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.
Curators: Petra Bole, Nina Jesih, Zala Kurinčič, Hana Ostan Ožbolt, Mojca Sfiligoj, Katarina Stopar
Mentors: Alenka Gregorič, Miran Mohar
Head of the School: Simona Žvanut
Coordinator: Miha Kelemina
31 May, at 5 pm: Guided tour through the exhibition
7 June, at 5 pm: Guided tour and the presentation of the catalogue
Accompanying programme and the presentation of the catalogue will be announced on www.scca-ljubljana.si and www.worldofart.org.
SCCA–Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts
World of Art School
Co-producer: Škuc Gallery
Riko d. o. o., Virus d. o. o, Karmen d. o. o, Vino Dominko, Cvetkovci
The programme of Škuc Gallery is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and Cultural Department of the City of Ljubljana.