Kela: Peter Fettich, Lin Gerkman, Hanna Juta Kozar, Urška Preis, Luka Prijatelj, Peter Rauch, Sara Rman, Anja Seničar
Invited artist: Maja Bojanić
Curator: Tia Čiček
18. 11., at 6 pm: Viewing of the exhibition with curator Tia Čiček, Kela collective and artist Maja Bojanić
25. 11., at 6 pm: Maximilian Lehner – Thinking about Alternative art spaces and Their alternatives
2. 12., at 6 pm: Viewing of the exhibition with curator Tia Čiček, Kela collective and artist Maja Bojanić
22.11.–26.11. in 29.11–3.12.: Kela Open Studio
“The sites of our belonging constitute how we see the world, what we value, who we are (becoming). The meaning of self is never individual, but a shifting set of relations that we move in and out of, often without reflection. […] It gestures toward deep reflection about the selves we are creating as a function of where we place our bodies, and with whom we build our affective ties. I call this placing a ‘politics of relation’.”
In search of new forms of curatorship and artistic collaboration, we begin this year with a series of November exhibitions dedicated to projects based on invited, year-round collaborations with and between different cultural practitioners. In this way, we aim to expand the meaning of curatorship within the local cultural fabric, highlighting collaborative work processes as more sustainable than individual processes and considering entry points for the acquisition of knowledge and opportunities. This year, the collaboration took the form of artistic research into the collaborative co-working spaces with the newly founded photography collective Kela, which opened its doors at Tabor last year. The selection of spaces and co-working communities was random and intuitive, driven by a desire to gather as diverse a set of stories as possible about the possibilities of collective action. We asked eight existing and former local creative communities to talk about their co-working spaces, shedding light on their long-standing experiences with co-living and collaboration. These included Anselma, Cirkulacija 2, Cirkusarna NaokRog, Delavnica Levo, Friteza, Šiška Creative Zone – KCŠ, Creative laboratory Krater and Riso Paradiso. Kela’s participation in artistic research was driven by the desire to work collectively on a common project, which led to learning how to connect with other communities, given the collective’s interest in establishing good practices and modes of working that could be integrated into its own activities.
Considering the slow disappearance of community spaces in Ljubljana and the simultaneous exposure of all-round solidarity, we cannot overlook the general feeling of apathy. The meaning of solidarity has taken on an ironic connotation in the last year, but we forget that (despite its possible wear and tear) it should still be a guide for building a common future. I understand solidarity within contemporary art production not only as intersectional thematic coverage and/or inclusion of the broadest possible range of content and people (which is key to maintaining diversity and a realistic understanding of the multi-layered nature of human experience), but also as a fundamental guide to the conception of the form and manner of the work itself. In the context of this exhibition, I see community orientation as a defence against the accelerated social system of “organised solitude” in which we promote hyper-individualism, act as competitive subjects and look out primarily and only for ourselves. Caring communities are coming to the fore as the only environment in which we can resist this, and here I am also thinking of the spaces of creative/artistic production. These kinds of spaces allow us to cultivate a sense of support, interdependence and belonging, whether passive or active.
With the help of Kela, the communities created interpretive models of their spaces in the spaces of Škuc Gallery, illustrating their collaborative work in creating communities and carrying out their activities. We invited artist Maja Bojanić to take part in the artistic intervention, sharing her experience of working in Groningen’s deSlegte squat through a series of short videos of shooting slip-ups. Human involvement always leads to mistakes, and it is in this context that we can understand the connection between the shots and the models of the spaces. We are grateful to everyone for sharing their stories with us – be they slip-ups or successes.
The integral spatial presentation at Škuc Gallery is complemented by a specially made photo book that contains the artistic documentation of the visits to the spaces and their users. In an effort to continue the reflection on independent communities and their spaces, we have also provided the photo book with texts by numerous authors who approach the subject from different angles and positions.
Even if we do not see collective activities and spaces as the only real option for a more permanent and secure functioning of the individual, they can remind us to step out of stubborn self-sufficiency and at the same time represent one of the ways to actively interconnect our stories. The experience and understanding of human belonging can change drastically precisely when we see ourselves in an affective relationship with others.
Maja Bojanić (1997) is a visual artist of the youngest generation. Her projects explore the concept of disappearance and how it materialises through intimate and collective memory.
Tia Čiček (1992) is a curator and art historian as well as the artistic director of Škuc Gallery. Her curatorial practice focuses on rethinking the ways of work and working.
Peter Fettich (1979) is a photographer who divides his time between documenting the street and working in the darkroom. He often presents the embodiment of his negatives in the environments they were created hence rounding off the meaning of his artwork.
Lin Gerkman (1995) is an industrial designer and visual artist. His work explores the meaning of found objects, which he uses as a starting point for creating new composite wholes.
Hanna Juta Kozar (1985) works in graphic design, illustration, animation and occasionally video and photography. Her projects reflect the multimedia character of her artistic expression.
Urška Preis (1992) is a visual artist, musician and writer. She develops her artistic and creative strategy through distinct intermedia activities, preferably interweaving feminist theory and practice.
Luka Prijatelj (1988) is a photographer and visual designer. His work focuses on the analysis of photographic language.
Peter Rauch (1978) is an architect, visual artist and theorist. In his art practice, he dissects the matter of constructed objects and insists on the opposition between document and construction.
Sara Rman (1992) creates within the visual. Her photographic practice questions the indexicality of this medium, its alternative functions that go beyond mere image-making capability and arbitrariness.
Anja Seničar (1992) is a visual artist and curator. Her main interest is the field of photography in its artistic and theoretical aspects.
 Source: Carrillo Rowe, Aimee. 2005. Be Longing: Toward a Feminist Politics of Relation. NWSA Journal, l. 17, vol. 2, p. 16.
 Cf. e.g. Chatzidakis – Littler – Rottenberg – Segal. 2020. The Care Manifesto. The Politics of Interdependence. New York: Verso, p. 21.
Slovene Proofreading: Inge Pangos
English Translation: Arven Šakti Kralj Szomi
Cover Image: Peter Fettich (Kela)
Design: Lea Jelenko
Photos from the exhibitions first day: Simao Bessa
Acknowledgments: Anselma, Cirkulacija 2, Cirkusarna NaokRog, Delavnica Levo, Friteza, Tomaž Furlan, IPoP – Inštitut za politike prostora (Aidan Cerar, Marko Peterlin), Šiška Creative Zone – KCŠ, Creative laboratory Krater, Maximilian Lehner, Riso Paradiso, Matej Stupica, Moderna galerija.
The Škuc Gallery programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana.