas for art or merges with it at the level of experience.
Neža Knez opted for a planned immersion into unknown experience by radically changing her life (causing the loss of her sight for ten days). While she could not fully immerse herself in the blind community with this act, she was more interested in her own transformation, which affected every moment of her life. The performative aspect is also apparent in the video by Pila Rusjan and Dejan Štefančič, who are also the principal performers in it. The quiet impression achieved by repeating the move of establishing balance underwater presented their search for balance in partner relationships. Nina Čelhar transferred to canvas her moods, chores and minute discoveries as part of her ritual and search for a daily balance: paper documents and sketches of objects glued to the surface are an essential part of the spaces frequented by the artist. In the role of inconspicuous observer, Boris Beja records what goes on in the waiting area at an international airport. No-one’s home is turned into a social area only through belonging to a group or performing roles defined by social norms and rules of behaviour. Like a religious ritual, the game played by the artist has pre-defined rules, which help build relationships through repetition. Despite their differences, the rules of various communities overlap. The work of Živa Božičnik Rebec involves the viewer in order to examine the perception of personal space and raise issue of the limits set in the process of getting closer to someone. The viewer can decide to throw the ring on either side of the room, and there is already a pile of rings on one side. Similarly, the (im)possibility of choosing to be a member of a certain group or community is examined by Tejka Pezdirc. The letter from her relative reveals the weight of the burden imposed by the social environment, and by recounting family memories, the artist explores the assumption of women’s endurance, as well as the influence of family history on her and the possible transfer and incorporation of patterns. Maruša Meglič focuses on examining the role of women and motherhood. The relationship between the individual parts of the installation, the idyllic family house and the self-sacrificing mother, reflects the artist’s concerns about her current and possible role in the family community.
The exhibition Personal is an opportunity to grasp the everyday moments in our lives and helps us to recognise common impressions, battles, hopes, dreams and fears which are conditioned by social relationships as the result of hierarchies of power and maintained by social norms and rules. Perhaps art makes it easier to empathise with others and reflect on our incorporation into the social environment more carefully.
(Petra Bole, Nina Jesih, Zala Kurinčič, Hana Ostan Ožbolt, Mojca Sfiligoj, Katarina Stopar)
(1986, Trbovlje) is a graduate of Graphic Technology (Faculty of Natural Sciences) and Sculpture (Academy of Fine Arts and Design). In 2012, he received the student Prešeren Award for Sculpture, as well as the Award for the Contribution to the Sustainable Development of Society (Public Fund for Cultural Activities Republic of Slovenia). He was nominated for the OHO Group Award in 2015 and 2016.
(1990, Postojna) is a Painting graduate (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) and is currently continuing her studies on a Masters programme in Painting (Academy of Fine Arts and Design). She also spent one year studying at the Academy of Visual Arts – Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig, Germany. In 2012, she received the Academy Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements (ALUO), and in 2015, the Collector’s Invitation award for promising young talent (ESSL Award).
(1990, Ljubljana) is a Sculpture graduate (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) and is currently continuing on a Masters programme in Sculpture (Academy of Fine Arts and Design). She is the recipient of several awards: Academy Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, 2012), Academy Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements (ALUO, 2014), the Golden Press award for innovative approaches in printmaking (2015) and the student Prešeren Award (2015). In 2016, she was nominated for the OHO Group Award.
(1989, Ljubljana) is a Painting graduate (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) and is currently continuing her studies on a Masters programme in Painting (Academy of Fine Arts and Design). In 2015, she received the ESSL Award.
(1985, Novo mesto) is a Sculpture graduate (Academy of Fine Arts and Design). In 2009, she received the Academy Award for Special Achievements (ALUO).
Živa Božičnik Rebec
(1991, Ljubljana) is a Unique Design – Glass and Ceramics graduate (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) and is currently continuing her studies on a Masters programme in Sculpture (Academy of Fine Arts and Design).
(1984, Šempeter pri Gorici) is a graduate of Digital Arts and Practices (School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica) and is currently continuing her studies on a Masters programme of Media Arts and Practices (School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica). In 2011, she was nominated for the OHO Group Award and the ESSL Award. In 2012, she received the Tantadruj award of the Theatres of Primorska, and in 2013, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) Goldilocks award. In 2015, she was again nominated for the ESSL Award.
(1972, Berlin) has been working in film and television as a stage worker, lighting technician and camera assistant for more than ten years. He has been collaborating with Pila Rusjan on visual art projects as a cameraman, lighting master, technical assistant and occasionally also co-author of artworks since 2012.