SOFT Critique
11. 8. 2023 - 24. 9. 2023

Concept: Tia Čiček, Seda Yıldız
Site-specific installation: Valentina Karga
Texts: Ewa Borysiewicz, Pia Brezavšček, Domen Ograjenšek
Publication design: Ana Labudović



Exhibition events

18. 8. at 6 pm: project presentation and viewing of the exhibition with the co-curator Tia Čiček

14. 9. at 6 pm: project presentation and viewing of the exhibition with the co-curator Tia Čiček

22. 9. from 6 pm until 8 pm: feedback session led by the co-curator Seda Yıldız

23. 9. at 6 pm: reading with Ewa Borysiewicz


The project SOFT Critique, co-curated by Tia Čiček and Seda Yıldız, unfolds as a publication, an exhibition and a feedback session, creating a space for knowledge-experience-exchange and reflection. Addressing the ephemerality of exhibitions, as well as the role of art and culture institutions in promoting discourse and feedback exchange in their localities, SOFT Critique reimagines conventional exhibition-making. Against the backdrop of an accelerating art world, the project asks: Can we do it differently?

The aim of the exhibition at Škuc Gallery is to utilise the resources at hand – time, space and budget – to foster reflection, promote discourse and facilitate a so-called soft critique. We question the exploitation of art spaces for rapid reception and production of artworks, aiming to shift the paradigm towards thoughtful engagement and favouring process over output.

The acronym SOFT, derived from a type of progress report used to evaluate “Successes, Opportunities, Failures, Threats,” for a business or a project, encapsulates the project’s aim to reflect on the issues with bounded artistic endeavours within an output-oriented framework. SOFT Critique instead focuses on critique, discourse, methods of feedback exchange and the role of art and culture institutions in promoting these issues – beyond exhibition-making – to create a platform for sustainable promotion of art and socio-critical dialogue in its locality.

The origins of this project stem from several conversations held during Yıldız’s time spent on the Igor Zabel Association’s critic-in-residence programme in Ljubljana in 2021. Artists, individuals affiliated with institutions and independent cultural workers generously shared their work experiences and insights into the local art scene. A recurring theme emerged through careful listening and observation − the fast-paced working conditions of exhibition-making and the subsequent lack of time for reflection and contemplation. Furthermore, the cohabitation of a small scene seemed to instil a “fear of approach” when it comes to critiquing the work of local artists and giving feedback to colleagues. Various factors contributed to this apprehension, including lacking tools for constructive criticism, limited resources and positions, waning interest from media in contemporary art criticism and the discomfort of taking a critical stance within a close-knit community. Could we, as individuals and as a community, learn, practise and foster a culture of feedback?

At the heart of the exhibition is the publication SOFT Critique edited by Tia Čiček and Seda Yıldız and designed by Ana Labudović. With a foreword by Yıldız, the publication endeavours to address the place of art writing within the art field. A compilation of writings by different authors, it aspires to hold “a thought space” within the exhibition space, where visitors can read and contemplate different types and styles of art criticism. It serves as a platform for critical dialogue and intellectual exploration. We thank contributors Pia Brezavšček and Domen Ograjenšek for their writing on the works of Tery Žeželj and Maja Hodošček (the writers’ choices of offering a broader look into two selected local artists’ practices) as well as Open Call Winner, Ewa Borysiewicz for her thoughts on the general state of art criticism and reflection within the art world.

Discussions on the role and status of art criticism are familiar and this project acknowledges the existing conversations within the region. However, our approach aims to distinguish itself by utilising the exhibition’s time and space to create a space for embracing feedback as a form of knowledge production.

Criticism is a shaky ground, yet one that allows growth. How to phrase constructive criticism and feedback? The exhibition includes the documentary, A Film About Feedback (2013), featuring the innovative Feedback Method developed by DasArts in collaboration with the philosopher Karim Benammar that focuses on receiving and giving honest and useful feedback to peers. Inspired by this method, there will be facilitated feedback sessions at Škuc Gallery during exhibition time to provide first-hand experience. In this group-learning environment, different methods of giving and receiving feedback will be tested.

Valentina Karga’s installation Infrastructure for Feedback (2023), produced for this exhibition, will enable a safe and soft space accompanying the publication and the feedback sessions. The Berlin-based artist-designer often works with recycled material and re-purposes found objects in her practice. Her deep concerns about degrowth in art and the ethical responsibility of the artist or designer in today’s reality facing overproduction and overconsumption strongly align with our stance. Karga invites the audience to get in touch with her designed objects on display through physical contact, providing space for us to rest their bodies and minds. The soft sculptures, which resemble stones and bear the questions What?, Where?, Why?, Who? and When? prompt us to reflect on our positions, the perspectives from which we criticise and the grounding of our judgments.

A spirit of experimentation drives SOFT Critique − a test and trial. Over time, we hope that the exhibition will leave a lasting impact on its locality, transcending its temporal presence. Through writings, screenings, feedback sessions and a spatial installation where people gather and contemplate together, SOFT Critique is an invitation to actively participate in shaping the discourse surrounding contemporary art and challenge the normative standards in which we cannot thrive.

Tia Čiček and Seda Yıldız


Tia Čiček (1992, Ljubljana, SI) holds a Master’s in Art History and has curated exhibitions locally and internationally, establishing alternative processes and collaborations that question curatorial and artistic relationships and knowledge and experience exchange. Since January 2020, they have been working as the artistic director of Škuc Gallery. Since July 2022, together with Lara Plavčak and Urška Aplinc, they have been leading the World of Art School for Curatorial Practices and Critical Writing.

Valentina Karga (1986, Chalkidiki, GR) lives in Berlin and is a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg. She is currently working on challenging the notion of “self” by proposing non-anthropocentric future narratives. Many of her projects encourage engagement and participation, facilitate commoning practices and are concerned with sustainability. She works across different media, often inviting the public or community to complete the work, which she names “Art as Simulation”.

Seda Yıldız (1989, İstanbul, TR) is an independent curator and art writer based in Hamburg. With a background in art practice, design and literature, her socially engaged practice spans curating, writing and editing. Her research interests comprise artist collectives and self-archiving practices, focusing on collaborative approaches to publicising art. Yıldız is the editor and co-author of the book “Building Human Relations Through Art. Škart collective (Belgrade) from 1990 to present” (Onomatopee, 2022).



A documentary featuring the innovating Feedback Method developed by DasArts in. collaboration with the philosopher Karim Benammar.

Commissioned by DasArts, Master of theatre, in collaboration with the Master of Film program in the Netherlands Film Academy (NFA) and Sub-Pacific Films.


English proofreading: Arven Šakti Kralj
English translation: Irena Duša Draž
Slovene proofreading: Inge Pangos
Brochure and promotional material design: Lea Jelenko
Cover image: Ana Labudović
Cover illustration generated by: DALL·E 2 AI.

Photos from the opening: Simao Bessa
Exhibition view: Matic Pandel
Photos from the Feedback session and reading: Sara Rman

Publication available here: SOFT Critique_FINAL



The Škuc Gallery programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.