Artist: Andrea Knezović
Curator: Tia Čiček
17. 11. and 24. 11. at 6 pm:: viewing of the exhibition with the curator Tia Čiček
The ever-present myth of art’s potential to reimagine futures, to contemplate, analyse, critique and relate to our immediate environments brings with it an inevitable entanglement. It proposes the artist wields an otherworldly power as a catalyst of change and, most importantly, progress. Those in favour of such notions may quickly become discouraged as one realises the position of the artist is all but secure. And can we really further this notion within the intellectually exploitative structure that Moulier Boutang calls ‘cognitive capitalism’?
The artist paradoxically is isolated and yet embedded as part of the ‘cognitive proletariat’, often grappling with the tension of creative expression and commercial viability, thus balancing artistic identity and authenticity with market pressures. The position of the intellectual/creative labourer needing to provide social and cultural commentary and critique established norms, as well as depend on intellectual property rights and the production of intellectual and cultural goods, is nothing less than precarious.
Coming from a negative dialectic in which Muñoz expresses a politics of hope, we can merge the notions of describing aesthetic and political practices as essential for stepping out of the present and towards a brighter future, mining the past for utopian potential, as he invites his readers to envision alternative histories and dream of queerer futures than those that are – as we can further – fully embedded within the cogs of cognitive capitalism. Muñoz’s queer horizon catalyses social change, igniting action and artistic creation that questions the status quo and promotes LGBTQIA+ rights. Through this lens, the queer horizon transforms into a potent instrument for imagining a time when marginalisation, prejudice and oppression are eradicated, opening up a space of possibility and hope for LGBTIA+ people to live truthfully and freely.
These aspects towards creative labour and the artist’s life are central to Andrea Knezović’s art practice. Through autoethnographic excavations, she beckons us into a profound exploration of queer mentalities, care systems, trauma negotiations and healing, addressing this rigid landscape of ‘cognitive capitalism’, centring her research on Berne’s transactional analysis and the relationship between the roles of parent, adult and child as internal dynamics and negotiation within the individual.
With her solo exhibition, The Games We Play: Accidents of Time, Flexibility of Logic and Queer Choreographies presented at Škuc Gallery, she strives to go beyond its creative and aesthetic dimensions and aims to transform the space for facilitating inclusive dialogue with her work, where we are compelled to reevaluate our strategies of care and our shared responsibility for nurturing more wholesome environments and interpersonal relations.
The exhibition embarks on a journey at the crossroads of play, queer systems and the mythologies of certainty. Kinetic sculptures, textile creations and diagrammatic vinyl stickers choreograph various research methodologies and intuitive knowledge production encapsulated within vivid visual narratives. Acting as a cartographic endeavour, shining a spotlight on the multifaceted interplay between play and trauma, all the while inviting us to reflect on the personal as well as the care strategies of the institution in which they are embedded.
In the midst of this experience, we find ourselves questioning the myths we construct around certainty. What is the nature of our obsession with the known and the predictable? How do these myths intersect with the dialectics and systems of play? Can the discourse of queerness usher in a healthier social imagination, one that is more inclusive, diverse and just?
Unfurling the psyche-cultural negotiations that underpin individual and institutional mythologies, peering into the conceptual dimensions of queer healing, Andrea Knezović, skilfully navigates the uncharted waters of memory, trauma and inter-generational struggle. The strategies of resilience and the artful use of tropes within the queer community are unveiled, exposing the intricate tactics of social-emotional precariousness. Through her work, Knezović unveils the struggles, triumphs and complexities of queer existence.
As Bifo exposes the corporealness of cognitive labour where “the social existence of cognitive workers does not exhaust itself with the intellect: cognitive workers, in their concrete existence, are bodies whose nerves become tense with constant attention and effort while their eyes are strained in the fixed contemplation of a screen”, The Games We Play by Knezović, with deeply personal and passionate perspectives, extends a heartfelt invitation to all who enter its domain. It invites the public to engage in a profound (full-bodied) dialogue, one that explores the intricate tapestry of queer mental health.
Within these hallowed gallery walls, we are encouraged to contemplate the potential of play as a creative tool, both for collective healing and individual growth. This exhibition seeks to ignite a multitude of perspectives concerning queer mental health. It inspires us to explore alternative avenues of understanding, sharing knowledge and nurturing well-being.
 Cognitive capitalism is a form of capitalism based on the accumulation of ‘immaterial capital’, the dissemination of knowledge and the driving role of the knowledge economy. Knowledge, science and technology become leading productive forces, and cooperation within networks becomes crucial. In: Moulier Boutang, Yann. 2012. Cognitive Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.
 Muñoz, José Esteban. 2019. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York University Press.
 In Transactional Analysis, the three ego states introduced by Eric Berne are integral to understanding human behaviour. The Parent ego state reflects learned behaviours from caregivers, including nurturing and critical aspects. The Adult ego state is an individual’s rational, objective part, while the Child ego state embodies emotions and experiences, divided into Adapted Child and Free Child aspects. These ego states interact dynamically in social interactions and communication. In: Berne, Eric. 1964. Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships. New York: Grove Press.
 Beradri, Franco. 2009. Soul at Work. From Alienation to Autonomy. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). p. 105.
Andrea Knezović (1990) is a conceptual visual artist and researcher with a Master’s degree in Artistic Research from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s degree from the Ljubljana Academy of Visual Arts. Knezović’s research interests centre around the politics of care, its institutional implications and mythological aspects.
Knezović is chair of the board of the Salwa Foundation, founder of the Matters in Chatters and co-founder of the art and research platform MARC Amsterdam. She has contributed to various discursive journals including MIT Press Thresholds Journal, Lish Journal London and Simulacrum. She has exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana; Cukrarna, Ljubljana; MIT Keller Gallery, Cambridge, MA; Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam; 12 Star Gallery, London; The Center for Digital Arts, Holon; Kiribati National Museum, Tarawa; Marx Halle, Vienna; and others. Her works are part of various private and museum collections, including the SCCA-DIVA Archive. In 2013 and 2015, she was nominated for the Essl Art Award. She lives and works in Amsterdam and is part of the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice.
English proofreading: Arven Šakti Kralj
Slovenian proofreading: Inge Pangos
Cover image: Andrea Knezović, Queer Futurity & What Is Left of Our Collective Imagination – The Constellation, 2023.
Design: Lea Jelenko
Expert external technical support: Otakar Zwartjes, Dariya Trubina
Photos from the exhibition opening: Simao Bessa
Exhibition view: Matic Pandel
Acknowledgments: Arnisa Zeqo, Laura Dubourjal, Eric Moses
Project support: Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
The Škuc Gallery programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.