Final exhibition of the 16th generation of World of Art, School for Curatorial Practices and Critical Writing.
For a certain period of time while he was studying at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Voranc Kumar documented what was going on in the atelier as the first morning coffee was being prepared. At the time, the collected material was used in the work First Coffee (2014) and its sequel or, rather, remake Radio Play: First Coffee (2015). A Few Minutes Later. returns to the work in the making—to the field of unclarity and incompleteness. Curators and the artist have used the exhibition to jointly re-intervene into the original material that—exhibited multiple times—swings back and forth between the artwork and something that is not (yet) an artwork. Its various possible realizations create a flow of temporary meanings that indicate the multitude of potential finalizations of the work.
The first problem for Kumar was how to determine the object from among innumerable things, and gradually build the work by trying to capture it. He therefore intentionally limited his choice and, when the project began, set rules that later became the conditions of the work. For 25 days, he meticulously documented from three different points of view what was going on in the atelier as the first morning coffee was being prepared. He stripped away the original audio recording from the footage and subsequently replaced it with the recorded sounds of the space (foley) and the music that was playing in the atelier at the time of recording. Everyday discussions between the people present were transcribed and some parts were blacked-out. At this point, it wasn’t the coffee drinking and content of the footage that were key, but rather the process itself. An important part of the latter are translations from one media to another that never manage to register live activity without missing something out, which proves to be vital and formative for establishing the interested gaze. Kumar’s practice does not shift unilaterally to authorial intervention into the material, but retains the initial openness at all stages of the process, and individual segments do not point to an integrated final form.
Preparing coffee is at the forefront as a time unit that opens two contradictory yet inseparable views of Kumar’s work, and it is within the difference between them where the project emerges. On the one hand, brewing coffee can be understood as an arbitrary condition, something that is already part of the atelier and its time structure, as any other routine. The video material is formally determined by the time it takes to prepare coffee. This creates outtakes of an incompletely documented everyday life in the atelier. On the other hand, monitoring the routine of making coffee can also be understood as a point where the fleeting everyday life intertwines with the processes of learning (art), which are connected to the attention oriented towards searching for meaning. In this instance, documenting can be seen as waiting for the material that could become an artwork.
This is the way in which Kumar approached the material in the sequel, when he tried to find the rudiments of meaning in the unarticulated mass of transcripted text and use dramaturgical techniques to form them as a story. Several scenarios were made, but only one was made into a short radio play. In Radio Play: First Coffee, classmates voiced their own texts that were modified by the author, thereby reenacting an outtake from the transcribed material. The transformation of written material into a clumsy radio play where art students take on the roles of actors additionally highlights the impossibility of a simple transfer of life into the field of art. Both the distanced position that attempts to draw form and content from the necessity in material as well as diving into the material, that implies contemplating and intensifying the artistic (or curatorial) investment, touch upon life only and precisely through differences.
In the self-referring process of making the exhibition, our curating process could be aligned with Kumar’s project: we were searching for points that could bring a heterogeneous group of individuals together into a community where different opinions, positions and mutual (non)conformity can coexist. In addition, the exhibition also tries to think its own paradoxical position and failure, which are inscribed into such a return, self-reflection and contemplation of ways that art can approach everyday life.
A Few Minutes Later. tries to open a single artwork through slips and repetitions in the work, as well as multiple returns to the material. It preserves the latter in an interim state, in the tension between the material and the artwork; rather than individual works or objects, it is the relations between individual segments in their (un)clarity and (half)permeability that are brought to the forefront. This is an attempt to return to the material that was put aside in order to be re-actualised, and opened so as to create different worlds of the work, to establish the field of manifold and passing gazes.
Artist: Voranc Kumar
Curators: Urška Aplinc, Maja Burja, Anja Guid, Ajda Ana Kocutar, Iza Pevec, Adrijan Praznik
Mentors: Alenka Gregorič, Miran Mohar; Head of the School: Miha Kelemina.
22 May and 7 June, at 6 pm – guided tours of the exhibition with curators
29 May, at 6 pm – guided tour of the exhibition with the artist
Production: SCCA–Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts / World of Art School
Co-producer: Škuc Gallery
Sponsors: Riko d. o. o., Zavarovalnica Sava, d. d., New Moment, d. o. o., Elektro Ljubljana, d. d.
Acknowledgments: Modri kot
The exhibition and the programme of Škuc Gallery and SCCA-Ljubljana is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and Cultural Department of the City of Ljubljana.
photo: Klemen Ilovar