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folio Časopis za sodobno umetnost, kulturo in veselje do življenja Magazine for contemporary art, culture and the joy of life Letnik / Volume 6–7 (2014–2015), Maribor, Slovenia ISSN 1855-8976


The Kublai Khan Empire Imperij Kublaj Kana

Photo / Fotografije: Robert Ahlin, Archive K2, Barış B. Atal, İlknur Baltacı, Emre Çakır, Matej Čepin, DK, Peter Tomaž Dobrila, Ali Cem Dogan, Janez Klenovšek, Aleksandra Kostič, Milimeter - Matjaž Wenzel, Dejan Pestotnik, Laura Pezzenati, Monika Pocrnjić, Marko Reza, Branimir Ritonja, Marjana Šegula, Damjan Švarc, Uğur Uygun, Tadej Vindiš, Uğur Yanık

The Folio in your hands (or on your computer screen) was created during the hot days of May and the beginning of June, at 30 degrees Celsius. The topics are steaming hot as well – from this year’s Venice biennial, across major art events of the past year, to the historization of the nineties, topped with several interviews: Neven Korda, Saša Nabergoj, Aleksandra Kostič, Hanna Hildebrandt, Tadej Vindiš, Damjan Stepančič, Suzi Bricelj. We write about music, art, photography, illustrations, colors, performances, and female and male artists. Numerous cities and venues have been visited by authors, interviewees, writers and photographers. Their texts and photographs carry us on trips to Venice, Izmir and Ljubljana, Maribor and St Petersburg, Trbovlje, Linz, Berlin, Senožeče, Riga, Prague, London and Vinica … In 1971, Italo Calvino published the book Invisible Cities (Le città invisibili); reading it allows us to drift across the stories of cities visited by Marco Polo during his journeys, which he tells to the emperor of the Tartars Kublai Khan. Marco Polo is a young Venetian (though people from the island of Korčula also claim him as their own), who describes the empire and its cities to the ruler, but leaves one city out. /.../ Dawn had broken when he said: “Sire, now I have told you about all the cities I know.” “There is still one of which you never speak.” Marco Polo bowed his head. “Venice,” the Khan said. Marco smiled. “What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?” The emperor did not turn a hair. “And yet I have never heard you mention that name.” And Polo said: “Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.” “When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice.” “To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.” “You should then begin each tale of your travels from the departure, describing Venice as it is, all of it, not omitting anything you remember of it.” The lake’s surface was barely wrinkled; the copper reflection of the ancient palace of the Sung was shattered into sparkling glints like floating leaves. “Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.”

Translation / Prevodi: Helena Fošnjar

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Chapter Six (transl. by William Weaver)

Proof reading / Lektura: Cameron Bobro, Mirjana Predojevič

Whereever you go, you’re still in Venice. Snežana Štabi

folio Časopis za sodobno umetnost, kulturo in veselje do življenja Magazine for contemporary art, culture and the joy of life Letnik / Volume 6–7 (2014–2015), Maribor, Slovenia ISSN 1855-8976

FOLIO Volume / Letnik 6–7 (2014–2015) ISSN 1855-8976 Folio magazine is entered in the mass media register of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia under order No 1455 / Folio je vpisan v razvid medijev Ministrstva RS za kulturo pod zaporedno številko 1455. Folio is published in Slovenian and English language / Folio izhaja v slovenskem in angleškem jeziku. Publisher / Izdajatelj časopisa: Asssociation for Culture and Education KIBLA Kulturno izobraževalno društvo KIBLA Represented by / Zanjo: Aleksandra Kostič President of ACE KIBLA / predsednica KID KIBLA Maribor, Slovenija

Cover / Naslovnica: Martial Raysee, Portret (Photo / foto Peter Tomaž Dobrila) Copyright © 2015 ACE KIBLA Photographs Copyright © Authors and ACE KIBLA All rights reserved / Vse pravice pridržane. Editors / Urednici: Snežana Štabi in Aleksandra Kostič Texts by / Besedila: Matjaž Brulc, Miha Colner, Žiga Dobnikar, Peter Tomaž Dobrila, Nina Dubois, Tanja Grosman, Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek, Maša Jazbec, Dmitry Kawarga, Aleksandra Kostič, Nino Mureškič, Adrian Notz, Maša Ogrizek, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Dejan Pestotnik, Monika Pocrnjić, Vojko Pogačar, Marko Reza, Alenka Spacal, Paul Wiersbinski

Layout / Prelom: DTS – DeskTopSharing KIBLA Vid Andrej, Snežana Štabi, Aleksandra Kostič, Matej Kristovič, Matej Jarc

Folio, ki ga imate v rokah (ali na računalniškem monitorju) je nastajal v vročih dneh maja in v začetku junija na 30 stopinjah Celzija. Tudi teme so vroče – od letošnjega bienala v Benetkah in večjih umetniških dogodkov v lanskem letu do zgodovinjenja devetdesetih let, s številnimi intervjuji: Neven Korda, Saša Nabergoj, Aleksandra Kostič, Hanna Hildebrandt, Tadej Vindiš, Damjan Stepančič, Suzi Bricelj. Pišemo o glasbi, umetnosti, fotografiji, ilustracijah, barvah, performansih, umetnicah in umetnikih. Številna mesta so obiskali avtorji, intervjuvanci, pisci in fotografi, z njihovimi besedili in fotografijami se lahko podamo na pot v Benetke, Izmir in Ljubljano, Maribor in Sankt Peterburg, Trbovlje, Linz, Berlin, Senožeče, Rigo, Prago, London in Vinico … Italo Calvino je leta 1971 izdal knjigo Nevidna mesta (Le città invisibili), med branjem se lahko prepustimo zgodbam o mestih, ki jih je na svojih popotovanjih obiskal Marco Polo in jih pripoveduje cesarju Tatarov Kublaj Kanu. Marco Polo je mladi Benečan (čeprav si ga lastijo tudi na otoku Korčula), ki vladarju slika imperij in njegova mesta, o enem pa ne govori. /.../ Bila je zora, ko je rekel: – Gospod, povedal sem ti o vseh mestih, ki jih poznam. – Še eno je, ki o njem nikoli ne govoriš. Marko Polo je sklonil glavo. – Benetke, – je rekel Kan. Marko se je nasmehnil. – O čem pa si mislil, da ti govorim? Cesar ni trenil z očesom. – Pa te nisem nikoli slišal, da bi jih imenoval. In Polo: – Vsakokrat, ko opišem kako mesto, povem kaj o Benetkah. – Ko te sprašujem o drugih mestih, hočem, da mi govoriš o tistih. In o Benetkah, ko te vprašam o Benetkah. – Če naj razločujem lastnosti drugih mest, moram začeti od enega, ki je prvo in ostane implicitno. Zame so to Benetke. – Potem bi moral začeti vsako pripoved o svojih potovanjih od začetka, opisati Benetke takšne, kakršne so, čisto vse, ne da bi izpustil karkoli, česar se spominjaš o njih. Gladina jezera je prav narahlo vzvalovila; bakreni odsev starodavne kraljevske palače Sungov se je drobil v lesketave odmeve, kot plavajoči listi. – Spominske podobe se izgubijo, če jih zazidaš z besedami, – je rekel Polo. – Mogoče me je strah, da bi Benetke izgubil vse naenkrat, če bi govoril o njih. Ali pa sem jih mogoče delec za delcem že izgubil, ko sem govoril o drugih mestih. Italo Calvino, Nevidna mesta VI (prevod Srečko Fišer) Ne glede na to, kam vse gremo, se vedno zdi, da smo v Benetkah. Snežana Štabi

Supported by / Finančna podpora: With the support of the programme Culture of the European Union. / S podporo programa Kultura Evropske unije.

Printing / Tisk: Repropoint d. o. o. Print run / Naklada: 1,000 copies / 1.000 izvodov Printed in Slovenia 2015 / Tiskano v Sloveniji 2015 Printing / Tisk: Repropoint d. o. o. Print run / Naklada: 1,000 copies / 1.000 izvodov Printed in Slovenia 2015 / Tiskano v Sloveniji 2015

Soft Control: umetnost, znanost in tehnološko nezavedno je del triletnega projekta Soft Control (2012– 2015), podprtega s strani EU Kultura. / Soft Control: Art, Science and the Tecnological Unconscious is part of the project Soft Control (2012–2015), funded with support from the European Commission Program Culture.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. / Izvedba tega projekta je financirana s strani Evropske komisije. Vsebina publikacije je izključno odgovornost avtorjev in v nobenem primeru ne predstavlja stališč Evropske komisije.


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Aleksandra Kostič We don’t fear the future. We are warriors Ne bojimo se prihodnosti. Smo bojevniki – Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek Saša Nabergoj Art as a Social Activity Umetnost kot družbena aktivnost – Miha Colner Manifesta 2014 – Aleksandra Kostič

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DK – Matjaž Brulc

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Neven Korda The Historization of Borghesia Zgodovinjenje Borghesie – Miha Colner

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Die Antwoord @ Schengenfest (a detailed description / podroben opis) – Marko Reza

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A young drummer and the bear Mladi bobnar in medved – Nino Mureškič

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transmediale 2014 – Aleksandra Kostič

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Ars Electronica 2014 – Žiga Dobnikar

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Laura Pezzenati Cucina / Kuhinja

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Apologists of the new civilization Apologeti nove civilizacije – Maša Jazbec

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SALON of Applied Arts, Maribor, Slovenia SALON uporabnih umetnosti

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Mondrian – yellow and pearl grey Mondrian – rumena in biserno siva – Tanja Grosman

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Dmitry Kawarga Bio-artefact responding to the visitor Bio-artefakt, ki se odziva na gledalce

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Is the time ripe to articulate the language of colors? Ali je že zrel čas za artikulacijo jezika barv? – Vojko Pogačar

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Creative technology cooking Kreativno kuhanje tehnologij – Monika Pocrnjić

Matej Čepin Gugalnica / The swing

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Riga, Latvia European Capital of Culture 2014 Evropska prestolnica kulture 2014 – Aleksandra Kostič

Damijan Stepančič: I’m like some sort of archaeologist Sem kot nekakšen arheolog – Maša Ogrizek

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Suzi Bricelj

Paul Wiersbinski, Hanna Hildebrand, Nina Dubois

Low-tech models as tools to visualize ideas Nizkotehnološki modeli kot orodja za vizualiziranje idej

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Central Station Project, Maribor, Slovenia Projekt Centralna postaja

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Petra Varl Poljub / Kiss

66 Tadej Vindiš

Untitled figures Figure brez naslova – Žiga Dobnikar

68 Tadej Vindiš

A Photographer... even without a camera Fotograf ... tudi brez fotoaparata – Dejan Pestotnik

I am thinking about books in terms of incunabula Vedno bolj razmišljam o knjigi na način inkunabule

– Maša Ogrizek

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Immaculate Conception? Artificial insemination Umetna oploditev kot brezmadežno spočetje – Alenka Spacal

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In fundaments of fundamentals V temeljih osnov 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Peter Tomaž Dobrila

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All the world’s futures. Vse prihodnosti sveta. 56th International Art Exhibition – Peter Tomaž Dobrila


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Aleksandra We don’t fear Kostič the future. We are warriors Ne bojimo se prihodnosti. Smo bojevniki Aleksandra Kostič, art historian, president of the Association for Culture and Education KIBLA, artistic manager of KiBela Gallery, Maribor, Slovenia Aleksandra Kostič, umetnostna zgodovinarka, predsednica Kulturnoizobraževalnega društva KIBLA, umetniška vodja KiBele , Maribor, Slovenija

Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek

Marko Jakše, one of the laureates of this year’s Prešeren Fund Award, the prestigious Slovene award for cultural achievements, is “your” author. This possessive refers to everything: the attachment formed between the gallerist and the artist in the course of time and their reciprocal productive relationship; in fact, Marko is a sort of an icon of KIBLA, isn’t he? It is no coincidence that you dedicated an entire issue of Folio magazine to him on this occasion. This seems unique in Slovene space. Tell us some more about your relationship with Jakše, both personal as a curator and art critic, and KIBLA’s relationship in general. I first met with Jakše’s works at the Cekin Mansion in Ljubljana in 1995, when I wrote an exhibition review for the pilot issue of TOX magazine. At that time, I was still working at the Maribor Art Gallery (UGM). Soon after, I contacted Marko and invited him to prepare a solo exhibition at the UGM (1996). It was to be his first exhibition in Maribor. The gallery director, Meta Gabršek Prosenc, made an effort and authorized a purchase of one of his works. This was the beginning of a tight-knit collaboration between Jakše and Maribor. In the same year, he was artist in residence at the former military complex Pekarna, painting virtually all of the wooden shutters of the Lubadar building, and creating a fresco on the walls of the so-called “Hiška Galerija” (Shanty Gallery), which, unfortunately, is gone today. In 1999, the solo exhibition titled Noah’s Ark marked the opening of KiBela, Space for Art. After that, Jakše has returned to exhibit in KIBLA on numerous occasions, with solo-, group-, and even duoexhibitions, the latter with Jože Slak – Đoka, Iva Tratnik and Mitja Ficko. Marko and I are also personal friends and pen friends as well. The letters are often art projects in their own right; some are over two meters in length. I’ve spent countless warm and delightful hours in the haven of his studio at Mohorje. While we chatted, he continued to paint tirelessly, exploring the illusions that play with the sense of sight. It often happened that a single canvas would unfold, like a video, multiple transformations of the depicted worlds, landscapes, people… When I learned about the massacre at Charlie, Paris, I called him, knowing that in 2015 he is to exhibit his new cyclus, and asked him not to paint Allah or Mohammed. The whole thing raised a great debate on the subject of iconoclasm and iconophilia. He was instantly tempted by

the idea to paint the image of (any) God in all his beauty. It’s how artists function: something is off limits, and in the fight for freedom, it becomes a challenge. There are no taboos. I stopped to think how many times someone could come to KIBLA and just gun us all down, seeing as we always stood behind the ideas of a free, critical, witty, but often also profligate ways of expression of individual authors. It is quite rightfully that Marko became a laureate of this year’s Prešeren Fund Award. The next step could be an exhibition at the Venice Biennial. In this way he could approach the Italian, as well as international audiences and markets. As part of an exchange program between KIBLA and the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU), Jakše will exhibit at the Meštrović Pavilion in Zagreb the following year. The name “kibla” was initially a real bugbear for the linguists? It is a fact that one of the meanings of the word ‘kibla’ (also kiblah, qibla, qiblah) marks the direction from the Holy House towards the city of Mecca. After the birth of the Cybernetic lab with the acronym KIBLA, as the first cyber café in the town of Maribor with a free internet access, and as part of the network of the American anticommunist powerbroker George Soros, the late Janko Gradišnik made a public appeal to change the name into KIBLAB. This acronym reminded us mostly of computer boxes, or possibly the type of smoked pork traditionally preserved in lard (colloquially called “kiblflajš” in the wider Maribor region), but we knew nothing about Ustasha (secret police) prison toilets... You started out in a large institution; your first position was at the Maribor Art Gallery. You graduation subject was Art Informel in the works of Rudolf Kotnik. What was it like to begin the initiation into the profession, the business, the work? My first, i. e. high school, vocation is writing. Writing poetry and short stories has led me to research the arts, literature, philosophy, sociology and history. Hence the decision to study art history seemed like a natural choice. I focused on visual media: painting, sculpture, architecture, urban planning, graphics, drawing, design, video, photography. Despite a rather strenuous, factualist approach to the study program that was being taught, I

The interview was published in Večer newspaper (Saturday, 14 March 2015, weekly supplement “V soboto”, pp.12–15) Intervju je bil objavljen v časopisu Večer (sobota 14. marca 2015, v prilogi v Soboto, str. 12–15

enjoyed endlessly as I discovered new, universal worlds. I was a great admirer of the late professor Luc Menaše, who imbued his encyclopedic knowledge with expertise in the history of esoterics and heresy, which evaded the one-dimensional dictates of the imagery of established religions. At the end of my studies, I strategically decided on Rudolf Kotnik, a Maribor-born painter who created during the 1960’s a new paradigm of paintings as objects. On the basis of this thesis and following an agreement with Peter Može and Meta G. Prosenc, I arranged for a retrospective exhibition (and catalog) to be held in 1992 at the UGM and the Museum of Modern Art. Soon after, I got the position of curator at the UGM. When and why did you cross over to “non-institutional”, to the non-governmental setting, to KIBLA, where you have stayed to this day and where you pushed all your endeavors to the highest, international level? At the age of 27 I was too young, very restless and “underinstrumentalized” for a steady job in a public institution. Energy-wise, I was running on high revolutions, yearning for a complete absorption into the realm of contemporary artworks and discussions with artists; I also had a strong desire to be as connected as possible with the other cultural institutions across Slovenia, to follow international developments, but also to live alongside the social trends of the 1990’s. It was hard for me to conform to the rules of a public institution, to the fixed eight-hour schedule, to the team set and accustomed to this timetable, to the regulated time planned for the preparation of an exhibition, and to the limited number of professional travels. I felt confined. It was like driving a car in third gear, instead of fifth. But the fact remains that in those three years of my working there, I was able to considerably upgrade my knowledge of curatorial processes and of the functioning of an art institution. Meta Prosenc and Milojka Kline were quality mentors, and I remain grateful to them. By the time I resigned from my position at the UGM, I had already formed a deep connection with KIBLA and TOX publishing, and had begun to form the concept of the KiBela Gallery. Every beginning is hard, and so was this one, in the search of opportunities. The Ministry of Culture first granted us some funding in 1999, after that, the support slowly continued to grow.

Photo / Foto (Damjan Švarc)


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When we talk about KIBLA, we are talking about a lean management approach to the team, which became, within the time span of a decade, one of the most propulsive institutions in the field of contemporary art on Slovene ground, winning the highest number of international tenders and outranking most of our other kindred collectives on the international scene. What is the secret, what are the basic postulates of such a breakthrough in Slovenia and wider? I think the secret behind the success is to have a great team, and KIBLA always had one. Trusted colleagues are what counts the most. It’s pure gold. Because of the nature of the work and financing, the working groups change. We don’t hesitate to engage even the young and the inexperienced. The assets that matter are a passion for what they do, commitment, the ability to work in a group, watchful spending, expertise… Our activity often calls for campaign work, meeting deadlines, which means that we sometimes work weekends or even nights. Of course, what is also important is to have a vision, to plan a few years in advance and to recognize future opportunities. We don’t fear the future. We are warriors. These two postulates were the foundation upon which a complex and flexible system of functioning strategies and in turn, the financing of KIBLA‘s activities, was developed. At the moment, we have a team of thirteen people that receive fees or salaries for their work, depending on their individual status. The list includes an administrative assistant and coordinator of international collaborations, an administrative assistant for current affairs, project managers, PR and social network managers, a technical coordinator, an operator for electronic and printed media, a computer system administrator, a bookkeeper, an online bookseller, a manager of the cyber café, and three information assistants. And myself. This is KIBLA’s central engine, and each part has to function optimally. It is important to maintain transparent operations and quality services, since as a non-governmental and apolitical organization we are subject to regular supervisions, inspections and check-ups. As a successful institution that formerly operated under the patronage of George Soros, we are probably monitored even by the CIA. Every now and then some unusual, quietly curious “businessman from Costa Rica” drops in for a short visit. Our first task was to establish and maintain sources of funding in the form of a non-profit management (85 %), i. e. by means of public tenders, and the remaining 15 % as profit management by way of various services. Once the projects have been confirmed, a timeline strategy and the assignment of working tasks within the projects take place. As the manager of the working team I am usually only present where things aren’t running smoothly, or are just getting started. I tend to not interfere where everything is working fine; as a senior, I only offer advice. The division into individual working places is really just a basic framework; in reality, nearly all of us are doing multitasking. I work as a cultural manager, program and concept planner, artistic manager, project manager, curator, producer, editor, text writer… not everything at the same time, of course. The same goes for my closest colleagues. Some can handle more functions, others less, there are no rules, it all depends on the individual person. Though generally, people with a one-dimensional task focus will find it hard to survive in the line of a nongovernmental, non-profit cultural scene. The second circle includes external collaborators, who work with KIBLA only occasionally, on individual projects or during festivals; freelance authors that exhibit or participate in other ways in creative projects, and artists, among the latter Nataša Berk, Tadej Vindiš, Ana Pečar, Cameron Bobro, Monika Pocrnjić, Jože Šubic, Barbara Polajnar, Petra Varl, Matej Čepin, Borut Popenko, Boris Beja, Đoka, Alenka Sottler, Matija Bobičič, Ira Marušič, Milan Golob, Natalija Šeruga, Nino Mureškič, Aphra Tesla, Polona Maher, Simona Šuc, Andrej Brumen-Čop and many others. Of course, curators, photographers, cameramen, designers, translators, proofreaders, technical editors and others with specific knowledge or expertise, mostly technological, are also indispensable (Žiga Dobnikar, Matej Kristovič, Boštjan Lah, Damjan Švarc, Helena Fošnjar, Nina Jeza, Žiga Pavlovič, Matej Jarc). In our nineteen-year history, we have collaborated as partners with virtually every compatible institution in Maribor, Slovenia and Europe: the Faculty of Education (Maribor), the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Maribor), KSEVT (Cultural Center of European Space Technologies; Vitanje), CP (Central Station; Maribor), MKC (Youth Cultural Center Maribor), GT22

(Maribor), Ljudmila (Ljubljana), UGM (Maribor Art Gallery), Equrna Gallery (Ljubljana), ŠKUC Gallery (Ljubljana), Koroška Gallery (KGLU; Slovenj Gradec), MARŠ (Maribor Student Radio Station), RŠ (Student Radio Ljubljana), the Faculty of Medicine (Maribor)… Internationally, we are currently working with around 35 partner organizations, among them Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Croatia), Hangar (Spain), RIXC Riga (Latvia), Belgrade Youth Center; Serbia, Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (Serbia), 7scenes and Waag Society Amsterdam (the Netherlands), CIANT Prague (the Czech Republic), CRT Fondazione Torino (Italy), Odin Teatret (Denmark), Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk (Poland), universities in Genoa, Athens, Braga, Sofia, London (Brunel) and Leeds; ALTART Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Apartment Project Istanbul (Turkey), body-data-space (UK), Central Saint Martins London (UK)… The third circle is the circle of strategic partners, allies, advisors and lobbyists. KIBLA has many allies. To have reliable allies, you don’t have to be the mafia and break anyone’s knees. This myth is blown out of proportion… though I loved to watch the Sopranos myself. Most people and organizations just want to do quality work with positive partners in peace. KIBLA connects progressive urban art with science, and the local and national scene with the state-of-theart global and international one. Considering your exhibition projects, the growth of your infrastructure (e. g. Portal), how do you manage to raise the limits in the otherwise generally undernourished Slovene cultural space? Portal is a story that unfolded in 2012, by employing some of the funds from the European project Soft Control, which was devised and planned together with Lidija Pačnik Awais and Dmitry Bulatov over the course of two years, since 2010, so that we were able to cover the most urgent costs to implement the exhibition venue at the former Maribor textile factory, and provide it with meaningful contents. Our program has been running there for three years now, with thanks to the supportiveness and consideration on behalf of owner Gregor Kegl, who agrees to a non-commercial rent, recognizing the events at Portal as positive and noteworthy. Portal is where we organize large-scale exhibitions (Materiality; Don’t Be Afraid, You Are the Best; Mundus Vadit Retro), conferences, and two annual festivals: KIBLIX, which joins art, science and technologies, and MED – Maribor Electronic Destination. For the time being, we are carrying on with the support of local strategic partners: President, Komunio, Soundbiro and Gobec Studio. The European Capital of Culture Maribor and partner cities 2012 (ECC) was conceived, born, devised and thought out in KIBLA. It all started here, but then took a very unexpected turn. How do you see these processes and the yield of ECC today, from a distance? KIBLA devised this project in 2006 under mayor Boris Sovič. The cultural project of ECC has long been, and still is, of major interest to us. We have collaborated with the same project in Cork 2005, Sibiu 2007, Liverpool 2008, Linz 2009, Istanbul 2010, Riga 2014, and this year in Plzen. During the time of our own ECC, I noticed two important negative elements: shame and denial. Slovenes are ashamed of their achievements in the fields of culture, sports and innovation. They are ashamed of their smallness and provinciality. Basically, we have been brought up in a most unconfident and insecure spirit. We need to support and appreciate local and national artists and cultural actors, to include, recommend and network them on the European level with confidence; we need to become aware that Slovene creativity in the field of culture, in comparison to the other European countries, is at the very top. I believe the projects that were shortlisted for the ECC should have included top Slovene visual artists; it would have been a great promotion for them. I noticed how poorly represented were some of the key local producers, when the project could have been a wonderful opportunity for their progress. At the same time, I also noticed a great number of organizations that received abundant financial means, yet I’ve never heard of them before. Where are all these organizations now? Instead of a “Europeanization” of the project, we witnessed its “Ljubljanization”. To draw the line, the European Capital of Culture Maribor and its partner cities was left stuck with no vision for the future, with no sustainable mechanism to be pursued, and entirely without European funds. This is what we are

seeing now, in 2015, as the local Maribor culture is soon about to go bankrupt. As for KIBLA, we jumped at the idea and didn’t even consider the amount specified in the contract, seeing as our only and exclusive focus was on beating the capital, Ljubljana, which seemed so certain that they were entitled to the project. As a matter of fact, from our perspective the whole story was simply about decentralizing Slovenia, which is why we included the entire Eastern Slovenia in the project. And if you invest your energy into something so entirely and unreservedly, it is bound to succeed. I am glad to see Maribor on the map among other eminent cities that were designated as European capitals of culture. I am glad to see the tourist numbers rising significantly after 2012, and to observe the boost in the city’s confidence following this project. What is it that you regret most after this “Ljubljanization instead of Europeanization”, as you put it, of the ECC? To this day I regret that after 2008, due to a lack of understanding of the project’s nature as well as local interests, the city of Maribor did not appoint Simon Kardum as the director of ECC. Working for a number of years as Head of the Department for Art at the Ministry of Culture, he was the only candidate to truly know the Slovene cultural community, the operative programs, the pros and cons (he was dreaded by virtually every cultural public institution), the missing national projects, the feeble attempts to acquire European funds in the field of culture. He was the only one who could have raised the Maribor EPK to a higher level, with better and sustainable results. Among his ideas was to use one of the abandoned local industrial heritage locations, such as KIBLA Portal, and turn it into a museum of theater costume design and scenography. We can only imagine the fabulous creations of Pandur, Živadinov, De Brea and other productions, which are wasting away or have already been ruined – and which could have been lined up in an overview of the highlights of Slovene performative arts. Another idea that was left unrealized and was encouraged by Danijel Sajko was the notion of a museum of socialism with a collection of old, disappearing socialist-period items. There were numerous other ideas, including a thorough renovation of the Rotovška knjižnica (City Library) and the construction of a permanent summer stage on Lent. Apart from the Leon Štukelj Square and the final phase of the renovation of the Puppet Theater, Maribor was left with nothing to look forward to after the project ended. After the refusal, Simon Kardum instigated an excellent urban culture center in Ljubljana, called Kino Šiška, which is a total success attracting huge audiences. While in Maribor, nobody seems to think strategically about culture or development programs anymore. For a new Maribor era to gain momentum, young, industrious and competent people will have to be included in its development. There is no comparable institution on Slovene ground: in the course of time your projects and events have tackled each and every area of art, from visual and intermedia art, to music and literature… is this a concept, a strategically thought out plan, or sometimes also a coincidence? We are interested in the notion of contemporary art, which covers all media and all forms; the notion of contemporary art is a fluid one, it is not necessarily restricted to a single medium, a single muse. Contemporary art lies in the intertwinement of these oppositions and integrations. Recently, art is becoming more and more politically engaged and socially conscious. KIBLA’s concept aims at broadness; however, since we lack permanent sources of financing for specific program units, we need to fluidly pass between different options. Lately we had to forgo the literary Festival of Love, which was held at Negova Castle, as well as our festival of microtonal music, DaNeS. Still, we believe that we will restore them at first opportunity. At this moment, we are placing our focus on fewer events of larger proportions, because of Portal, which is a giant consumer of energy, finances and contents. From the very beginning, KIBLA was devised in the spirit of multimedia, joining, connecting, inclusion rather than exclusion or hierarchy. As our own title suggests, we are an association concerned with culture and education, not just art, even though we see the former from a different angle. The audience is an important segment as well, and it plays a certain role. The border between authors and audiences is becoming increasingly blurred. We listen to our audiences, acknowledge them, educate them and include them regularly. It forms part of the interdisciplinary production cycle.


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How did the city and the state recognize the unimagined development of KIBLA? This “political” accompaniment was insufficient all the time, wasn’t it? Still, you were among the first to be visited by the new minister for culture? It would be unfair to say that the Municipality of Maribor or the Ministry for Culture do not support us. After all, we’re stationed in the Narodni dom (National Hall) building, which means that, indirectly, we’re occupying municipal premises. They also support us insomuch that we can cover at least part of the 50% national share in European projects, registered at the EACEA in Brussels. Nordic states, for example, assign these 50% automatically, once the project in question has been confirmed. Unfortunately, we’re not that lucky. The Employment Service of Slovenia too has been our year-long partner in public tenders. Apart from cultural projects, we are also applying for European project tenders in the fields of new technologies (ICT), education, and various socially engaged contents. This means that we are not exclusively related to the Ministry of Culture, which is our domicile, but also to the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport – our work, then, is interdisciplinary and interdepartmental. We maintain a healthy relationship with all national and Brussels officials, which means that our temporal capacities are distributed between the local, national and European interdepartmental scenes. It is true that the Slovene minister of culture Julijana Bizjak Mlakar, MSc, visited the Slovene National Theater Maribor and KIBLA right after she was appointed minister. She came to us in response to a recommendation by Judita Krivec Dragan and Matjaž Šekoranja, who are both officials at the ministry and with whom we’ve fostered a positive relationship for years. The minister engaged in an informal debate with the invited artists. She took her time and it was obvious that she is interested in the strategy of the functioning of non-governmental cultural actors, as well as the issues related to their financing. It is a fact that the Slovene non-governmental cultural sector assigns only a small percentage of the entire budget to culture, regardless of how busy, vital and productive it really is, while 98 % of the budget is reserved for the public institutes. If the new minister raises the non-governmental quota even by a few percent, she will introduce a significant change that none of her predecessors have managed to do. The second time she came in response to our invitation to open the Mundus vadit retro exhibition. It was the first official opening speech in the history of KIBLA delivered by a culture minister. As regards the mayors of Maribor, our most fruitful collaborations were those with Boris Sovič and Franc Kangler. The latter had a great amount of energy, a lot of it was positive, but unfortunately he was also surrounded by some misplaced political and professional advisors. As for the current mayor Andrej Fištravec, I think he is a nice man with no real interest in culture or development programs. If, as a primarily visual or fine arts’ connoisseur, you had to evaluate the Slovene art scene, where would it stand in the decades since you’ve been following it? What tectonic shifts are you perceiving? Would you say that regression and commercialization are on the march, considering the feeble development of the art market? The art market in Slovenia is virtually non-existent, particularly since the recession in 2009. Yet art collectors, though rare, can be found in Slovenia as well. Ambitious artists turn to Austria, Italy and Germany. There is a relevant market in Italy, and quite a few Slovene artists are successfully selling their works over there, among them is Živko Marušič. As for the German market, I would highlight Leipzig as a place of a fresh creative, residence, gallery and commercial scene, where an artist, following the typically German principle of good organization, has to find a gallerist to sell his/her artworks, and in time, their prices climb relatively high. Mitja Ficko, for example, has a successful collaboration with one of the Munich art dealers. Among the more notable gallerists that position themselves on various art fairs is the Ptuj-based Vladimir Forbici, who represents his own artists, mostly Jernej Forbici. The traditional art world is a highly arrogant and closed realm. Personally, I stand against the arrogance, egocentrism and egoism that dominate the art sphere (and others), because I believe that time breeds other moral values and qualities in the field of arts and culture as well. In 2014, the St Petersburg Manifesta presented a high-profile public perspective of the existent tension

between the artists / “rabotniks” and the ruling elite inside art circles. Of course, this is very well reflected in the wider social circle, which announces the obsoleteness of the art system in an era when artists, creation, organizations and audiences are abundant more than ever in the horizontal cultural space. New paths are being sought. Even in terms of research, KIBLA has reached out to some of the so far entirely disregarded and unknown territories, discovering, for example, Hallerstein. You also have a fertile publishing activity operating; you possess the ability of an incredibly dexterous and fast reaction. How do you operate, considering the minuteness of your team? Hallerstein is a European-Chinese collaborative project devised by KIBLA in collaboration with artist / SloveneChinese cultural ambassador Huiqin Wang, sinologist Mitja Saje, PhD, and Beijing-based professor Ju Deyuan. It was a truly extraordinary project, Huiqin invested an enormous amount of energy just to obtain the required documentation from China, and later to coordinate the numerous cultural events that took place at the Peking University, the state archive in Shanghai and the city museum in Nantong, the Braga University and the Korotan in Vienna, the Archive of Slovenia, the Ethnographical Museum of Ljubljana, and, of course, KIBLA. Without her the project could not have been realized. Parallel to the art productions, which involved the collaboration of Edward Clug, the science and research part was happening, which provided a truly detailed account of the life and work of this Jesuit, astronomer and mathematician. Hallerstein was from Mengeš, a fellow countryman, worthy of being presented in China and across Europe. Just recently, the book on Hallerstein that we published in 2009 was translated into Chinese. As you visit all these important world galleries, festivals, fairs, you’ve probably made a great deal of acquaintances over the years. After all of your recent large-scale projects, from Soft Control onwards, it seems that you are indeed very well connected all over the world, and that it really isn’t that hard for you to get anyone to come to Maribor. What about the (non) possibility of our small-scale environment to support all this? Business travels, visiting interesting exhibitions and other events, creating events with foreign partners – they are all necessary for the proper functioning of an institution like KIBLA. It is necessary for us to visit festivals and biennials, like the Venice Biennial, the travelling Manifesta, Ars Electronica in Linz, Transmediale in Berlin, and the increasingly plentiful Zagreb scene with Mediascape, Touch Me! and Device Art; Fields in Riga, Resonance in Belgrade, Enter in Prague, and others. It is where we learn, exchange and operate. Apart from forming bonds and inviting artists and organizations to work with us, we are also there to promote Slovene artists and their works, and offer their collaboration on festivals and individual venues abroad. Some of the most active are Robertina Šebjanič, Maja Smrekar, Ana Pečar, Saša Špacal etc. Of course, international artists distinguish between small-, middle- and large-scale initiatives, which is why they value these invitations differently. Once you explain to them that you operate within certain financial frames, and if you pay their fees on time and in the amount that was agreed, the word gets around quickly in the art circles, and you can establish a respectful position in the eyes of the artists. I think KIBLA has managed to establish such a position of trust, on both the international and the local scene. Stelarc, for instance, is a great supporter of smaller tech-art festivals such as MFRU (International Festival of Computer Arts) or KIBLIX, and is always impressed with Slovenia, even though his fee may be less here than it is elsewhere. He was astonished by the quality of the Soft Control exhibition in such a small town like Maribor or Slovenj Gradec. And the fate of your Portal, the most contemporary exhibition venue in town? Portal is quite a handful, and if we consider it as a sustainability project, it will not work without help from the Ministry for Culture, the Municipality of Maribor, or some European tender. At the same time, we are more inclined to co-production projects, the first of which is a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary art of Vojvodina, Serbia, happening this year in April. In 2016, we are planning a co-production with the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU) that comprises over 1.600 members and is the manager of a number of exhibition venues in Zagreb, including the Meštrović Gallery, whose

ground plan is in the form of a circle. We hope that Portal will also serve as a place of collaboration with the Maribor Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art from Ljubljana. In the golden age of the latter, I saw hard-boiled eggs being served at an opening; according to the performers it was to keep the visitors from saying that the gallery had no balls. Somehow I think it’s time for them to repeat the drill. How do you feel about the position of your former institution, the Maribor Art Gallery, and the story of its new building? I wish them luck. Let them follow their visions. Yes, I’m a little conservative in this case: the current Maribor Art Gallery building is just too beautiful to renounce. If I were in their shoes, I would fight for the restoration of the entire tract south to Koroška Road, and the preservation and expansion of the existing one according to the design of Janko Zadravec. But it is true that I am not acquainted in detail with all the related issues. An exemplary case is, in my opinion, the Cultural Center of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in Vitanje – with a budget of a couple of millions, they managed to pull off a fantastic idea. I suppose that in similar, i. e. modest financial conditions, a large, simple and functional exhibition pavilion could also be set up in Maribor, one dedicated to artworks instead of the self-complacent ideas of the architect. I oppose architectural ideas such as the Graz Kunsthaus or the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) in Ljubljana, because of their non-functional interior. Kunsthaus even has an escalator right in the middle of the largest exhibition space. I think artists are the ones who should be designing the concept for an exhibition venue. An open call to artists, to say what kind of space they would want to exhibit their works, because that is the primary function of exhibition spaces: to showcase a work of art. What are your plans? We released the first interactive book in Slovenia as part of the eCultValue project that connects state-of-the-art technologies to European cultural heritage. The book was conceived by Dejan Pestotnik and a team of colleagues. It is an ICT project which aims to bring culture closer to younger generations as active mobile technology users. In October 2014, we already applied for a new project, the largest in A’s history, called Risk Change, including eight European partners and a four-year co-financing. In terms of contents it focuses on the issues of present-day migrations, class systems, social (in)equality, tolerance and cultural coexistence; topics that have been present for some time now. There are a lot of things going on that make me stop and think, from the phenomenal demonstrations in Maribor in November 2012, various critical art initiatives, the critical ArtLeaks Gazette, the Pussy Riots trial in Russia, to the actions of Voina, African migrations to Italy and Greece, the shocking images from Syria and Tunis… The ethnic map of Europe is about to change dramatically in the following decade, and tensions are bound to occur. Europe is bursting at the seams, and culture needs to step in and play a role in the newly-formed relationships. Do-it-yourself has been trending for some time now, for example arduino, and other creative forms of survival dedicated to resolving the problems of famine, poverty, self-supply etc. In the preparation of the project application I considered everything, from street-appropriate to the more grandiose visual communications on city facades, for example the silos of the Intes Factory, which I imagine fully painted, and other interdisciplinary productions.

SI Greva najprej k najaktualnejšemu: Marko Jakše, dobitnik letošnje nagrade Prešernovega sklada, je „vaš“ avtor. Ta svojina pomeni vse: navezanost galerista in umetnika skozi čas, medsebojno produktivno razmerje, nekaka ikona KIBLE je Marko, kajne? Ni naključje, da ste mu ob proslavi namenili celo številko Folia. To je unikum v slovenskem prostoru, se mi zdi. Povej kaj o tem odnosu do Jakšeta, tvojem osebnem kot kuratorke in likovne kritičarke, in KIBLE? Z deli Marka Jakšeta sem se prvič srečala 1995 na Cekinovem gradu v Ljubljani, ko sem tudi napisala kritiko razstave za pilotno številko revije TOX. Takrat sem bila še zaposlena v Umetnostni galeriji Maribor. Kmalu zatem sem ga poklicala in povabila k samostojni razstavi v UGM 1996. Prvič je razstavljal v Mariboru. Direktorica Meta Gabršek


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Prosenc se je potrudila in omogočila odkup Jakšetovega dela. Tako se je začelo tesno sodelovanje Jakše – Maribor. Istega leta je prišel na rezidenco v Pekarno, poslikal skoraj vse lesene polkne Lubadarja in naslikal fresko na Hiški Galeriji, ki danes žal ne obstaja več. S samostojno razstavo Nojeva barka 1999 smo odprli prostor za umetnost KiBela. Nato je še velikokrat razstavljal v KIBLI, samostojno in na skupinskih razstavah, tudi v dvojcih z Jožetom Slakom-Đoko, Ivo Tratnik in Mitjem Fickom. Z Markom sva osebna prijatelja, tudi dopisna. Pisma so velikokrat že pravi umetniški projekti, nekatera so dolga kar dva metra. Doživela sem nešteto prijetnih uric v zatočišču njegovega ateljeja na Mohorju, ko sva klepetala, on pa je neutrudno slikal in raziskoval iluzije, ki se igrajo z očesom. Na enem platnu so se pogosto kot video odpirali večkrat preslikani svetovi, krajine, ljudje … Ko sem zvedela za pokol v Charlie v Parizu, sem ga poklicala, saj bo razstavljal v 2015 z novim ciklusom slik ter ga prosila, da ne naslika Alaha ali Muhameda. Odvila se je odlična debata na temo ikonoklazma in ikonoljuba. Takoj ga je zamikala misel, da bi naslikal podobo Boga v vsej njegovi lepoti, kateregakoli. Tako delujejo umetniki, nekaj je prepovedano in v borbi za svobodo izražanja postane izziv. Prepovedanih tem ni. Pomislila sem na to, kolikokrat bi lahko kdo vstopil v KIBLO in nas vse postrelil, ker ves čas podpiramo ideje svobodnega, kritičnega, duhovitega pa tudi objestnega izražanja posameznih ustvarjalcev. Dejstvo pa je, da je eden izmed pomenov besede kibla smer od svete hiše proti Meki. Ob nastanku Kibernetičnega laboratorija s kratico KIBLA (kot prva kibernetična kavarna v mestu s prostim dostopom do interneta, del mreže antikomunista in ameriškega borznega špekulanta Georga Sorosa), nas je pokojni Janko Gradišnik javno pozval, da zamenjamo ime v KIBLAB. Kratica nas je še najbolj spominjala na računalniške škatle ali meso iz tünke, o ustaških zaporniških straniščih nismo nič vedeli. Prav je, da je Marko prejemnik nagrade Prešernove listine in naslednji korak bi lahko bil, da razstavlja na Beneškem Bienalu vizualne umetnosti. Na ta način bi se približal italijanskemu in mednarodnemu občinstvu in trgu. Prihodnje leto bo razstavljal v Meštrovičevi galeriji v Zagrebu kot del izmenjave med KIBLO in HDLU. Od konkretnega primera greva k splošnemu: začela si v veliki instituciji, tvoja prva služba je bila v UGM, diplomirala si iz Rudolfa Kotnika, skratka – povej kaj o svoji iniciaciji v stroko, posel, delo? Moja prva, gimnazijska vokacija je pisanje. Pisanje poezije in kratkih zgodb me je privedlo do raziskovanja umetnosti, literature, filozofije, sociologije in zgodovine. Zato je bila odločitev za študij umetnostne zgodovine naravno dejstvo. Usmerila sem se v vizualne medije: slikarstvo, kiparstvo, arhitekturo, urbanizem, grafiko, risbo, oblikovanje. Navkljub precej mučnemu faktografskemu pristopu študija sem neskončno uživala, odkrivala nove, univerzalne svetove. Bila sem velika občudovalka pokojnega prof. dr. Luca Menaša, ki je svoje enciklopedično znanje prežemal s poznavanjem zgodovine ezoterike in herezij, ki so se izmikale enodimenzionalnim diktatom podobotvorja ustoličenih religij. Ob koncu študija sem se strateško odločila za mariborskega slikarja Rudolfa Kotnika, ki je v 60. letih ustvaril novo paradigmo slike kot objekta. Na osnovi te diplomske naloge sem se 1992 s Petrom Možetom in Meto G. Prosenc dogovorila o pregledni razstavi s katalogom v UGM in Moderni galeriji. Kmalu zatem sem dobila tudi službo kot kustosinja v UGM. Kdaj, zakaj se je zgodil prestop v „neinstitucijo“, v okolje nevladnega sektorja, v KIBLO, kjer si ostala in prignala njegovo delovanje do najvišjih, mednarodnih obratov? S 27. leti sem bila premlada, nemirna in ne dovolj instrumentalizirana za redno službo v javnem zavodu. Energetsko sem bila na visokem obratu, željna popolne potopitve v sodobna umetniška dela in debatiranje z umetniki, vključno z željo biti čim bolj povezana z ostalimi kulturnimi institucijami po Sloveniji in slediti mednarodnemu dogajanju, kot tudi bivati s socialnimi trendi 90. let. Težko sem se prilagajala pravilom javnega zavoda, delovniku od 8.00 do 16.00, kolektivu, naravnanim na ta čas, reguliranim časom priprave razstav ter omejenemu številu profesionalnih potovanj. Počutila sem se omejeno. Kot bi vozila avto v tretji namesto v peti prestavi. Dejstvo pa je, da sem v treh letih mojega službovanja pošteno nadgradila znanje o postopkih kuriranja razstav in delovanju umetnostne institucije, Meta Prosenc in Milojka Kline sta bili kvalitetni mentorici. Za to sem jima hvaležna. Ko sem dala odpoved v UGM, sem bila že globoko povezana s Photo / Foto Damjan Švarc

KIBLO, založništvom TOX in snovanjem galerije KiBele. Kot vsak začetek, je bil tudi ta težek, v iskanju priložnosti. Mzk je prvič odobril nekaj sredstev 1999, potem je podpora počasi naraščala. Ko govorimo o KIBLI, govorimo o vitkem kolektivu, ki mu je uspelo v desetletju postati ena najbolj propulzivnih institucij v sodobni umetnosti pri nas, ki dobiva največ mednarodnih razpisov in kotira med našimi tovrstnimi kolektivi najviše na mednarodni sceni. Kaj so temeljni postulati takega preboja v – Sloveniji in nasploh? Mislim, da je osnova za uspeh dober kolektiv in KIBLA je vedno imela odlične sodelavce. Kvalitetni sodelavci so vredni največ. So suho zlato. Zaradi narave dela in financiranja se delovne skupine spreminjajo. Angažiramo tudi mlade in neizkušene. Vrline pa so strast do početja, predanost, sposobnost dela v skupini, gospodarno ravnanje s financami … Pogosto gre za kampanjsko delo, na zadnje roke, kar pomeni, da včasih delamo ob vikendih in ponoči. Seveda je pomembna vizija, nekajletno vnaprejšnje načrtovanje in prepoznavanje možnosti v prihodnosti. Prihodnosti se ne bojimo. Smo bojevniki. Na podlagi teh dveh postulatov se je do danes razvil kompleksen in fleksibilen sistem strategij delovanja in posledično financiranja dejavnosti KIBLE. Trenutno deluje kolektiv s 13 ljudmi, ki za svoje delo redno prejema honorarje in plače, odvisno od statusa, ki ga posameznik ima. To so poslovni sekretar in koordinator za mednarodna sodelovanja, poslovna sekretarka za tekoče zadeve, vodje projektov, stiki z javnostmi, družbena omrežja, tehnični koordinator, operater za elektronske in tiskane medije, računalniški sistemski administrator, knjigovodkinja, spletna knjigarnarka, vodja kiber kavarne, trije informatorji. In jaz. To je osnovni stroj KIBLE, kjer mora vsak del delovati optimalno. Pomembno je zagotavljanje transparentnega delovanja in kvalitetnih storitev, saj smo kot nevladna in apolitična organizacija podvrženi nenehnim kontrolam, inšpekcijam in preverjanjem. To, kar si je privoščila Tovšakova z neplačevanjem prispevkov delavcem, je za KIBLO nepredstavljivo. Verjetno nas kot nekdanjo Sorosevo institucijo, ki je uspešna, kontrolira tudi CIA. Tu in tam pride na krajši obisk kakšen nenavaden in prikrito radoveden „poslovnež s Kostarike“. Naša prva naloga je vzpostavljati in zagotavljati vire sredstev kot neprofitni management v 85 %, torej skozi javne razpise in ostalih 15 % kot profitni management z različnimi storitvami. Ko so projekti potrjeni, sledi strategija časovnic in razporejanje na delovne naloge po projektih. Kot vodja delovnega kolektiva sem ponavadi tam, kjer zadeve ne potekajo v redu ali se šele zaganjajo, tam pa, kjer stvari potekajo v redu, se ne vmešavam, kot seniorka samo svetujem. Delitev na posamezna delovna mesta je zgolj ogrodje, v resnici skoraj vsi delujemo večopravilno (multitasking). Torej delujem kot kulturna menedžerka, snovalka programov, umetniški vodja, projektni vodja, kuratorica, producentka, urednica, tekstopiska … seveda ne vse ob istem času. Podobno tudi moji najožji sodelavci. Eni zmorejo več funkcij, drugi manj, pravil ni, je odvisno od vsakega posameznika. Načeloma pa ljudje z enodimenzionalnim opravilnim fokusom na nevladni, neprofitni kulturniški sceni težko preživijo. V drugem krogu so zunanji sodelavci, ki s KIBLO sodelujejo občasno, na posameznih projektih ali pri festivalih, to so neodvisni kreativci, ki razstavljajo ali sodelujejo na ustvarjalnih projektih. Med umetniki naj omenim Natašo Berk, Tadeja Vindiša, Ano Pečar, Camerona Bobra, Moniko Pocrnjić, Jožeta Šubica, Barbaro Polajnar, Petro Varl, Mateja Čepina, Boruta Popenka, Borisa Bejo, Đoko, Alenko Sottler, Matijo Bobičiča, Iro Marušič, Milana Goloba, Natalijo Šeruga, Nina Mureškiča, Aphro Teslo, Polono Maher, Simono Šuc, Andreja Brumna-Čopa in številni drugi. Tu so obvezni kuratorji, fotografi, snemalci, oblikovalci, prevajalci, lektorji, ustvarjalci s specifičnimi znanji (Žiga Dobnikar, Matej Kristovič, Boštjan Lah, Damjan Švarc, Helena Fošnjar, Nina Jeza, Žiga Pavlovič, Matej Jarc). V 19 letih smo sodelovali tako rekoč z vsemi kompatibilnimi institucijami v mestu, Sloveniji in Evropi: Pedagoška fakulteta Maribor, FERI, KSEVT, CP, MKC, GT22, Ljudmila, UGM, Equrna, ŠKUC galerija, Koroška galerija, MARŠ, RŠ, Medicinska fakulteta … Na mednarodni sceni imamo zdaj okoli 35 partnerskih organizacij, med njimi MMSU Rijeka, WHW Zagreb, Freies Museum Berlin, RIXC Riga, Dom omladine Beograd, Waag Society Amsterdam, CIANT Praga, CRT Fondazione Torino, Odin Teatret na Danskem, univerze v Genovi, Atenah, Bragi, Brunel, in Leedsu, ALTART v Cluj Napoci, Apartment Project Istanbul, body>data>space in St. Martins London.

Tretji krog je krog strateških partnerjev, zaveznikov, svetovalcev in lobistov. KIBLA ima veliko zaveznikov. Za to, da imaš zanesljive zaveznike, sploh ni treba biti mafija in lomiti roke. Ta mit je čisto predimenzioniran. (Čeprav sem tudi sama rada gledala Sopranove.) Večina ljudi in organizacij si želi mirnega in kvalitetnega dela s pozitivnimi partnerji. Kako KIBLA progresivno urbano umetnost stika z znanostjo in domačo sceno z najzahtevnejšo svetovno? Vaši razstavni projekti, vaša infrastrukturna rast, Portal … kako v podhranjenosti slovenskega kulturnega prostora tako – neverjetno pravzaprav – premikate meje? Portal je zgodba, ki se je odvila v 2012, s sredstvi iz evropskega projekta Soft Control, ki smo ga z Dmitrijem Bulatovim in Lidijo Pačnik Awais koncipirali in načrtovali dve leti, torej od 2010, tako smo lahko pokrili najnujnejše stroške za vzpostavitev razstavišča v nekdanji hali tekstilne tovarne in napolnili z vsebino. Zdaj že tretje leto vztrajamo s programom ob uvidevnosti lastnika Portala Gregorja Kegla, ki nam dovoljuje nekomercialno najemnino, saj prepoznava dogodke na Portalu kot pozitivne, odmevne in jih podpira. Na Portalu izvajamo večje razstave, konference ter dva festivala letno: KIBLIX, ki združuje umetnost, znanost in tehnologije ter MED, mednarodno elektronsko destinacijo. Zaenkrat vztrajamo ob podpori strateških partnerjev President, Komunio, Soundbiro in Atelje Gobec. EPK se je zasnovala, rodila, koncipirala, zamislila v KIBLI. Tukaj se je vse začelo, nadaljevalo pa zelo drugače. Kako danes z distance gledaš na te procese, izplen EPK? KIBLA je zastavila EPK 2012 Maribor s partnerskimi mesti 2006 pod županom Borisom Sovičem. Sodelovala je pri EPK v Corku 2005, v Sibiu 2007, Liverpool 2008, Linz 2009, Istanbul 2010, Riga 2014 in letos v Plznu. Kulturni projekt EPK nas že dolgo in še vedno zanima. Skozi naš EPK sem opažala dva pomembna negativna elementa: sram in zatajevanje. Slovenci se svojih dosežkov na področju umetnosti, kulture, športa in inovacij sramujejo. Sram jih je majhnosti in regionalnosti. V osnovi smo vzgojeni nesamozavestno. Podpirati in ceniti je treba lokalne in slovenske umetnike in kulturnike, samozavestno jih vključevati in priporočati in mrežiti na evropskih prizoriščih, zavedati se, da je slovenska ustvarjalnost na področju kulture v primerjavi z drugimi evropskimi državami v samem vrhu. Pri naboru projektov EPK sem pogrešala vrhunske slovenske vizualne umetnike, ki bi jih lahko odlično promovirali, zaznala sem premajhno udeleženost ključnih lokalnih producentov, ki bi se lahko ob projektu razvijali, hkrati pa opazila veliko število organizacij, ki so prejemale zelo visoke finančne vsote, pa za njih še nikoli prej nisem slišala. Kje pa so zdaj vse te organizacije? Vodje EPK so projekt namesto evropeizirali, raje poljubljanili. Predvsem pa je EPK Maribor s partnerskimi mesti obstal brez vizije za prihodnost, brez trajnostnega mehanizma in povsem brez evropskih sredstev. To vidimo zdaj, 2015, ko bo mariborska kultura kmalu povsem obubožala. V KIBLI smo idejo zagrabili in nismo razmišljali niti o vsoti zneska v pogodbi, saj je bil naš popoln in osredotočen fokus na to, kako bomo premagali Ljubljano, ki je bila prepričana, da ji to pripada. V celotni zgodbi nas je pravzaprav zanimala kulturna decentralizacija Slovenije, saj smo v projekt vključili celotno Vzhodno Slovenijo. In v to, v kar vlagaš energijo, popolnoma in brez rezerve, je obsojeno na uspeh. Vesela sem, ko si ogledujem zemljevid EPK-jev in je med eminentnimi evropskimi mesti Maribor. Veseli me, da so se turistične številke po 2012 bistveno dvignile in da se je mariborska samozavest s tem projektom okrepila. Še danes pa obžalujem, da se za direktorja EPK od 2008 naprej Maribor zaradi nerazumevanja narave projekta in lokalnih interesov ni odločil za Simona Karduma, ki je kot dolgoletni direktor za umetnost na Mzk edini do obisti poznal slovensko kulturno srenjo, operativne programe, minuse in pluse (bil je strah in trepet kulturnih javnih zavodov), manjkajoče nacionalne projekte, slabotno pridobivanje evropskih sredstev na področju kulture in ki bi dvignil mariborski EPK na višjo raven z boljšimi trajnostnimi rezultati. Ena izmed njegovih idej je bila, da bi v eni od opuščenih mariborskih prostorov industrijske dediščine, tako kot KIBLA Portal, vzpostavili muzej slovenske gledališke kostumografije in scenografije. Lahko si samo predstavljamo fantastične kreacije Pandurjevih, Živadinovih, De Breijevih in drugih produkcij, ki propadajo ali so že uničene – zvrstile bi se lahko kot pregled presežkov slovenskih uprizoritvenih umetnosti. Neuresničena je ideja muzeja


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 10

socializma z zbirko starih izginjajočih socialističnih eksponatov, ki jo je spodbujal Daniel Sajko. Obstajale so še številne druge ideje, od temeljite obnove Rotovške knjižnice do trajnega letnega odra na Lentu. Mariboru razen Trga Leona Štuklja in zadnje faze obnove Lutkovnega gledališča ni ostalo nič, česar bi se lahko še po projektu veselili. Po odklonitvi je Simon Kardum v Ljubljani vzpostavil odličen center urbane kulture Kino Šiška, ki žanje uspehe in odličen obisk. V Mariboru pa nihče več ne razmišlja strateško o kulturi ali razvojnih programih. Za zagon nove mariborske ere bo potrebno vključevati mlade, energične in sposobne ljudi. V slovenskem prostoru nimate primerljive institucije – pozabljamo, da ste skozi čas, z vsemi vašimi projekti, dogodki … posegali prav v vsa polja umetnosti, od vizualnih, intermedijskih, do glasbe, literature … je to koncept, strateško domišljen program ali včasih tudi naključje? Zanima nas pojem sodobne umetnosti in ta zajema vse medije in oblike, pojem sodobne umetnosti je fluiden in se ne omejuje nujno na en medij, na eno muzo. Sodobna umetnost je v prepletu teh nasprotij in združevanj. V zadnjem času umetnost postaja tudi politično angažirana in socialno ozaveščena. KIBLIN koncept je širina, ker pa nimamo stalnih virov financiranja za specifične programske enote, se tudi KIBLA fluidno giblje med možnostmi. V zadnjem času smo se morali odreči literarnemu Festivalu ljubezni na Negovskem gradu ter festivalu mikrotonalne glasbe Danes. Verjamemo pa, da jih bomo obnovili ob prvi priložnosti. V tem trenutku se fokusiramo na manjše število dogodkov v večjih razmerjih, saj nam tako narekuje Portal, ki je velik požiralec energije, financ in vsebin. Od samega začetka pa je KIBLA zasnovana multimedijsko, združevalno, povezovalno, vključujoče, raje kot izključujoče ali hierarhično, ter nas kot kulturno izobraževalno društvo ne zanima samo umetnost, ampak tudi kultura in izobraževanje ne glede na to, da na slednje gledamo z drugega zornega kota. Tudi občinstvo je pomemben segment, ki odigrava svojo vlogo. Meja med ustvarjalci in občinstvom je vedno bolj zabrisana. Občinstvo poslušamo, upoštevamo, izobražujemo in ga pogosto vključujemo. To je del interdisciplinarnega producentskega kroga. Kako sta mesto in država prepozna(va)la nesluteni razvoj KIBLE? Ta „politična“ spremljava je bila vseskozi nezadostna, kajne? Ampak kljub vsemu vas je nova ministrica med prvimi obiskala, kako to? Nepošteno bi bilo, če bi rekla, da nas Mestna občina Maribor in Ministrstvo za kulturo ne podpirata. Saj domujemo v prostorih Narodnega doma, torej posredno občinskih prostorih. Podpirata nas tudi toliko, da lahko vsaj delno pokrijemo 50 % nacionalni delež pri evropskih projektih, prijavljenih na EACEA v Bruselj. Nordijske države na primer avtomatsko dodelijo teh 50 % po odobritvi projekta. Te sreče mi nimamo. Tudi Zavod za zaposlovanje je preko javnih razpisov naš dolgoletni partner. Poleg kulturnih projektov se prijavljamo tudi na evropske projektne razpise s področja novih tehnologij (IKT), izobraževanja in različnih socialnih vsebin. Tako tudi nismo vezani samo na kulturno ministrstvo, ki je naš domicil, temveč tudi na Ministrstvo za delo, Ministrstvo za gospodarstvo in Ministrstvo za izobraževanje, znanost in šport. Torej delujemo tudi medresorsko in interdisciplinarno. Vzdržujemo korektne odnose z vsemi državnimi in bruseljskimi uradniki. Kar pomeni, da so naše časovne kapacitete porazdeljene na lokalno, nacionalno in evropsko medresorsko sceno. Res je, da je nova ministrica za kulturo mag. Julijana Bizjak Mlakar takoj na začetku obiskala SNG Maribor in KIBLO. K nam je prišla na priporočilo Judite Krivec Dragan in Matjaža Šekoranje, uradnikov na Mzk, s katerimi že leta dobro sodelujemo. Ministrica je poslušala umetnike, ki smo jih povabili na neformalni pogovor. Vzela si je veliko časa in očitno je, da jo zanima strategija delovanja nevladnih kulturnikov, kot tudi problematika njihovega financiranja. Dejstvo je, da ima slovenski nevladni kulturni sektor samo nekaj procentov celotnega budgeta za kulturo, čeprav je izjemno živ, vitalen in produktiven, 98 % celotnega budgeta pripada javnim zavodom. Če bo nova ministrica samo za nekaj procentov dvignila kvoto nevladnikom, bo uveljavila veliko spremembo, ki je doslej ni uspelo vzpostaviti nobenemu ministru. Drugič je prišla na naše povabilo otvorit razstavo Mundus vadit retro. To je bil prvi otvoritveni nagovor ministra ali ministrice za kulturo v naši zgodovini v prostorih KIBLE.

Kar se tiče mariborskih županov smo največ sodelovali z Borisom Sovičem in Francem Kanglerjem. Slednji je imel veliko energije, tudi pozitivne, vendar žal napačne politične in strokovne svetovalce. Za Andreja Fištravca pa menim, da je prijazen možakar, ki ga razvojni programi in kultura ne zanimajo zares. Če kot primarno likovna poznavalka oceniš domačo sceno – kje je v desetletjih tvojega spremljanja? Kakšne tektonske premike zaznavaš? Ali je tudi regresija, komercializacija močno na pohodu, glede na kilavo razvitost umetniškega trga? Umetniškega trga v Sloveniji skorajda ni, od recesije v 2009 naprej je skoraj povsem upadel. Vendar obstajajo redki zbiratelji umetnin tudi v Sloveniji. Ambiciozni umetniki se obračajo proti Avstriji, Italiji in Nemčiji. V Italiji obstaja trg in tam kar nekaj slovenskih umetnikov uspešno prodaja svoja dela, med njimi Živko Marušič. Kar pa se tiče nemškega kroga, je predvsem v Leipzigu nova ustvarjalna, rezidenčna, galerijska in prodajna scena, kjer si po načelu dobre nemške zorganiziranosti umetnik mora najti galerista, ki umetniška dela prodaja in sčasoma umetnine dosežejo relativno visoke cene. Mitja Ficko tako uspešno sodeluje z münchenskim galeristom. Med uspešnejšimi galeristi, ki se pozicionirajo na sejmih, je ptujski galerist Vladimir Forbici, ki trži svoj krog, v glavnem Jerneja Forbicija. Tradicionalni umetniški krog je izjemno aroganten in zaprt svet. Osebno se izrekam proti aroganci, egocentričnosti, egoizmu, ki vlada v umetniških pa tudi drugih krogih, saj mislim, da čas prinaša druge moralne vrednote in kvalitete na področju kulture in umetnosti. Sanktpeterburška Manifesta je v 2014 javno in odmevno izpostavila trenje med umetniki / „rabotniki“ in vladajočo elito v umetnostnih krogih, to pa se seveda dobro odslikava v širši družbeni prostor, ki oznanja preživetost umetniškega sistema v času, ko je umetnikov, kreacije, organizacij, publike več kot kdajkoli poprej v horizontalnem kulturnem prostoru. Iščejo se nove poti. KIBLA je tudi v raziskovalnem smislu segla na nekatera doslej povsem zanemarjena in neznana področja, odkrila recimo Hallersteina … Imate tudi bogato založniško dejavnost, sposobni ste neverjetno okretne, hitre reakcije … Kako delujete, glede na majhnost kolektiva – z mreženjem, konzultanti, najbrž …? Zanimivo, da ste pritegnili, vzgojili mnogo mladih, danes perspektivnih umetnikov … Lahko jih naštejeva cel ducat … Hallerstein je evropski projekt sodelovanja s Kitajsko, ki ga je KIBLA zasnovala skupaj z umetnico in slovensko-kitajsko kulturno ambasadorko Huiqin Wang, sinologom dr. Mitjem Sajetom in pekinškim profesorjem Ju Deyuanom. To je bil izjemen projekt, Huiqin je vložila veliko energije že za to, da smo dobili kitajsko dokumentacijo potrebno za prijavo in potem za koordiniranje številnih kulturnih dogodkov, ki so se odvijali na univerzi v Pekingu, v državnem arhivu v Šanghaju in v mestnem muzeju v Nantongu, na univerzi v Bragi in v Korotanu na Dunaju, v Arhivu Slovenije, v Etnografskem muzeju v Ljubljani ter seveda v KIBLI. Brez nje tega projekta ne bi mogli izpeljati. Poleg umetniških produkcij, kjer je sodeloval tudi Edward Clug, se je odvijal vzporedno še znanstveno raziskovalni del, ki je do potankosti ovrednotil življenje in delo jezuita, astronoma in matematika (odkril je komet, skreiral astronomski instrument in prvi preštel kitajsko prebivalstvo). Bil je iz Mengša, torej naše gore list, vreden slovenske promocije na Kitajskem in po Evropi. Nedavno je bila knjiga o Hallersteinu, ki smo jo 2009 izdali, prevedena v kitajski jezik. Ko hodite po pomembnih svetovnih galerijah, festivalih, sejmih … Ars Electronica itd., imate v teh letih najbrž že veliko znanstev – po vseh vaših velikih projektih zadnjega časa – od Soft Control naprej, je vtis, da imate izjemne zveze po svetu in da vam pravzaprav ni težko dobiti kogarkoli iz sveta v Maribor. Povej kaj o teh čisto golih tehnikalijah in (nez)možnostih malega okolja kljub vsemu … Obvezen del KIBLINIH dejavnosti so službena potovanja, obvezni so ogledi zanimivih razstav in dogodkov, kreiranje dogodkov s partnerji v tujini, nujni so obiski festivalov in bienalov, kot je Beneški bienale, potujoča Manifesta, Ars Electronica v Linzu, berlinski Transmediale, vedno bogatejša zagrebška scena z Mediascape, Touch Me! in Device Art, Fields v Rigi, Resonance v Beogradu, Enter v Pragi in drugi. Tam se učimo, izmenjujemo in delujemo. Poleg napletanja povezav, vabil posameznim umetnikom in organizacijam k sodelovanju pri nas, ponujamo tudi slovenske umetnike in njihova dela na festivale in posamezna razstavišča v tujino. Z rezidencami v

tujini si slovenski umetniki tudi sami utirajo pot na mednarodno sceno. Najaktivnejši so Robertina Šebjanič, Maja Smrekar, Ana Pečar, Saša Špacal idr. Mednarodni umetniki seveda razlikujejo majhne, srednje in večje iniciative, zato tudi različno vrednotijo prejeto vabilo k sodelovanju. Če jim pojasniš, da deluješ v določenih finančnih okvirjih in če jim pokriješ honorar v dogovorjenem času in zneskih, se to hitro v umetniških krogih razve in vzpostaviš si pozicijo, ki jo umetniki spoštujejo. Mislim, da je KIBLA vzpostavila to pozicijo zaupanja na mednarodni in lokalni sceni. Stelarc je velik podpornik manjših tehnološko-umetniških festivalov, na primer MFRU in KIBLIX, in je nad Slovenijo vedno navdušen, čeprav prejme bistveno nižji honorar kot drugje. Ni se mogel načuditi, da se v mestecu kot je Slovenj Gradec, pa v Mariboru, dogaja tako kvalitetna razstava kot je bila Soft Control. Kakšna je usoda Portala, ki je ta čas naše najsodobnejše razstavišče v mestu? Portal je velik zalogaj, če ga opazujemo kot trajnostni projekt in brez pomoči Mzk in MOM ter evropskih razpisov ne bo šlo. Hkrati bolj načrtujemo koprodukcijske projekte, prvi bo z novosadskim Muzejem za sodobno umetnost, za leto 2016 pa načrtujemo koprodukcijo z zagrebškim HDLU, ki šteje kar 1600 članov in upravlja nekaj razstavišč v Zagrebu, med drugimi Meštrovičevo galerijo, ki ima tloris v obliki kroga. Upamo, da bomo lahko na Portalu sodelovali tudi z UGM in Moderno galerijo. V zlatih časih Moderne galerije sem videla otvoritveno pogostitev, kjer so stregli trdo kuhana jajca, performerji so povedali, da je to zato, da obiskovalci ne bomo govorili, da MG nima jajc. Se mi zdi, da je čas, da akcijo ponovijo. Kako pa gledaš na položaj UGM, tvojo nekdanjo ustanovo in njeno zgodbo novogradnje? Želim jim vso srečo. Naj sledijo svojim vizijam. Na tej točki sem pač nazadnjaška, stavba UGM je prelepa, da bi se ji odrekli. Če bi bila na njihovem mestu, bi se borila za obnovo celotnega trakta južno proti Koroški cesti, ohranitev in širitev sedanjega po načrtih Janka Zadravca. Res pa je, da z vsemi detajli in problematiko nisem seznanjena. Vzoren primer se mi zdi KSEVT v Vitanju, ki je z nekaj milijoni napravil fantastično zgodbo. Verjetno bi v takšnih, torej skromnejših finančnih okvirjih lahko nekje v Mariboru vzpostavili tudi preprost, funkcionalen in velik razstavni paviljon, namenjen umetninam in ne arhitektovim samozadovoljnim idejam. Nasprotujem arhitekturnim idejam kot je graški Kunsthaus ali MMSU v Ljubljani, ki imata nefunkcionalno notranjost. Kunsthaus ima celo tekoče stopnice poprek največjega razstavnega prostora. Mislim, da so umetniki tisti, ki bi morali narediti idejni osnutek razstavišča. Odprti klic za umetnike, da povedo, v kakšnem prostoru bi razstavljali, ker to je primarna funkcija razstavišča: razstaviti umetnino. Tvoji projekti, povej kaj o njih? Izdali smo prvo interaktivno knjigo v Sloveniji eCultValue, ki povezuje najsodobnejše tehnologije z evropsko kulturno dediščino. Knjigo je z ekipo koncipiral Dejan Pestotnik. To je projekt iz programa IKT s težnjo približati kulturo mlajšim generacijam, ki so aktivni uporabniki mobilne tehnologije. Lani oktobra pa smo že prijavili novega, doslej največji projekt v zgodovini KIBLE: Risk Change/Tvegaj spremembo, z osmimi evropskimi partnerji in štiriletnim sofinanciranjem. Vsebinsko se ukvarja s problemom sodobnih migracij, razrednih sistemov, socialne (ne)pravičnosti, tolerance in kulturnega sožitja, te stvari so že nekaj časa močno prisotne. V Mariboru kar od fenomenalnih demonstracij novembra 2012, ki so mi dale misliti prav tako kot kritične pobude umetnikov, od kritiškega Artleaks, ruskega sojenja Pussy Riots in Voine, afriških migracij v Italijo in Grčijo, pretresljive podobe iz Sirije in Tunisa … Etnična slika Evrope se bo v naslednjih desetih letih popolnoma spremenila in prišlo bo do mnogih trenj. Evropa poka po šivih in kultura mora tukaj odigrati svojo vlogo v novih razmerjih. Do it yourself/naredi sam je v trendu že nekaj časa, npr. arduino, kot tudi druge kreativne oblike preživetja, reševanju problema lakote, revščine, vzpostavitev samooskrbe itd. Pri sestavi vsebin aplikacije sem upoštevala – od uličnih do velikopoteznih vizualnih komunikacij na mestnih fasadah ali Intesu, ki si ga predstavljam v celoti poslikanega do interdisciplinarnih produkcij.


Art

folio / / 2014–2015 / / 11

Art as a social activity

Saša Nabergoj Umetnost kot družbena aktivnost Miha Colner

Field Work: Temporary Intervention in Kemeraltı / Delo na terenu: skupina Začasna intervencija v četrti Kemeralti. November 2013. Photo / foto: İlknur Baltacı

Saša Nabergoj is an art historian, curator, publicist and educator, originally operating within the SCCA-Ljubljana Association as head of the World of Art educational platform since 1998. In its seventeen years of existence, the platform has used workshops, lectures and year-long writing- and curatorship courses to produce a significant part of active cultural workers in Slovenia and wider. At the same time, Saša Nabergoj regularly works as an independent curator, lecturer and writer within the broad field of contemporary art. She was invited to occupy the position of artistic director of the third triennial of contemporary art in the Turkish town of Izmir. The ideas and execution of the PORTIZMIR3 program reveal her use of highly non-traditional and interdisciplinary approaches that transcend the (merely) one-directional and passive representation of artworks. The interview took place shortly after her return from Izmir, where the triennial (i. e. its presentation part) lasted for full three months (between 21 March and 21 June 2014).

Saša Nabergoj je umetnostna zgodovinarka, kuratorka, publicistka in pedagoginja, ki izvorno deluje v okviru Zavoda SCCA-Ljubljana, kjer od leta 1998 vodi izobraževalno platformo Svet umetnosti. Ta je v sedemnajstih letih skozi delavnice, predavanja in celoletne tečaje za kustose in pisce vzgojila znaten delež aktivnih kulturnih delavcev v Sloveniji in okolici. Obenem se redno udejstvuje kot neodvisna kuratorica, predavateljica in piska znotraj širokega področja sodobne umetnosti. Povabljena je bila, da prevzame mesto umetniške direktorice 3. trienala sodobne umetnosti v turškem mestu Izmir. Pri snovanju in izvajanju programa za PORTIZMIR3 se je posluževala izrazito neklasičnih in interdisciplinarnih principov, ki presegajo (zgolj) enosmerno in pasivno predstavljanje umetniških del. Pogovor se je odvijal nedolgo po njenem povratku iz Izmirja, kjer je trienale (oziroma njegov predstavitveni del) trajalo polne tri mesece, od konca marca do konca junija 2014.


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 12

In 2012 you were invited as a chief curator of the third edition of PORTIZMIR3 triennial in Turkey. What is the background behind this collaboration? Have you been connected to the Turkish scene before? Working with the SCCA-Ljubljana Association, I was initially introduced to the town of Izmir in the framework of a European program, which was concerned with the research and analysis of art residencies. It was initiated by the Transartists Organization that gathered together around twenty cultural managers. One of the partners was K2 – Center for Contemporary Art from Izmir, which turned out to be a fascinating location with a vigorous and lively scene. We came in contact with Ayşegul Kurtel, one of the founders and today’s leader of K2, and immediately started considering collaboration. In 2011 we set up a dynamic week-long program introducing Slovenian and art- and curatorship practices, including workshops held by Neven Korda and Borut Savski, with the participation of local artists as well. This was our way of demonstrating various models of collaboration between individuals, as well as the interdisciplinary intertwinement of theoretical, practical, artistic and educational formats. Later on, these practices were also contextualized through the lectures presented by Barbara Borčić, Dušan Dovč and myself, with a presentation of the Slovenian specifics and modi operandi. You see, Izmir is a huge town, the third largest in Turkey, but its art system is rather unsatisfactory. I have already come across the fact that the Izmir scene is, compared to the center (Istanbul), at a very early stage of development. Still, we are talking about a city of millions. Izmir is a town of four million people, with around ten universities and their respective art faculties. In general, the issue of the entire Turkish art scene is a highly complex one. The Istanbul setting today appears rich and highly sophisticated, quite different than it did a decade ago. The long-running process of developing an internationally acclaimed scene began towards the end of the 1980’s with the Istanbul biennial, which led to the fact that Istanbul now has (or at least, so it appears) a fully developed art system. But this is all – in my opinion – just the first impression. There is a great structural shortfall in the background, since the Turkish art system depends (almost) entirely on private capital, i. e. the affluent individuals and families. This is why, for example in Izmir, there are hardly any autonomous or experimental contemporary art spaces; the museums and galleries are pri-

vately owned and as a result the scene cannot develop in a truly emancipatory sense. In Istanbul, for example, virtually all large museums and centers of contemporary art were founded by rich families, who possess collections of exceptional value. As a matter of fact, the Turkish world of art is a phenomenon that deserves individual treatment, because the existent notoriety of a successful Turkish art scene is based on entirely misguided assumptions, especially as seen from our own perspective. So this is a system that is closer to the American than the European model; a system where private foundations and individual philanthropists operate, while there is virtually no public financing. But it seems that the Turkish financial bubble is about to burst. I think there are many parallels to be drawn between Turkey and what’s been happening in Slovenia and Europe, including the real-estate bubble. Despite the fact that Turkey may appear very economically stable at the moment, it is not immune to the processes that have occurred in the USA and Europe. The clues to that are already very much visible. But throughout this entire time, the four-million Izmir has a single continuously operating venue actively involved in the field of contemporary art. It is the already mentioned K2, which set out as an artist-run organization, and today it is led by Ayşegul Kurtel. A gallery with an international exhibition program operates within the center, as well as residency program spaces, and the organization of the PORTIZMIR triennial of contemporary art since 2007. There are hardly any other spaces in the city, which would qualify as more than just temporary “artist-run” spaces. However, over the past two years, perhaps also due to the activities related to the triennial, new initiatives have begun to emerge, which plan their programs modestly, but with a long-term perspective. You see, even the PORTIZMIR3 triennial was created on a longterm basis. Personally, I have invested almost three years of field work into it, long before the finalized public manifestations (by this I am referring also to the working visits to Izmir before the official invitation to the triennial). In the early stages the process was mostly happening behind (half ) closed doors, through discussions with the local scene actors, countless visits to studios, academies, laboratories, and also panels and workshops. Perhaps all of this contributed to the fact that things have started to change, and on the other hand the scene itself has also matured. But even the recent initiatives are supported exclusively by private capital, which means that the ac-

Talk with curator and artists / Vodstvo s kuratorko in umetniki. 21. 5. 2014. Photo / foto: Ali Cem Dogan

cess to them is limited only to those protagonists who can afford it. The latest project space, for example, which is located in the vicinity of K2, is funded by self-imposed contributions of three artists that operate there. Still, Turkey does regularly support certain cultural-artistic initiatives that happen in the international space, on territories that have a strategic importance for the state. The second Konjic biennial (Bosnia-Herzegovina) was largely supported by the Turkish Cultural Center. But apparently public funds are not available on home turf. This is a most efficient means of promotion. Turkey (like Slovenia) has, for example, recently leased a space in Arsenal, Venice. It is a spacious and extraordinary location, and the largest object at the current presentation of the Architectural Biennial is a metal plaque with an inscription of tens of donors’ names. Rather suggestive. A lot of people choose to invest in art mostly because of the associated prestige. Fortunately, the rich men of Turkey are cultivated enough (a couple of years ago Vito Rožej commented that it will take a few generations for the Slovenian nouveaux riches to become cultivated enough to even notice contemporary art), which means that they invest, set up foundations, hire curators, i. e. establish professional structures, yet on the other hand they are often still involved with the program policies of these structures. This highlights the issue of privatizing the historization of art. A good example is, for instance, the largest Izmir museum Arkas Art Center, which occasionally exhibits a phenomenal collection owned by the richest local businessman, shipwright Lucien Arkas, a collection that focuses on 19th century art related to Izmir. His collections are priceless and his curator sets up truly monumental exhibitions. Last year they organized an exhibition entitled 19th Century Izmir through the Eyes of a Foreigner, which had an enormous budget. The exhibition was based on years of research, numerous study travels, and resulted in an extraordinary display of works belonging to Arkas’ collection, under the curatorship of Jean-Luc Maeso, with additional works borrowed from some of the leading museums in the world (from Louvre to the National Gallery in London). But all of this is, again, private initiative. Problems arose a few years ago, when one of the wealthy families was facing financial issues, and decided to sell a part of their collection at an auction, but the collection unfortunately contained some of the key works of Turkish modernists. And yet this danger is threatening every one of the collections that are man-


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aged exclusively under the will and parameters of their owners. But I think that cultural heritage, like water, or air, should not be situated in the hands of private owners. So these are not systemic solutions, but an excess, or benevolence of an individual. There is a kind of a systemization to this process, and I would hardly call it an excess. After all, the entire American art system was created out of such an excess. What else would you call Katherine Sophie Dreier? She was a rich, educated woman, close to a number of artists, with whom she formed first the Society of Independent Artists at the beginning of the 20th century, and later also the Société Anonyme. It was the first ever permanent collection of modern art; in fact, it was the first real museum of modern art. I believe it is actually us that are an excess in this place where workers and farmers, i. e. the people that have to work physically to survive, have even considered studying art or art history. Would you say, therefore, that there is segregation present in Turkey, where only the elite can afford to engage in the world of art? In some ways it is present, but due to private capital a powerful art market has also developed. I was surprised to hear from a number of Turkish artists participating in the triennial, that their works are also (often) sold well. Of course, this isn’t entirely innocent, because the market, as the only possible source of finance for the majority of artists, dictates certain specific conditions, which affect the production of art all the way up to the faculties. Namely, the artworks intended for sale are mostly already defined by their proper esthetics and objectness. At the same time I was positively surprised to find out what kind of works the artists manage to sell. Alpin Bagcik, an exceptionally interesting artist, who uses painting and manipulated images for a very precise conceptual criticism of the disfigured media reality, sold virtually his entire body of work to private collections. This means that even the sensibility of (some of ) the collectors, but above all the understanding of modern art as more than just a pleasant embellishment of reality and living spaces, is at a relatively high level. Notwithstanding, I still feel that there should be a systematic form of support from the state, which would enable an even greater extent of freedom for the artists. Just like I miss a stronger initiative on behalf of private collectors in Slovenia, I miss a greater public share in these matters in Turkey. In Turkey and in Izmir, there are also numerous private and public universities. The private ones are, of course, very expensive, but they provide everything to the user: state-of-the-art equipment and an outstanding quality of teaching personnel. On the other hand public universities are similar to the kindred institutions in Europe or Slovenia. There is a huge salary gap between public and private university professors, yet a lot of experts still choose to work in public universities, because this gives them a chance to work with a totally different population. Private educational institutions, namely, offer only a very limited number of scholarships for the talented, while the other places are left to those who can afford them. In short, the number of art students in Izmir is huge, and they are the driving force behind the lively scene. As already mentioned, the main problem is the lack of spaces that usually generate such a scene. Is that a consequence of too expensive rents? It is indeed surprisingly costly to rent anything in Izmir, especially considering their relatively low average salaries. Mass demonstrations were happening in Turkey in 2013. To what extent did artists participate in the protest movement? I could draw a parallel to the recent protests in Slovenia, which shared the same motive: an attack against the manipulative and corrupt politics. The art scene, particularly the one in Izmir, participated actively in the protests against president Erdogan and his politics. It is a politics of returning to the past. As Boris Buden wrote in one of his columns a while ago, such politics is not necessarily ideologically based, but may only seek to fill out the empty space that used to be occupied by ideologies. Today they are replaced by a neoliberal paradigm. Erdogan has no interest in driving Turkey back to the times before Atatürk, but is mostly working in favor of corrupted modern-day manipulators, who understand the country as their own fief. Returning to Islam is therefore not a serious threat, but just a means of attracting supporters and clouding the true, distinctly egoistic interests of the ruling elites. Izmir plays a particular role in

Saša Nabergoj in-between meetings at library of K2 Contemporary Art Association, May 2013 / Saša Nabergoj med sestanki v knjižnici K2 Centra za sodobno umetnost. May / maj 2013. Photo archive / Foto arhiv: Archive K2


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Archive Visualized / Vizualiziran arhiv: Studio as School (Šola v ateljeju), Slow Design (Počasno oblikovanje), City Reconstructed: The Memory of İnciraltı (Rekonstruirano mesto: spomin četrti Inciralte) and/in City Reconstructed: Temporary Intervention (Rekonstruirano mesto: začasna intervencija v četrti Kemeralti), Yaban Bostan (Wild Garden/Divji vrt), Deep Blue (Globoka modrina). 21. 3.–22. 6. 2014. Photo / foto: Uğur Uygun, Uğur Yanık, Emre Çakır

this story, since it was always, also because of its port, a very cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic city. It is because of this that it was considered a markedly secular town in recent history, and other Turkish towns often like to refer to it as the “infidel”, the city of heretics. Because of this the protests in Izmir were exceptionally fierce, and, like in Istanbul and Ankara, also very brutally suppressed by the organs of repression. There is practically not a soul in Izmir that would support Erdogan, so there were no inner conflicts here, though his supporters have been “imported” on occasion. The young art scene of Izmir approached the demonstrations in a creative way. Similar to what was going on Slovenia, Erdogan too was verbally abusive towards the protesters; he would call them “çapulcu”, roughly translated as “looters”, which became a useful material for numerous playful artistic projects. To coordinate their actions they employed new technologies and social networks in a very innovative, but mostly very effective way. I was present at the protests on numerous occasions and I have to admit I was fascinated by their guerilla tactics. Public actions that took place in certain parts of the city suddenly dropped out of sight and sprung up on a different location. As we were opening the triennial this year in March, the notorious order for blocking Twitter was released, and a couple of hours later at the printer’s, where we were collecting the final materials for the exhibition, we were already having cake to mock this decision. At the same time, other channels of communication were set up instantly. The revolution was accompanied by a great deal of humor, though the entire situation is sad at best. The Turkish police are far too violent and too many people have died. In short, it was somehow a protest of the secular civil society. No, by no means only of the secular part of society. The widest civil society was joined in these protests. The goal of the protests was, like I said, putting a stop to the corrupt and manipulative politics, that uses without hesitation any kind of ideological assumption, as long as it works out to their advantage. The division to Islamists and atheists is entirely artificial. Erdogan is well experienced in this respect. As mayor of Istanbul in the 1980’s, he passed a decree overnight, which prohibited drinking alcohol on the streets. The next day, apparently, most of the people in the town (including the covered-up women) protested by walking the streets with a bottle of beer in their hands (whether they consumed alcohol in their daily lives or not). It was complete civil disobedience. In general, however, the story of civil society in Turkey is a rather tragic one, because it was always cruelly suppressed by the army. After the military coup in the 1980’s massive student demonstrations were happening in Izmir (it was what we dealt with on one of our working groups during the triennial; we analyzed the neuralgic point in the city, where the coup took place) and after they were suppressed, the leaders of the student movement were simply hanged. (Even) back then, things were resolved in a military fashion. The PORTIZMIR3 triennial sums up the current, local and global issues of our time – ecology, urbanism, structural changes. Why did you decide on such a subject? Most of all, I didn’t decide on a subject. First, I had to get to know the city thoroughly, only after that I real-

ized what I can do. I only knew that I wasn’t interested in creating a traditional triennial event. I understand the potential behind such events, which can shed some light on the marginalized practices with the help of a few distinguished international names, and place cities on the global art map. I think it’s a good strategy, but it wouldn’t make much sense doing it in Izmir. Instead, I started visiting Izmir as often as possible, and I had a fantastic team of co-workers there. Ayşegul Kurtel, director of K2, has an extensive network of both, culture-related and economic-political structures in the city (and wider). I had detailed discussions with the artists, architects, cultural workers, theorists and other actors on the local scene. I was not only interested in the fine arts’ scene in Izmir; I took a much broader approach to the project. But even PORTIZMIR in itself was initially conceived in a broader sense. The triennial was designed to originate from the city itself, something that the organizers have achieved more or less successfully in the past. After lengthy debates I managed to crystallize the subjects mentioned above: ecology, untamed urbanism, the loss of historical memory and setting up parallel systems of production and consumption. The latter is easily connected also to art production. The art in Izmir is, partly because of the market-related mindset, very objectoriented, which is why there is always a lot of talk about the finalized, completed work, but not so much about the process itself. Hence I decided to promote a parallel course of events, which pushed the collaboration between different creators into the forefront. It may be nothing new, but it’s interesting (and sad) to see how such practices appear over and over again, but are never preserved as the dominant practice within the world of art. I have set up five distinctly interdisciplinary Working groups, which started operating across the Izmir terrain one year before the opening of the main triennial exhibition. I thus defined the theme of water, which is critically connected to the Izmir Bay, as related to the issue of economy and even more to the issue of understanding the environment. On the basis of numerous debates, I set up an interdisciplinary group called Deep Blue, which connected scientists from natural and social sciences. Their methodology is somewhat different, so it was hard to persuade them to start from an equal position – so that, to exaggerate a bit, the artists won’t need the scientists just to make some calculations for them, and that the scientists won’t need the artists just to provide visuals for them. In the end I put together a team of oceanographers, biologists, photographers, artists, led and coordinated by Robertina Šebjanič. In the course of a long-term process they managed to create something together, even though they originate in totally different contexts. Sparks flew. Robertina Šebjanič, for example, is continuing her work with the chief biologist, who had no particular affinity for art before. All working groups had their own, different dynamics of intensive activity, and most of them had one year of time available. Apart from the already mentioned Deep Blue, there was also the Studio as School group, which provided a kind of alternative form of education to a group of students from one of the local public universities. In the first stage, professor Nezaket Tekin and myself (I was, of course, contributing as a guest mentor; I met with stu-

dents during my visits to Izmir every two months, and communicated with them through e-mails) were preparing regular weekly meetings, some sort of workshops of “detailed reading” of the key texts on contemporary art (e. g. Inside the White Cube by Brian O’Doherty), and then the students prepared their individual exhibitions on a spectacular location, an old Greek house, which otherwise serves as the K2 residency center. Thus, the process included group meetings, where students discussed and developed their individual exhibition projects, for which they were given three rooms on the first floor. We were in fact trying to set up a platform that would employ various ways of encouraging them to reflect on the contexts that define and influence the creation and reading of an artwork, i. e. the key postulates of contemporary art. In particular because they were, of course, forced to consider the context, in other words, the specific location with its specific history and unconventional rooms, which were available for them to exhibit their works. After the initial six months of regular weekly planning, discussing, reading and developing ideas, the students produced 12 three-week exhibitions at the K2 residency space. What is especially important is that this year-long collaboration formed a group out of individuals, a group where everybody is mutually supportive of each other and where they help each other with the realization of their ideas. I hope that this new temporary exhibition venue, which they set up, will continue to operate. A working group called Slow Design joined together the Slovenian art and design group OLOOP and two local Izmir theorists and designers. They re-questioned the relations between slow design and the body, memory and clothes. OLOOP is mostly concerned with the revitalization of old, disappearing skills, and also organizes community creative actions. Thus, a fruitful collaboration emerged in the form of discussions, exchanges, even public workshops and lectures, both in Izmir and Slovenia, which led to an actual exchange of knowledge (OLOOP came to visit Izmir, and the two Turkish designers came to Slovenia). The remaining two working groups were concerned with the issues of untamed urbanization and the loss of historical memory (City Reconstructed) and urban agriculture (Yaban Bostan; Wild Garden). But how is it possible to present such a long-term process to people who have not been a part of it? In the web-based archive of the Deep Blue working group we see photographs of people working in laboratories and walking on the beach. But at the end of the project they formed some conclusions – how did they present these to the wider public? In the end, the participants produced a jigsaw of the various segments of the entire process. Their “final work” was made up of a series of photographs, which were taken during the walks you mentioned, and a video projection of the mapping of the bay based on underwater photographs and recordings of jellyfish. But the important thing is that the participants functioned so well together, and fascinated each other. In May, we also organized a symposium, as an attempt to contextualize such practices in this city, where new media art is virtually non-existent, which is why our main purpose was to demonstrate to the public how such projects are to be interpreted. It was why we chose to invite Annick Bureaud, a leading


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French theorist and curator in the field of new media art, who explained the basic principles of new media art and spoke about how divisions to genres and branches should be dismissed, and art practices should be conceived in a more connecting and interdisciplinary fashion. The participants of the symposium also shared their own experiences. You see, they all approached the project from a different angle. And it was overall the greatest challenge: to bring together people with similar affinities, but slightly different strategies of functioning. It was precisely because of these differences in the timelines and formats in the activities of the working groups, that I set up a separate exhibition called Archive Visualized, next to the closing exhibition of the triennial, and it presented all five works (of the working groups) in a single space. I wanted to demonstrate the complexity of the different strategies and formats that the participants used. Both the audio and the video documentation were presented; the finalized and non-finalized products; books, artworks, and also the working process, which was to present the research and collaboration of each group. Each group, after it was formed, established their

own modus operandi in terms of the research- and presentational phase, according to their own affinities. All of them, after the available time for research and collaboration, also organized public events according to their respective relevant issues: workshops, performances, audio-visual events. Set up on the fourth floor of the former tobacco storage (the other three occupied by the closing exhibition of the triennial), Archive Visualized thus became an exhibition for three months; a cabinet of wonders, but also an inspiring place for numerous artists and students who came there to visit lectures, projections, or simply to explore, see, listen and browse. Apart from the said long-term projects, or working groups, there was also, as you have mentioned a central exhibition. Was that a required condition or your own idea? Of course, it was a condition for participating in the triennial; in fact, upon the invitation the organizers mentioned nothing but the exhibition. Personally, I tend to generally understand exhibition projects in a much broader sense,

partly due to my work in the field of education; besides, I thought that setting up a “spectacular” exhibition for a quarter of a year in a city that really needs a good example in terms of continuous activity, much more than just occasional events, was problematic. On the other hand, the exhibition was, because of the specific local situation (also) a vital and necessary part of the project. If the triennial was happening in Ljubljana, it might not have been necessary. But in Izmir, art is still predominantly regarded as an escape from everyday life, and understood as an object, not as a process. If I would only talk about the process and the working groups, the entire triennial would be too hermetical for the local scene, which is why I tried to use the exhibition as a context for the interpretation of the processes of these groups. It was all closely intertwined. As a matter of fact, the exhibition was just a different way of presenting the contents behind the working groups. I was in fact trying (like with the Studio as School group) to create different formats for the interpretation of contemporary art, and to open up different entrances for the expert and layman audiences.

Archive Visualized / Vizualiziran arhiv: Yaban Bastan, Deep Blue / Globoka modrina. 21. 3.–22. 6. 2014. Photo / foto: Uğur Uygun, Uğur Yanık, Emre Çakır


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Even with the exhibition itself, I was trying to reverse the logic of large-scale exhibitions, where as a rule the whole conceals the individual contribution. That is why I chose fewer artists, and each one with at least two or three works. I situated the works together, enabling the visitor to have a somewhat more complex insight into the participating author’s body of work, even in such a large exhibition on a few thousand square meters, with 74 artworks exhibited. Most of the works were, partly due to the specific Izmir conditions (e. g. the state of the old storage, which had been abandoned for ten years), prepared and produced specifically for Izmir. Not just because of financial reasons; I am certain that the location as such (both the physical exhibition space and the cultural space in a broader sense) requires a specific selection of works. I thus thought it was sensible to invite Ulay with his work There is a Criminal Touch to Art from 1976, as part of which he stole a painting by Carl Spitzweg from the Neue National Galerie in Berlin and brought it to the apartment of some Turkish migrant workers. Today, nearly forty years later, I think his activist engagement with the issue of water as a common, public commodity, is fundamental. For decades, Ulay has been using his (mainly) activist practice and great sensitivity in time and space to focus on current and urgent topics. In Izmir, among other things, he organized an Orwellian action, in which he and a group of young Izmir artists covered the city with posters falsely announcing a notice from the water company, saying that every household will receive 50 % less water. He used this intervention to highlight the importance of water, a particularly topical issue in Turkey, because the tap water from the public water distribution system is generally not drinkable. His position of a constructive anarchist was a great inspiration to the Izmir scene, which is itself already very politically and socially committed. The lecture he delivered at the opening was visited massively, and the artist was addressed with numerous questions, mostly on behalf of the young activist art scene. Local and international artists have participated in the triennial, many from Slovenia or its direct surroundings. Apart from the already mentioned ones (Robertina Šebjanič, OLOOP, Ulay) there were also Damijan Kracina, Tomaž Furlan and Tomislav Brajnović. In what way did these authors contribute to the event? I wanted to demonstrate variety. I don’t believe art should necessarily always be committed or activist. Tomaž Furlan, for example, presented his video series Wear using his own, custom made players. I think the manner in which he operates is crucial. Furlan creates performances, which are only designed for the camera, yet at the same time he addresses issues of recycling. The machines he uses for his actions are always made up from parts of the machines from his former action. All that remains is another in the series of videos called Wear, and its elements become transformed into the elements of the next one. Damijan Kracina presented, among other things, a part of his opus dealing with extinct, imaginary and hybrid animals. I managed to persuade him to present The Tasmanian Tiger, which premiered at the Škuc Gallery in 1997, which was a great success, as he is not usually interested in displaying any of his older works. Apart from that he also set up, especially for Izmir, a sort of a museum classification; an analysis of that part of his opus that deals with extinct animals. He thus combed through the entire archive of his works, where he thematized extinct or non-existent animal species, and selected 30 animal photographs from his former projects, which we then used to cover a huge wall in a museum-like fashion. In this way, the artist was able to somehow “musealize” and partly systemize his past practice. Tomislav Brajnović repeated his cultural/gastronomic performance entitled Supper with the Artist, which he regularly performs in various spaces and contexts. The project was conceived in 2010 and was based on the assumption that collectors usually buy artworks in galleries, that is, outside their original context of creation, and consequently often fail to understand them entirely. He envisioned a gallerist who visits him at his studio, where, accompanied by a newly set up installation of the artist’s works, they would have a fine supper (Brajnović fishes for squid himself; calamari have become the traditional main course at these events) and discuss art over a bottle of fine wine. The collector, profiting from an insight into the context, goes home with a work of his choice. There was no buyer yet, but the Supper itself has developed into a gastronomic performative installation, always customized according to each individual space where it happens. The artist is also the stage designer, director,

chef and leading actor, as every occasion requires a certain selection and organization of the objects, but also of the food, drink and last but not least, the guests. In Izmir, Brajnović organized a supper for all the participating artists of the triennial at the home of our hostess, Ayşegul Kurtel, while the exhibition showcased a photograph taken on this occasion. The triennial was obviously successful in connecting different geographical and cultural spaces, especially the Slovenian and Izmir scenes. Can we expect to see this collaboration continue? Future collaborations are already in sight. It is one of the goals and purposes of such connections. I am glad that I succeeded in bringing together the different actors, and to see that nearly all of the working groups are planning to continue with their work. In November 2014, the OLOOP group prepared an exhibition in Ljubljana. They presented the works created during the triennial, and accompany them with a discussion and workshop led by their Izmir colleagues. The Deep Blue project is also carrying on with its work. A presentation of the process and good practice examples is shortly to be published in the Leonardo magazine (MIT Press), which is one of the central publications in the field of theory and practice of new media arts. I have also established connections with numerous individuals, but also between other actors from the Slovenian art scene and Turkey, for example between the University of Nova Gorica and its School of Arts, and the kindred educational institutions in Izmir. As part of their work placement, one of the leaders of the newly established and very promising exhibition venue Maquis Projects is coming to Ljubljana’s City Art Gallery, and the list goes on and on. The Izmir scene was also presented on several events in Ljubljana and Gorica. After an extensive presentation of Slovenian good practices in Izmir, it is now time for the reverse process to happen as well.

SI Leta 2012 si bila povabljena, da prevzameš umetniško vodenje trienala PORTIZMIR3 v Turčiji. Kako je prišlo do tega sodelovanja? Si bila že prej povezana s turško sceno? V okviru Zavoda SCCA-Ljubljana sem se z mestom Izmir prvič srečala v okviru evropskega programa, ki se je ukvarjal z raziskavo in analizo umetniških rezidenc. Iniciirala ga je organizacija Transartists, ki je zbrala okoli dvajset kulturnih menedžerjev. Eden od partnerjev je bila tudi organizacija K2, Center za sodobno umetnost iz Izmirja, ki se je izkazal za zelo zanimivo prizorišče z izjemno živahno sceno. Vzpostavili smo stik z Ayşegul Kurtel, pred desetimi leti eno od ustanoviteljic in danes vodjo K2, in takoj začeli razmišljati o sodelovanju. Leta 2011 smo pripravili dinamičen enotedenski program seznanjanja z umetniškimi in kuratorskimi praksami iz slovenskega prostora, ki je vključeval delavnico Nevena Korde in Boruta Savskega, pri čemer pa so sodelovali tudi lokalni umetniki. Na ta način smo pokazali različne modele sodelovanja posameznikov in interdisciplinarni preplet teoretskih, praktičnih, umetniških in izobraževalnih formatov. Kasneje so bile te prakse kontekstualizirane tudi skozi predavanja, ki smo jih vodili Barbara Borčić, Dušan Dovč in jaz, kjer so bile predstavljene specifike slovenske scene in načini delovanja. Izmir je namreč zelo veliko mesto, tretje največje v Turčiji, kjer pa je umetnostni sistem zelo pomanjkljiv. To, da je scena v Izmirju v primerjavi s centrom (Istanbulom) zelo v povojih, sem že zasledil. Pa vendarle, tu govorimo o milijonskem mestu. Izmir je mesto s štirimi milijoni ljudi, kjer deluje približno deset univerz s pripadajočimi umetniškimi fakultetami. Sicer je vprašanje umetnostne scene v Turčiji nadvse kompleksno. Istanbulsko prizorišče je danes videti izjemno razvito in bogato, povsem drugače kot pred desetletjem. Dolgotrajen proces razvoja mednarodno uveljavljene scene se je začel konec 80. let z istanbulskim bienalom, ki je pripeljal do tega, da ima Istanbul (vsaj navidezno) popolnoma razvit umetnostni sistem. Vendar je to – po mojem mnenju – zgolj navidezno. V ozadju tiči tudi veliki strukturni manko, saj je turški umetnostni sistem (skoraj) popolnoma odvisen od zasebnega kapitala, to je od bogatih posameznikov in družin. Zaradi tega denimo v Izmirju skorajda ni neodvisnih in eksperimentalnih prostorov za sodobno umetnost, ampak muzeji in galerije v zasebni lasti, zaradi česar se scena ne more povsem emancipatorno razvijati. V Istanbulu so na primer skorajda vsi veliki muzeji in centri sodobne umetnosti ustanovljeni s strani premožnih družin z izjemnimi

zbirkami. Turški svet umetnosti je pravzaprav fenomen, ki bi ga bilo treba posebej obdelati, saj je trenutna razvpitost uspešne turške umetniške scene utemeljena na povsem napačnih predpostavkah, še zlasti če jo gledamo iz naše perspektive. To je torej sistem, ki je bližje ameriškemu kot evropskemu modelu, sistem, kjer delujejo zasebne fundacije in posamezni filantropi, medtem ko javnega financiranja skorajda ni. Ampak zdi se, da tudi turški finančni balon počasi poka. Mislim, da bi lahko potegnili številne vzporednice med Turčijo in tem, kar se dogaja v Sloveniji in v Evropi, vključno z nepremičninskim balonom. Četudi je morda Turčija trenutno videti ekonomsko zelo stabilna, pa ni imuna na procese, ki so se zgodili v ZDA in v Evropi. Indici tega so že dobro vidni. A v štiri milijonskem Izmirju ves ta čas kontinuirano obratuje eno samo prizorišče, ki se aktivno ukvarja s sodobno umetnostjo. To je omenjeni K2, ki je začel delovati kot »artist-run« organizacija, danes pa ga vodi Ayşegul Kurtel. V sklopu centra deluje galerija z mednarodnim razstavnim programom, K2 pa ima tudi


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Ulay: Artist Talk / Pogovor z umetnikom. 23. 3. 2014. Photo / foto: Barış B. Atal

prostore za rezidenčne programe, od leta 2007 pa pripravlja tudi PORTIZMIR, trienale sodobne umetnosti. Drugih prostorov, ki bi bili več kot začasni »artist-run«, v mestu skorajda ni. So se pa v preteklih dveh letih začele, morda tudi zaradi dogajanja okoli trienala, odpirati nove iniciative, ki načrtujejo svoj program skromno, a dolgoročno. Tudi trienale PORTIZMIR3 je namreč nastajal dolgoročno. Vanj sem investirala skoraj tri leta terenskega dela, torej že veliko pred zaključnimi javnimi manifestacijami (sem štejem tudi delovne obiske Izmirja pred vabilom k delu na trienalu). Proces se je v prvi fazi večinoma odvijal za (pol) zaprtimi vrati, s pogovori z akterji lokalne scene, s številnimi obiski ateljejev, akademij, laboratorijev, pa tudi posveti in delavnicami. Morda je tudi to pripomoglo k temu, da so se stvari začele spreminjati, na drugi strani pa je tudi sama scena postala zrelejša. A tudi nove iniciative so podprte izključno z zasebnim kapitalom, kar pomeni, da je dostop do le-teh omejen na tiste protagoniste, ki si to lahko privoščijo. Najnovejši projektni prostor, ki je zrasel v bližini K2, recimo temelji na samoprispevkih treh umetnikov, ki tam delujejo.

Pa vendar Turčija določene kulturno-umetniške iniciative, ki se dogajajo v mednarodnem prostoru, na ozemljih, ki so za državo strateško pomembni, redno podpira. Drugi bienale v Konjicu (BiH) je bil v dobršni meri podprt s strani Turškega kulturnega centra. A javnih sredstev na domačem terenu očitno ni na voljo. To je nadvse učinkovita promocija. Turčija (podobno kot tudi Slovenija) je recimo nedavno zakupila prostor v Arsenalu v Benetkah. Ta prostor je velik in izjemen, največji objekt na predstavitvi v okviru Arhitekturnega bienala pa je denimo kovinska plošča, na kateri je izpisanih nekaj deset imen donatorjev. Precej povedno. Številni posamezniki investirajo v umetnost predvsem iz prestiža. Na srečo so tamkajšnji bogataši že dovolj kultivirani (če uporabim besede Vita Rožeja, ki je pred leti dejal, da bodo naši novopečeni bogataši šele čez nekaj generacij dovolj kultivirani, da bodo sploh opazili sodobno umetnost), kar pomeni, da investirajo, ustanavljajo fundacije, najemajo kustose, torej vzpostavljajo profesionalne strukture, na drugi strani pa so pogosto še vedno vpleteni v programske politike teh struktur. Tu se pojavi

problem privatizacije zgodovinjenja umetnosti. Dober primer je denimo največji izmirski muzej Arkas Art Center, ki občasno predstavlja fenomenalno zbirko najbogatejšega lokalnega poslovneža, ladjarja Luciena Arkasa, osredotočeno na umetnost 19. stoletja, ki je povezana z Izmirjem. Njegove zbirke so neprecenljive in njegov kustos pripravlja monumentalne razstave. Lani so pripravili razstavo Izmir v 19. stoletju skozi pogled tujcev, ki je imela ogromen proračun. Razstava je temeljila na večletni raziskavi, številnih študijskih potovanjih in na koncu je kustos Jean-Luc Maeso pripravil izjemno postavitev del iz Arkasove zbirke, ki jo je dopolnil z deli, izposojenimi v vodilnih svetovnih muzejih (od Louvra do National Gallery v Londonu). A vse to je spet zasebna iniciativa. Težava se je pokazala pred nekaj leti, ko je ena izmed premožnih družin zapadla v finančne težave ter je del svoje zbirke, ki pa med drugim premore tudi ključna dela turških modernistov, prodala na dražbi. Ta nevarnost pa grozi sleherni zbirki, ki deluje izključno po volji in parametrih svojih lastnikov. Po mojem mnenju pa kulturna dediščina, podobno kot voda in zrak, ne bi smela biti v zasebnih rokah.


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Torej ne gre za sistemske rešitve, ampak za eksces oziroma dobro voljo posameznika. To je nekako sistematizirano in težko bi to imenovali eksces. Ne nazadnje je iz takšnega ekscesa nastal celotni ameriški umetnostni sistem. Kaj pa je bila Katherine Sophie Dreier? Bila je izobražena bogatašinja, ki je bila blizu številnim umetnikom, s katerimi je v začetku 20. stoletja ustanovila najprej Society of Independent Artists, potem pa še Société Anonyme. To je bila prva stalna zbirka moderne umetnosti, pravzaprav prvi muzej moderne umetnosti. Menim, da smo eksces pravzaprav mi v tem prostoru, kjer so lahko delavci in kmetje oziroma ljudje, ki morajo delati za preživetje, sploh pomislili na to, da lahko študirajo umetnost ali umetnostno zgodovino. A je potemtakem v Turčiji prisotna segregacija, kjer si lahko zgolj elita privošči delovanje v svetu umetnosti? Na nek način je to prisotno, a se je zaradi zasebnega kapitala razvil tudi močan umetniški trg. Bila sem presenečena, ko so mi številni na trienalu sodelujoči turški umetniki povedali, da se njihova dela tudi (pogosto) dobro prodajajo. To seveda ni povsem nedolžno, saj trg, edini možni vir financ za večino umetnikov, narekuje specifične pogoje, ki vplivajo na produkcijo umetnosti vse tja do fakultet. Umetniška dela, ki so namenjena prodaji, so namreč večinoma že sama po sebi definirana s svojo estetiko in objektnostjo. Obenem pa sem bila pozitivno presenečena, ko sem ugotovila, kakšna dela uspevajo umetniki prodati. Alpin Bagcik, izredno zanimiv umetnik, ki uporablja slikarski medij in manipulirane podobe za zelo precizno konceptualno kritiko popačenosti medijske realnosti, je praktično celoten opus prodal v zasebne zbirke. To pomeni, da je tudi senzibilnost, predvsem pa razumevanje sodobne umetnosti ne kot zgolj lepe popestritve realnosti in bivalnih prostorov (nekaterih) zbiralcev na dokaj visokem nivoju. Ne glede na to pa menim, da tu manjka sistemska državna podpora, ki bi umetnikom omogočala še večjo mero svobode. Tako kot v Sloveniji pogrešam večjo iniciativo zasebnikov, v Turčiji pogrešam večji javni delež. Prav tako je v Turčiji in v Izmirju veliko število zasebnih in javnih univerz. Privatne univerze so seveda zelo drage, a omogočajo vse: imajo izjemno opremo in odličen profesorski kader. Na drugi strani so javne univerze podobne sorodnim ustanovam v Evropi ali v Sloveniji. Plače profesorjev na zasebnih univerzah so neprimerljivo višje, kljub temu pa si določeni strokovnjaki še vedno želijo delati na javnih univerzah, saj jim to omogoča delo s povsem drugo populacijo. Na zasebnih izobraževalnih ustanovah namreč obstaja zelo omejeno število štipendij za nadarjene, ostala mesta pa so namenjena tistim, ki si to lahko privoščijo. Skratka, študentov umetnosti je v Izmirju ogromno in prav oni so gonilo živahne scene. Težavo pa kot rečeno povzroča predvsem pomanjkanje prostorov, ki običajno generirajo sceno. A je to posledica visokih najemnin? Presenetljivo drago je najemati kar koli v Izmirju, še zlasti v razmerju z njihovimi dokaj nizkimi povprečnimi plačami. V Turčiji so se v 2013 odvijali množični protesti. V kolikšni meri so bili v uporniškem gibanju udeleženi tudi umetniki? Tukaj bi lahko potegnila paralelo s protesti v Sloveniji, ki so imeli identičen motiv: napad na manipulativno in koruptivno politiko. Umetniška scena, še zlasti v Izmirju, je bila aktivno udeležena v protestih proti predsedniku Erdoganu in njegovi politiki. To je politika vračanja v preteklost. Kot je pred časom v svoji kolumni pisal Boris Buden pa ta ni nujno ideološko pogojena, ampak si prizadeva le za zapolnitev praznega mesta, na katerem so prej stale ideologije. Danes jih nadomešča neoliberalna paradigma. Erdogan nima interesa, da popelje Turčijo v čas pred Atatürkom, pač pa predvsem podpira sodobne manipulante, ki so koruptivni in razumejo državo kot lasten fevd. Vračanje v islam torej ni resna grožnja, ampak le sredstvo za pritegnitev podpornikov in zamegljevanje resničnih izrazito egoističnih interesov vladajočih elit. Izmir ima v tej zgodbi prav posebno vlogo, saj je bilo vselej, tudi zaradi svojega pristanišča, zelo svetovljansko in multietnično mesto. Zaradi tega je v novejši zgodovini vedno veljal za izrazito sekularno mesto, tako da ga drugod po Turčiji radi imenujejo »infidel«, neverno mesto. Protesti v Izmirju so bili zaradi tega izrazito siloviti in podobno kot v Istanbulu in Ankari tudi zelo brutalno zatrti s strani represivnih organov. V Izmirju praktično ni človeka, ki bi podpiral Erdogana, zato notranjih spopadov ni bilo, četudi so občasno »uvažali« podpornike. Mlada izmirska umetniška scena se je protestov lotila na kreativen način. Podobno kot v Sloveniji je tudi Erdogan

protestnike verbalno sramotil; jih denimo oklical za »capulcije«, kar bi pomenilo »zombiji«, kar je postal material za številne izrazito igrive projekte. Za koordinacijo svojih akcij so inovativno, predvsem pa učinkovito uporabljali nove tehnologije in družabna omrežja. Večkrat sem bila prisotna na protestih in moram priznati, da sem bila fascinirana nad njihovimi gverilskimi taktikami. Javne akcije, ki so se dogajale na določenem predelu mesta, so nenadoma poniknile in se nadaljevale na drugi lokaciji. Ko smo marca odpirali trienale, se je zgodil razvpiti odlok o blokadi Twitterja in dve uri kasneje smo v tiskarni, kjer smo prevzemali še zadnje materiale za razstavo, že jedli torto, ki je parodirala to odločitev. Obenem pa so se nemudoma vzpostavili drugi kanali komuniciranja. Ta revolucija je pospremljena z dobršno mero humorja, čeprav je celotna situacija kvečjemu žalostna. Turška policija je vse preveč nasilna in umrlo je preveč ljudi. Skratka, to je bil nekako protest sekularne civilne družbe. Sploh ne zgolj sekularne. Združila se je najširša civilna družba. Cilj protestov je bil omejevanje korumpirane in manipulativne politike, ki se poslužuje kakršnih koli ideoloških predpostavk, dokler le-te delujejo v njeno prid. Delitev na islamiste in ateiste pa je povsem umetna. Erdogan ima s tem že bogate izkušnje. Ko je bil župan Istanbula v 80. letih, je čez noč sprejel odlok, ki je prepovedoval pitje alkohola na ulicah. Naslednji dan je bojda večina prebivalcev mesta (vključno z zakritimi ženicami) v znak protesta (pa če so v vsakdanjem življenju uživali alkohol ali ne) po ulicah hodila s steklenicami piva. To je bila popolna državljanska nepokorščina. V Turčiji pa je sicer zgodba civilne družbe dokaj tragična, saj je bila vedno kruto zatrta s strani vojske. Ko se je v 80. letih zgodil vojaški udar, so v Izmirju potekale velike študentske demonstracije (s tem smo se ukvarjali znotraj ene izmed delovnih skupin na trienalu in obdelovali nevralgično točko v mestu, kjer se odvijal upor), po njihovem zatrtju pa so vodje študentskega gibanja preprosto obesili. Stvari so (tudi) takrat reševali na vojaški način. Trienale PORTIZMIR3 je povzel aktualne, tako lokalne kot globalne, teme današnjega časa – ekologijo, urbanizem, strukturne spremembe. Zakaj si se odločila za takšno temo? Predvsem se nisem odločila za temo. Najprej sem se morala dodobra seznaniti z mestom in šele nato sem spoznala, kaj lahko naredim. Vedela sem le, da me ne zanima klasična trienalna prireditev. Razumem potenciale tovrstnih prireditev, ki lahko osvetlijo marginalizirane prakse ob pomoči nekaj zvenečih mednarodnih imen in postavijo mesta na globalni umetnostni zemljevid. To se mi zdi dobra strategija, vendar to v Izmirju ne bi imelo smisla. Namesto tega sem začela intenzivno obiskovati Izmir, kjer sem imela izjemno ekipo sodelavcev. Ayşegul Kurtel, direktorica K2, je omrežena tako s kulturniško sceno kot tudi ekonomsko-političnimi strukturami v mestu (in širše). Imela sem poglobljene pogovore z umetniki, arhitekti, kulturnimi delavci, teoretiki in ostalimi akterji lokalne scene. V Izmirju me ni zanimala le likovna scena, ampak sem k projektu pristopila precej širše. A tudi sam PORTIZMIR je v osnovi zastavljen širše. Trienale naj bi izhajal iz mesta samega, kar je organizatorjem v preteklosti bolj ali manj uspevalo.

Po dolgotrajnih debatah sem izluščila omenjene teme: ekologija, divji urbanizem, izguba zgodovinskega spomina ter vzpostavljanje paralelnih sistemov produciranja in potrošnje. Slednje se zlahka povezuje tudi z umetniško produkcijo. V Izmirju je, tudi zavoljo tržnega razmišljanja, umetnost zelo objektno usmerjena, zato je veliko govora o zaključenem delu, ne pa tudi o samem procesu. Tako sem spodbudila vzporedni tok dogajanja, ki je v prvi plan potisnil sodelovanje med različnimi ustvarjalci. To ni sicer nič novega, ampak je zanimivo (in žalostno), kako se te prakse vedno znova pojavljajo, vendar se nikdar ne ohranijo kot dominantna praksa znotraj sveta umetnosti. Vzpostavila sem pet izrazito interdisciplinarnih delovnih skupin, ki so začele delovati na izmirskem terenu leto dni pred otvoritvijo glavne trienalne razstave. Tako sem definirala temo vode, ki je ključno povezana s tamkajšnjim zalivom, z vprašanjem ekonomije in še bolj z vprašanjem razumevanja okolja. Na podlagi številnih debat sem sestavila interdisciplinarno skupino Deep Blue, ki je povezala naravoslovne in družboslovne znanstvenike, ki imajo nekoliko drugačne metodologije dela, zaradi česar jih je težko pripraviti do tega, da začnejo z enakovredno pozicijo – da ne bo, če karikiram, umetnik zgolj potreboval znanstvenika, da mu nekaj izračuna, in obratno, da ne bo znanstvenik rabil umetnika zgolj zato, da mu nekaj vizualizira. Na koncu sem sestavila ekipo oceanografov, biologov, fotografov, umetnikov, ki jih je vodila in koordinirala Robertina Šebjanič. V toku dolgoročnega procesa so uspeli narediti nekaj skupnega, čeprav izhajajo iz povsem različnih kontekstov. Iskre so preskočile. Robertina Šebjanič tako že nadaljuje delo z glavno biologinjo, ki prej ni imela afinitete do umetnosti. Vse delovne skupine so imele različno dinamiko intenzivnega delovanja, večinoma pa so imeli na voljo eno leto. Poleg omenjene delovne skupine Deep Blue je bila tu skupina Studio as School, kjer smo skupini študentov ene izmed tamkajšnjih javnih univerz omogočili neke vrste alternativno izobraževanje. V prvi fazi sva skupaj z profesorico Nezaket Tekin (sama sem seveda sodelovala kot gostujoča mentorica, se s študenti srečevala ob mojih obiskih Izmirja vsaka dva meseca ter komunicirala z njimi po elektronski pošti) pripravljali redna tedenska srečanja, ki so bila neke vrste delavnica »podrobnega branja« ključnih tekstov o sodobni umetnosti (denimo Inside the White Cube Briana O’Dohertyja), nato pa so v izjemnem prostoru stare grške hiše, sicer rezidenčnega centra K2, pripravili vsak svojo razstavo. Proces je torej zajemal skupna srečanja, na katerih so študentje debatirali in razvijali svoje individualne razstavne projekte, za katere so imeli na voljo tri sobe v prvem nadstropju. Pravzaprav smo skušali vzpostaviti platformo, ki bi jih na različne načine spodbudila k razmisleku o kontekstih, ki določajo in vplivajo na nastanek in branje umetniškega dela, torej ključnih postulatov sodobne umetnosti. Še posebej, ker so bili seveda prisiljeni razmišljati o kontekstu, torej prostoru s svojo specifično zgodovino in nenavadnimi sobami, ki so jih imeli na voljo za razstavo. Po uvodnem šestmesečnem rednem tedenskem koncipiranju, debatiranju, branju in razvijanju idej so v prostorih rezidence K2 pripravili 12 tritedenskih razstav. Še posebej pomembno pa je, da je enoletno sodelovanje iz posameznikov oblikovalo skupino, ki se med seboj podpira in si priskoči na


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pomoč pri realizaciji idej. Novo začasno razstavišče, ki so ga vzpostavili, pa upam, da bo nadaljevalo z delom. Delovna skupina Slow Design je združevala slovensko oblikovalsko-umetniško skupino OLOOP ter izmirski teoretičarki in oblikovalki, ki so preizpraševale razmerja med počasnim oblikovanjem in telesom, spominom in oblačili. OLOOP se večinoma ukvarja z revitalizacijo starih znanj, ki izginjajo, obenem pa izvaja skupnostne ustvarjalne akcije. Tako se je zgodilo plodno sodelovanje v obliki serije pogovorov, izmenjav, pa tudi javnih delavnic in predavanj tako v Izmirju kot v Sloveniji, ki so pripeljale do dejanske izmenjave znanj (OLOOP je bil v Izmirju, medtem ko sta omenjeni turški sodelavki prišli v Slovenijo). Ostali dve skupini sta se ukvarjali z divjo urbanizacijo in izgubo zgodovinskega spomina (City Reconstructed) ter urbano agrikulturo (Yaban Bastan; Divji vrt). Kako pa je mogoče predstaviti takšen dolgoročni proces ljudem, ki v tem procesu niso sodelovali? Pri delovni skupini Deep Blue lahko v spletnem arhivu vidimo fotografije ljudi, ki delajo v laboratoriju in se sprehajajo ob morski obali. A so na koncu projekta prišli do nekih izsledkov in kako so jih predstavili širši javnosti? Udeleženci so na koncu pripravili sestavljanko različnih segmentov celotnega procesa. Njihovo »zaključno delo« je bilo sestavljeno iz serije fotografij, ki so nastajale na omenjenih sprehodih, predstavljena je bila video projekcija mapiranja zaliva na podlagi podvodnih fotografij ter posnetkov meduz. A bolj bistveno pri tem je, da so se udeleženci medsebojno ujeli in fascinirali. Meseca maja smo organizirali tudi simpozij, ki je bil poskus kontekstualiziranja tovrstne prakse v mestu, kjer novomedijska umetnost praktično ne obstaja, zato je bil naš osnovni namen pokazati publiki, kako brati tovrstne projekte. Zato smo k sodelovanju povabili tudi Annick Bureaud, vodilno francosko teoretičarko in kustosinjo na področju novomedijskih umetnosti, ki je razložila temelje novomedijske umetnosti in govorila o tem, kako bi morali prekiniti delitve na smeri in žanre ter umetniške prakse zastaviti bolj povezujoče in interdisciplinarno. Prav tako so udeleženci na simpoziju govorili o svoji izkušnji. Vsi so namreč k projektu pristopili iz drugačnega zornega kota. To je bil tudi največji izziv: pripeljati skupaj ljudi s podobnimi afinitetami, a nekoliko drugačnimi strategijami delovanja. Sicer pa sem ravno zaradi tega, ker so se dejavnosti delovnih skupin razlikovale tako po formatih kot časovnici, ob zaključni razstavi trienala postavila tudi posebno razstavo Vizualizirani arhiv, ki je predstavil vseh pet del na terenu v enem prostoru. Želela sem prikazati kompleksnost različnih strategij in formatov, ki so jih vpleteni uporabili. Prikazani so bili tako zvočna kot video dokumentacija, zaključeni in nezaključeni izdelki, knjige, umetniška dela, pa tudi delovni proces, ki bo prikazal raziskovanje in sodelovanje vsake skupine. Vsaka skupina je namreč po tem, ko smo jo vzpostavili, sama – glede na lastne afinitete – vzpostavila svoj »modus operandi« raziskovalne in predstavitvene faze. Vse pa so po določenem času, namenjenemu raziskovanju in sodelovanju, razvile glede na vsebino tudi primerne javne dogodke: od delavnic, perfomansov do glasbeno-vizualnih dogodkov. Vizualiziran arhiv je v četrtem nadstropju bivšega skladišča tobaka (v preostalih treh nadstropjih je bila na ogled

zaključna trienalna razstava) tako za tri mesece postal razstava, kabinet čudes, pa tudi inspirativen prostor za številne umetnike in študente, ki so tja prihajali na predavanja, projekcije ali pač le raziskovat, gledat, poslušat in brskat. Poleg omenjenih dolgoročnih projektov oziroma delovnih skupin pa je bila, kot praviš, postavljena tudi osrednja razstava. A je to bil pogoj ali tvoja ideja? To je bil seveda pogoj za sodelovanje na trienalu, oziroma ob vabilu so organizatorji seveda omenjali le razstavo. Sama praviloma, tudi zaradi svojega dela na področju izobraževanja, razstavne projekte razumem precej širše, prav tako se mi je postavitev »spektakularne« razstave za tri mesece v mestu, ki dejansko potrebuje zglede na področju kontinuiranega delovanja, ne pa zgolj občasnih dogodkov, zdelo problematično. Na drugi strani pa je bila razstava zaradi specifične lokalne situacije (tudi) ključen in nujen del projekta. Če bi se trienale odvijal v Ljubljani, to morda ne bi bilo potrebno. V Izmirju pa je umetnost še vedno pretežno razumljena kot pobeg iz vsakdanjega življenja in razumljena kot objekt in ne kot proces. Če bi govorila zgolj o procesu in delovnih skupinah, bi bil celoten trienale preveč hermetičen za lokalno sceno, zato sem z razstavo poskušala ustvariti kontekst za branje procesov teh delovnih skupin. Vse to je bilo tesno prepleteno. Razstava je pravzaprav zgolj drugačen način predstavljanja vsebin delovnih skupin. Pravzaprav sem, podobno kot denimo pri delovni skupini Studio as a School, skušala ustvariti različne formate za branje sodobne umetnosti in odpreti različne vstope za strokovno in laično publiko. Tudi pri sami razstavi sem želela obrniti logiko velikih razstav, kjer praviloma celota zakrije posamični prispevek. Zato sem izbrala manj umetnikov, vsakega z vsaj dvema oziroma tremi deli. Le-ta sem postavila skupaj in tako gledalcu omogočila nekoliko kompleksnejši vpogled v opus sodelujočih avtorjev, pa četudi v okviru velike razstave na več tisoč kvadratnih metrih s 74 umetniškimi deli. Večina del je bila, tudi zavoljo specifičnih izmirskih pogojev (denimo stanje starega, že deset let zapuščenega skladišča), pripravljena in producirana posebej za Izmir. Ne le zavoljo finančnih razlogov, prepričana sem namreč, da sam prostor (tako čisto fizični razstavni kot tudi širše gledano kulturni) narekuje specifični izbor del. Tako se mi je zdelo smiselno povabiti Ulaya z delom There is Criminal Touch to Art iz leta 1976, v sklopu katerega je v Neue National Galerie v Berlinu ukradel sliko Carla Spitzwega in jo prenesel v stanovanje turških migrantskih delavcev. Danes, skoraj 40 let kasneje, pa se mi zdi ključno njegovo aktivistično ukvarjanje z vodo kot skupne oziroma javne dobrine. Ulay se s svojo praviloma aktivistično prakso že desetletja z izjemno senzibilnostjo ravna po prostoru in času in se osredotoča na aktualne teme. V Izmirju je med drugim pripravil orwellovsko akcijo in v sodelovanju s skupino mladih izmirskih umetnikov prelepil mesto z lažnimi naznanili vodnega podjetja, ki je obveščalo ljudi, da bo vsako gospodinjstvo prejemalo za 50 % manj vode. S tem je želel opozoriti na pomembnost vode, ki je v Turčiji še zlasti pereča, saj voda iz javnega vodovoda po pravilu ni pitna. Njegova pozicija konstruktivnega anarhista je bila za izmirsko sceno, ki je tudi sama

zelo politično in družbeno angažirana, zelo inspirativna. Predavanje, ki ga je pripravil ob otvoritvi, je bilo izjemno obiskano in predvsem aktivistična mlada umetniška scena je z zanimanjem postavljala številna vprašanja. Na trienalu so sodelovali domači in mednarodni umetniki, med njimi tudi mnogi iz slovenskega okolja ali neposredne okolice. Poleg omenjenih (Robertina Šebjanič, OLOOP, Ulay) tudi Damijan Kracina, Tomaž Furlan in Tomislav Brajnović. Kako so bili ti avtorji vpeti v dogajanje? Želela sem pokazati različne stvari. Nikakor ne mislim, da mora biti umetnost vedno in povsod angažirana in aktivistična. Tomaž Furlan je denimo predstavil svojo serijo videov Wear, ki so bili prikazani na njegovih lastnoročno prirejenih predvajalnikih. Ključen se mi zdi način njegovega dela. Furlan izvaja performanse, ki so ustvarjeni zgolj za kamero, obenem pa odpira vprašanja reciklaže. Njegovi stroji, ki jih uporablja za svoje akcije, so vedno sestavljeni iz delov strojev prejšnje akcije. Vse, kar ostane, je še eden v seriji videov Wear, njegovi elementi pa se prelevijo v elemente naslednjega. Damijan Kracina je med drugim predstavil del svojega opusa, kjer se ukvarja z izumrlimi, namišljenimi in hibridnimi živalmi. Uspela sem ga prepričati, da je predstavil delo Tasmanski tiger, ki je bilo premierno prikazano na razstavi v Škucu leta 1997, kar je bil velik uspeh, saj običajno ne želi kazati starih del. Poleg tega je posebej za Izmir pripravil neke vrste muzejsko klasifikacijo, analizo tistega dela svojega opusa, v katerem se ukvarja z izumrlimi živalmi. Kracina je tako prečesal celoten arhiv svojih del, kjer je tematiziral izumrle ali neobstoječe živalske vrste, in pripravil 30 fotografij živali iz svojih preteklih projektov, s katerimi smo v muzejski maniri prekrili veliko steno. Tako je na nek način muzealiziral in deloma sistematiziral svojo preteklo prakso. Tomislav Brajnović je med drugim ponovil svoj kulturno/ gastronomski performans Večerja z umetnikom, ki jih redno izvaja v različnih prostorih in kontekstih. Sam projekt, ki ga je zasnoval leta 2010, je izhajal iz predpostavke, da zbiratelji običajno kupujejo umetniška dela v galerijah, torej izven njihovega izvornega konteksta nastanka, posledično pa jih pogosto tudi ne morejo popolnoma razumeti. Zamislil si je galerista, ki ga obišče v njegovem ateljeju, kjer v vsakokrat na novo postavljeni instalaciji Brajnovićevih del pojesta izbrano večerjo (Brajnović sam lovi lignje, tradicionalno glavno jed teh dogodkov) ter se ob izbranem vinu pogovarjata o umetnosti. Zbiralec, obogaten s poznavanjem konteksta, tako domov odnese izbrano delo. Kupca do sedaj še ni bilo, sama Večerja pa se je razvila v vedno posamičnemu prostoru prilagojeno gastronomsko performativno instalacijo. Umetnik je scenograf, režiser, kuhar in glavni akter, saj je za vsako večerjo pomembna postavitev in izbor predmetov, kakor tudi hrane, pijače in ne nazadnje, gostov. V Izmirju je Brajnović pripravil večerjo za vse sodelujoče umetnike trienala v hiši gostiteljice, Ayşegul Kurtel, na razstavi pa smo pokazali fotografijo, ki je nastala na tej večerji. Trienale je očitno uspel povezati različne geografske in kulturne prostore, še zlasti slovensko in izmirsko sceno. Lahko pričakujemo tudi nadaljevanje sodelovanja? Nadaljevanja so že na vidiku. To je tudi eden od namenov in smislov takšnega povezovanja. Veseli me, da sem uspela povezati različne akterje in da bodo praktično vse delovne skupine nadaljevale z delom. Skupina OLOOP je novembra leta 2014 v Ljubljani pripravila razstavo del, ki so nastala v okviru trienala, dopolnili pa jih bosta pogovorni večer in delavnica njunih izmirskih sodelavk. Tudi projekt Deep Blue nadaljuje z delom. Predstavitev procesa in primerov dobrih praks sodelovanja znanosti in umetnosti bo kmalu izšla v reviji Leonardo (MIT Press), ki je ena osrednjih publikacij na področju teorije in prakse novomedijskih umetnosti. Poleg tega sem se povezala s številnimi posamezniki, obenem pa sem tudi vzpostavila povezave med ostalimi akterji slovenske scene in Turčijo: Univerzo v Novi Gorici in njeno Visoko šolo za umetnost sem denimo povezala s sorodnimi izobraževalnimi ustanovami v Izmirju. V Ljubljano prihaja na delovno prakso v Mestno galerijo eden od vodij novo ustanovljenega in zelo obetavnega razstavišča Maquius Projects in še bi lahko naštevala. Prav tako smo Ljubljani in Gorici na več dogodkih predstavili izmirsko sceno. Po obsežnem predstavljanju dobrih praks iz slovenskega prostora v Izmirju je zdaj prišel čas, da se zgodi tudi obraten proces.

Archive Visualized / Vizualiziran arhiv: Yaban Bostan. 21. 3.–22. 6. 2014. Photo / foto: Uğur Uygun, Uğur Yanık, Emre Çakır


Manifesta 2014 Sodobna vizualna umetnost – izgubljena v Ermitažu in potopljena v Sankt Peterburg

Contemporary visual art lost in the Hermitage and submerged into St Petersburg

Aleksandra Kostič

In the 1980’s, Yugoslav travel agencies were organizing a trip called “the Russian triplet”, covering Moscow, St Petersburg and Kiev. In 1987, I visited Russia for the first time, which was then still part of the Soviet Union. I stayed in Moscow and St Petersburg right before the reforms of the Soviet political system introduced by Gorbachev. Our trip to Kiev was cancelled because of the Chernobyl radioactive disaster. We travelled by train, a couple of days in both directions. It was the first time the Russians celebrated New Year’s Eve outside, in the open air, on the streets, massively. The poverty-stricken streets with numerous typically Russian characters that seemed like they popped straight out of some Russian novel, drinking cheap potato-based vodka, bloated from their traditional pork-fat soup that was served on greasy trays in self-service restaurants, and cunning street vendors hustling rubles, sable, astrakhan, sneakers and porn – stood in contrast to the hotel luxury to be consumed by tourists: champagnes, caviar, vodka, sweet cabbage in glass containers garnished with strawberries and cream, and the pale, awkward bar dancers, who got the precious job through connections and acquaintances. Muscovites standing in long queues that formed instantly after some special offer was put up in the stores, reading books on their feet as they waited. The cold winter temperatures below minus twenty called for warm headgear and there was always a matryoshka somewhere near, nagging and wrapping scarfs around young, hot-blooded heads… I was there to catch and experience the last train of the mythical communist Soviet Union. In 1703, Russian czar Peter the Great used his bayonet to mark the mouth of the River Neva as it flows into the Baltic ocean, as the capital of the greatest European country, a defensive fortress against the hostile Swedes. It would have been difficult to find a less appropriate location for constructing a city. In a few months, the 20.000 toil-slaves, half of whom died during the process, used literally their bare hands to build the Peter and Paul Fortress. In the following decades the building of the city progressed swiftly considering the times, and continued even after Peter’s death. According to Peter’s wishes the city was modeled on various European styles, stretching between the sea and the sky with a grandiose, almost infinite spatial design. The most majestic example of this

work is the Winter Palace with thousands of rooms, floating above the River Neva.

don, and finally a collection of 119 paintings previously owned by Count Baudouin from Paris.

The goal was to transform the Russian everyman into a European; the progressive and enlightened St Petersburg was supposed to stand in contrast to the gloomy, religiously narrow-minded and retrogressive Moscow of that time. In truth it was nothing but a more grandiose execution of the later “Potemkin villages”, classicist woodand cardboard-constructed fake settlements that were set up overnight alongside the River Dnieper to impress Catherine the Great during her journey on the river.

The Hermitage has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.

In 1762 Catherine II Great, the enlightened empress, came to power and upgraded the politics of Peter the Great. She expanded and stabilized the state, established partial tolerance in terms of religious diversity, raised the level of literacy and education of the middle class, children and women, understood and protected science and art and delighted in all kinds of earthly pleasures, including thirty-one lovers. She had a high esteem for the French Enlightenment and, as an equal, shared a written correspondence with the central characters of that period, especially Voltaire. When Alexander Radishchev’s Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow was published in 1790, announcing peasant and slave uprisings as a consequence of their miserable and sad position in society – it was in fact a prediction of the downfall of the Czar of Russia – it turned out to be in sharp contrast with the empress’ perception of reality as it had been presented to her by her lover Potemkin, which is why Catherine crushed the writer ruthlessly and had him exiled to Siberia. Catherine the Great was the first real resident of the Winter Palace, which became the home of the famous State Hermitage Museum in 1764 and remains to this day the keeper of one of the largest and oldest art collections in the world. Catherine, German by birth, bought the first collection from a German art dealer Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. Gotzkowsky provided her with around three hundred pieces by mainly Flemish and Dutch painters. Catherine soon acquired other art collections: in 1769 Brühl’s collection of six hundred pieces, followed by Crozat’s painting collection and another set of 198 works that formerly belonged to Sir Robert Walpole in Lon-

During the communist era, the Leningrad academies and schools of fine arts continued to support art, but only as a form of support to the ideological orientation of socialist realism, which was the leading art style in the Soviet Union after 1930 with an emphasis on nationality, class division, ideology and adherence to the Communist Party doctrine. The central committee of the Party also issued an order to abolish all liberal revolutionary art organizations that operated in the Soviet Union after the October Revolution. Art ideologists, with Stalin in the vanguard, chose the idealized realist esthetics as their formal painting language. For decades, all the way up to the 1990’s, their future painters were being taught to paint according to the model of Russian classical realism of Ilya Repin and other socialist realists, and were deterred from expressing any kind of subjective questions or contents. The motifs had to be chosen strictly from the treasure trove of dogmatic slogans about the bright future of the Soviet state. The same situation that chained down the free artistic volition of the artists in the 1930’s, provided a romantic undertone for the artworks of the Soviet painters in the 1980’s that constantly reminisced about the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s and further, and at the same time their works embodied the “vade retro” principle. With the complete renunciation of formalism and other experiments in the academies, the contemporary, alternative, oppositional and provocative forms of art were moving from the megalomaniac historic spaces into private locations, where contemporary artists gathered at exhibition openings, hanging out, drinking vodka and enigmatically discussing the Russian avantgarde, Malevich and the power of revolutionary and radical art from the beginning of the 20th century, when it directly affected social change in the Russian space and was completely suppressed later on in the 1930’s.


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One thing can be perceived very clearly upon entering the Russian space in 2014: the old, rigid Russian systems continue to dominate to this day. The gap between the rich and the poor cannot be bridged on all levels; this logic has not changed, and there is virtually no middle class. There isn’t even a proper middle-class tourist offer in the city: you will find either the luxurious and outrageously expensive hotels, or low-priced bunk beds with a shared bathroom. The same can be said about the organization of Manifesta 2014; it weaves into the city, from the pompous to the ephemeral, with practically nothing in between. In 2012, a small organizational group of the Biennial of Contemporary Art Manifesta in Amsterdam came up with the idea to mark the 20th anniversary, i. e. the 10th edition, in St Petersburg, in the Hermitage, which also celebrates its 250th anniversary of existence in that same year. In 2014, this idea was materialized, despite the complete boycott on behalf of the influential international association of Russian, Ukrainian and gay artists. The organizers disregarded their proposal to move Manifesta out of St Petersburg and Russia because of the internal political situation in Russia and the state of war in Ukraine. It was also one of the central issues brought up at the press conference. With a project of such high expenses, the first thing that needed to be explained at the press conference was their financial strategy: the majority of the funds came from the European Union, private foundations and donations; in line with the general atmosphere and overall European politics the emphasis was on education and youth, while the massive attendance at the press conference – more than one thousand journalists – was apparently a result of transferring their contact list and collaborating with the publicity service of Documenta, which takes place every four years in Kassel. It would appear that the organizers are more interested in the pompous public relations’ activities than the proper contents, which points to the issues connected with the functioning of such systems: the financial situation forces them to follow the parameters set by the major funders and operate on a long-term basis. But they find themselves drowning in the complex organization and the multiplicity of the required effects. In doing so, they forget about what is most important: what is the role of the artist and the differentiation of art today, as it reaches an increasing number of actors and observers than at any other time in history; when art is gaining an increasing social commitment, directed against the capitalist, dominant political and corporate trends, critical towards the existing systems, including art. In this sense, Manifesta has become outdated. The novelty and topicality of the program, which it instigated with its first edition in Rotterdam in 1996, as well as some of the later editions, is not there anymore. Manifesta was founded after the fall of the Berlin Wall; during its twenty years of existence it has attempted to establish a dialog between Eastern and Western Europe. Nonetheless, this year’s edition was only the second that took place in the east, if we regard the Ljubljana edition in 2000 as its first penetration to the east. Thus, the concept of Manifesta as a European connection of the East and the West (on this occasion it was actually presented even as a melting point between Europe and Asia!), doesn’t really hold up. Opponents of Manifesta 2014 expressed legitimate doubts concerning its contents, because the presented program does seem rather non-topical. They used the Ukrainian-Russian situation to highlight some of the issues related to the position of contemporary art, which has been confronting and merging with the current geopolitical social space for a number of years, though the biennial is not even attempting to follow these trends. Still, Manifesta should definitely take a firm stand regarding these issues: the politicization of art and the reinvention of the art system. As early as the press conference, it became quite clear that this was a curators’ biennial, one that stresses curatorship as the most important segment in the pyramid of correlates between the artwork – artist – curator – critic – gallerist – buyer – audience – museum; none of the artists were mentioned directly by name, with the exception of the Chto delat collective. By expressing a strong opposition against Russian aggression in Ukraine, and suggesting boycott, this art group has received publicity first by cancelling and then re-announcing their participation in Manifesta. The name of the group was inspired by the famous Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s novel What Is To Be Done, which had a great influence also on the anar-

chist Emma Goldman and the Serbian socialist Svetozar Marković; they were the first to see that the problems did not stem from religious differences, but rather from the unjust class system. The Chto delat art collective continues in this tradition, warning about the miserable conditions caused by capitalist materialistic systems and their leaders. Their musicals address the unfair position of the working man, and, if we transfer this into the field of art, the unfair status of artists within the dominant art system. Pavel Braila, Alexandra Kakhidze, Deimantas Narkevicius, Kristina Norman, Alexandra Pirici, Ilya Orlov and Slavs and Tatars wonder: “In the wake of the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, ongoing political crises and calls to boycott Manifesta 10 we have been again confronted us with a classic political dilemma: engagement or disengagement? We have asked ourselves whether or not to continue and, if so, under what circumstances, facing what consequences and to what point? The situation of this and other Biennales that find themselves in the midst of political turmoil – like in Istanbul, Kiev or at the 7. Berlin Biennale – raises the questions about the ways in which curating and art production should continue in such circumstances. How does one engage with audiences in a place of political non-alignment? How does art challenge the oppressive political and aesthetic climates? And whether and how can it work performatively in – for example – today’s Russia, where plutocracy, social insensitivity and the eradication of civil society are the visible legacy of Soviet regimes? In a context in which unwillingness to protest, abstention from politics and the fear of being part of the collective body are the phantoms of the past, can art become an indispensable agent of the exciting possibility of coming together and idea to create the counter-publics or is it too much to expect?” Out of the two hundred proposed artists, fifty-six have been chosen (we are referring to the central setup on both locations in the Hermitage – the General Staff Building and the museum), and of course those who were refused wanted to know why. Kaspar Koenig, the friendly and accessible selector and curator of Manifesta 2014, whose affable approach is reminiscent of the late Harald Szemann, explained the criteria, but they sounded vague, and even conceptually and strategically undefined as regards the future of art. Reviewing the list, it seems more like recycling recent history, a kind of hommage to the artists that Koenig has collaborated with during his gradually expiring professional career (Marlene Dumas, Maria Lassnig, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Nicole Eisenman, Juan Muñoz, Thomas Hirschhorn…). Among the shortlisted there were also Russian Alexandra Sukhareva and Vadim Fishkin from the Slovenian-Russian cultural space, the latter with a light installation depicting an accelerated life- and daily cycle. In accordance with the relativity theory he compressed the 24-hour earthly night-andday cycle to a mere 2,5 minutes. In the fashion of Documenta, Manifesta 2014 has focused particularly on film and video, for which it is difficult to achieve a considerable level of viewership due to the time-consuming nature of the works. It was interesting to observe the selectors and the choices they made: Katarina Fritsch (Federico Fellini’s 8 ½), Tatzu Nishi (Andrei Tarkovsky’s Offret), Joanna Warsza (Mikhail Kalatozov’s Soy Cuba, 1964), Olivier Mosset (Fassbinder’s Querelle) and Susan Philipsz (John Huston’s Dead)… Kaspar Koenig, coming from the East-German space, and working for a number of years with Documenta (though never as head curator), chose a considerably fortunate historical cue for the film program, Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three (1961), a comedy portraying the then newly formed East and West Berlin with a great deal of humor and criticism pointed at both political sides. Manifesta was recognized most clearly in the quarters of the Hermitage, the General Staff Building, where the press conference took place. The very recently and luxuriously refurbished spaces of monumental dimensions will also be used in the future to present collections and exhibitions of contemporary art. The central supporter of the project is the Russian president in person, Vladimir Putin, who was born in St Petersburg and is obviously well pleased with the global reputation of the Hermitage, though his favorite museum remains the traditional State Russian Museum. It is also interesting to observe that the same museum is just now opening a branch in Malaga, Spain, displaying one hundred prestigious exhibit items, from Russian painting to the post-revolutionary avant-garde. Putin also supports other contemporary cultural achievements in the city, such as the large-scale, costly project of restoring the romantic red-brick New Holland Island,

a former naval forge building located on an island by the Admiralteisky Canal embankment – across the street of the School for Engaged Art (co-founded by Nikolai Oleynikov) – which will soon be intended for art, culture and education in relation to new technologies and creative start-up companies, topped with a bizarre ice skating rink. Times change, but apparently the models of Russian governance remain the same. Competitive, oversized artificial and unbalanced cultural stories are still a regular feature in this town. A key concept of Manifesta 10 is the dialogue between the classic and the contemporary. Visitors to the Winter Palace hoping to see Matisse’s iconic Dance and other masterpieces, will find in their place Marlene Dumas’ delicate watercolors portraying great homosexual personages, including Tchaikovsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Rudolf Nureyev and the young Russian man who lost his eye in a homophobic attack in St Petersburg in 2013. Forty of Henry Matisse’s paintings and sculptures are displayed in the General Staff Building’s new galleries – this is the first time the Hermitage’s full collection of Matisses has been exhibited together. Thomas Hirschhorn, Timur Novikov and Erik van Lieshout: The soaring central corridor of display halls in the General Staff Building, created by throwing a glass roof over the interior courtyards, houses a series of titanic installations. Among them are 24 textile works – hanging like the flags of a United Nations of artists – by Timur Novikov from the 1980s, and Thomas Hirschhorn’s astounding Abschlag, where the Swiss artist has figuratively torn down the walls of the building to reveal the reality inside.


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Manifesta press conference / Tiskovna konferenca na Manifesti

Russian performance artist and art photographer Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe is represented both at the General Staff Building and with a retrospective of his provocative, playful works at the Novy Museum. At the exhibition in the State Hermitage Museum, we should perhaps mention Ilya Kabakov, who was presented with even two pieces, but this subtle and aureate work on one of the top floors of the General Staff Building was one of the most persuasive representatives of the radiant timeless essence of the artwork. The enthusiasm of Manifesta’s organizers at the press conference, about being hosted by the greatest in the world, the Hermitage with all its luxury, sounded somewhat like a personal “contamination” of the leading actors: Hedwig Fijen, Founding Director of Manifesta, Kaspar Koenig, and Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum. The basic concept of Manifesta was the responsibility of Hedwig Fijen, who usually attends to all the external aspects including organization, selecting the host city for the biennial, as well as the theme and the head curator. Manifesta 10 aimed at connecting contemporary art to history, more precisely, to the exhibit items of the Hermitage museum. In the curatorial segment called the set-up of the exhibition, especially in the collections of the Hermitage, this cannot succeed, because the venue is indeed colossal in size, so that the contemporary artworks went unnoticed, regardless of how much the visitors tried to see, observe and recognize individual works. The works were lost in the vast surface area, and difficult to read between the luxurious Baroque decorations and other multifarious art pieces. When the visitor finally found the work he was looking for, the effect was bizarrely kitschy. The staff of this enormous museum failed to direct the visitors, in fact, they were barely on track with their own numerous collections, let alone Manifesta. Elegantly and in fluent English they would send their guests to here and there – until we finally concluded that they are utterly clue-

less as to the contemporary art biennial hosted in their quarters. The same thing was happening with the other dispersed city venues, which the organizers tried to include. Among the museums, the Arctic and Antarctic Museum, arranged in an old-fashioned museum style, is definitely worth mentioning. Indeed, this was a great way to experience attractive city museums, galleries and other particular locations, and of course, the city as such, which, in terms of structure, stretches over great distances and is not easily manageable in itself. Manifesta may have been drowning in the city, but the city itself attracted a few thousand culture tourists, who communicated with the endlessly friendly, cultivated, but non-English-speaking locals, pointing to our maps and, at least some of us, trying to exchange a few words in a mixture of Slavic languages – what a challenge! The Slavs share no common language. Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov represented the interests of the poor living on the very margin of Ukrainian society and desperately wanting to enter the European Union, because they feel that what they’re experiencing in the existing system cannot get any worse. For his presentation of “favorite film chosen by a contemporary artist” he selected Import-Export by the contemporary Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, 2007, recorded on a 16-mm film in Vienna, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The story simultaneously follows an Ukrainian nurse looking for a better life in the West, and an Austrian security guard moving to the East for the same reason. The political activism, represented mostly by the youngest generation artists, is questionable from the perspective of asking which political side somebody will choose to defend democracy, i. e. the individual and his basic rights. In a global sense, we are fighting for more democracy, but the question is, whose democracy? European? American? Does democracy still exist only as a tool for manipulating masses? It seems that principled ideas can-

not persevere in the real world anymore. This is why political activism in the expectation of resolving problems sounds somewhat naïve. Alarming unemployment rates and an increasing number of poor people driven to the edge of survival is growing even in the so-called western countries; an additional issue is also the phenomenon of the underpaid workforce – people who work, but still struggle to survive. Some believe that the Ukrainian public is being deceived, seen from the perspective of the European social reality. The poverty depicted in the works of Boris Mikhailov, is just as unwanted in the western countries, and they are not going to resolve these issues. Crimea has been the phallic symbol of Russia ever since the times of Catherine II, and Russians refuse to give it up, either politically or on a principled level, to the benefit of the European and American capitalist imperialism. It would be hard to imagine Americans reacting perfectly calmly, if the Cubans demanded as their own the American phallic symbol, Florida, even if, judging by the population numbers, they could hypothetically claim that state as their own. There are things “the great ones” will not tolerate. Of course, Ukrainian political activism is entirely legitimate and justifiable from the point of view of condemning military repression, with thousands of victims of this conflict on both sides, as well as from the perspective of Ukraine as a legal body, which has existed for 23 years. “Since the second half of the twentieth century, from the failed international revolutionary tremors of the 1960s to the “velvet” revolutions ending the Soviet experiment in 1989–91, militant politics has been increasingly discredited. The violent excesses of the twentieth century have sullied images of the militant – the striking worker, the partisan, the guerilla, the terrorist – that once shone with a romantic aura. Such images have lost their luster because violence no longer seems capable of enacting genuine change. It is our contention that this state of af-


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fairs is as much aesthetic as political. If even militant aesthetics are no longer possible, does art still extend emancipatory promise?” Such were the questions raised at the conference entitled No radical art actions will help here…, a conference on “political violence and militant aesthetics after socialism”, attended by Ilya Budraitskis, Chto Delat, Keti Chukhrov, Jodi Dean, Ilya Kalinin, Elena Kostyleva, Artemy Magun, Kirill Medvedev, Nikolai Oleinikov, Roman Osminkin, Jonathan Platt, Gerald Raunig Aleksandr Skidan, Oxana Timofeeva, and Alexei Yurchak.

its placement into this space – i. e. the exhibitions, which are, overall, really positioned well in the space – and for the outstanding Muscovite curators. The exhibition Process of Passing by Ivan Plusch, the group exhibition What Do We Hear When We Look (a project of the Open Gallery from Moscow), as well as the group exhibition by the youngest generation artists entitled Generation START, curated by Nicholas Palazhchenko, are good enough examples of the curatorship business despite their modest financial means.

“While our topic is of global relevance, demanding comparative perspectives and transcending such categories as East and West, we focus our inquiry on the post-socialist world, and on Russia as its epicenter. Here the revolutionary impulse – profoundly if imperfectly realized in 1917 and then spreading throughout the vast territories of twentieth-century socialism – leaves us on especially fraught terrain. In the past twenty-five years, Russia has witnessed the rapid exchange of varieties of political violence, from the lawless streets of the 1990s to the state repression of activist energies (labeled “extremism”) in recent years. Is politically engaged art possible after state socialism?”

“The expression to be heard also means to be understood, which is particularly appealing to any artist. Moreover, music implies much more intimate relationships with the recipient: the sound penetrates you. It draws your attention despite your intention. One can say it appropriates its own listener. An image cannot do that. However, why not at least try to imagine that it also has in it the potential and the desire to become an illusion for the viewer?” wonders curator Natasha Tamruchi, who included the following Russian artists: Alexandra Dementieva, Dmitry Gutov, Anna Franz, Olga Kroitor, Andrey Kuzkin, Artem Loskutov, MishMash, Vladimir Smolyar, Vladimir Tarasov and Vadim Zakharov.

As part of the exceptional Parallel events of Manifesta, which are the reason the 10th nomadic biennial was in fact worth visiting, the presented artists were mostly coming from the former Soviet Union, particularly Russia, or, to be even more exact, they were mostly Muscovite artists and curators, forming around the Moscow Biennial and other events in the capital. Naturally, with all the accompanying events the problem lies in the internationality of projects, since it was quite difficult for the non-Russian (or Serbian) speaking visitors to receive any comprehensive information. Descriptions, basic information and English translations were sparse and rare, both on the internet and in printed materials. Apparently, everyone had also run out of money to print the brochures, let alone detailed catalogs, with the help of which foreign guests could create a comprehensive image about contemporary Russian art.

Among the best exhibitions was Possibility of the Impossible held at the Street Art Museum and curated by Vladimir Frolov and Dmitry Golynko under the patronage of the Projekt Baltia newspaper. The curators explained that the idea of creating the museum came about spontaneously one day, after a graffiti party held in the summer of 2011 in one of the workshops abandoned in the 1990s. As part of Manifesta, SAM (Street Art Museum) is hosting Casus Pacis (Motive for Peace), a show by 60 mainly young Russian and Ukrainian street artists dedicated to the centenary of World War I. as well as the more recent conflict in Ukraine. Other participating artists included Pasha 183 and Timofey Radya, 685 from Ukraine, and Spanish artist Escif.

The top list includes the First Cadets’ Corpus building, a former military academy on Vasilyevsky Island, marked for its (un)restored facilities with an intriguing structure,

Street Art Museum / Muzej ulične umetnosti

Parallel events also included the exhibitions called Apartment Art, which were held in private apartments as a form of domestic resistance. The series of presented artists included Yevgeniy Yufit and Novie Tupie. Yevgeniy Yufit is one of the most radical artists, known for his independent artistic and social position. He began his crea-

tive path with staged photography and film. In 1983 he founded the Necrorealism movement. Necrorealism was born out of social protest, absurdism, black humor and forensic medicine books. In 1984 Yufit established one of first independent studios in the Soviet Union Mzhalalafilm (“mzha” means sleepiness, unconsciousness, and “lala” is baby talk) in his apartment. Here he assembled his first five 16-millimeter short films, created under the influence of the aesthetics of early German expressionist film, French surrealist cinema, and the pathos of Soviet films produced in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Novie Tupie revived the Petersburg tradition of idiocy (Dostoyevsky), the scandalous behavior of the Russian Futurists and the absurdity of the Leningrad avant-garde collective OBERIU. The incompleteness of many works and the indifference to the production of final products and projects challenged the neoclassical tendency of the New Academy founded by Timur Novikov. Thus, Novie Tupie devoted several performances to the problem of the masterpiece. During one these performances they cooked a pig’s head for three hours in The Anna Akhmatova Museum, whilst a conference was being held there. Another gesture was the building of a monument to the mosquito on Litenyi Prospect, right inside the sculpture of the giant bowl in front of the Mariinsky Hospital, as a symbol of the original St Petersburg that existed long before the emperors and empresses. A rich selection of Russian artists was also hosted by the exhibition held at The New Industry facilities, entitled Not a Museum. Laboratory of Aesthetic Suspiсions, curated by Vladimir Logutov and featuring artists Aleksandar Veryovkin, Daria Gusakova, Ilya Dolgov, Oleg Elagin, Maria Perez Colina, Alexey Kallima, Polina Kanis, Anastasia Kuzmina, the group Laboratory, Roman Minaev, Michael Bridge, Vladimir Potapov and others.

Photos by Aleksandra Kostič


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SI V 80. letih so jugoslovanske potovalne agencije organizirale izlet, ki se je imenoval ruski trojček, zajemal je Moskvo, Sankt Peterburg in Kijev. 1987 sem bila prvič v Rusiji, takratni Sovjetski zvezi, v Moskvi in Sankt Peterburgu, tik pred reformami sovjetskega političnega sistema, ki jih je uvedel Mihail Gorbačov. Obisk Kijeva je odpadel zaradi černobilske radioaktivne nesreče. Potovali smo z vlakom, nekaj dni v vsako smer. Takrat so Rusi prvič praznovali silvestrovo zunaj, na prostem, na ulicah, množično. Poulični revščini s številnimi tipičnimi ruskimi karakterji, kot izrezanimi iz ruske literature, opitimi s ceneno krompirjevo vodko, naphanimi z mesno juho iz svinjske tolšče, ki so jo stregli na mastnih pladnjih v samopostrežnih jedilnicah ter spretnimi goljufivimi preprodajalci rubljev, soboljevine, astrahana, tenisk in pornografije, je nasprotovalo turistom namenjeno hotelsko razkošje s šampanjci, kaviarjem, vodko, s sladkim zeljem v steklenih posodah, okrašenih z jagodami in smetano ter bledimi, ne preveč spretnimi barskimi plesalkami, ki so dobile dragoceno delo preko vez in poznanstev. Moskovčani so stali v dolgih vrstah, ki so se nenadoma vzpostavile ob posebnih ponudbah v trgovinah in si stoje čas krajšali z branjem knjig. Mrzla zima z dvajsetimi stopinjami pod ničlo je narekovala topla pokrivala in vedno se je našla matrjoška, ki je pristopila, se glasno jezila in s šalom zavijala mladostno razgreto glavo … doživela sem zadnji vlak mitske komunistične Sovjetske zveze. Ruski car Peter Veliki je 1703 z bajonetom določil mesto ob izlivu reke Neve v Baltsko morje za prestolnico največje evropske države, kot utrdbo proti sovražnim Švedom. Težko bi našel kraj, manj primeren za gradnjo. V nekajmesečnem suženjskem garanju je 20.000 prisilno vpoklicanih delavcev, od tega jih je pri delu polovica pomrla, dobesedno z golimi rokami zgradilo Petropavlovsko trdnjavo. V naslednjih desetletjih je gradnja mesta, tudi po Petrovi smrti, za tisti čas bliskovito napredovala. V skladu s Petrovimi željami se je zgledovalo po različnih evropskih stilih, razpiralo se je med morjem in nebom z velikopotezno, skorajda brezmejno prostorsko zasnovo. Najveličastnejši primer je nad reko Nevo lebdeč Zimski dvorec s tisočerimi sobanami. Cilj je bil iz ruskega človeka narediti Evropejca, napredni in razsvetljeni Sankt Peterburg naj bi bil nasprotje mračni, versko ozki in zaostali Moskvi tistega časa. V resnici pa je bil le bolj velikopotezna izvedba kasnejših »Potjomkinovih vasi«, klasicističnih kulis iz lesa in lepenke, ki so jih preko noči nastavili vzdolž bregov Dnjepra, da bi razveselile Katarino Veliko, ko se je peljala po reki. Ko je 1762 nastopila vladavino razsvetljenska Katarina II. Velika, je nadgradila politiko Petra Velikega. Uspelo ji je razširiti in stabilizirati državo, vzpostaviti delno strpnost do verske raznolikosti, dvigniti raven pismenosti in izobrazbe srednjega razreda, otrok in žena, razumela in ščitila je znanost in umetnost ter uživala vse tuzemske užitke, vključno z enaintridesetimi ljubimci. Visoko je cenila francosko razsvetljenstvo ter si kot enakovredna z njimi dopisovala, še posebej intenzivno z Voltairom. 1790 je izšlo delo Potovanje iz Sankt Peterburga v Moskvo Aleksandra Radishcheva, ki je naznanjalo upore kmetov in sužnjev zaradi njihovega bednega in žalostnega položaja in napovedalo propad carske Rusije. To je bilo seveda je bilo v nasprotju s caričinim dojemanjem stvarnosti, kakor ji jo prikazal njen ljubimec Potjomkin, zato je Katarina pisatelja neusmiljeno zatrla in poslala v izgnanstvo v Sibirijo. Katarina Velika je prva zares živela v carski rezidenci Zimski dvorec, kjer domuje od 1764 do danes sloviti muzej Ermitaž, ki hrani eno največjih in najstarejših umetniških zbirk. Katarina, po rodu Nemka, je prvo zbirko odkupila od nemškega umetnostnega trgovca Johanna Ernsta Gotzkowskega. Gotzkowsky ji je zagotovil okoli tristo kosov v glavnem flamskega in holandskega slikarstva. Kmalu je pokupila tudi druge umetnostne zbirke: 1769 Brühlovo zbirko s šeststotimi slikami, kmalu zatem Crozatovo slikarsko zbirko, nato zbirko 198 slik, ki so nekdaj pripadale londonskemu lordu Robertu Walpolu, nato še zbirko 119 slik pariškega grofa Baudouina. Za javnost je bil muzej Ermitaž odprt od 1852. Njegove številne zbirke, ki so vedno le delno na vpogled javnosti, štejejo tri milijone kosov, vključno z največjo svetovno slikarsko zbirko. Te zbirke se nahajajo v šestih historičnih stavbah vzdolž nabrežja palač ob Nevi, z Zimskim dvorcem, nekdanjo carsko rezidenco vred. V komunistični dobi so na leningrajskih akademijah in šolah za lepe umetnosti še naprej podpirali umetnost, toda le v podporo ideološki usmeritvi, socrealizmu, ki je bila vodilna umetnostna smer v Sovjetski zvezi po letu 1930 s poudarkom na narodnosti, razrednosti, idejnosti in partijskosti. Takrat je partijski centralni komite tudi

ukazal, da je treba ukiniti vse napredne revolucionarne umetniške organizacije, ki so po oktobrski revoluciji delovale v Sovjetski zvezi. Umetnostni ideologi s Stalinom na čelu so kot formalno govorico slikarstva izbrali idealizirano realistično estetiko. Bodoče slikarje so dolga desetletja, vse do 90. let 20. stoletja učili slikati po vzoru ruskega klasičnega realizma Ilje Repina in socrealistov in jih odvračali od subjektivnih vprašanj in vsebin. Motivika je morala biti izbrana iz zakladnice dogmatskih parol o svetli prihodnosti sovjetske države. To, kar je v 30. letih 20. stoletja pripenjalo verige na svobodna hotenja umetnikov, je v 80. letih umetniškim delom sovjetskih slikarjev, ki so nenehno obujali ruska 30., 40., 50. leta in naprej, dajalo romantični pridih, hkrati pa so utelešala princip »vade retro«. Ob popolnem odrekanju formalnim in drugim eksperimentom na akademijah so se sodobne, alternativne, opozicijske, provokativne oblike umetnosti selile iz megalomanskih historičnih prostorov v privatna stanovanja, kjer so se sodobni umetniki na otvoritvah družili, pili vodko in enigmatično razpravljali o ruski avantgardi, Maleviču in moči revolucionarne in radikalne umetnosti z začetka 20. stoletja, ko je ta neposredno vplivala na družbene spremembe v ruskem prostoru in je bila v 30. povsem zatrta. Nekaj je zelo jasno zaznati, ko vstopiš v ruski prostor 2014: stari rigidni ruski sistemi vladajo še danes. Od bogastva do revščine ni mostu, na vseh nivojih, ta logika se ni spremenila in srednjega sloja tako rekoč ni. V mestu tudi ni zares ponudbe za turiste srednjega sloja, obstajajo razkošni in vratolomno dragi hoteli ter nizko cenovni pogradi s skupno kopalnico. Aplikacija povedanega je razpoznavna tudi v organizaciji Manifeste 2014, ki se zapreda v mesto, od pompoznega do efemernega, vmes pa ni tako rekoč ničesar. 2012 se je majhni organizacijski skupini Bienala za sodobno umetnost Manifesta v Amsterdamu porodila ideja, da bi 20. obletnico oziroma deseto edicijo obeležili v Sankt Peterburgu, v Ermitažu, ki istočasno praznuje 250. obletnico obstoja. 2014 se je ta ideja realizirala navkljub popolnemu bojkotu vplivnega mednarodnega združenja gejevskih, nekaterih ruskih, ukrajinskih in drugih umetnikov. Organizatorji niso upoštevali njihovega predloga, da se Manifesta zaradi internega političnega dogajanja v Rusiji in vojnega dogajanja v Ukrajini umakne iz Sankt Peterburga in Rusije. To je tudi bila ena izmed glavnih tem na tiskovni konferenci. Ob tako dragem projektu so najprej pojasnili finančno strategijo: največ podpore pridobijo iz naslova Evropske unije, privatnih fundacij in donacij, v skladu s časom in politiko Evrope je poudarek na izobraževanju in mladih, izjemen obisk novinarjev na tiskovni konferenci, kjer je bilo kar tisoč udeleženih, pa je bojda transfer naslovov Documente, ki se odvija vsakih štiri leta ali več v Kasslu. Zdi se, kot da organizatorje bolj zanima pompozno komuniciranje z javnostmi kot prave vsebine – in s tem kažejo na problematiko obstoja tovrstnih sistemov, saj morajo zaradi finančne situacije slediti parametrom financerjev in delujejo dolgoročno. Vendar se utapljajo v zapleteni organizaciji in večkratnosti zahtevanih učinkov. Pri tem pozabljajo na najpomembnejše: kakšna je vloga umetnika in diferenciacija umetnosti danes, ko dosega večje število akterjev in njenih opazovalcev kot kadarkoli v zgodovini, ko postaja umetnost vse bolj v službi sociale, naravnana proti kapitalističnim, dominantnim političnim in korporacijskim trendom, kritična do obstoječih sistemov – tudi umetnostnih. V tem smislu je Manifesto povozil čas. Svežine in aktualnosti vsebinske plati, ki jo je sprožila s prvo edicijo v Rotterdamu 1996 in nekaterimi kasnejšimi, ne dosega več. Manifesta, ki je nastala po padcu berlinskega zidu, je v dvajsetih letih poskušala vzpostaviti dialog med vzhodno in zahodno Evropo. Vendar se je letos šele drugič odvijala na vzhodu, če upoštevamo različico v Ljubljani leta 2000 kot prodor na vzhod. Koncept Manifeste kot evropskega povezovanja med vzhodom in zahodom (tokrat bi naj bila celo tališče med Evropo in Azijo!), ne vzdrži zares. Opozicija Manifeste je upravičeno postavljala vprašanja s stališča vsebine, saj se predstavljeno vseeno zdi precej neaktualno. Z ukrajinsko-ruskim vprašanjem so nasprotniki Manifeste odprli tudi vprašanja pozicije sodobne umetnosti, ki se že nekaj let spopada in spaja z aktualnim geo-političnim socialnim prostorom in tem trendom bienale niti ne poskuša slediti. Vsekakor pa bi se morala do teh vprašanj opredeliti: o politizaciji umetnosti in reinvenciji umetnostnega sistema. Da je to kuratorski bienale, ki bolj poudarja kuratorstvo kot najpomembnejši segment v piramidi soodnosnic med umetniškim delom – umetnikom – kuratorjem –

kritikom – galeristom – kupcem – publiko – muzejem, je postalo jasno že na tiskovni konferenci, saj niso izpostavili niti enega umetnika z imenom, če izvzamemo skupino Čto delat. Ta si je zavoljo nasprotovanja ruski agresiji v Ukrajini in predlaganim bojkotom publiciteto ustvarila najprej z odstopom in potem s ponovno priključitvijo Manifesti. Umetniška skupina si je nadela ime po noveli Kaj delati slavnega ruskega pisatelja. Nikolai Chernyshevsky je s to novelo močno vplival na anarhistko Emmo Goldman in srbskega socialista Svetozarja Markovića. Našteti kot prvi problemov niso videli v religiji, ampak v nepravičnem razrednem sistemu. Ruska skupina Čto delat nadaljuje s to tradicijo, opozarja na mizerne razmere, ki jih povzročajo kapitalistični pridobitniški sistemi in oblastniki. Njihovi muzikali govorijo o nepravičnem statusu delavcev, in če to prenesemo v polje umetnosti, nepravičen status umetnikov v prevladujočem umetniškem sistemu. Pavel Braila, Alexandra Kakhidze, Deimantas Narkevicius, Kristina Norman, Alexandra Pirici, Ilya Orlov ter Slavs in Tatars se sprašujejo: »V luči priključitve Krima marca 2014, trajajoče politične krize ter pozivom k bojkotu Manifeste 10, se znova soočamo s klasično politično dilemo: naj se angažiramo ali ne? Sprašujemo se, ali naj nadalju-


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Francis Alÿs, Lada Kopeika Project: The iconic image of Manifesta 10 is the crashed Lada, representing both the fulfillment of a teenage dream by artist Francis Alÿs to drive from his native Belgium to Russia, and the bursting of that very same bubble. Three short films capture the crash as it happened alongside Alÿs’s documentation of the journey, its inspiration and the artistic fruits it bore. jemo ter pod kakšnimi pogoji; kakšne bodo posledice in kako daleč bomo šli? V situaciji, ko so se naš in številni drugi bienali (npr. Kijev, Istanbul ali 7. berlinski bienale) znašli sredi političnega vrelišča, se porajajo vprašanja o načinu delovanja kuratorskih praks in umetniške produkcije v takšnih okoliščinah. Kako pristopati k občinstvom v prostoru politične neusklajenosti? Kako lahko umetnost izzove represivno politično in estetsko okolje? Ali lahko in kako lahko deluje performativno v, denimo, današnji Rusiji, ki jo zaznamujejo vidni ostanki sovjetskega režima, kot so plutokracija, socialna brezbrižnost in razpad civilne družbe? Ali lahko v kontekstu, polnem preživetih prikazni preteklosti – nepripravljenosti za proteste, politične vzdržnosti in strahu pred sodelovanjem v kolektivnem družbenem telesu – umetnost postane tisti nepogrešljivi faktor združevanja in podpre idejo o ustvarjanju nasprotnega pola javnosti? Pričakujemo preveč?«

Francis Alÿs, projekt Lada Kopeika:  Emblematično podobo Manifeste 10 predstavlja razbita Lada, prispodoba izpolnitve najstniških sanj umetnika Francisa Alÿsa, da se z njo popelje iz rodne Belgije v Rusijo, in obenem razblinjenje tega istega mehurčka. V treh kratkih filmih spremljamo posnetek trčenja, ki se je zgodilo med Alÿsovim dokumentiranjem popotovanja, navdih, ki je pot spodbudil in umetniške sadove, ki jih je ta obrodila.

Izmed dvesto predlaganih umetnikov je bilo izbranih šestinpetdeset (govorimo o osrednji postavitvi na obeh lokacijah Ermitaža – v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva in v muzeju) in zavrnjeni so seveda vprašali, zakaj so bili zavrnjeni. Kaspar Koenig, prijazen in dostopen selektor in kurator Manifeste 2014, ki po svojem priljudnem pristopu precej spominja na pokojnega Haralda Szemanna, je razložil kriterije, ki so izzveneli nejasno in za prihodnost umetnosti konceptualno strateško neopredeljeno. Ob pregledu izbranih gre očitno bolj za reciklažo polpretekle zgodovine in hommage vsem umetnikom, s katerimi je Koenig delal v svoji počasi iztekajoči se profesionalni karieri (Marlene Dumas, Maria Lassnig, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Nicole Eisenman, Juan Muñoz, Thomas Hirschhorn …). V ožji izbor sta se prebila tudi Rusinja Alexandra Sukhareva in Vadim Fishkin iz slovensko-ruskega kulturnega prostora, slednji s svetlobno instalacijo

pospešenega življenjskega in dnevnega cikla. V skladu z relativnostno teorijo je 24-urni svetlobni zemeljski ciklus skrčil na 2,5 minut. V maniri Documente je letos izjemen poudarek Manifeste na filmu in videu, ki kot časovni požiralec težko zares doživi gledanost. Zanimivo je, da je Katharina Fritsch izbrala film Federica Fellinija 8 ½, Tatzu Nishi Offret Andreja Tarkovskega, Joanna Warsza film Soy Cuba (1964) Mikhaila Kalatozova, Olivier Mosset Fassbinderjev film Querelle, Susan Philipsz pa film Dead Johna Hustona ... Kaspar Koenig, izhajajoč iz vzhodnonemškega prostora, dolga leta delujoč v okviru Documente (toda nikoli kot glavni kurator), je kot dovolj posrečeno zgodovinsko iztočnico filmskega programa izbral film One, Two, Three Billyja Wilderja iz leta 1961, komedijo, ki označuje na novo nastali vzhodni in zahodni Berlin z veliko mero humorja in kritike, namenjenega obema političnima stranema.


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oziroma človeka in njegove osnovne pravice. Globalno se borimo za več demokracije, toda vprašanje je, čigave demokracije? Evropske? Ameriške? Ali demokracija obstaja le še kot vzvod manipuliranja z ljudskimi množicami? Zdi se, da načelne ideje ne vzdržijo več v realnem svetu. Zato izzveneva politični aktivizem v pričakovanju razrešitve problemov delno naivno. Alarmantno število brezposelnih, revnih in na robu preživetja raste tudi v t. i. zahodnih deželah, pridružuje pa se tudi fenomen slabo plačane delovne sile, ki kljub temu, da opravi svoje delo, težko preživi. Nekateri so mnenja, da je ukrajinska javnost zavedena – gledano s stališča evropske socialne realnosti. Revščine, ki jo je prikazal Boris Mikhailov, tudi zahodne dežele ne želijo in je ne bodo reševale. Krim je bil falični simbol Rusije že od Katarine II. naprej in se mu Rusi nikakor nočejo odreči na načelni in politični ravni v prid evropskemu in ameriškemu kapitalističnemu imperializmu. Težko bi si predstavljali Američane popolnoma mirne, če bi Kubanci zahtevali ameriški falični simbol Florido za svojo, kar bi jim morda po številu prebivalstva hipotetično celo pripadalo. So stvari, ki jih »Veliki« ne dovolijo. Ukrajinski politični aktivizem je seveda več kot opravičljiv in pravičen s stališča obsojanja vojaške represije, nekaj tisoč žrtev tega konflikta na obeh straneh ter s stališča Ukrajine kot pravnega telesa, ki obstaja 23 let.

Not a Museum. Laboratory of Aesthetic Suspicions at the New Industry facilities Ni muzej. Laboratorij estetskih sumničenj v stavbi Nove industrije

Najjasnejšo prepoznavnost je Manifesta dosegla v prostorih Ermitaža, v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva, kjer se je tiskovka tudi odvijala. Popolnoma sveže in razkošno prenovljeni prostori monumentalnih dimenzij bodo tudi v bodoče namenili predstavitvam zbirk in razstav za sodobno umetnost. Glavni podpornik tega projekta je sam ruski predsednik Vladimir Putin, rojen v Sankt Peterburgu, ki je očitno ponosen na svetovni sloves Ermitaža, čeprav je njegov najljubši muzej še vedno tradicionalni Ruski nacionalni muzej. Zanimivo je tudi, da ta pravkar odpira ekspozituro v Malagi v Španiji s stotimi prestižnimi eksponati, od ruskega slikarstva do postrevolucionarne avantgarde. Putin podpira tudi druge sodobne kulturne pridobitve v mestu, na primer velik in drag projekt pozidave romantične opečnate Nove Holandije, nekdanje pomorske kovačnice na otoku ob nabrežju kanala Admiralteisky – nasproti Šole za angažirano umetnost (soustanovitelj Nikolai Oleynikov) – ki bo kmalu namenjena umetnosti, kulturi in izobraževanju v povezavi z novimi tehnologijami in kreativnimi start-upi z bizarnim drsališčem na ribniku. Časi se spreminjajo, modeli ruskega vladanja pa očitno ostajajo enaki. Tekmovalne, čim večje umetne in neuravnotežene kulturniške zgodbe so v tem mestu še vedno stalnica. Štirideset slik in kipov Henryja Matissa je razstavljenih v novih galerijah v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva – to je prvič, da je v skupnem prostoru razstavljena celotna zbirka Matissovih del, ki so v lasti Ermitaža. Vzpenjajoči osrednji koridor razstavnih dvoran v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva pod stekleno streho, ki se boči nad notranjimi dvorišči, razkriva serijo titanskih instalacij. Med njimi je 24 del iz tekstila, ki visijo kot zastave Združenih narodov umetnikov – dela Timurja Novikova iz 1980-ih ter osupljivi Abschlag Thomasa Hirschhorna, v katerem švicarski umetnik simbolično sesuje stavbo in tako razkrije resničnost za njenimi zidovi. Ruski umetnik performansa in fotograf Vladislav Mamišev-Monroe se predstavlja v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva, pa tudi na pregledni razstavi svojih provokativnih, igrivih del v Novem muzeju (Novy Muzei). Na razstavi v Ermitažu (v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva) velja izpostaviti Ilyo Kabakova, ki se predstavlja kar z dvema kosoma, vendar je subtilno in avreatično delo v zgornjih nadstropjih v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva eden izmed prepričljivejših predstavnikov žareče nadčasovne esence umetniškega dela. Navdušenje organizatorjev Manifeste, ker jih gosti največji na svetu, Ermitaž z vsem svojim razkošjem, je na

tiskovni konferenci zvenelo kot osebna »okužba« vodij: Hedwig Fijen, direktorice Manifeste, Kasparja Koeniga in direktorja Ermitaža Mikhaila Piotrovskyga. Za osnovni koncept Manifeste je odgovorna Hedwig Fijen, ki običajno poskrbi za vse zunanje aspekte, od organizacije, selekcije gostujočega mesta bienala, teme in kuratorja. Manifesta 10 naj bi povezala sodobno umetnost z zgodovino, natančneje z razstavnimi kosi v muzeju Ermitaž. V kuratorskem segmentu, ki ga imenujemo postavljanje razstave, še posebej v zbirkah Ermitaža to ne uspe, saj je tako ogromen, da tam postavljena sodobna dela ostanejo neopazna, pa če se obiskovalec Manifeste še tako trudi videti in prepoznati posamezno delo, saj se izgubljajo na prostrani kvadraturi in so težko berljiva v razkošnem baročnem okrasju, med raznorodnimi umetniškimi kosi. Ko želeni kos končno najde, je učinek bizarno kičast. Osebje velikega muzeja ne zna usmerjati obiskovalcev, saj je komaj seznanjeno s številnimi lastnimi zbirkami, kaj šele z Manifesto. Obiskovalce je elegantno in v tekoči angleščini pošiljalo sem in tja – dokler nismo dokončno ugotovili, da informatorji nimajo pojma o sodobnem bienalu, ki ga gostijo v svojih prostorih. Podobno se je dogajalo tudi na razpršenih drugih mestnih lokacijah, ki so jih organizatorji poskušali vključiti. Med muzeji velja posebej omeniti v staromodni muzejski maniri urejen Muzej Antarktike in Arktike. Na ta način smo sicer res doživeli zanimive mestne muzeje, galerije in druge posebne lokacije ter seveda mesto samo, ki je po svoji strukturi izjemno velikih razsežnosti in že samo po sebi težko obvladljivo. Manifesta se je v mestu utapljala, mesto samo pa je pridobilo nekaj tisoč kulturnih turistov, ki smo komunicirali z izjemno prijaznimi, kultiviranimi, vendar angleško negovorečimi domačini, kazali zemljevide in se nekateri sporazumevali slovansko – kakšen izziv! Slovani nimamo skupnega jezika. Ukrajinski umetnik Boris Mikhailov je zastopal interese revnih, živečih na ukrajinskem družbenem obrobju, ki si goreče želijo v evropsko skupnost, saj se zdi, da jim slabše kot jim gre v sedanjem sistemu, ne more iti nikjer. Za svojo predstavitev »najljubšega filma po izboru sodobnega umetnika« je izbral Import-Export sodobnega avstrijskega režiserja Ulricha Seidla, 2007, ki je bil posnet na 16 mm film na Dunaju, v Ukrajini, Romuniji, Češki in Slovaški in simultano sledi medicinski sestri iz Ukrajine, ki išče boljše življenje na zahodu ter brezposelnemu varnostniku iz Avstrije, ki gre na vzhod iz istega razloga. Politični aktivizem, ki ga zastopajo predvsem umetniki najmlajše generacije, je vprašljiv s stališča, na katero politično stran se kdo nasloni, da bi ubranil demokracijo

»Od druge polovice dvajsetega stoletja, od neuspelih mednarodnih revolucionarnih trenj v 1960-ih do »žametnih« revolucij, ki so končale sovjetski eksperiment v letih 1989–91, je postala militantna politika vse bolj diskreditirana. Nasilni ekscesi dvajsetega stoletja so oblatili podobo militantnega – stavkajočega delavca, partizana, gverilca, terorista – ki se je nekoč bleščala v romantičnem sijaju. Takšne podobe so izgubile svoj lesk, saj je postalo jasno, da nasilje ni pot, ki bi pripeljala do pristnih sprememb. Naše mnenje je, da gre pri celotni zadevi za vprašanje estetike v enaki meri kot za vprašanje politike. Če niti militantna estetika ni več mogoča, ali tedaj umetnost še vedno zaznamuje obljuba emancipacije?« so se spraševali na konferenci, ki so se je udeležili Ilja Budraitskis, kolektiv Čto Delat, Keti Chukhrov, Jodi Dean, Ilja Kalinin, Elena Kostiljeva, Artemy Magun, Kirill Medvedev, Nikolay Oleynikov, Roman Osminkin, Jonathan Platt, Gerald Raunig Aleksandr Skidan, Oksana Timofejeva in Aleksej Jurčak. »Naša tema je aktualna v globalnem smislu, kliče po primerjavi stališč in presega kategoriziranje tipa vzhod–zahod. Svoje raziskovanje usmerjamo na post-socialistični svet in Rusijo kot njegov epicenter. Impulz revolucionarnega – ki se je globoko, četudi ne do popolnosti uresničil leta 1917 in se nato razširil po prostranstvih socialističnih držav dvajsetega stoletja – se tukaj znajde na posebno krhkih tleh. V preteklih petindvajsetih letih smo bili v Rusiji priča hitrim spremembam raznih oblik političnega nasilja, od divjih ulic 1990-ih do državne represije aktivističnih energij (označenih kot ekstremizem) v nedavnem obdobju. Ali je politično angažirana umetnost sploh mogoča po državnem socializmu?« V sklopu odličnih Paralelnih dogodkov Manifeste, zaradi česar je dejansko vredno obiskati 10. nomadski bienale, so se v glavnem predstavljali umetniki nekdanje Sovjetske zveze, predvsem ruski, če pa smo še bolj specifični, so to moskovski umetniki in kuratorji, ki se formirajo okoli moskovskega bienala in drugih prireditev v prestolnici. Seveda je pri vseh spremljevalnih dogodkih velik problem mednarodnost projektov, kajti če obiskovalec ni rusko ali vsaj srbsko govoreč in pišoč, težko doseže celovito informacijo. Opisi, osnovne informacije in prevodi v angleški jezik so skopi in redki, na internetu in v tiskani obliki. Očitno pa je tudi vsem zmanjkalo denarja za natis brošur, če že ne preglednih katalogov, kjer bi gostje iz tujine dobili čim bolj celostno predstavo o sodobni ruski umetnosti. Na lestvici najboljših je the First Cadets’ Corpus, Stara vojaška akademija on Vasilyevsky Island, saj se odlikuje po (ne)obnovljenem prostoru z zanimivo strukturo, po postavitvi v ta prostor – torej razstave, ki so v celoti zares dobro postavljene v prostor – in po odličnih moskovskih kuratorjih. Razstava Proces prehoda Ivana Pluscha, skupinska razstava Kaj slišimo, ko gledamo (projekt Open Gallery iz Moskve) ter prav tako skupinska razstava najmlajših umetnikov z naslovom Generation START kustosa Nicholasa Palazhchenka so dovolj dobri primeri kuratorskega posla, skromnim finančnim sredstvom navkljub. »Izraz biti slišan pomeni tudi biti razumljen, kar je še posebej zanimivo za umetnike. Poleg tega gre pri glasbi za veliko bolj intimen odnos do sprejemnika: glasba prodira v nas. Pritegne našo pozornost ne glede na to, če to želimo ali ne. Lahko bi dejali, da si glasba prilašča lastnega


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poslušalca. Podoba tega ne zmore. Toda, zakaj si ne bi vsaj poskušali predstavljati, da tudi podobe v sebi vsebujejo potencial in željo, da postanejo gledalčeva iluzija?« se sprašuje kuratorica Natasha Tamruchi, ki je vključila ruske umetnike in umetnice Alexandro Dementievo, Dmitryja Gutova, Anno Franz, Olgo Kroitor, Andreya Kuzkina, Artema Loskutova, MishMash, Vladimirja Smolyarja, Vladimira Tarasova in Vadima Zakharova. Med najboljše razstave se je uvrstil tudi Muzej ulične umetnosti Možnosti nemogočega kuratorjev Vladimirja Frolova in Dmitrija Golynka pod okriljem časopisa Projekt Baltia, ki sta razložila, da se je ideja o nastanku muzeja porodila povsem spontano, nekega poletnega dne leta 2011, po zaključku grafitarske zabave v eni izmed v 90-ih zapuščenih delavnic. V okviru Manifeste gosti SAM (Muzej ulične umetnosti) razstavo Casus Pacis (Razlog za mir), s šestdesetimi, večinoma mladimi ruskimi in ukrajinskimi uličnimi umetniki – v posvetitev stote obletnice prve svetovne vojne ter nedavnim konfliktom v Ukrajini so se predstavili Rus Pasha 183 in Timofey Radya, 685 iz Ukrajine ter španski umetnik Escif. Del paralelnih dogodkov so bile razstave v sklopu Umetnost v zasebnih stanovanjih kot domači odpor. V seriji predstavljenih umetnikov sta bila tudi Jevgenij Jufit in kolektiv Novie Tupie (Novi idioti). Jevgenij Jufit je eden od najradikalnejših umetnikov, znan po svojem neodvisnem umetniškem in družbenem položaju. Svojo ustvarjalno pot je pričel s t. i. »inscenirano« fotografijo (angl. staged photography) in filmom. Leta 1983 je ustanovil gibanje nekrorealizem, ki se je oblikovalo kot posledica družbenega protesta, absurdizma in črnega humorja, črpalo pa je tudi iz medicinske forenzične literature. Leta 1984 je Jufit ustanovil enega prvih neodvisnih studiev v Sovjetski zvezi, imenovanega Mzhalalafilm (mzha pomeni zaspanost, nezavedno, lala pa je blebetanje dojenčka), in sicer kar v svojem stanovanju. Prav tam je sestavljal svoje prve 16-milimetrske kratke filme, ustvarjene pod vplivom estetike zgodnjih nemških ekspresionističnih filmov, francoske surrealistične kinematografije ter patosa sovjetskih filmov, nastalih v obdobju 1930-ih, 40-ih in 50-ih.

What do we hear when we look in First Cadets’ Corpus building / Kaj slišimo, kadar gledamo v opuščeni Stari kadetnici

Kolektiv Novie Tupie je oživel sanktpeterburško tradicijo idiotizma (Dostojevski), škandalozno obnašanje ruskih futuristov in absurd leningrajskega avantgardnega kolektiva OBERIU. Nepopolnost številnih del ter indiferentnost do produkcije končnih izdelkov in projektov sta izzvali neoklasicistične težnje Nove akademije pod vodstvom Timurja Novikova. Člani skupine Novie Tupie so tako več svojih performansov posvetili vprašanju mojstrovin. V eni izmed predstav v Muzeju Anne Akhmatove so cele tri ure kuhali svinjsko glavo, medtem ko se je tam odvijala konferenca. Še eno uporniško gesto predstavlja spomenik komarju na lokaciji Litenyi Prospekt pred bolnišnico Mariinsky, kot simbol pravega Sankt Peterburga, ki je obstajal davno pred cesarji in cesaricami. Bogat nabor ruskih umetnikov je zajela tudi razstava v prostorih stavbe The new industry z naslovom Not a Museum. Laboratory of Aesthetic Suspiсions kuratorja Vladimirja Logutova z umetniki Aleksandrom Veryovkinom, Dario Gusakovo, Ilyo Dolgovim, Olegom Elaginom, Mario Perez Colina, Alexeyjem Kallimo, Polino Kanis, Anastasio Kuzmino, skupino Laboratorij, Romanom Minaevim, Michaelom Bridgeom, Vladimirjem Potapovim in drugimi.

Detail from Ilya Kabakov at the central exhibition curated by K. Koenig / Detajl Ilye Kabakova na osrednji razstavi kuratorja K. Koeniga

Photos by Aleksandra Kostič

Apartment Art, art in private apartments / Stanovanjska umetnost, umetnost v zasebnih stanovanjih


School for Engaged Art / Šola za angažirano umetnost

Street Art Museum / Muzej ulične umetnosti

Henri Matisse

Vita and/in Boris Mikhailov Mitja Rotovnik and Andreja Rihter, Manifesta 2000, Ljubljana

Lenin monument / Spomenik Leninu

Arctic and Antarctic Museum / Muzej arktike in antartktike

Bruce Nauman

What do we hear when wee look / Kaj slišimo, kadar gledamo


Not a museum / Ni muzej

What do we hear when wee look / Kaj slišimo, kadar gledamo Generation START / Generacija START

Vadim Fishkin at the central exhibition in General Staff Building Hermitage Vadim Fiškin na osrednji razstavi v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva Ermitaž

Studio and residency center / Studijski in rezidenčni center

Apartment Art, art in private apartments / Stanovanjska umetnost, umetnost v zasebnih stanovanjih

The First Cadets’ Corpus building / Stara kadetnica


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Central exhibiton at the General Staff Building Hermitage / Osrednja razstava v Stavbi vrhovnega poveljstva Ermitaž

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe / Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe

Esciff at the Street Art Museum / Esciff v Muzeju ulične umetnosti

Street Art Museum: Casus Paci / Muzej ulične umetnosti: Casus Paci


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Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe / Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe

Studio and residency center / Studijski in rezidenčni center Generation START / Generacija START

General Staff Building Hermitage / Stavba vrhovnega poveljstva Ermitaž

Not a museum / Ni muzej Nikolay Oleynikov, School for Engaged Art Nikolay Oleynikov, Šola za angažirano umetnost


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t

ransmediale is a Berlin-based festival that happens each year at the House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), built in the Gropius modernist style by architect Hugh Stubbins. The building was a gift presented by the Americans to the city of Berlin in 1957. The festival has existed for 27 years, the first of its editions were in fact video festivals dating from 1988 to 1996. In 1989 VideoFest became the largest European video festival. Video is a young art form; from the beginning, it has been a reaction to the “brave new world” of the highly technical mass societies with all their computers, nuclear power stations, destroyed landscapes and lonely individuals. Thus, video is not film; it remains bulky, playful and vulnerable. And it is left outside of high “culture”. Starting from1997, the festival focused again on multimedia, innovative television and video. In 1997, the festival also integrated technological developments and philosophical discourses relevant to these media realms into the program: brain research, neuroaesthetics, nanotechnology and a (self-) critical debate on the inflationary multiplicity of futuristic discourses. Already in 2000, transmediale.01 wanted to turn passive media consumers into active producers: visitors should get the opportunity to experience artistic and media-technological strategies in order to give them the opportunity to create art by themselves, in situ. Thus, the DIY principle reflected the emancipatory and self-empowering tendency of the digital era in media-artistic practices. In terms of approach, Transmediale is entirely different from other festivals of its kind. The Berlin educational institutions (with a focus on digital and kindred studies) with their professors appear as active guests; the festival events also form part of the regular school program, meaning that the main and central audiences are mostly made up of youngsters. The former Transmediale, similar to Ars Electronica, was transformed into a distinctly educational festival, covering systematically the current topical issues of each year. Between shiny high-tech, e-waste dumps, big data businesses and mass surveillance schemes, the 27th edition of Transmediale 2014 under the title afterglow, explored our present post-digital moment as one in which former treasures of our mediatized life are turning into trash. International researchers, artists and activists focused on the ambivalent condition of current digital culture, looking towards a future in which media technologies have become part of daily life, turning into physical and immaterial waste. With reference to the festival theme afterglow it explores the critical dimensions of networking, hacktivism, media theory and the politics of technological development. The central opening speech was delivered by Bruce Sterling (Californian-born science fiction author, journalist, design theorist and critic, active since the 1970’s, author of the famous The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier (1992) and a contributing writer to the Wired magazine since its conception). To avoid surveillance, technological waste, commercial exploitation etc., he appealed to a boycott of the use of new technologies and suggested using arduino instead. He expressed a belief “in non-utilitarian beauty through technology and its ability to affect social change for public good”. Rather prophetically, he diagnosed the state of the world in 2014: “In 2012 it made less and less sense to talk about the internet, the PC business, telephones, the Silicon Valley or the media, and much more sense to just study Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft. These big five American vertically organized silos are re-making the world in their image… These stacksand related businesses are all about media and marketing, and they require massive cycles of content, not so much as product but as fuel for the engines of commerce… And where media is amplified by a proliferation of content – channels and sources – there’s more room for media manipulation, political propaganda and commercial marketing messages are embedded, often indistinguishably, in the signal and the noise. Well, it’s 2014, and I thank goodness the WELL is still here. I’ve never been so happy to have an internet account that doesn’t belong to some ultra-rich creep. It’ll be hard, this year, not to dwell obsessively on the capering specters of the NSA, Snowden, Wikileaks, Bitcoin… 2013 turned out to be the year when the Digital Revolution trended Stalinist. Old-school Digital Bolsheviks scattered hapless in every direction, as Big Data Killer Bot Commissars scoured the darkening landscape, and Trotsky went to ground in Ecuador.” A large group of open-source hackers outlined the core part of the festival, with the hierarchy obviously being dissolved – each individual author was defined as be-

ing equal to any other participant. The festival invited Art Hack Day as a grassroots event/exhibit format/community for artists whose medium is tech and hackers whose medium is art. This event gathered more than 80 participants working intensively for two days at the start of the festival to come up with an instant exhibition that responds to the thematic framework of afterglow. The results of the hackers’ work are not always easily discernable and are moving into the secret world of digital on-line devices, their work is a continuation of the DIY revolution, theoretically defined as follows: “As coders we fear the ‘legacy’ system, a piece of old junk we haven’t yet figured out how to throw away. As artists, we’re tempted by prolific outbursts of freshness and novelty; more art of less value. Businesses and government crave more data, more connections, more context. By embracing these impulses without contemplation we perpetuate the technological hype cycle and unintentionally shorten the half-life of our artifacts. Technology has become akin to a natural resource, generating physical and immaterial waste that is appropriated in such diverse contexts as egarbage dumps, big data businesses and mass surveillance schemes. As such, trash is no longer what is just left behind but is central to our post-digital lives. When digital detritus piles up it decomposes, giving rise to a post-digital afterglow with the potential for new expression and new enterprise. Can we make peace with our excessive data flows and their inevitable obsolescence? Can we find nourishment in waste, overflow and excess? Can the afterglow of perpetual decay illuminate us?” Art as evidence was the segment of the festival that disclosed some particular perspectives on the American war and the course of actions following 9/11. Crossing various practices and disciplines, from film documentary, computer security, hacking, experimental geography, photography, this talk reveals the role of art as evidence, as a practice of making people regain and reclaim their autonomy, have agency and live consciously in a networked world. Reconnecting with the courageous practice of whistleblowing and ethical resistance, Appelbaum, Paglen and Poitras highlight contradictions between public visibility and individual privacy, information disclosure and data protection in the digital and physical info-sphere.

rem se nekdaj zakladi našega z mediji prežetega življenja spreminjajo v smeti. Mednarodni raziskovalci, umetniki in aktivisti so se ukvarjali z vprašanjem ambivalentnega stanja, značilnega za obstoječo digitalno kulturo ter pogledovali proti prihodnosti, kjer se medijske tehnologije, ki bodo dokončno postale del našega vsakdana, spreminjajo v materialni in nematerialni odpad. V duhu naslovne teme afterglow festival raziskuje kritične dimenzije mreženja, hekanja, medijskih teorij in politike tehnološkega razvoja. Glavni otvoritveni festivalski nagovor Kalifornijca Brucea Sterlinga (avtorja znanstvene fantastike, novinarja, teoretika oblikovanja in kritika, ki je aktiven vse od 70-ih in je med drugim avtor znamenitega romana The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier (1992) ter redni sodelavec revije Wired od njenih začetkov naprej) je v izogib nadzoru, tehnološkemu odpadu, komercialnim zaslužkom itd. pozval k zavrnitvi rabe novih tehnologij in k uporabi arduina. Izrazil je svoje prepričanje v »ne-utilitaristično lepoto preko tehnologije in njeno zmožnost, da vpliva na družbene spremembe za dobrobit celotne javnosti«. Stanje sveta 2014 je preroško opredelil: »V 2012 je bilo vse manj smiselno govoriti o internetu, osebnih računalnikih, telefonih, Silicijevi dolini ali medijih. Vse bolj smiselno je postalo preprosto preučiti Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon in Microsoft. Velika peterica ameriških, vertikalno organiziranih silosov ustvarja nov svet po svoji podobi ... Edino, kar šteje pri takšnih korporacijah in sorodnih podjetjih, so mediji in marketing, pri čemer ti zahtevajo ogromne količine vsebinskih ciklov, toda ne samo kot produkte, temveč

SI Transmediale je festival, ki se odvija v Berlinu v Hiši svetovne kulture (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) v Gropiusovem modernističnem stilu in je delo arhitekta Hugha Stubbinsa, ki so jo Američani poklonili mestu Berlin leta 1957. Festival obstaja že 27 let, prve izdaje so bile pravzaprav video festivali (1988 do 1996). Do leta 1989 se VideoFest razvije v največji evropski video festival. Video je relativno mlada umetniška oblika, njeni začetki so nastali kot odziv na »pogumni novi svet« visoko tehnološke družbe, posejane z računalniki, jedrskimi elektrarnami, uničenimi pokrajinami in osamljenimi posamezniki. Tudi zato video ni enak filmu, ostaja namreč neroden, igriv in ranljiv. Ostaja izvzet iz »visoke« kulture. Z letom 1997 se festival znova osredotoči na multimedijo, inovativno televizijo in video. Istega leta prične tudi bolj aktivno slediti tehnološkim napredkom ter v program vpeljevati filozofske diskurze, ki so relevantni za omenjena medijska področja: možganske raziskave, nevro-estetika, nanotehnologija ter (samo)kritične debate na temo strmo naraščajočega števila futurističnih diskurzov. transmediale.01 je tako že leta 2000 ciljal na spremembo pasivnih potrošnikov medijev v aktivno sodelujoče udeležence: obiskovalci naj dobijo priložnost, da izkusijo umetniške in medijsko-tehnološke strategije ter s tem priložnost, da sami ustvarjajo umetnost in situ. V tem smislu je princip DIY (naredi-sam) odseval težnje digitalne dobe po emancipaciji in samostojnosti na področju medijsko-umetniških praks. transmediale je po svojem pristopu povsem drugačen od ostalih tovrstnih festivalov. Berlinske izobraževalne institucije (osredotočene na digitalne in sorodne študije) aktivno gostujejo s svojimi profesorji, festivalski dogodki sodijo pod obvezni šolski program, tako so glavna in osrednja publika mladi. Nekdanji Transmediale, soroden Ars Electronici, se je transformiral v izključno izobraževalni festival, ki vsako leto sistematično pokriva vse aktualne pereče probleme. Nekje med bleščečim high-techom, odlagališči elektronskih odpadkov, sistemi množičnega nadzora ter poslovanjem z masovnimi podatki je 27. izdaja festivala Transmediale 2014 z naslovom afterglow raziskovala post-digitalno obdobje našega časa kot trenutek, v kateThe transmediale bookstore exceeded everything seen so far in terms of systematization, number and organization of themes. / Knjigarna Transmediala je po sistematiki, številu in preglednosti tem presegala vse videno doslej.


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festival for art and digital culture berlin

transmediale 2014 Aleksandra Kostič

festival umetnosti in digitalne kulture

predvsem kot gorivo, ki napaja aparat prodaje ... In kjer medije podpira izobilje vsebin – kanalov in virov – je tudi več prostora za medijsko manipulacijo; politična propaganda in komercialna tržna sporočila so, pogosto povsem nerazpoznavno, sestavni del samega signala oziroma hrupa. Toda zdaj smo v letu 2014 in vesel sem, da še obstaja WELL (spletna skupnost, op. prev.). Še nikoli nisem bil tako srečen, da imam internetni račun, ki ni last neke nesramno bogate barabe. Letos se bo zares težko izogniti oderuškim apetitom, kot jih imajo NSA, afera Snowden, Wikileaks, Bitcoin ... 2013 se je izkazalo za leto, v katerem si je digitalna revolucija nadela stalinistično preobleko. Digitalni boljševiki stare šole, ki nesrečno begajo v vse smeri, smrtonosni roboti-komisarji masovnega podatkovja prečesavajo temačno pokrajino, Trocki pa je poniknil v Ekvadorju.« Velika skupina open-source hekerjev je opredelila osrednji del festivala, kjer so očitno talili hierarhijo in posamezne avtorje opredeljevali kot enakovredne vsem ostalim udeleženim. Povabljeni so bili Art Hack Day – kot osnovni dogodek, razstavni format in skupnost za umetnike, katerih medij je tehnologija, in za hekerje, katerih medij je umetnost. Dogodka se je udeležilo več kot 80 sodelujočih. V začetku festivala so dva dni intenzivno delali in uspelo jim je pripraviti hitro razstavo, ki je ustrezala tematskemu okvirju festivalske teme afterglow. Težko pregledni rezultati hekerjev se selijo v skriti svet digitalnih on-line naprav, njihovo početje je nadaljevanje DIY revolucije, teoretično opredeljene takole: »Kot računalničarji se bojimo tradicije »zapuščine«, čeprav gre v bistvu za staro kramo, ki se je še ne znamo znebiti. Kot umetnike nas privlačijo ustvarjalni izbruhi svežine in novosti; več umetnosti z manj vrednosti. Poslovni svet in vlada so lačni podatkov, povezav, konteksta. Z nepremišljenim sprejemanjem teh impulzov ohranjamo tehnološki ciklus navdušenja (hype cycle) in nenamerno skrajšujemo polovično življenje lastnih artefaktov. Tehnologija je postala neke vrste naravni vir, ki proizvaja materialne in nematerialne odpadke, te pa srečujemo v najrazličnejših kontekstih: na odlagališčih elektronskega odpada, v trgovanjih z masovnimi podatki, v sistemih množičnega nadzora. V tem smislu odpadki ne predstavljajo več zgolj nečesa, kar puščamo za seboj, ampak postajajo središčna tema naših post-digitalnih življenj. Ko se nakopiči dovolj digitalnega odpada, se začne razkrajati, s tem pa odpira nove možnosti digitalni zarji (afterglow, op. prev.), ki v sebi skriva potencial novih načinov izražanja in novih podvigov. Ali se lahko spravimo s čezmernim pretokom podatkov in njihovo neizogibno zastarelostjo? Ali nas lahko razsvetli zarja večnega razkroja?« Art as evidence je bil segment festivala, ki je odkril nekatere poglede na ameriško vojno in tok dogajanj po 11. septembru. Na križišču različnih praks in disciplin, od filmskih dokumentarcev, računalniške varnosti, hekanja, eksperimentalne geografije, fotografije, je konferenca skušala razkriti vlogo umetnosti kot dokaza, kot prakse, ki ljudem omogoča ponovno pridobitev avtonomnosti, aktivno vlogo v družbi in ozaveščeno življenje v svetu, prepletenem z omrežji vseh vrst. Avtorji Appelbaum, Paglen in Poitras se torej hrabro vračajo k žvižgaštvu in etičnemu odporu ter pri tem osvetljujejo protislovja med javno transparentnostjo in posameznikovo zasebnostjo, med razkrivanjem informacij in zaščito podatkov v digitalni in fizični info-sferi. Photo / Foto Aleksandra Kostič


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One of the participants in the hackers’ part was Marco Donnarumma (Sašo Sedlaček, Julian Oliver) / V hekerskem delu je sodeloval tudi Marco Donnarumma (Sašo Sedlaček, Julian Oliver)


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Ars Electronica 2014

reativity community collaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol competition capitalcitizen odecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness commonscruelty atalystcognition correlationcreativity community collaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol ompetition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness ommonscruelty catalystcognition correlation … creativity community collaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication loudcontrol competition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyberrtconfidence craziness commonscruelty catalystcognition correlationcreativity community collaboration contentcontext risischaos communication cloudcontrol competition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine yberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness commonscruelty catalystcognition correlation … creativity community collaboration ontentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol competition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft riticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness commonscruelty catalystcognition correlationcreativity community ollaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol competition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge hoicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness commonscruelty catalystcognition correlation … creativity community collaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol competition capitalcitizen odecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness commonscruelty atalystcognition correlationcreativity community collaboration contentcontext crisischaos communication cloudcontrol ompetition capitalcitizen codecopyright crowdchallenge choicecopyleft criticismcaffeine cyberspacecyber-artconfidence craziness ommonscruelty catalystcognition correlation … Žiga Dobnikar

Ars Electronica, the oldest media art festival. In its 35 years of history it developed from a pilot project into one of the pivotal global art events. Ever since its beginning in 1979, Ars Electronica has been re-questioning the future as seen from the intersection of art, science and society. Its latest edition was thus focused around the crucial question of “what it takes to change?” And it definitely seems that the answer begins with the letter “c”. A wise choice, indeed, as it is (in English) the first letter of a whole range of parameters characterizing technical, scientific, social, and last but not least, artistic developments, which enable the free exploration of numerous, more or less interrelated topics and issues: creativity, community, collaboration, content, context, crisis, chaos, communication, cloud, control, competition, capital, citizen, code, copyright, crowd, challenge, choice, copyleft, criticism, caffeine, cyberspace, cyber-art, confidence, craziness, commons, cruelty, catalyst, cognition, correlation …

GeoPulse


C…

Ars Electronica 2014, performans / Photo by / Fotografije: Tadej Vindiš

what it takes to change C … kaj je potrebno za spremembo

Ars Electronica, najstarejši festival medijske umetnosti. V 35-letni zgodovini se je iz pilotnega projekta razvil v enega izmed ključnih globalnih umetniških dogodkov. Ars Electronica vse od svojega začetka leta 1979 preizprašuje prihodnost, gledano iz presečišča umetnosti, znanosti in družbe. Tako je zadnja edicija festivala zastavljena okoli temeljnega vprašanja “kaj je potrebno za spremembo?” In vsekakor se zdi, da se odgovor začne na črko “c”. Ta je modra izbira, saj se (v angleščini) z njo namreč začne kopica parametrov tehničnega, znanstvenega, družbenega in nenazadnje umetniškega razvoja, ki omogočajo prosto raziskovanje številnih bolj ali manj povezanih tem in vprašanj: creativity, community, collaboration, content, context, crisis, chaos, communication, cloud, control, competition, capital, citizen, code, copyright, crowd, challenge, choice, copyleft, criticism, caffeine, cyberspace, cyber-art, confidence, craziness, commons, cruelty, catalyst, cognition, correlation … The festival’s artistic directors Christine Schöpf and Gerfried Stocker are trying to explore the prerequisites and framework conditions necessary to enable social innovation and renewal. At the center of their deliberation is the idea that art and artists perform the role of catalyst in the processes of social transformation. The numerous festival segments confront clever and witty devices, experiments, fashion, urban planning, virtual worlds, business ideas, biology, physics, hacking, banking and a pleiad of other grand ideas, corresponding in one way or another to the possibility of change. Thus, at least on paper, the Ars Electronica is a truly impressive colossus with around 85,000 visitors, 579 participating artists and scientists from 59 countries, who performed 427 individual productions. Yet, it appears too often that on the account of such an extended scope, which is otherwise also the trademark of Ars Electronica, this edition has suffered a lack of depth – i. e. the lack of an in-depth dialog that would reach out to the sociological, philosophical, anthropological and political foundations of a society desperately in need of reform.

ticular attention in this respect: it presented all the projects and all the festival locations, and provided an opportunity for a discussion with the artists and curators. For some time now, St. Mary’s cathedral has been the site where individual sound installations and performances took place, but this year’s edition has seen a considerable expansion of the collaboration between the bishopric and Ars Electronica. The entire church was turned into an exhibition space, the sounds of installations intertwining with those of the visitors exploring the location and searching for the exhibited works. One of the chapels was used as a podium for a subtle kinetic installation by Ei Wada (JP), Flying Records. In the typical fashion of this Japanese artist, the work is based at the intersection of music and visual art. Six analog recorders play the music on a reel-to-reel magnetic tape, with a helium balloon attached at the end. Once the tape has finished playing the balloon rises, while rewinding the tape hauls the balloon back down, creating a minimalist and playful sonic-kinetic choreography. 5 robots named Paul is an interactive installation by Patrick Tresset (FR/UK), in which

Since the early editions of the festival, one of the central attractions have always been the rather unexpected festival venues, stretching beyond spaces reserved exclusively for art, and including in the past locations such as the city harbor, a network of underground tunnels, a convent and a tobacco processing plant. C … what it takes to change ventures into the urban context of the Linz city center, and disperses into many locations. Some are old, familiar companions – Ars Electronica Center, Main Square, University of Arts, Brucknerhaus, OK Centrum, the cathedral, others are entirely new – the shopping center, the underground parking garage, the atrium of the bank, the Akademisches Gymnasium, the courtyard and garden of the bishop’s residence, and the square around the cathedral. Given this marked fragmentation of venues, the visitor is forced to explore the city, which is always a fun challenge if you’re a solo player with poor orientation, and adds a new dimension to the festival. There was of course an extensive program of guided tours available, with different focal points regarding the content. The whole-day opening parcours deserves par-


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the participant patiently poses as a model to the robot drawers assembled from old school desks, obsolete digital cameras and robotic arms. Across the room from these “retro” works the performance Mirage was set up, created by the Japanese collective Grinder-Man. In the performance the participant is equipped with high-tech virtual eyewear, headphones and camera and placed on the border between reality (the present) and virtual reality (the past), which he is unable to discern. Due to the deep immersion effect, the experience is truly extraordinary, because the visitor completely loses contact with reality and, at least for a few moments, seriously doubts his own perception. In a certain way it is genuinely democratic, accessible, supported by an extraordinary educational program and appealing even to the audiences which aren’t necessarily familiar with the field of intermedia art, which is an enviable achievement in itself. However, the other side of the coin is that its democratic nature blunts its edge, makes provocation polite, and avant-garde safe. The collaboration with a new festival partner, the Akademisches Gymnasium, was another interesting aspect. The works were set up inside the – virtually unaltered – school facilities such as classrooms or chemistry laboratories equipped with biological specimen and stuffed animals. The visitor thus discovers exhibitions spontaneously as he wanders through the school premises. Among others, a large part of the Buddha on the Beach was displayed here, an exhibition showcasing the production of Taiwanese intermedia and visual artists, exploring the instability of our era, the collisions of the virtual and the real, and the chaos that is gradually taking over the world. The work of Aki Inomata (JP) is an ingenious commentary on a geo-political oddity, a piece of no-man’s-land in Japan that officially belonged to France until 2009 when it reverted to Japan, which will possess it until 2059 when it re-reverts to France. It reminded the author of the behavior of hermit crabs, which cast off their shell when they outgrow it, or are forced to abandon it when a stronger member of their species drives them out. For these “exiles”, Inomata built a series of transparent plastic shells. The attic of the gymnasium hosted a surprising interactive sound-and-light installation by Werner Jauk (AT), which produces, opposite to what we are used to, music and light effects according to the moves of the “dancer”. A truly delightful surprise in the attic! More tightly linked to the basic line of the festival were the Future Innovators Summit and the related exhibition in the extension of the gymnasium. The underlining goal was an interdisciplinary connection of young people, who demonstrated an exceptional potential in multiple areas. Together they were confronting the question of “what it takes to change”, presenting their ideas and products, and exchanging experiences among themselves, as well as with the visitors. The festival schedule was crowded with performances, lectures, discussions, presentations, projections, parties and individual segment openings. The central event was the CyberArts exhibition at the OK Centrum that presents winners of the Prix Ars Electronica awards. The Golden Nica for interactive art was awarded to Paolo Cirio (IT/ US) for his work Loophole4All, which democratizes the exploitation of tax and legal gaps, enabled by means of company registration in one of the tax havens. The access to them is far too expensive for the ordinary citizen, but Cirio managed to compile a list of 200,000 offshore companies by taking advantage of their doctrine of strict anonymity, and thus enabled the theft of corporate identity. Loophole4All warns about the deep economic inequality founded on the basis of a legalized criminal activity, snatching it from the hands of corporate and political elites and putting it forward to the average citizen as a means of civil disobedience. In juxtaposition to the severity of Cirio’s work, Jacob Tonski’s (US) Balance from Within also deserves attention. Using the metaphor of a sofa balancing precariously on a single leg with the help of a complex robotic system hidden inside it, the work is a subtle commentary on the complex politics of balancing interpersonal relationships. The Golden Nica in the category of computer animations was awarded to WalkingCity, in which the human figure is gradually, and entirely smoothly, transformed into urban patterns evoking utopian architectural visions of the 1960’s. The Ars Electronica 2014 also introduced a new award – the Golden Nica for visionary pioneers of media art, with Roy Ascott (UK) deservedly as its first winner. The segment that received a lot of attention, both before and during the festival, was DeviceArt – a new form of art

originating from Japan, which presents the essence of technology through the use of new materials and devices. This concept stands in sharp contrast to the western concept of art, but has an established tradition in the cultures of the Far East. The tool and the content are inseparable – in other words, the content of the device is the device itself. Even though most of the exhibited works have an applicable potential, they are often marked by a playful, humorous note. In the array of displayed devices, Eric Siu’s (HK) Touchy definitely stood out It is a wearable device that literally transforms the user into a functioning human camera. The wearer is constantly “blinded” until someone touches his skin, which causes the shutters to open and restores the wearer’s vision. It is perhaps this segment of the festival that sums up most clearly what Ars Electronica is about – an exceptional number of works, ideas, and creative efforts from around the globe, as well as a constant bombardment with information, which is usually irrelevant. Judging by its scope, the festival is indeed impressive, but it does, despite some exceptionally insightful works, lack depth.

SI Umetniški vodji festivala, Christine Schöpf in Gerfried Stocker, skušata raziskati, kakšni predpogoji in okvirji morajo biti vzpostavljeni, da se lahko razvijeta družbeno inovatorstvo in obnova. V središče teh razmislekov postavljata idejo, da umetniki in umetnost zavzemajo vlogo katalizatorja (catalyst) v procesih družbene transformacije. Skozi številne segmente festivala so soočene duhovite naprave, eksperimenti, moda, urbanizem, virtualni svetovi, podjetniške zamisli, biologija, fizika, hekanje, bančništvo in plejada velikih idej, ki tako ali drugače korespondirajo s premislekom o možnosti spremembe. Tako je Ars Electronica na papirju resnično impresiven kolos — obiskalo jo je okoli 85.000 obiskovalcev, na njej je sodelovalo 579 umetnikov in znanstvenikov iz 59 držav, ki so izvedli 427 posameznih produkcij. Vendar se prepogosto zazdi, da na račun tolikšne širine, ki je sicer zaščitni znak Ars Electronice, tokrat umanjka preveč globine — torej poglobljenega dialoga, ki bi segel do socioloških, filozofskih, antropoloških in političnih osnov družbe, ki je tako potrebna obnove. Vse od začetkov festivala so ena od ključnih zanimivosti presenetljiva prizorišča dogodkov, ki segajo onkraj prostorov, rezerviranih za umetnost, in so v preteklosti vključevala na primer pristanišče, mrežo podzemnih tunelov, samostan in tovarno za predelavo tobaka. C … what it takes to change se poda v urbani kontekst linškega mestnega jedra in se razdrobi na več lokacij. Nekatere so stare znanke – Ars Electonica Center, Glavni trg, Univerza za umetnost, Brucknerhaus, OK Centrum, katedrala, druge pa so povsem nove – nakupovalno središče, podzemna garaža, atrij banke, Akademska gimnazija, dvorišče in vrt škofove rezidence ter trg okoli katedrale. S tako izrazito fragmentacijo je obiskovalec primoran raziskati mesto, kar je za solerje s slabo orientacijo vedno zabaven izziv, ki dodaja festivalu novo dimenzijo. Seveda pa je obstajal obsežen program vodstev z različnimi vsebinskimi fokusi. V tem kontekstu velja izpostaviti celodnevni otvoritveni parcours, ki je predstavil vse projekte in festivalske lokacije, hkrati pa omogočal tudi pogovore z umetniki in kuratorji. Marijina katedrala je že nekaj časa prizorišče posameznih zvočnih instalacij in performansov, vendar pa je v tokratni ediciji festivala prišlo do bistvene razširitve sodelovanja med škofijo in Ars Electronico. Celotna cerkev postane razstavni prostor, v katerem se prepletajo šumi instalacij in obiskovalcev, ki raziskujejo prostor in iščejo razstavljena dela. V eno od kapel je bila postavljena subtilna kinetična postavitev Ei Wada (JP) Flying Records (Leteče plošče). V zanj značilni gesti je delo zasnovano na preseku glasbe in vizualne umetnosti — 6 kolutnih magnetofonov predvaja posnetke na magnetofonskem traku, na koncu katerega je pritrjen s helijem napolnjen balon na vrvici; ko se posnetek izteče, se balon prične dvigati, ko se posnetek previje na začetek, pa se naglo spusti, kar ustvarja minimalistično in igrivo zvočno-kinetično koreografijo. 5 robots named Paul (5 robotov poimenovanih Pavel) je interaktivna instalacija Patricka Tresseta (FR/UK), v kateri udeleženec potrpežljivo pozira robotskim risarjem, sestavljenim iz šolske mize, zastarele kamere in robotske roke. Nasproti “retro” zaznamovanim delom stoji performans Mirage (Privid) japonskega kolektiva Grinder-Man, v katerem udeleženca opremijo z visokotehnološkimi virtualnimi očali, slušalkami in kamero, ki ga postavijo med realnost (sedanjost) in virtualno resničnost (preteklost), med katerima ne more ločiti. Slednja izkušnja je zaradi globoke potopitve resnično

nenavadna, saj gledalec povsem izgubi stik z realnostjo in, vsaj za nekaj trenutkov, resnično dvomi v svojo percepcijo. Zelo zanimivo je bilo tudi sodelovanje z Akademsko gimnazijo, ki je nov partner festivala. Dela so bila postavljena v skoraj nespremenjene šolske prostore – v učilnice, laboratorije za kemijo, med biološke preparate in nagačene živali. Tako gledalec vandra po šoli in spontano odkriva razstave. Tu je bil med drugim velik del razstave Buddha on the Beach (Buda na plaži), ki predstavlja produkcijo tajvanskih intermedijskih in vizualnih umetnikov, ki raziskujejo nestabilnost sedanjosti, trke virtualnega in resničnega ter kaos, za katerega se zdi, da vedno bolj vlada svetu. Aki Inomata (JP) duhovito komentira geopolitično čudo – košček nikogaršnje zemlje na Japonskem, ki je do leta 2009 uradno pripadala Franciji, zdaj pripada Japonski, a jo bo ta leta 2059 spet vrnila Franciji. Avtorja je to spomnilo na rake samotarje, ki menjavajo hišice, ko jih prerastejo ali pa ko jih iz njih izženejo močnejši rivali. Za izgnance je Inomata izdelal serijo prosojnih plastičnih hišk. Na podstrešju gimnazije je gledalca/raziskovalca presenetila interaktivna zvočno svetlobna instalacija Wernerja Jauka (AT), ki, obratno kot smo vajeni, proizvaja glasbo in svetlobne efekte glede na gibe “plesalca”. Zelo prijetno presenečenje na podstrešju. Tesneje povezana z osnovno linijo festivala sta bila Future Innovators Summit (Srečanje inovatorjev prihodnosti) in pripadajoča razstava v prizidku gimnazije. Ključna predpostavka je bila interdisciplinarno povezovanje mladih, ki so na zelo različnih področjih pokazali izreden potencial. Skupaj so iskali odgovor na vprašanje “kaj je potrebno za spremembo?”, predstavljali svoje ideje in produkte ter izmenjavali izkušnje med sabo in z obiskovalci. Na nek način je resnično demokratičen, dostopen, podprt z izjemnim izobraževalnim programom in privlačen tudi za občinstvo, ki v intermedijski umetnosti ni povsem doma, kar je zavidanja vreden dosežek. Druga plat medalje pa je, da demokratičnost otopi ostrino, provokacijo naredi vljudno, avantgardo pa varno. Na urniku festivala so se gnetli performansi, predavanja, debate, predstavitve, projekcije, zabave in otvoritve posameznih segmentov. Osrednji dogodek je bila razstava CyberArts v OK Centru, na kateri so predstavljeni prejemniki Prix Ars Electronica. Zlato Niko za interaktivno umetnost je dobil Paolo Cirio (IT/US) za delo Loophole4All (Vrzel za vse), ki demokratizira izkoriščanje davčnih in pravnih vrzeli, ki jih omogoča registracija podjetja v davčni oazi. Dostop do njih je za normalne državljane predrag, vendar je Cirio s pridobitvijo seznama 200.000 offshore podjetij in izkoriščanjem doktrine striktne anonimnosti s projektom omogočil krajo korporativne identitete. Loophole4All opozarja na globoko ekonomsko nepravičnost, utemeljeno na legalizirani kriminalni dejavnosti, jo iztrga iz rok korporativnih in političnih elit in ponudi navadnim državljanom kot orodje civilne nepokorščine. V jukstapoziciji z ostrino Cirijevega dela je vredno omeniti Balance from Within (Ravnotežje od znotraj) Jacoba Tonskega (US). Z metaforo kavča, ki s pomočjo kompleksnega robotskega sistema, skritega v njem, lovi ravnotežje na eni nogi, subtilno komentira kompleksno politiko ohranjanja ravnotežja v medčloveških odnosih. Zlato Niko za računalniško animacijo je dobila animacija WalkingCity (Hodeče mesto), na kateri se človeška figura postopno in povsem gladko preobraža v urbanistične vzorce, ki evocirajo utopične arhitekturne vizije iz 60-ih let. S tem festivalom je bila uvedena tudi nova nagrada – Zlata Nika za vizionarske pionirje medijske umetnosti, katere prvi prejemnik je upravičeno Roy Ascott (UK). Segment, o katerem se je ogromno govorilo tako pred kot med festivalom, je bil Device Art – nova oblika umetnosti, ki prihaja z Japonske in prikazuje esenco tehnologije z uporabo novih materialov in naprav. Ta koncept je v ostrem nasprotju z zahodnjaškim pojmovanjem umetnosti, vendar ima dolgo tradicijo v kulturah Daljnega vzhoda. Orodje in vsebina sta neločljiva – z drugimi besedami, vsebina naprave je naprava sama. Čeprav imajo razstavljena dela večkrat uporaben potencial, jih pogosto zaznamuje igriva, humorna nota. V množici razstavljenih naprav je najbolj izstopal Touchy Erica Siuja (HK). Gre za nosljivo napravo, ki uporabnika spremeni v fotoaparat – naprava ga zaslepi, vidi le, ko se ga kdo dotakne in se odpre zaslonka. Morda prav ta segment festivala najjasneje povzame Ars Electronico – izjemno število del, idej, kreativcev z vseh vetrov in neprestano bombardiranje z informacijami, ki največkrat niso relevantne. Festival je po obsegu vsekakor impresiven, mu pa, čeprav ponuja nekaj izjemno pronicljivih del, umanjka globine. Photo by / Fotografije: Tadej Vindiš


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Robertina Šebjanič (SI), Hydra reminiscence, 2014

Grinder-Man (JP), Mirage, 2014

Perpetual Plastic Project (NL)

ART+COM (DE), Otto Bock (AT), Mobility, Reflective Kinematronic III

Ars Electronica 2014, Device Art

Ars Electronica 2014, FabLab

Werner Jauk (AT), PARA-SONIC 3.0, 2014

Grinder-Man (JP), Mirage, 2014


Boris Petrovsky (DE), Das Vergerät, 2014

Gaël Maistriau (BE), Pixtray, 2013

Jaehyuck Bae (KR), Inside Out

Rüdiger Trojok (DE), Gene Gun Hack, 2012

Hiroto Ikeuchi (JP), Desktop-Diorama Fanatsy, 2013

Alois Mosbacher (AT), Furnishing the wilderness, 2014


Ulrich Lantzberg (AT), 60 flavours

Sašo Sedlaček (SI), Žicar / Beggar Robot, 2006

Photo by / Fotografije: Tadej Vindiš

Daniel Boschung (CH), RoboPhot: Face cartography


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Apologists of the new civilization Maša Jazbec

For time immemorial, man has fantasized about how to create a spark of being in an artificial human body. The manner in which such phantasms were manifested depended on the technological endowment of the period in which he lived. By doing so, man learned about himself, his body and the principles of nature. He explored the notions of soul, consciousness and body. He learned that the soul is not a thing and that soul does not equal body. In the 16th century, philosopher and mathematician Descartes postulated a clear thesis about the existence of two separate substances, which together constitute the human organism: the tangible body and the immaterial mind. The self is separated from the body, which Descartes perceives as a machine. Engineers of the first mechanical automatons in the 18th century speculated on the creation of movable mechanical bodies that would mimic an organic being. Considering the level of technological development in those times, mechanical vivification represented a possibility of autonomous movement. Automatons were fascinating to people precisely because of this autonomy of movement and imitation of breathing, brought about by the invention of spring mechanism clocks. The fact that this technology was used to propel the automatons may not be a coincidence, as the ticking sound of the clock mechanism could symbolize the beating of the heart. The most noted automaton makers were the French innovator Jacques Vaucanson and the erudite Swiss clockmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz. In 1738 in Paris, Vaucanson exhibits the “flute-player”, a 65-inch high sitting shepherd that could play twelve melodies and was able to move its fingers, lips and chin. It was powered by nine bellows on three separate pipes, which led to its chest and created, together with a metal tongue, the illusion of breathing. The flute player was presented alongside the “digesting duck”, which could eat and digest kernels of grain, just like a real duck, with an accurate imitation of the human digestive system. Between 1768 and 1774, the celebrated Swiss clockmaker Jaquet-Droz constructed three humanoid automata, “the draftsman”, who could draw four different images using charcoal; “the writer” writing down different texts, and “the musician” – a female organ player, who could follow the movement of her fingers on the keyboard with her eyes. The principle of their functioning was based on “programmed” perforated metal cylinders (like the barrel organ). The mechanical automata were indeed programed, and can be considered as remote ancestors of modern computers. As far as the development of machines is concerned, we need to bear in mind that in the first period of the boost of automata and other machinery (in the 17th century), these were built as ineffectual inventions; a toy to entertain the Master’s eye (for example, the moving mechanical statue in the gardens of Louis XIV): only later, in the 18th century, this knowledge was employed to construct production machinery (such as the steam engine and weaving machines). (Slavoj Žižek)

Another great change in the perception of the human body comes with the development of industry and engineering science in the second half of the 19th century. With the invention of the steam engine and the internal combustion engine, controllable energy becomes the single fundamental paradigm of understanding principles of the mechanical. In the 20th century computers become the dominant technology of social progress. Virtually every existing analog technology, including radio, television and telephony, is absorbed by the ocean of digitalization and artificial substitutes that replace human ability, or even humans themselves. The technological progress brings about a transformation in every aspect of human existence, including the perception of time. New ways of communication and cultural forms are a means of transfiguring present-day identities, forms of community and interpersonal relationships; and our perception of time and space is being re-established. The body as an important natural and social construct has always been the point of discourse where various contemporary social theories meet. Merleau-Ponty saw man’s experience and the modalities within which we encounter the world, as being inevitably bound to the body. The increasing interest in the philosophy of the body; the post-modernist attack on the Cartesian rational part and the ability of new technologies to control, transform and fuse our bodily reality with the others, point again to our vague and insecure understanding of what man is, what life is and what it can become. The concepts of bodily structure and its functions are derived from paradigms of science and technology. It is precisely the principle of the mechanical through which we perceive and comprehend the structure and functioning of our bodies. But the essence of being and the tendency to search for concepts remain a challenge to the Homo sapiens. In fact, we are witnessing the beginnings of a third revolution: after the transport revolution of the 19th century, which saw the rise of the railway system, of the car and aviation, the 20th century has witnessed the second revolution, a revolution of transmissions, through the implementation of the instantaneous diffusion of electromagnetic waves in radio and video. (Paul Virilio) Today technology is no longer perceived as merely instrumental, but has become the subject’s way of being. An important paradigm is the symbiosis of the biological and technological principles as the only way of survival. Our times witness the peak of a historic transformation of the body in relation to the artificial technological structure. By introducing various technological interfaces, an ambiguous attitude between man and world is created, and this ambiguity is becoming increasingly virtual and artificial. This time of interim, in which we reside, is of course only an implication of the new forms of real existence. These are also the topics behind the work of contemporary visual practice producers (artists – scientists). By this, I am referring to concrete examples within the scientific branch that deals with androids. Androids are human-like machines-robots, though a distinction must be made between robots and androids. Robots stand for a capitalist engineering of optimizing economic interests, while androids introduce a new meaning and an added value to the field of robotics. The research work is carried out as studies at the intersection of cognitive sciences and various branches of philosophy. This tight bond between science, philosophy and art is called android science and one of its visionaries is a Japanese scientist, Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Artificial robotic intelligence has yet to reach the level of an adult human. Humans are able to resolve cognitive problems, understand others talk, recognize faces and interact spontaneously. No artificial organism was created to this day, which would possess the ability to solve such complex tasks. So far, no android has the ability to autonomously enter into a dialog with another android, like humans do. People have the ability to carry out complicated cognitive assignments using minimal intellectual effort, and artificial intelligence is still a long way from catching up with our mental abilities – or even those of an infant. Hiroshi Ishiguro presents his projects from the field of android science at the Ars Electronica festival in Linz. In 2009, he showcased an outstanding project called Geminoid HI-2. The Geminoid is a tele-operated android, whose appearance closely resembles a specific human “model” – Ishiguro himself. His android copy version is driven by pneumatic actuators that enable facial expressions and controlled movement of the other parts of the body. The Geminoid teleoperation system consists mainly of an “android server” and a “teleoperation client”. The server and client communicate through the internet. The client features a face recognition system and a mouth motion generation system. Information including the operator’s facial expressions is captured by a web camera, automatically translated into motion commands for the robot, and sent to the server. The entire process is generated in real-time, which allows synchronization of the operator and the geminoid. Hiroshi Ishiguro thus uses the Geminoid HI-2 to explore the possibilities of transmitting human presence (without the body) onto a remote physical location using internet interfaces. He explores whether the individual’s consciousness and body can function separately. The internet is not just a means of transferring information; it is becoming a way of translating human presence and it affects the physical activities that happen between the organic and the mechanical body. The organic and mechanical bodies merge into a single unit from different physical locations. The geminoid, a bulk of mechanical digital nerves connected to the information matrix, operates as a human simulacrum. Apart from perception, abstract thought, comprehension, volition and emotions, humans are also characterized by a different kind of a mysterious content, different from all of the above, which we call the soul. Man does not possess it, but rather the soul possesses man. It is what makes him human. As Lacan puts it, emotions are primarily perceived as imaginary; they require a surface or a vessel to become a phenomenon in its own right. Human emotions are manifested in different ways. We can understand this in the sense of atmosphere, or presence. Capturing human emotions and finding a way to deliver them to the geminoid in the form of a digital bit are the issues behind Ishiguro’s work. An intriguing and topical subject in a time when the individual interacts more with objects than with persons. Nonetheless, it is in our nature to try and anthropomorphize, or humanize these objects. At the Ars Electronica 2010, professor Ishiguro presented the Telenoid R1. It is a tele-operated android with a minimalistic design in the form of a stylized child’s torso with a bald head and a doll-like face. The idea was to create a smaller and more mobile android, without an indication of gender or age. It was designed to serve as a new form of communication device. Again, the project explores the idea of transmitting human presence onto remote locations with the use of technological interfaces.


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Apologeti nove civilizacije SI At the Ars Electronica 2011, professor Ishiguro presented a new project, Android Theater, which turned out to be one of the festival’s greatest attractions. The show – a short theater play starring Geminoid F, was staged on several occasions at the chapel of the Linz cathedral. Man and geminoid are presented as equals, as they are both controlled by the director. Their parts in the performance are entirely equivalent. The parents of a young dying girl buy her a geminoid to keep her company during the process: a confrontation of the mechanical geminoid and human with death under the so-called god’s roof. It is unacceptable to provoke gods; however, we live in an age of modern-day Prometheus’. Man no longer has faith in the obsolete God, but he still believes in the existence of god-like characteristics, which he seizes to his own advantage. Today, the destruction of ancient religiousness is at its climax with the intervention of technological rituals and the production of a new, virtual religiousness. We are becoming biotechnological entities, which of course causes new existential problems and distress. It was paranoid to think that machines could be anything else but machines. Now we are not so sure. Late twentiethcentury machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert. (Donna Haraway) Man’s desire to adjust the world to our own measures, which has been present throughout human history, is not dead. In fact the society which we live in doesn’t even have a plan or strategy of recognizing and evaluating these new practices. It seems that professor Ishiguro is trying to recapture this obsolete presence of man with his android science projects. However, through the use of technology – for the modern man is already a biotechnological entity, and as such he exists – people also experience emotions and the world around them. The world we knew only decades ago, is no longer there. Willingly or unwillingly, we find ourselves in an age of digitalization, which dematerializes even the most intimate and genuine human emotions into electromagnetic waves; codes. The road back to the world we used to know no longer exists. But there are modalities to approach it. They have been coded, but they’re the only ones. We have to admit to ourselves that we’ve reached a point where, ironically, it will be the geminoids, androids and artificial bio-organisms that will remind us about the essence of life and the meaning of being human. The mimesis of a geminoid, a device with a series of sensors, controls, and pneumatic drives is becoming a simulacrum of the presence of human emotions and an apologist of the new civilization of virtual code fields.

ASIMO (Photo / foto: Robert Ahlin)

Človek je že od nekdaj fantaziral, kako bi ustvaril iskrico biti v umetnem človeškem telesu. Način manifestacije teh fantazem je bil odvisen od tehnoloških danosti obdobja, v katerem je živel. Ob tem je spoznaval sebe, svoje telo in principe narave. Raziskoval je pojme, kot so duša, zavest in telo. Spoznal je dejstvo, da duša ni stvar in da duša ni telo. Filozof in matematik Descartes je v 16. stoletju najbolj jasno oblikoval tezo obstoja dveh različnih substanc, ki skupaj tvorita človeški organizem: otipljivo telo in nepredmetni um. Jaz je ločen od telesa, ki ga Descartes razume kot stroj. Graditelji prvih mehanskih avtomatov v 18. stoletju so razmišljali o kreaciji gibljivih mehanskih teles, ki bi posnemala organsko bitje. Mehanska oživitev je glede na takrat doseženo stopnjo razvoja tehnologije predstavljala možnost avtonomnega gibanja. Avtomati so navduševali ljudi prav z avtonomijo gibanja in z imitacijo dihanja, kar so dosegli z izumom urnega mehanizma na vzmet. Morda ni naključje, da je ravno ta tehnologija poganjala takratne avtomate, kajti tiktakanje urnega mehanizma lahko simbolizira utripanje srca. Najbolj znana izdelovalca avtomatov sta bila francoski inovator Jaques Vaucanson in švicarski urarski mojster Pierre Jacquet Droz. Vaucanson leta 1738 razstavi v Parizu “flavtista”, 1,65 m visokega sedečega pastirja, ki je na piščal zaigral dvanajst melodij in je pri tem imel sposobnost premikati prste, ustnice ter brado. Devet mehov na treh ločenih ceveh, ki so vodile v prsni koš in kovinski jezik, je hkrati ustvarjalo iluzijo dihanja. Ob flavtistu je razstavil tudi “račko prebavljalko”, ki je imela sposobnost jesti in prebaviti pičo kot prava raca, z natančno imitacijo prebavnega sistema. Švicarski urarski mojster Jacquet Droz je v letih 1768 in 1774 izdelal tri avtomate. “Risarja”, ki ima sposobnost z ogljem narisati štiri risbe, “pisarja”, ki piše različne tekste, ter “igralko orgel”, ki med igranjem na inštrument z očmi spremlja gibanje svojih rok po klaviaturi. Princip delovanja teh avtomatov je temeljil na “programiranih” perforiranih kovinskih valjih (podobno lajni). Bili so programirani in rečemo lahko, da so ti mehanski avtomati predhodniki računalnika. Kar zadeva sam razvoj strojev, se je tudi treba spomniti, da so v prvem obdobju eksplozivnega razvoja avtomatov in drugih strojev (v 17. stoletju) avtomate gradili kot neuporabne izume, igračo za zabavo Gospodarjevega pogleda (npr. premikajoč se mehanični kip v vrtovih Ludvika XIV.): šele kasneje, v 18. stoletju, so to znanje uporabili za izgradnjo strojev za produkcijo (parni in tkalni stroji).1 (Slavoj Žižek) Na spremembo pojmovanja telesa vpliva tudi razvoj industrije in inženirske znanosti v drugi polovici 19. stoletja. Z izumom parnega stroja in motorja na notranje izgorevanje postane obvladljiva energija tista temeljna paradigma, skozi katero se razume princip mehanskega. V 20. stoletju postanejo računalniki dominantna tehnologija družbenega napredka. Domala vse obstoječe analogne tehnologije, od radia, televizije in telefonije, je posrkalo v morje digitalizacije in umetnih substitutov za človeško zmogljivost ali celo človeka samega. S tehnološkim razvojem je prišlo do transformacije na vseh področjih človekove eksistence, vključno s konceptom dojemanja časa. Novi načini komunikacij in kulturnih form spreminjajo sodobne identitete, oblike skupnosti in medsebojne odnose, in na novo se vzpostavlja tudi naše dojemanje prostora in časa. 1 Žižek. Slavoj (2005). Kako biti nihče. Ljubljana: Društvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo

Telo kot pomemben naravni in družbeni konstrukt je bilo vedno točka diskurza, v kateri se srečujejo različne sodobne družbene teorije. Merlau-Ponty je videl človekovo izkušnjo in modalitete, znotraj katerih se srečujemo s svetom, neizogibno povezane s telesom. Porast zanimanja za filozofijo telesa, postmodernistični napad na kartezijanski razumski del in zmožnost novih tehnologij, da nadzorujejo, preoblikujejo in mešajo našo telesno realnost z drugimi, ponovno kaže na naše nejasno in negotovo razumevanje, kaj je človek, kaj je življenje in kaj lahko postane. Koncepti strukture telesa in njegove funkcije izhajajo iz paradigem znanosti in tehnologije. Ljudje pojmujemo in razumemo sestavo in delovanje telesa ravno skozi princip mehanskosti. Smisel biti in tendenca iskanja pojma pa za homo sapiensa še vedno ostaja izziv. Dejansko smo priče premisam tretje revolucije: po revoluciji prevozov 19. stoletja, ki je vzbudila polet železniškega sistema, avtomobila in pozneje še letalstva, smo bili v 20. stoletju priče drugi revoluciji, revoluciji prenosov, po zaslugi udejanjanja značilnosti neposrednega prenosa elektromagnetnih valov, z radiom in videom.2 (Paul Virilio) Danes tehnologija ni več razumljena zgolj instrumentalno, temveč je način bivanja subjekta. Pomembno paradigmo predstavlja simbioza biološkega in tehnološkega principa kot edini način preživetja. Zgodovinska transformacija telesa v navezavi z artificielno tehnološko strukturo dosega vrh v današnjem času. Z vpeljevanjem različnih tehnoloških vmesnikov se vzpostavi posreden odnos med človekom in svetom, ta posrednost pa je vse bolj virtualna in umetna. Ta čas vmesnosti, v katerem bivamo, seveda šele nakazuje nove oblike realne eksistence. To pa so tudi teme, ki jih raziskujejo sodobni producenti vizualnih praks (umetniki - znanstveniki). S tem imam v mislih konkretne primere znotraj polja znanstvene panoge o androidih. Androidi so človeku podobni stroji-roboti, vendar je potrebno ločevati robote od androidov. Roboti predstavljajo kapitalistični inženiring optimizacije gospodarskih koristi, medtem ko predstavljajo androidi novo vsebino in dodatno vrednost znotraj polja robotike. Raziskovanja potekajo kot študij sečišča kognitivne znanosti in različnih vej filozofije. Ta tesna zveza med znanostjo, filozofijo in umetnostjo se imenuje androidna znanost in eden izmed vizionarjev androidne znanosti je japonski znanstvenik, prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro. Vendar umetna inteligenca robotov še vedno ni dosegla stopnje odraslega človeka. Človek je zmožen reševanja kognitivnih nalog, razumevanja govorjenja drugih, prepoznavanja obrazov in spontane interakcije. Do sedaj še ni bil ustvarjen umetni organizem, ki bi bil zmožen reševanja tako zapletenih nalog. Noben android še nima sposobnosti avtonomnega vstopa v dialog z drugim, kot ga ima človek. Ljudje imamo sposobnost opravljanja zahtevnih kognitivnih nalog z minimalnim miselnim naporom, kar je ena od naših funkcij, kjer umetna inteligenca še zdaleč ne dosega mentalnih sposobnosti – niti na ravni novorojenca. 2 Virilio. Paul (1996). Hitrost Osvoboditve. Ljubljana: ŠOU. Študentska založba


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Hiroshi Ishiguro with Geminoid HI-4 and Telenoid R1 / Hiroshi Ishiguro in njegov mehanski dvojnik (Geminoid) HI-4 in Telenoid R1, Festival Speculum Artium 2013 (Photo / foto: Robert Ahlin)

Projekte s področja androidne znanosti Hiroshi Ishiguro predstavlja na festivalu Ars Electronica v Linzu. V letu 2009 je predstavil odmeven projekt Geminoid HI-2. Geminoid je teleoperacijski android, izdelan po modelu obstoječe osebe. Predstavljeni Geminoid HI-2, kopijo samega Ishigurija, poganja pnevmatski pogon, ki omogoča, da ima geminoid poleg obrazne mimike tudi sposobnost vodenega premikanja ostalih delov telesa. Upravljanje geminoida omogoča spletni strežnik in teleoperacijski sistem, s katerim upravlja človek. Geminoid in upravljavec komunicirata preko interneta. Upravljavec ima na nadzornem računalniku nameščen sistem za prepoznavanje obraza in detektor za prepoznavanje gibanja obraznih mišic. Informacije, vključno z obrazno mimiko uporabnika, se zajemajo s pomočjo spletne kamere, ki pošilja in obenem prevaja podatke v geminoidov spletni strežnik. Ves proces poteka v realnem času, s čimer je omogočena sinhronizacija govora geminoida z upravljavcem. Z geminoidom Hiroshi Ishiguro raziskuje možnosti prenosa človeške navzočnosti brez telesa na drugo fizično lokacijo s pomočjo spletnih vmesnikov. Raziskuje, ali zavest in telo posameznika lahko delujeta ločeno. Internet ni zgolj sredstvo za prenos informacij, postaja način prevajanja človekove prisotnosti in vpliva na fizične dejavnosti, ki potekajo med organskim in mehanskim telesom. Organsko in mehansko telo se združita v eno enoto z različnih fizičnih prostorov. Geminoid kot gmota mehanskih digitalnih živcev, povezanih z informacijsko matrico, deluje kot simulaker človeka. Človek ima poleg zaznavanja, abstraktnega mišljenja, umovanja, hotenja in čustvovanja še neko drugo in od vseh teh drugačno ter skrivnostno vsebnost, ki ji rečemo duša. Sam tega nima v lasti, marveč ga ima v lasti prav ona. Šele to ga dela človeka. Kot pravi Lacan, čustva najprej dojemamo kot imaginarna; da postanejo pojav, potrebujejo površino ali posodo. Človeške emocije se manifestirajo na različne načine. To lahko razumemo tudi kot atmosfero oziroma prisotnost. Zajetje človeških emocij ter način, kako jih kot digitalni bit poslati v geminoida, so teme, ki jih raziskuje prof. Ishiguro. Tema je zanimiva in aktualna, živimo namreč v obdobju, ko je posameznik bolj v interakciji z objekti kot z osebami. V naši naravi pa je, da skušamo te objekte antropomorfirati oziroma počlovečiti. Leta 2010 je na Ars Electronici prof. Ishiguro predstavil Telenoida R1. Gre za telekomunikacijsko vodenega androida s stilirizirano in minimalistično formo otroškega torza z golo glavo in z obrazom lutke. Avtor je želel ustvariti manjšega, mobilnejšega androida, brez nakazanega

spola in starosti. Služil naj bi kot nova komunikacijska naprava. Ponovno gre za raziskovanje, kako prenesti človekovo prisotnost preko tehnoloških vmesnikov na oddaljene lokacije. Na Ars Electronici 2011 se je prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro predstavil z novim projektom Android teater, ki je bil eden izmed najbolj obiskanih dogodkov festivala. Predstava je bila izvedena večkrat v kapeli linške katedrale. Gre za krajšo gledališko predstavo, v kateri nastopa Geminoid F. Človek in geminoid sta v predstavi izenačena, kajti oba sta pod nadzorom režiserja. Njuni vlogi sta med predstavo enakovredni. Mlademu umirajočemu dekletu so starši kupili geminoida, da bi ji delal družbo med procesom umiranja: gre za soočenost mehanskega geminoida in človeka s smrtjo pod tako imenovano božjo streho. Izzivanje bogov je nedopustno, toda živimo v obdobju novodobnih Prometejev. Človek ne verjame več v antičnega Boga, še vedno pa verjame v obstoj njegovih lastnosti, ki si jih s pridom prilašča. Destrukcija stare religioznosti doživlja danes svoje vrhunce s posredovanjem tehnoloških obredov in produkcije nove virtualne religioznosti. Postajamo biotehnološke entitete, kar pa seveda proizvaja nove eksistencialne stiske in probleme. Paranoično je bilo pomisliti, da bi bili stroji lahko še kaj drugega. Sedaj o tem nismo tako prepričani. Stroji poznega dvajsetega stoletja so popolnoma zameglili razlike med naravnim in umetnim, duhom in telesom, samorazvijajočim se in ustvarjenim od zunaj, ter številna druga razločevanja, ki so bila značilna za organizme in stroje. Naši stroji so danes neprijetno živi, mi sami pa srhljivo nedejavni.3 (Donna Haraway) Skozi celotno zgodovino človeštva prisotna želja, kako si prilagoditi svet po naših merilih, ni mrtva. V resnici družba, v kateri živimo, sploh še nima izdelanega pristopa niti strategije prepoznavanja in vrednotenja teh novih praks. Zdi se, da skuša to izgubljeno prisotnost človeka povrniti prof. Ishiguro s projekti androidne znanosti. Vendar skozi tehnologijo, kajti sodoben človek je že biotehnološka entiteta in kot tak tudi živi, čustvuje in doživlja svet okoli sebe. Svet, kakršnega smo poznali še pred desetletji, ne obstaja več. Hote ali nehote smo se znašli v dobi digitalizacije, ki dematerializira tudi najbolj intimne in pristne človekove emocije v elektromagnetni val, kodo. Poti nazaj v svet, kakršnega smo poznali, ni več. Obstajajo pa modalitete, kako se temu približati. Prekodirane, ampak edine možne. Priznati si moramo, da smo prišli do toč3 Haraway. Donna J. (1999). Opice, kiborgi in ženske. Ljubljana: ŠOU. Študentska založba

Jaquet Droz, The Writer / Pisar, Source / vir: Flickr

ke, ko nam bodo ravno geminoidi, androidi ter umetni bio-organizmi znova pokazali, kaj je bistvo življenja, kaj pomeni biti človek. Mimezis geminoida, naprave z vrsto senzorjev, upravljalnikov in pnevmatskih pogonov, postaja simulaker prisotnosti človekovih čustev in apologet nove civilizacije virtualnih kodnih polj.


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Dmitry Kawarga

Bio Bio-artefact responding to the visitor

Bio-artefakt, ki se odziva na gledalce “To balance on the edge of the technological and natural, rational and subconscious, structure and chaos, art and science — is the most exciting and rewarding pursuit. I like imagining myself as a researcher and an experimentalist, who happened to be inside his own experiment: in my case — a sort of biological art-instrument. On the one hand, I am constantly preoccupied contemplating my own biological and psychological processes. Shaping my observations into a kind of research, I try to recreate those processes in the form of material 3D models. On the other hand, I focus on the points of correspondence between myself and the world’s rapidly changing scientific and technological flow. Once having broken with the genre boundaries, I moved from painting to sculpture, then to interactive sculpture and installation, later — to the time-based installation and afterwards returned to painting. This progression made me rediscover the art as an abstract ongoing research process, which can absorb literally anything. If one tries to trace the rationale behind this reference to phenomena of consciousness and their visualization, it is important to remember the three main questions that drive every creative person in his/her quest — what does one do? How? And what for? I asked myself those questions thousands of times throughout the years and finally decided to settle on materialization not only of images and symbols of visual world, which operate within the fine arts, but also of what causes their appearance. That is, the abstract flows of thought, the models of consciousness, the mechanisms of idea creation, the fragments of perception, reflexes, gestalts and so on. What is created is no longer a sculpture or an installation, but a kind of artifact ‘mined’ from the depth of consciousness. The media for my objects and installations are various plastics and rubbers. There is a whole spectrum of sheet, granular, powder and multicomponent casting polymers. Their synthetic qualities are perfect for materializing the essence of intellectual processes, which, in my opinion, also have an artificial and synthetic nature. Unlike other media, like stone or metal, polymers can be transformed with time. The sculptures and installations of different ages can become the material for new ones due to technologies of partial melting and decomposition. In this sense, the very body of my art is developing and transforming in time, like a snake that bites its own tail. The recycled substance of itself feeds my work, thereby creating new meanings and technological innovations from old. The most significant pieces of the last years were based on the synthesis of art and science and created in collaboration with scientists, technical experts and musicians. Among those are interactive installations and objects that are based on physical response to the audience’ action — they radiate noises of various frequencies; they vibrate, shudder, turn and pulsate; they react to the spectator’s touch, to the rhythm of human blood flow, to one’s voice, breath, psychic state, and those of others. These works get fulfilled/fertilized with every contact, accumulating the information from spectators’ bodies — their thoughts, rhythms, energies.”

Kawarga Dmitry & Elena: Down with Wrestlers with Systems and Mental Nonadapters! 2013 TOTAL RECALL. The Evolution of Memory, Ars Electronica exhibition, Linz, Austria 2013 Honorary Mentions at Prix Ars Electronica 2013, Interactive Art If a person wants to start up the “social mechanism”, they need to climb on the run-simulator. On one hand, this makes them feel like God, because the movement of the mechanism depends on their steps, but on the other hand, every person is just one figure among the others. The consciousness of visitors is bisected - is the society absorbing each of us? Or do we ourselves form this enslaving mechanism? If you utter the “Da-Da” manifesto into the microphone, the voice transfers a low-frequency impulse to the cellular structure, which begins to vibrate. As a result, some of the figures fall off, liberated from the structure. A micro video camera is attached on one of the conveyors, displaying on the monitor the space inside the black box – inside it there is a different reality, the world of the artist. Kawarga Dmitry: Rewriting Worlds: Dada Moscow Special project of 4 Moscow Biennale of contemporary art 2011 The work of Dmitry Kawarga normally deals a lot with ideas of biomorphism, a term and a small branch in art history that was very much influenced and formed by Hans Arp. Unlike Arp, Kawarga does not just remain in biomorphism, but adds a whole new social and urban dimension to his works, which makes us think of terms like „rhizom“, promoted by the poststructuralists Deleuze and Guattari. For Dada Moscow, Kawarga invented a totally new work, which seems to be quite different from the abstract, biomorph works he normally does. It is an interactive installation that brings up a very powerful sense of the fascination with machines and technology that was typical in society before World War I, but it also shows the brutal consequences this fascination had. Kawarga creates a machine that brings the idea of “social models” totally to the absurd. Adrian Notz Kawarga Dmitry: Model of bipolar activity Museum Erarta, St. Petersburg, 2008 Dmitri Kawarga’s installations and objects are inspired not only by advanced scientific theories but also by the phenomenology of representations of reality that science gives to man. His abstract “biomorphic” works represent an attempt to exhibit what is seemingly impossible to display — the work of the human brain, the thought process itself and its forms. In science this fragile reality is presented in figures, graphs and diagrams. The artist uses thermoplastic polymers to create a multi-dimensional installation, which serves as a metaphor of these phenomena. Mikhail Ovchinnikov


SI »Iskanje ravnotežja na prelomu med tehnološkim in naravnim, razumskim in nezavednim, strukturo in kaosom, umetnostjo in znanostjo je zame najvznemirljivejše in najbolj hvaležno početje. Samega sebe si rad zamišljam kot raziskovalca in eksperimentatorja, ki se je po naključju znašel znotraj lastnega eksperimenta: v mojem primeru je to neke vrste biološki umetniški instrument. Na eni strani se ves čas posvečam refleksiji o lastnih bioloških in psiholoških procesih. Z oblikovanjem svojih opazovanj v raziskovalno delo skušam te procese poustvariti v obliki fizičnih 3D modelov. Na drugi strani se osredotočam na stične točke med samim seboj in strmo naraščajočim razvojem znanosti in tehnologije v svetu. Pretrgal sem vezi svojega izhodiščnega žanra in se od slikarstva premaknil h kiparstvu ter nato k interaktivnim skulpturam in instalacijam, kasneje k časovno zasnovanim instalacijam, na koncu pa se spet vrnil k slikarstvu. Na svoji razvojni poti sem ponovno odkril umetnost v smislu abstraktnega raziskovalnega procesa, ki traja in lahko absorbira dobesedno karkoli. Če želimo najti smisel v sklicevanju na pojave, povezane z zavestjo in njihovo vizualizacijo, je potrebno obuditi spomin na tri osnovna vprašanja, ki so v ozadju vsakega ustvarjalnega izraza neke osebe. Kaj počne? Kako to počne? Zakaj to počne? Skozi leta sem si ta vprašanja zastavil tisočkrat in se končno odločil za materializacijo, ne le podob in simbolov vizualnega sveta, ki delujejo v domeni likovne umetnosti, temveč tudi tistega, kar povzroča njihovo pojavnost. Torej abstraktni tokovi misli, modeli zavesti, mehanizmi ustvarjanja idej, fragmenti zaznavanja, refleksi, geštalti itn. Kar ustvarim, ni več kip, skulptura ali instalacija, temveč neke vrste artefakt, »izkopan« iz globin nezavednega. Medij za izdelovanje mojih objektov in instalacij so razne vrste plastike in gume. Za kalupe in odlitke uporabljam cel spekter polimerov, kot so listnati, zrnati, v prahu ali sestavljeni iz več komponent. Njihove sintetične lastnosti so idealne za materializiranje bistva intelektualnih procesov, za katere verjamem, da so po svoji naravi ravno tako umetni in sintetični. Za razliko od drugih medijev, kot sta kamen ali kovina, se polimeri s časom lahko pre-

oblikujejo. Skulpture in instalacije različnih starosti tako lahko postanejo material za nastanek novih, s pomočjo tehnologij delnega taljenja in razgradnje. V tem smislu se sámo telo moje umetnosti razvija in preoblikuje v času, kakor kača, ki grize svoj lastni rep. Reciklirana vsebina postane hrana za moje delo in na ta način ustvarja nove pomene in tehnološke inovacije iz starih. Najpomembnejša dela zadnjih let so temeljila na sintezi med umetnostjo in znanostjo ter so bila ustvarjena v sodelovanju z znanstveniki, tehničnimi strokovnjaki in glasbeniki. Mednje spadajo interaktivne instalacije in objekti, ki temeljijo na fizičnem odzivu na občinstvo – oddajajo zvoke različnih frekvenc; vibrirajo, se tresejo, obračajo in utripajo; odzivajo se na gledalčev dotik, na ritem pretakanja človekove krvi, na posameznikov glas, dih, njegovo psihično stanje in stanje drugih. Gre za dela, ki jih izpopolnjuje in oplaja vsak kontakt, v njih pa se nabirajo informacije iz teles gledalcev – njihove misli, ritmi, energije.«

Dmitry Kawarga: Rewriting Worlds: Dada Moscow Posebni projekt 4. bienala sodobne umetnosti v Moskvi 2011 »Dela Dmitryja Kawarge se pogosto ukvarjajo z idejami biomorfizma. Gre za termin, ozko področje umetnostne zgodovine, na katerega je vplival in ga oblikoval zlasti Hans Arp. Za razliko od Arpa pa Kawarga razen biomorfizma svojim delom dodaja povsem novo družbeno in urbano razsežnost, ob kateri pomislimo na pojme, kot je »rizom«, ki sta ga v filozofijo vpeljala poststrukturalista Gilles Deleuze in Félix Guattari. Za projekt Dada Moscow je Kawarga pripravil čisto novo delo, ki se precej razlikuje od abstraktnih, biomorfnih del, ki jih običajno ustvarja. Gre za interaktivno instalacijo, ki vzbuja izredno globok občutek prevzetosti s tehnologijo in stroji, značilen za družbo pred prvo svetovno vojno, hkrati pa prikazuje tudi brutalne posledice takšne očaranosti. Kawargov stroj popelje idejo družbenih modelov naravnost do absurda.« Adrian Notz

Kawarga Dmitry & Elena: Down with Wrestlers with Systems and Mental Nonadapters!, 2013 TOTAL RECALL. The Evolution of memory, razstava Ars Electronica, Linz, Avstrija 2013 Častna omemba na Prix-Ars-Electronica 2013, Interactive art Če želimo pognati »družbeni mehanizem«, moramo stopiti na simulator teka. Po eni strani se počutimo kot Bog, saj je premikanje mehanizma odvisno od naših korakov, po drugi pa smo le ena v množici figur. Obiskovalčeva zavest je v instalaciji Dmitryja Kawarge razdvojena – ali je družba tista, ki absorbira vsakega izmed nas? Ali pa smo sami tisti, ki tvorimo ta suženjski mehanizem? Ko v mikrofon izrečemo manifest »Da-Da«, glas prenese nizkofrekvenčni impulz do celične strukture, ki s tem prične vibrirati. Posledica tega je, da nekatere izmed figuric, osvobojene strukture, odpadejo iz instalacije. Na enem izmed tekočih trakov je pritrjena mikro video kamera. Na monitorju je prikazan prostor znotraj črne škatle – v njej se nahaja druga resničnost, svet umetnika.

Dmitry Kawarga: Model of bipolar activity Museum Erarta, Sankt Peterburg, 2008 »Instalacij in objektov Dmitryja Kawarge ne navdihujejo zgolj novodobne znanstvene teorije, temveč tudi fenomenologija reprezentacij resničnosti, ki jih znanost prinaša človeku. Njegova abstraktna »biomorfna« dela so poskus predstavitve tistega, kar je navidez nemogoče prikazati – delovanje človeških možganov, miselni proces kot tak in njegove oblike. Znanost to sivo, negotovo resničnost predstavlja s figurami, grafi in diagrami; umetnik pa s pomočjo termoplastičnih polimerov ustvari večdimenzionalno instalacijo, ki služi kot metafora za omenjene pojme.« Mikhail Ovchinnikov


Paul Wiersbinski, Hanna Hildebrand, Nina Dubois

SRSS: Low-tech models as tools to visualize ideas

SRSS: Nizkotehnološki modeli kot orodja za vizualiziranje idej

SRSS is an ongoing project from Hanna Hildebrand and Paul Wiersbinski, a container for process-based experiments where temporary simple made models visualize a process of imagination, becoming pretexts for reflecting and relating to interdisciplinary issues proactively. At first, in 2010, SRSS had been a simple-made object that was tested as an architectural model on an earthquake simulation platform at the UNAM in Mexico City; the documentation of the test became a video work, which is available online at http://vimeo.com/24114152 (Password: mesa). During the ISEA 2012 Machine Wilderness in Albuquerque, that video has been a starting point for a workshop with high school students, its outcome a huge object hanging from the ceiling, a model of a utopian city triggered by the workshop. The model was shown accompanied by the SRSS video. SRSS started as a work in progress and eventually led to a strong connection to science and architecture. As the work progressed, the improvisational nature remained active in all stages of construction, experiment, and documentation. Reflecting on the question of why people tend to laugh about aspects of the work yet still accepting its utopian statement might lead to a more general and possible philosophical reflection on the contemporary relation between art and science. Art theorist Boris Groys compares our obsession with the advancement of technology with the material aspect of Marxism he was taught in the Soviet Union. Apart from fetishistic implications, his theory makes a reference towards the lack of utopia in our society when dealing with scientific advancement. SRSS, in this respect, seems humorous to us because it shows the advancement of scientific ideas, not as a facade of purely technical and commercial resources as we are used to, but as an aesthetic improvisation on seemingly unrealistic and yet existential reflections. Therefore the project confronts us with our own completely submissive attitude towards science, in which we don´t understand and question any of its advancement anymore yet remain completely dependent on it. The utopian aspect actually begins with laughter about how ridiculous scientific research and its machines always have been because it focuses on involved human vision and failure. Advancement in science just as in art has always been a story of dead ends, random strolls into the unspeakable and the seemingly pretentious declaration of meaning. Yet what remains unknown in our society of knowledge is the utopian purpose of our work and a confrontation with this black hole of sense, ultimately proving deeply unsettling and funny. Paul Wiersbinski

Nina Dubois: How did the SRSS project come about? Had you worked in this manner before? Had you worked with Paul Wiersbinski before? Hanna Hildebrand: All my work tends to be based on the participation of a large group of people. This particular research found its conceptual beginning in 2009 while I was supervising a group of other artists, of which Paul was a part, in the realization of a large model of Yona Friedman’s Spatial City for the Venice Biennale.

a star but rather somebody at the service of the community). Of course both SRSS models (the one in the video and the one hanging) also make a reference to the Spatial City by being structures based on elevation and distance from earth. They also both have a grid-like base on which the smaller elements are distributed, referencing Yona’s idea of mobile architecture and, metaphorically, the possibility of everyone inserting his or her own individual hypothesis.

In 2010, Paul and I started to work together at SRSS in Mexico City, testing an earthquakesimulating platform on a very simply-made small sculpture/model of a spatial city/living platform (which also resembles a chair) – resulting in a successful experiment that is documented in the video which was on display at the ABQ museum next to the big hanging model. Through this process, we were interested in expanding what we had learned from Yona into the specific context of an earthquake-endangered place and also in creating a commentary on the link between art and science – on the standard aesthetic of art and the unavoidable necessity of being approved of.

ND: The model on view at the Albuquerque Museum of Art is made primarily of reclaimed and recyclable materials. Why was it important to use such ubiquitous and low-tech materials?

Curiously enough, that an object with such an improvised and playful esthetic (an easily assembled wood construction decorated with marshmallows) is judged successful in the engineering faculty context seems to inevitably cause the viewers to laugh.

I use to make my exhibition models (also planning video or room installations) with fish stick boxes and other discarded materials. I suppose our work was one of the few in the ISEA exhibition that was so low-tech, and we appreciated the opportunity to make a point, to show that it is possible to communicate ideas even if they are not supported by bombastic high-tech materials.

We were both interested in further investigating the resources of group imagination applied to city planning, and that’s how the second part of SRSS came about. The ISEA symposium was also a good context to put in practice a working modality, which reflects on how art can reach science, even through the most modest means and materials. ND: The project references Yona Friedman’s concept of the Spatial City – a utopian model for an elevated and adaptive form of city planning. How would you define the ideas behind SRSS in relation to the Spatial City? What is your relationship to Friedman’s work? HH: I got to know Yona in 2008 by reading the Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews and I immediately found myself very comfortable with his worldview and philosophy.1 Working with him personally just increased my appreciation and my interest. Yona was an important starting point for SRSS, especially in terms of material (inexpensive and simple) and because of the collective working process based on imagination and improvisation that was implemented. His attitude was presented to the participating group also in terms of his thinking on the role of the architect (not as 1 Hans Ulrich Obrist and Yona Friedman, Hans Ulrich Obrist & Yona Friedman: The Conversation Series (Koln: Walther Konig, 2007)

HH: The use of random, cheap, and easy material is the best choice to visualize ideas: expensive technical material would just create more problems and hesitations, whereas with this approach you don’t need to worry about treating the material well, and this encourages play and improvisation. This is also something I learned from Yona: take any sheet, crumple it, and look at the shape you made – it’s a model for your imagination.

ND: SRSS employs the model both as a theoretical and indexical tool. How would you define your use of constructed models? HH: I see models as tools to visualize ideas and tell stories. But they are also undercover performers that intervene in a situation to point, indicate, or provoke a reaction and stand for something, especially to help mirror elements of the context. I can see in other of my works the presence of models, not even as material maquettes but in other forms with that role. ND: How do you imagine that the act of designing and prototyping alternative dwellings and instruments for living can actually influence city planning and translate as a generative gesture, as a way of actualizing new forms of spatial and social organization? HH: My starting point is to take very seriously any imaginative process, and I believe that there is room for individual ideas and design. In a way, every single element has an amount of realism and is realizable. As Yona says, what makes utopia realizable is the consensus. And in small communities, it could be easier to implement alternative dwellings; in any case, we made genuine proposals.


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Nina Dubois is a graduate student in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico, Art& Ecology area. This interview was part of a body of research accompanying her thesis, researching the strategies that different artists develop to engage a number of ideasrelated to art as a transformative project. Hanna Hildebrand is an independent artist working in between disciplines, investigating through open process behaviors in society, digging for new possibilities and trying to expand limits. She is Italian and Swiss, studied art in Frankfurt, lives and works nomadically. Paul Wiersbinski studied art with Mark Leckey and Douglas Gordon at the HfbK Städelschule in Frankfurt. He is working as a freelance artist and researcher, dealing with scientific investigation into discourses such as architecture, entomology or cybernetics.

ND: How would you define the notion of utopia, or utopian thinking in relation to SRSS? HH: I think one of the good points of the term “utopia” is that it validates and legitimate imaginative processes and allows trans-disciplinarity: to play in the realm of imagination and improvisation you do not need specialized skills and professionalization becomes secondary. Utopia is not rigid, it constructs bridges where officially there are not and every boundary become flexible. That’s why SRSS can reason and bring proposals scientifically, even if keeping a low-tech style. In the case of Albuquerque we assumed a utopian attitude also by taking any considerations seriously and by using a process in which each member of the group could bring ideas, trying to get out of the limits and constriction of our common living situation, context, and roles in society. ND: There is also a dystopian undertone to the narratives accompanying several of the proposed structures in SRSS. Is the work intended as a response to a prevalent sense of crisis and instability in our culture—regarding not only the built environment but also the environment as a whole, and in relation to politics and social and economic structures? HH: The dystopian tone is definitely quite relevant in the SRSS hanging model. Crisis and instability are constant parts of our society, so it is natural that dystopia became part of the model since the production process

was about letting the participants imagine and improvise freely. It was interesting to observe that when free to imagine whatever they might want to have in their community, some of our high school workshop participants made up a really huge entertainment center, sort of like a posh shopping mall. Then from other sides, there was apocalypse and there was sustainability: this demonstrated the natural diversity of the group and at the same time the bipolarity of our society, which makes sustainability an excuse and still wants a high-rise. Dystopia is a strong resource, the strongest: it’s provocative, it can concretize the doom and the fear, but it can also report true opinions and sentiments. ND: How was your experience of Albuquerque and the desert Southwest different from the usual sites and terrains of your practice? HH: It was highly interesting and challenging to see the open spaces, a wideness of territory that I am not used to: the term “land art“ assumed more significance, and furthermore this wideness gave me the feeling that there could be the chance to think seriously – not only with models but with larger experiments. In this regard, it was also interesting to see projects like the Earthship Community, which is a real dwelling alternative that benefits from wide lands. Other challenging experiences for me were the presence of Space Port America and the history of Los Alamos.

ND: What are you working on now? HH: I am doing a model for an architectonic situation, which is designed to collapse – a sort of homage to ruins and catastrophe. It is an architectural situation with an apocalyptic spirit, which makes its essential qualities the aspects of catastrophe and offers the opportunity to live in a ruin. Thanks to the integration of nontraditional interpretations of the laws of static and strength of materials, it favors collapses, falling apart, explosions, and fires. The invasion of wild plants will be facilitated, as well as the development of mold and other elements, such as dirt and smells. In this way, a random design will be obtained, where, thanks to “catastrophic events” distributed in time and not predictable by the user, the user will get a release from emotional weight trapped in materiality. With the joy of the unknown and surprise, an autoelimination of comfort and habits and a consequent excitation for the loss of possessions will be obtained. The decrease of harmony’s heaviness will increase objects’ functional coherence.


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SI SRSS je projekt v trajanju avtorjev Hanne Hildebrand in Paula Wiersbinskega, kontejner za procesne eksperimente z začasnimi, preprosto izdelanimi modeli, ki vizualizirajo domišljijske miselne procese in postanejo proaktiven poligon za razmišljanja v povezavi z interdisciplinarnimi vprašanji.

ND: Projekt se navezuje na koncept prostorskega mesta (Spatial City) Yone Friedmana – utopičen model fleksibilne oblike urbanističnega načrtovanja s strukturami dvignjenimi nad obstoječim mestom. Kako definirate ideje projekta SRSS v odnosu do prostorskega mesta? Kakšen je vaš odnos do Friedmanovega dela?

V primeru razstave v Albuquerqueju sva utopično stališče zagovarjala tudi s tem, da sva vse predloge jemala resno, torej z uporabo procesa, v katerem je lahko vsak član skupine predstavil svoje ideje, s čimer smo skušali ubežati omejitvam in oviram vsakodnevnih življenjskih situacij, konteksta in družbenih vlog.

SRSS je nastal leta 2010, sprva kot preprost objekt, ki so ga preizkusili kot arhitekturni model na platformi za simulacijo potresov na univerzi UNAM v Ciudad de Mexicu; iz dokumentacije preizkusa je nastalo video delo, ki je na voljo na spletnem naslovu http://vimeo.com/24114152 (geslo: mesa). V času simpozija ISEA 2012 Machine Wilderness v Albuquerqueju smo video uporabili kot izhodišče za delavnico s srednješolci, katere izid je bil velikanski, s stropa viseč objekt, model utopičnega mesta. Model je bil prikazan ob spremljavi SRSS videa.

HH: Z Yono sem se podrobneje seznanila 2008 med prebiranjem intervjujev s Hansom Ulrichom Obristom in takoj začutila povezavo z njegovim svetovnim nazorom in filozofijo.1 Osebno poznanstvo je le še poglobilo moje zanimanje in občudovanje.

ND: V pripovedih, ki spremljajo več predlaganih struktur projekta SRSS, je zaznati tudi podton distopije. Ali je delo mišljeno kot odgovor na prevladujoč občutek krize in nestabilnosti v naši kulturi – ne samo glede grajenega okolja, temveč tudi glede okolja kot celote ter v odnosu do politike in družbeno-ekonomskih struktur?

SRSS se je pričel kot delo v razvoju, kasneje pa se je skozenj oblikovala globoka vez z znanostjo in arhitekturo. Skozi razvoj je delo ohranilo aktivno improvizacijsko noto na vseh stopnjah konstrukcije, preizkušanja in dokumentacije. Razmislek o vprašanju, zakaj se ljudem določeni aspekti dela zdijo smešni, čeprav hkrati sprejemajo njegovo utopično stališče, bi lahko pripeljal do bolj splošne, nemara celo filozofske refleksije o sodobnem odnosu med umetnostjo in znanostjo. Umetnostni teoretik Boris Groys primerja našo obsedenost z napredkom tehnologije z materialnim vidikom marksizma, kot ga pozna iz Sovjetske zveze. Poleg fetišističnih implikacij se njegova teorija nanaša tudi na pomanjkanje utopije v naši družbi, ko gre za znanstveni napredek. V tem smislu nas projekt SRSS zabava, saj prikazuje napredovanje znanstvenih idej ne le kot fasado golih tehničnih in komercialnih sredstev, kakor smo navajeni, temveč kot estetsko imrovizacijo na temo navidezno nerealističnih, a vendar eksistencialnih razmišljanj. Projekt nas torej sooča z lastnim, popolnoma podredljivim odnosom do znanosti, čigar napredka več ne razumemo ali se o njem sprašujemo, kljub temu pa ostajamo od njega popolnoma odvisni. Utopični vidik se pravzaprav prične z mislijo, kako smešno je bilo od nekdaj znanstveno raziskovanje in vsa njegova pripadajoča mašinerija, saj se osredotočata na vključenost človeške vizije in neuspeha. Zgodbe o znanstvenem ali umetniškem napredku so bile vedno polne slepih ulic, naključnih sprehodov v domeno neizrekljivega in navidezno pompoznih deklaracij smisla. Toda tisto, kar v naši družbi znanja vendarle ostaja neznano, je utopični namen našega dela in soočenje s to črno luknjo smisla, ki se na koncu izkaže za globoko vznemirjujočo in smešno. Paul Wiersbinski

Nina Dubois: Kako je nastal projekt SRSS? Ste na ta način delali že prej? Ste že kdaj sodelovali s Paulom Wiersbinskim? Hanna Hildebrand: Vse moje delo načeloma temelji na sodelovanju z velikim številom ljudi. Konceptualni začetki tega konkretnega primera segajo v leto 2009, ko sem nadzirala skupino drugih umetnikov, med njimi je bil tudi Paul, pri realizaciji velikega modela prostorskega mesta (Spatial City) Yone Friedmana za beneški bienale. Leta 2010 sva s Paulom začela s projektom SRSS v Ciudad de Mexicu, preizkušala sva platformo za simulacijo potresov na zelo preprosto izdelani manjši skulpturi/modelu prostorskega mesta/bivalni platformi (ki spominja tudi na stol) – rezultat je bil uspešno izveden eksperiment, dokumentiran na video posnetku, ki smo ga predvajali v muzeju v Albuquerqueju, zraven velikega visečega modela. Skozi ta proces sva želela razširiti znanje, ki sva ga pridobila od Yone in ga prenesti v specifičen kontekst potresno ogroženega mesta, pa tudi komentirati povezavo med umetnostjo in znanostjo – med standardno estetiko umetnosti in neizogibno potrebo po odobravanju. Neverjetno, toda dejstvo, da objekt s tako improvizirano in igrivo estetiko (lahko sestavljiva lesena konstrukcija, okrašena s sladkornimi penicami marshmallows) inženirska stroka oceni kot uspešnega, očitno neizmerno zabava gledalce. Oba naju je zanimalo, kako bi lahko skupinsko domišljijo kot vir še naprej uporabila za potrebe urbanističega načrtovanja in tako je nastal drugi del projekta SRSS. Mednarodni simpozij elektronske umetnosti ISEA je bil tudi dobra priložnost, da v praksi preizkusiva delujočo modaliteto, ki raziskuje kako se lahko umetnost dotakne znanosti, četudi pri tem uporablja najskromnejša sredstva in materiale.

Yona je predstavljal pomembno izhodišče za SRSS, posebej v smislu materialov (preprosti in poceni) in kolektivnega delovnega procesa, temelječega na domišljiji in improvizaciji, ki smo ga vpeljali pri projektu. Njegov odnos do sveta smo sodelujoči skupini predstavili tudi v smislu njegovega razmišljanja o vlogi arhitekta (ki naj ne bo zvezda, ampak nekdo v službi skupnosti). Seveda pa se oba SRSS modela (tisti na posnetku in tisti, ki je obešen s stropa visel na razstavi) navezujeta na prostorsko mesto že zato, ker gre za dvignjeni strukturi, zgrajeni nad površjem zemlje. Obe imata mreži podobno osnovo, po kateri so razporejeni manjši elementi, kar se navezuje na Yonovo idejo mobilne arhitekture ter, v metaforičnem smislu, na možnost, da lahko vsakdo vključi svojo lastno, individualno hipotezo. ND: Model na ogled v muzeju v Albuquerqueju je v glavnem zgrajen iz recikliranih in ponovno uporabljenih in materialov. Zakaj je bilo pomembno uporabiti takšne vseprisotne in nizkotehnološke materiale? HH: Uporaba naključnih, cenenih in enostavnih materialov je najboljša izbira, ko gre za vizualizacijo idej: z dragimi tehničnimi materiali bi samo oklevali in dvomili, medtem ko nam je tak pristop omogočil, da se nam ni bilo treba obremenjevati, kako ravnamo z materialom, to pa spodbuja igranje in improvizacijo. Tudi to je nekaj, kar sem sem se naučila od Yone: vzemi list papirja, ga zmečkaj in poglej obliko, ki si jo ustvaril – to je model za tvojo domišljijo. Svoje razstavne modele (tudi pri načrtovanju video ali sobnih instalacij) sem pogosto izdelovala iz embalaže za hrano ali drugih odpadnih materialov. Mislim, da je bilo najino delo eno izmed redkih nizkotehnoloških del na razstavi ISEA in to priložnost sva z veseljem izkoristila za to, da pokaževa, da je mogoče ideje predstaviti tudi brez podpore bombastičnih visokotehnoloških materialov. ND: Pri SRSS je model uporabljen hkrati kot teoretično in prikazovalno orodje. Kako bi definirali svojo rabo konstruiranih modelov? HH: Modele dojemam kot orodja za vizualizacijo idej in pripovedovanje zgodb. Služijo pa tudi kot operaterji pod krinko, ki posežejo v situacijo, da bi pokazali, nakazali ali izzvali določeno reakcijo in vedno nekaj predstavljajo, predvsem pomagajo zrcaliti elemente konteksta. Tudi v drugih svojih delih opažam prisotnost modelov, niti ne nujno stvarnih maket, ampak v različnih drugih oblikah z isto vlogo. ND: Kako si predstavljate, da bi lahko načrtovanje in oblikovanje prototipov alternativnih bivališč in življenjskih potrebščin dejansko vplivalo na urbanistično načrtovanje in posledično postalo neke vrste generativno dejanje oziroma način aktualizacije novih oblik prostorske in družbene organizacije? HH: Za začetek vsak domišljijski miselni proces vzamem zelo resno. Verjamem, da se najde prostor za individualne ideje in oblikovanje. Na nek način vsebuje prav vsak posamezen element določeno mero realizma in je uresničljiv. Kot pravi Yona, kar naredi utopijo uresničljivo, je konsenz. V manjših skupnostih bi bilo najbrž lažje vpeljati alternativna bivališča; kakorkoli že, mi smo oblikovali pristne predloge za rešitve. ND: Kako bi definirali pojem utopije oziroma utopičnega razmišljanja v odnosu do SRSS? HH: Mislim, da je ena izmed dobrih plati pri pojmu utopija, da potrjuje in upravičuje domišljijske procese in dopušča transdisciplinarnost: za igro v svetu domišljije in improvizacije ne potrebuješ posebnih veščin in profesionalizacija postane drugotnega pomena. Utopija ni toga, mostove gradi tam, kjer jih uradno ni in vsaka meja postane upogljiva. Prav zato lahko SRSS argumentira in predstavlja predloge na znanstven način, četudi ostaja zvest nizkotehnološkemu stilu. 1 Hans Ulrich Obrist and Yona Friedman, Hans Ulrich Obrist & Yona Friedman: The Conversation Series (Koln: Walther Konig, 2007).

HH: Distopični ton je vsekakor relevanten v primeru SRSS-ovega visečega modela. Kriza in nestabilnost sta trajno prisotna v naši družbi, zato je povsem naravno, da je distopija postala del modela, saj je bil produkcijski proces zasnovan tako, da sodelujočim dovoljuje prosto domišljijo in improvizacijo. Zanimivo je bilo videti, kako so si srednješolci na delavnicah, potem ko so dobili zeleno luč, da si prosto predstavljajo vse, kar bi si želeli v svoji skupnosti, zamislili velikanski zabaviščni center, nekakšno imenitno nakupovalno središče. Z druge strani pa so prihajale ideje apokalipse in trajnostne naravnanosti: tako so nazorno prikazali naravno raznolikost v skupini in hkrati bipolarnost naše družbe, zaradi katere postane trajnostna naravnanost izgovor, mi pa še vedno gradimo nebotičnike. Distopija je mogočen vir, najmogočnejši: je provokativna, pogubo in strahove zna konkretizirati, vendar je tudi odraz resničnih mnenj in občutkov. ND: V čem se vaša izkušnja Albuquerqueja in puščave na jugozahodu razlikuje od običajnih prizorišč oziroma terena, kjer delujete? HH: Doživeti odprto pokrajino je bilo nadvse zanimivo, pravi izziv; gre za širino teritorija, ki je nisem navajena: izraz land art tam pridobi na pomenu, poleg tega mi je vsa ta prostranost dala občutek možnosti, da vse skupaj vzamem čisto resno – ne le z modeli, pač pa tudi z eksperimenti večjih razsežnosti. V tem smislu je bilo zanimivo videti tudi projekte, kot je Earthship Community, resnično alternativno bivališče, ki izkorišča prostranost pokrajine. Med druga vznemirljiva doživetja prištevam ogled prvega vesoljskega pristanišča Spaceport America, zanimiva pa je tudi zgodovina mesta Los Alamos. ND: Na čem trenutno delate? HH: Sestavljam model za arhitektonsko situacijo z načrtovanim sesutjem – neke vrste poklon razvalinam in katastrofam. Gre za arhitekturno situacijo v apokaliptičnem duhu, ki za svoje bistvene lastnosti vzame vidike katastrofe in ponuja možnost življenja v ruševinah. Ob upoštevanju netradicionalnih interpretacij zakonov statike in vzdržljivosti materialov model podpira kolapse, razpade, eksplozije in požare. Omogočena bo prosta rast divjega rastja ter razvoj plesni in drugih elementov, kot so umazanija in vonjave. Na ta način bo nastalo naključno oblikovano delo, ki bo uporabnika, zahvaljujoč »katastrofičnim dogodkom«, razporejenim v času, ki jih sam ne more predvideti, osvobodilo čustvene teže, ujete v materialnosti. Tako bo okusil veselje ob neznanem in nepričakovanem, se samodejno odrekel udobju in navadam ter se posledično navdušil nad popolno izgubo lastnine. Harmoničnosti bo manj, zato pa se bo povečala funkcionalna povezanost objektov.

Nina Dubois je študentka magistrskega programa umetnosti in ekologije Univerze v Novi Mehiki. Intervju je del njene magistrske raziskovalne naloge, v kateri preučuje strategije, ki jih različni umetniki razvijajo pri uresničevanju idej, povezanih z umetnostjo kot transformativnim projektom. Hanna Hildebrand je neodvisna umetnica, ki deluje med različnimi disciplinami, s pomočjo odprtih procesov raziskuje vedenja v družbi, išče nove možnosti in skuša širiti meje. Je deloma italijanskega in deloma švicarskega rodu, študirala je umetnost v Frankfurtu, živi in dela nomadsko. Paul Wiersbinski je študiral umetnost pri profesorjih Marku Leckeyu in Douglasu Gordonu na likovni akademiji HfbK Städelschule v Frankfurtu. Deluje kot svobodni umetnik in raziskovalec in se ukvarja z znanstvenim preučevanjem diskurzov, kot so arhitektura, entomologija in kibernetika.


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Creative Creative technology cooking Kreativno kuhanje tehnologij It is in the nature of temporary labs to be devised as typically nomadic and mobile, since the people that implement them as part of their projects are often moving to different locations. The PostArtLab was conceived in 2012 as a temporary lab unit within an installation, and was established with the purpose of investigating the phenomenon of shared creation as a form of cultural performance. In 2013, with the support of the Sonda Foundation, the HackLab is set up within the GT22 organization. The HackLabGT22 stems from collaborations between transnational lab networks, focusing on the development and production of artistic-technological practices, and connecting the so-called DIY communities dealing with open code systems, experimental AV installations, low- and hi-tech physical, sensory and technical interfaces. The processes of creation and manufacturing are open to participation for the local public, as well as guests in the frame of international platforms. In 2014, with the help of ACE KIBLA and the Sonda Foundation, the project Open Code: Oasis is instituted; a platform revealing the story of experimental environments within the city of Maribor. A laboratory is set up, with the aim of researching and producing new methods and useful practices that stretch across multiple disciplines. The project focuses on the development of experimental artistic and technological practices that explore the phenomenon of shared creation supported by the use of open source technologies, alternative ways of selfsupply and creative cooking, and produce “site-specific” performances and installations inside non-conventional places. The project was conceived in an utmostly open manner – the interested public was able to participate freely during all the stages of the installation. Indeed, this is the very core of the open source approach, which is the modus operandi – technologies and ideas to improve our living have to be available for everyone, and so should the knowledge needed to implement these technologies.

Monika Pocrnjić

Carol Ximena Masten was invited to participate in the project. The three factors that influence her artistic expression most significantly are: man, society and nature. The substance of her form is food as the main source of life energy. Eating is the most important activity of every living organism. The form enables the artist to explore the phenomenon of shared creation and creative cooking within the community. The purpose of the central area of GT22 had to be adapted to the community, not to art installations, which is why we set up an additional urban garden alongside the kitchen, and thereby provided a yearly schedule for the shared activities of the community. During this time, Matjaž Lenhart and I were exploring open source technologies and their interactive potential. While experimenting with sensors and resistances, we tried to come up with a simple prototype, which was later used in the practical part of the OasisHack Workshop that started shortly before the beginning of the Kiblix 2014 Festival. The conceptual framework for the functioning of Open Code: Oasis was an experimental-lab platform included in transnational networking, where we actively participated in the Seeker project. The living sculpture is just one from a series of international sculptures that are being set up in various forms of collaboration by Belgian artist and researcher Angelo Vermeulen, on the subject of space habitats. Angelo was part of a four-month project HI-SEAS, a Mars simulation study on improving the nutritional value of space food, funded by NASA. During the simulation the idea came up that even the Seeker could become a habitat. As one of the six-member international crew, I thus engaged on a 96-hour long endeavor to live and function on the inside of this closed-space installation. During that time I was researching food related self-supply. I focused mainly on the hydroponic and aquaponic growing of crops and herbs. I provided lettuce placed inside volcanic soil with artificial fertiliz-

ers, or used fish excrement/sewage as a source of nutrients. I observed carefully and watched out for the plants to have enough nutrients, water and light (day-night). Everything we grew, we also tasted and ate!

SI Narava začasnih laboratorijev je, da so zasnovani tipično nomadsko in mobilno, saj se ljudje, ki jih vzpostavljajo zaradi svojih projektov, pogosto selijo na različne lokacije. PostArtLab je bil leta 2012 zasnovan kot začasna laboratorijska enota znotraj instalacije, vzpostavljen z namenom raziskovanja fenomena skupnega ustvarjanja kot kulturni performans. V letu 2013 se s pomočjo Fundacije Sonda znotraj GT22 vzpostavi HackLab. HacklabGT22 izhaja iz sodelovanj transnacionalnih mrež laboratorijev, ki se osredotočajo na razvoj in produkcijo umetniško-tehnoloških praks in povezujejo t. i. DIY skupnosti, ki se ukvarjajo z odprtokodnimi sistemi, eksperimentalnimi AV instalacijami, low in hi-tech telesnimi, senzoričnimi in tehničnimi vmesniki. Procesi ustvarjanja in izdelovanja so odprti za participacijo domače javnosti in gostov znotraj mednarodnih platform. Leta 2014 se s pomočjo KID KIBLA in Fundacije Sonda vzpostavi projekt Odprta koda: Oaza, platforma, ki pripoveduje zgodbo o eksperimentalnih okoljih znotraj mesta Maribor. Vzpostavil se je laboratorij s ciljem raziskovanja in produciranja novih metod in uporabnih praks, ki sežejo v polje več disciplin. Projekt se je osredotočil na razvoj eksperimentalnih umetniških in tehnoloških praks, ki raziskujejo fenomen skupnega ustvarjanja s pomočjo odprtokodnih tehnologij, alternativne samooskrbe s hrano, kreativnega kuhanja, in producirajo t. i. »site-specific« performanse in instalacije v nekonvencionalnih prostorih. Zastavljen je bil izrazito odprto – skozi vse izvedbene faze je bila zainteresirani javnosti omogočena udeležba. Prav to je srž odprtokodnega pristopa, ki je modus ope-

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.


randi – tehnologije in ideje za izboljšanje bivanja morajo biti na voljo vsem, hkrati pa mora biti prosto dostopno tudi znanje za implementacijo teh tehnologij. K projektu je bila povabljena Carol Ximena Masten. Na njeno umetniško izražanje vplivajo predvsem trije dejavniki: človek, družba in narava. Snov njene forme je hrana, ki predstavlja glavni vir življenjske energije. Prehranjevanje je najpomembnejša dejavnost vsakega živega organizma. Forma ji omogoča raziskovanje fenomena skupnega ustvarjanja in kreativnega kuhanja znotraj skupnosti. Namembnost osrednjega prostora v GT22 je bilo treba prilagodili skupnosti in ne umetniškim instalacijam, zato smo ob kuhinji ustvarili še urbani vrt in ob tem smo vzpostavili letni terminski plan za skupne aktivnosti skupnosti. Z Matjažem Lenhartom sva medtem raziskovala odprtokodne tehnologije in njihove interaktivne zmožnosti. Pri eksperimentiranju s senzorji in upori sva poskušala sestaviti preprost prototip, ki sva ga pozneje uporabila pri praktičnem delu delavnice OasisHack, ki smo jo izvajali še pred začetkom festivala Kiblix 2014. Konceptualni okvir delovanja Odprta koda: Oaza je predstavljal eksperimentalno-laboratorijsko platformo, vključeno v transnacionalno mreženje, kjer smo aktivno participirali pri projektu Seeker. Živeča skulptura je le ena v nizu mednarodnih skulptur, ki jih na temo habitata vesoljskih ladij skozi različne forme sodelovanj postavlja belgijski umetnik in raziskovalec Angelo Vermeulen. Angelo je sodeloval pri štirimesečnem projektu HI-SEAS, izvedenim s pomočjo Nase, pri katerem je z nekaj sodelavci simuliral življenje na Marsu. Med simulacijo se je porodila ideja, da bi tudi Seeker lahko postal prebivališče. Kot del šestčlanske mednarodne posadke sem se v zaprtem prostoru 96 ur spopadala z bivanjem in delovanjem v notranjosti instalacije. Med bivanjem sem raziskovala samooskrbo s hrano. Predvsem sem se osredotočila na hidroponično in akvaponično gojenje vrtnin in zelišč. Zeleno solato, postavljeno v vulkansko prst, sem oskrbovala z umetnim gnojilom ali pa sem kot vir hranljivih snovi uporabila ribje odpadke/odplake. Pozorno sem opazovala in pazila, da imajo rastline dovolj hranilnih snovi in vode ter svetlobe (dan-noč). Vse, kar smo gojili, smo tudi poskusili in pojedli! Photo / Foto Monika Pocrnjić


Riga Latvia European Capital of Culture 2014 Evropska prestolnica kulture 2014 Aleksandra KostiÄ?


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In 2014, the capital of Latvia, together with Umeå in Sweden, was the European capital of culture. The beautiful city of Riga, the largest in the Baltic states, is home to over half a million inhabitants, one third of all Latvians. The city is located by the mouth of the river Daugava, as it flows into the Baltic Sea. The town’s historical center is listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is noted, apart from the medieval core, for its Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture. Like all Baltic countries, Latvia too has a large Russian minority, as high as 38 percent, bringing the total number of autochthonous Latvians to less than two-thirds of the entire population. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. During the course of its history, it was under the rule of many countries. The first opponent of the city-state was the Latvian order of knights, which was a branch of the Teutonic Knights. Under the guise of Christianization, the knights fought for centuries, until 1582, when the order ceased to exist. The ravaged land was occupied by the Poles, but by 1621 Riga had been taken over by the Swedes. In 1710 it was occupied by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Russians remained in power for more than two centuries, but the real masters of Riga were the Germans, who completely took over the city’s economy. Between the two world wars the Baltic countries were at the forefront of events. In 1917 Latvia was occupied by the Germans; in 1918, the country proclaimed independence, but after two months it was already occupied by Russia. In 1920, Latvia signed a peace treaty with Russia, but the agreement was broken by the latter immediately after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1940. Although as soon as the following year the German troops marched into Riga, the Soviets again occupied the city at the end of the war. Latvians proclaimed their independence again in 1990, when they explicitly restored their statehood from 1918, and declared the interim period as one of occupation. In the city with generally little contemporary happening, the RIXC center has operated for decades (from 1997). The activities of this innovative center, network and art collective are dedicated to the crossroads of art, science and emerging technologies, enabling the connection of artists to people of different educational and experience profiles, their collaboration and co-creation. In the year of the European capital of culture, they were presented with new facilities in the historical city quarter of Spikeri, which served in the 14th century as a port loading dock and warehouse. The brickcovered houses are designed in the eclectic 19th century style, very popular for the industrial and storage buildings of that time. After the modern renovation, the facilities are now intended for numerous organizations from the field of culture, creative industries and other businesses. As regards the larger exhibition projects, RIXC was always connected to the biggest exhibition venue in the city, the Latvian National Museum of Art. Their freshly refurbished spaces provided an exemplary case of an exhibition in the field of contemporary technologies at the – now restored – old city arsenal (Arsenali). At the press conference, Rasa Smite in Raitis Smits, co-founders of the RIXC and co-curators of the Fields exhibition, highlighted the importance of individual and global sustainability and addressed issues such as the global educational process, new ideologies, the final processes of capitalism and socialism, and the reinvention of lifestyle. Curators Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits and Armin Medosch selected the artworks according to the principle of potential social changes in the said spirit. They also marked the 10th anniversary of collaborative efforts with Armin Medosch, and the related active Austrian support. “The changing role of art in society is one where it does not just create a new aesthetics but gets involved in patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations. Fields presents an inquiry into models of renewal and transition. The curators asked which expanded fields of artistic practice offer new ideas for overcoming the crisis of the present and develop new models of a more sustainable and imaginative way of life.” From the point of view of curatorship, the best thing is that they are not aprioristically committed to the contemporary artistic production of the last, or last two or three years, but their selection of artworks reaches back to the 1960’s with the group OHO, and the 1980’s with Robert Adrian, who then began working in the field of telecommunication networks with a small but global network of artists that were connecting with artistic and communication projects. The Slovenian group OHO comprising Marko Pogačnik, Milenko Matanović, David Nez, Andraž Šalamun and the recently deceased Tomaž Šalamun was presented with the land art project Grain and String (1969), thereby opening the field of researching the countryside in search of a more solid connection between nature and the members of OHO and their state of mind. The video installation Fields by Latvian Mārtiņš Ratniks became a kind of trademark of the entire exhibition. Created in 2007, it uses old television sets with a single video frame divided into 27 fields (matching the number of TV sets) and generates video fields by means of half-frames. Shu Lea Cheang engaged in media activism for two decades (the 1980’s and 90’s) in New York City. Her work Brandon (1998–1999) was the first Guggenheim museum web art commission/collection Seeds Underground (2013). In certain parts of the world, the vast farmlands have been colonized by genetically modified crops for our staple foods (i.e. wheat, soybeans, corns). Introduced 30 years ago, the transgenic biotechnology has since been commercialized by the patent-protected corporate sectors. Taking over the wholesale markets, the herbicide-tolerant and pest-resistant seeds promise higher yields and profits without much ecological concerns. In the recent years, the European Union has been considering the adaptation of a new seeds policy which favors the corporate seeds industry, making all seeds subject to strict regulation. It is feared that this will hurt organic varieties and prevent seed exchange by seed farmers and savers.


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Sketches for an earth computer by Martin Howse presents a series of living “laboratory” studies enacted as sketches for an earth computer, alongside photographic documentation of various attempts to implement a literal, artistic investigation of the links between the earth, code and the human psyche of the viewer. The earth computer proposes the bootstrapping of a long-term, visible computational device self-constructed solely from the earth, and embedded within the earth as a critical monument to human technology. Bzzz! The Sound of Electricity by Cecile Babiole is a sound installation designed to render the sound of electricity audible and spread it over the ambient space. The sound is incredibly pleasant. The sculpture has a radial form, arranged around a sound wave generator at the center of a room surrounded by a set of loudspeakers attached to microphone stands. The generator is connected to the loudspeakers by a bundle of audio wires running vertically and then branching out to form a sort of tree that shows the pathways of the electrical current. The frequency generator is of a deliberately crude design, comprising just a few basic electronic components that allow the electrical current to be modulated so as to generate slightly amplified sound vibrations. Six simultaneous sounds are thereby produced and spread over the ambient space. This arrangement invites the viewer to move from one sound to another and experience how these sounds interact, how they scrape and buzz against one another. By reinventing an obsolete homemade low-tech sound wave generator in this all-digital age, Bzzz! serves as a commentary on the history of technology and a tribute to unprocessed, unsampled analog sound: in a word, the raw sound of electricity. Matthew Biederman, Marko Peljhan, Brian Springer, Aljosa Abrahamsberg: We should take nothing for granted – on the building of an alert and knowledgeable citizenry. The work addresses current positions and politics of privacy, surveillance and safety of the global citizenry in relation to the military industrial complexes and their visible and opaque ‘secret state’ structures. The title is based on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous speech of 1961 wherein he warns of the dangers of an unchecked military industrial complex, the extinction of creative free thinking within higher education, and the extraction of natural resources without consideration for their renewal. This address is extremely relevant today in light of recent revelations of massive surveillance programs, perpetual information and real wars, the reshaping of the university complex and intensified resource extraction. Eisenhower’s speech was not a dark forecast but instead stated that ‘…an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals…’ Eisenhower’s speech serves as the foundation for a set of Systemic activities in the fields of communications security, massive data aggregation, data analysis and display. The work reflects on the conditions for the development of an ‘alert and knowledgeable citizenry’ in societal circumstances that, despite constitutional protections, do not warrant it. Annja Krautgasser: Prelude (2007) Above the virtual-real dichotomy. Mystical. People observed from a distance. They amble, walk without any apparent goal, or jog. They seem unencumbered, like tourists or families out for a Sunday stroll in the park. The site that they traverse, however, is simply an empty, bright surface. Only the paths are sketchily indicated, a strict geometric plan. All of the sounds are also erased, and thereby possible indications of the location. Prelude is a playful and likewise concentrated hidden image picture. Ines Doujak (AT) and John Barker (UK): Loomshuttles, Warpaths The Eccentric Archive is one chapter in the ongoing arts based research Loomshuttles, Warpaths. It is based on 48 textiles from the Andes collected over a period of thirtyfive years. In the Andean region cloth is perceived as being alive and is understood as a medium of communications. The collection includes ancient and modern cloth and clothing; hand-made and mass produced; natural and synthetic fibers. The archive consists of descriptions of each item in the collection, and responses to them both by the artist in the form of poster collages, and by the responses of other artists, philosophers, fashion designers, sociologists, drag performers, museum directors, tailors, and shamans. Numerical dates on the posters, made from woven hair, refer to texts co-written with

Shu Lea Cheang: Seeds Underground / Semena iz podzemlja


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ject of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in so doing, eliminate the other player. The aim of the game is to clear the oil spill caused to the Kravtsovskoye oil platform built close to the area under the protection of UNESCO. Can you feel the spill? deals with the actual socioeconomic consequences arising from the accident on an oil rig and the environmental consequences of the construction of oil platforms near the area’s rich biodiversity. The game formulates a clear position in relation to the political struggle, the impact of capital and the general structure of power relations established in capitalist social order and addressed by the extraction of black gold – oil. This is a mental, environmental, and sociopolitical board game; a micro-social practice and a piece of theory all rolled into one. It is conceived as a turn-based strategy game for two players that deals with a ‘glocal’ ecological issue of offshore oil drilling and its environmental impacts. By using a playful/ironic language and a conceptual framework, most of the mechanics/strategies in the game are chosen to reflect the notions of subjectivity and the capitalistic power formations. The game focuses the goals of the emancipation struggle against the capitalistic power: it doesn’t take up a position of an absolute external opposition, but rather confronts it on the mental ecology of daily life – it invites you to play!

SI Riga v Latviji je bila v letu 2014 skupaj s švedsko Umeå Evropska prestolnica kulture. V čudovitem mestu Rigi, največjem mestu v baltskih državah, živi dobrega pol milijona prebivalcev, tretjina vseh Latvijcev. Mesto leži v zalivu Riga, ob izlivu reke Daugave v Baltsko morje. Historični center je na seznamu svetovne dediščine UNESCO, poleg srednjeveškega dela ga odlikuje secesijska arhitektura in lesena arhitektura iz 19. stoletja. Kot vse baltske države ima tudi Latvija visok odstotek ruske manjšine, kar 38 odstotkov, tako da avtohtonih Latvijcev ni niti polovica.

John Barker - which bring to light the continuing struggles of workers in the textile and clothing industries, and of rebellion by style of dress. The archive exposes how entangled with Imperialist history textiles and dyes have been, as well as the impacts of shifts in technologies and of color itself. Pamela Neuwirth, Franz Xaver, Markus Decker: Ghostradio (2014) Ghostradio is a physical mechanism that generates random numbers through chance. Cyber-culture has become problematic for our democratic societies. Instead of using digital technologies for social development, a panopticon powered by supercomputers has been created. Internet communication gets copied for content analysis by spy agencies and corporations. At the moment, information exchanges on the internet are either in plaintext, or they use, for ‘secure’ transmission, encryption. For cryptographic methods to be safe it is essential to create a very good random key. Usually these keys are produced by pseudorandom generators. As they are produced by algorithms, they are not really random, and can be outguessed with the help of powerful computers. In order to tackle this issue, the artists have built a ghostradio device that produces real random numbers. Referring to the use of chance in art and to the Second Order cybernetics of Heinz von Förster, Ghostradio deploys feedback and quantum effects to create random numbers from the boundaries of reality and beyond. Ghostradio publishes the resulting random number data stream for the generation of cryptographic keys. This will release the public from the current state of surveillance. YoHa and Matthew Fuller’s Endless War (2012) Endless War is a real-time data processing, multi-channel sound and image projection. Endless War is a real-time processing of 76,000 files from the Afghanistan War Archive. The files are categorized by algorithmic methods such as ‘N-gram fingerprints’. As the war is fought it produces entries in databases that are in turn analyzed by software looking for repeated patterns of events, spatial information, kinds of actors, timings and other factors.

Endless War shows how the way war is thought of relates to the way it is fought. Both are seen as, potentially endless, computational processes. The algorithmic imaginary of contemporary power meshes with the drawn out failure of imperial adventure. Endless War hints at the existence of an entire sensory and intellectual apparatus of the military body readied for battle. How do we participate in these formations and how do they participate in us? This form of digital archive requires us to join collectively with a complex ensemble of technical objects. It creates an architecture of lists where formal relations have priority over semantics, producing the fields of potential from which new knowledge emerge and with it new forms of power on and off the battlefield. Established in spring 2007, Class Wargames is a group of artists, academics and agitators who came together to play, re-enact and explore the possibilities of Guy Debord’s The Game of War. The Game of War is a Clausewitz simulator: a Napoleonic-era military strategy game where armies must maintain their communications network to survive. Guy Debord is celebrated as the leader of Situationist International and as the author of the searing critique of the media-saturated society of consumer capitalism, The Society of the Spectacle. The film Class Wargames presents Guy Debord’s The Game of War as a 21st century treatise on revolutionary strategy. For Debord, the Game of War wasn’t just a game, but a guide to how people should live their lives within industrial society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society. Isidora Todorović, Andrea Palašti, Luka Ranisaljević (Serbia): Can you feel the spill? is a political board game firmly tied to a specific Neringa issue that explores the /potential/ impact of the Kravtsovskoye D-6 oilfield on the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Curonian Spit. It is a detailed game system that stimulates the decisions and processes inherent to the management body of the D-6 oilfield – the Oil Tsar (player 1) and the Environmentalist (player 2). The primary ob-

Mesto Riga je bilo ustanovljeno v okviru Hanse leta 1201 in je bilo pod oblastjo mnogih držav. Prvi nasprotnik mestne državice je bil Latvijski viteški red, ki je bil veja tevtonskih vitezov. Pod pretvezo pokristjanjevanja so se vitezi borili več stoletij, do 1582, ko je red prenehal obstajati. Opustošeno deželo so zasedli Poljaki, a že leta 1621 so zavzeli Rigo Švedi. 1710 jo je zasedel ruski car Peter Veliki. Rusi so ostali na oblasti več kot dve stoletji, a pravi gospodarji Rige so bili Nemci, ki so popolnoma prevzeli mestno gospodarstvo. Med svetovnima vojnama so bile baltske države v ospredju dogodkov. Leta 1917 so zasedli Latvijo Nemci, 1918 je država proglasila samostojnost, a že čez dva meseca jo je zasedla Rusija. 1920 je Latvija podpisala mirovno pogodbo z Rusijo, ki je sporazum prekršila takoj ob izbruhu druge svetovne vojne leta 1940. Čeprav so že naslednje leto nemške čete vkorakale v Rigo, so jo Sovjeti spet pridobili ob koncu vojne. Latvijci so spet proglasili neodvisnost leta 1990, ko so izrecno obnovili državnost iz leta 1918 in razglasili vmesno obdobje za okupacijo. V mestu, kjer je sicer malo sodobnega dogajanja, že desetletja (od 1997) deluje RIXC, inovativen center, mreža in umetniški kolektiv, ki spodbuja delovanje na presečišču umetnosti, znanosti in uveljavljajočih se tehnologij ter omogoča povezovanje umetnikov z ljudmi različnih izobrazbenih in izkustvenih profilov, da sodelujejo in ustvarjajo. Z letom Evropske prestolnice kulture so pridobili nove prostore v historični četrti Spikeri, ki je služila v 14. stoletju kot pristaniško razkladališče in skladišče. Opečnate hiše so oblikovane v eklektičnem stilu 19. stoletja, priljubljenem za industrijske in skladiščne stavbe tega časa. S sodobno obnovo so namenjene številnim organizacijam s področja kulture, kreativnih industrij in poslovanja drugih dejavnosti. RIXC se je pri večjih razstavnih projektih vedno povezal z večjim razstaviščem v mestu, z Latvijskim muzejem za nacionalno umetnost. V sveže obnovljenih prostorih stare mestne orožarne (Arsenali) so postavili zgledni primer razstave na področju sodobnih tehnologij. Rasa Smite in Raitis Smits, soustanovitelja RIXC in sokuratorja razstave Fields (Polja), sta na tiskovni konferenci poudarila pomembnost individualne in globalne trajnostne naravnanosti ter spregovorila o globalnem izobraževalnem procesu, novi ideologiji, zaključnem procesu kapitalizma in socializma ter reinvenciji življenjskega stila. Kuratorji Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits in Armin Medosch so izbirali umetniška dela po ključu potencialnih socialnih sprememb v omenjenem duhu. Obeležili so tudi deset let sodelovanja z Arminom Medoschem in aktivne avstrijske podpore.


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Pamela Neuwirth, Franz Xaver, Markus Decker: Ghostradio / Radio prikazni


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»Vloga umetnosti v družbi se spreminja, ne gre več zgolj za ustvarjanje nove estetike, temveč se umetnost danes vključuje v modele družbenih, znanstvenih in tehnoloških transformacij. Razstava Fields predstavlja vpogled v modele obnavljanja in tranzicije. Kuratorji razstave se sprašujejo, katera razširjena področja umetniških praks ponujajo nove ideje za premagovanje krize sedanjega časa ter razvijajo nove modele bolj trajnostno naravnanega in domiselnega načina življenja.« S stališča kuriranja je najbolje to, da niso aprioristično sodobno zavezani umetniški produkciji zadnjega, zadnjih dveh ali zadnjih treh let, temveč nabor umetniških del sega do 60-ih let 20. stoletja s skupino OHO in v 80. leta z Robertom Adrianom, ko je začel delovati na področju telekomunikacijskih omrežij z majhno, toda globalno mrežo umetnikov, ki so se povezovali z umetniškimi in komunikacijskimi projekti. Slovenska skupina OHO v sestavi Marko Pogačnik, Milenko Matanović, David Nez, Andraž Šalamun in nedavno preminuli Tomaž Šalamun je z delom Žito in vrvica iz leta 1969, krajinskim umetniškim projektom, odprla polje raziskovanja podeželja v iskanju trdnejše povezave med člani OHO in njihovim mentalnim stanjem z naravo. Kot prepoznavni znak razstave Fields je izzvenela istoimenska video namestitev Latvijca Mārtiņša Ratniksa iz 2007 na starih televizijskih aparatih, kjer je en video okvir razdeljen na 27 polj (toliko, kot je televizij) in s polokvirjem (angl. half-frame) ustvarja video polja. Shu Lea Cheang se je angažirala na področju novih medijev v 80-ih in 90-ih letih v New Yorku, njeno delo Brandon (1998–1999) je bilo prvo spletno umetniško naročilo za zbirko Guggenheimovega muzeja Semena undergrounda (2013). V določenih delih sveta so obširne kmetijske površine kolonizirane z gensko spremenjenimi pridelki iz skupine osnovnih živil (torej pšenica, soja, koruza). Zametki transgenske biotehnologije segajo 30 let nazaj, od tedaj do danes pa so jo velike, s patenti zaščitene korporacije že povsem skomercializirale. Ob premoči na velikoprodajnih trgih obljubljajo proti herbicidom in škodljivcem odporna semena več pridelka in višji iztržek, pri tem pa se ne ozirajo na ekološke posledice. V preteklih letih se tudi evropska unija nagiba k obli-

kovanju nove semenske politike, ki bo sledila interesom korporacij semenske industrije ter vsa semena podvrgla strogemu nadzoru. Bati se je, da bo to prizadelo naravno organsko raznovrstnost ter preprečilo izmenjavo semen med gojitelji in tistimi, ki semena hranijo. Sketches for an earth computer avtorja Martina Howsa predstavlja serijo živih »laboratorijskih« študij v obliki skic in osnutkov za t. i. »zemeljski računalnik« ter fotografsko dokumentacijo različnih poskusov umetniškega raziskovanja povezav med zemljo, kodiranjem ter gledalčevo psiho. Zemeljski računalnik predvideva samozagon dolgoročne, vidne računske naprave, ki bo zgrajena zgolj iz zemlje ter bo tudi fizično nameščena v zemljo oziroma v tla, kot kritičen spomenik razvoju človeške tehnologije. Zvočna instalacija Bzzz!The sound of electricity, ki jo je razvila Cecile Babiole, naredi elektriko slišno ter njen neverjetno prijeten zvok razširja skozi prostor. Skulptura radialne oblike se nahaja v središču razstavnega prostora, razporejena okrog generatorja zvočnih valov, obkrožajo pa jo zvočniki, priklopljeni na stojala za mikrofone. Generator z zvočniki povezuje sveženj avdio kablov, ki tečejo navpično in se nato razcepijo ter oblikujejo drevesu podobno skulpturo, ki prikazuje poti električnega toka. Frekvenčni generator je namenoma zasnovan surovo, sestavlja ga le peščica osnovnih elektronskih komponent, ki omogočajo moduliranje električnega toka ter s tem proizvodnjo rahlo ojačanih zvočnih vibracij. Delo proizvede šest simultanih zvokov, ki jih širi po razstavnem prostoru. Takšna razporeditev gledalca vabi, da se pomika od enega zvoka k drugemu in doživi njihovo medsebojno interakcijo, prasketanje in brnenje. Z oživitvijo obsoletnega, doma narejenega nizko-tehnološkega generatorja zvočnih valov v dobi množične digitalizacije, služi instalacija Bzzz! kot komentar o zgodovini tehnologije, hkrati pa kot poklon neobdelanemu, ne-semplanemu analognemu zvoku ali na kratko surovemu zvoku elektrike. Projekt, pod katerega so se podpisali Matthew Biederman, Marko Peljhan, Brian Springer in Aljoša Abrahamsberg, z naslovom We should take nothing for granted – on the building of an alert and knowledgeable citizenry (Ničesar ne smemo imeti za samoumevno: O vzpostavljanju čuječega in poučenega občestva) je po-

Manu Luksch: To The Magic Swan/ Kayak Libre / K magičnemu labodu / Osvobojeni kajak

svečen problemom nadzora, zasebnosti ter (ne) varnosti državljanov vsega sveta v odnosu do vojaško-poslovnih kompleksov ter vidnih in nevidnih tajnih državnih struktur. Naslov temelji na poslovilnem govoru ameriškega predsednika Dwighta D. Eisenhowerja. Ta je leta 1961 posvaril pred preveliko močjo vojaško-poslovnega kompleksa, pretirano instrumentalizacijo znanstvenega raziskovanja in izčrpavanjem naravnih virov. Hkrati je napovedal tveganja, ki jih prinaša razrast moči in nenadzorovanih kapacitet skrivnih državnih struktur oziroma agencij, kakršna je danes NSA. Projekt je še zlasti aktualen v kontekstu afer kot so Snowden, Klein, Manning, in podobnih dokazov o tehnično podprtem množičnem kršenju zagotovljenih državljanskih pravic s strani zahodnih držav. A tako delo kot sam govor, na katerem je osnovano, nista le napoved temačne prihodnosti, temveč poudarjata potrebo po vzpostavitvi čuječega in poučenega občestva, ki mora delovati kot zagotovilo, da se tovrstne tehnične kapacitete ne izrabljajo za potrebe preprečevanja svobode vseh prebivalcev. Annja Krautgasser: Prelude (2007) Več kot virtualno in realno. Mistično. Opazovanje ljudi od daleč. Pohajkujejo naokrog, brez kakšnega posebnega cilja, nekateri tečejo. Zdijo se tako neobremenjeni, kakor turisti ali družine na nedeljskem sprehodu skozi park. Pa vendar je kraj, kjer hodijo, zgolj prazna, osvetljena površina. Edinole njihove poti so nakazane v obrisih, natančen geometrijski načrt. Izbrisani so tudi vsi zvoki, zato je nemogoče ugotoviti pravo lokacijo. Prelude je igriva in hkrati koncentrirana slikovna uganka. Ines Doujak (AT) in John Barker (UK): Loomshuttles, Warpaths Zbirka Eccentric Archive je eno izmed poglavij v še trajajočem umetniško-raziskovalnem projektu Loomshuttles, Warpaths. Delo temelji na 48 različnih tkaninah z Andov, zbranih v obdobju petintridesetih let. Na območju Andov verjamejo, da je blago živo in velja za medij komunikacije. Zbirka vključuje starinska in sodobna oblačila in tkanine; ročno in množično izdelane; iz naravnih in sintetičnih vlaken. Arhiv sestavljajo opisi posameznih kosov ter umetničin odziv nanje v obliki kolaža, poleg tega pa tudi komentarji drugih umetnikov, filozofov, modnih


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Superflex: The Working Life / Delovno življenje

oblikovalcev, sociologov, mojstrov preobleke, muzejskih direktorjev, krojačev in šamanov. Številke na kolažih so izdelane iz spletenih las in se nanašajo na besedila, ki sta jih spisala Doujakova in Barker – ta osvetljujejo nenehen boj delavcev tekstilne in oblačilne industrije ter uporništvo, izraženo skozi stil oblačenja. Arhiv izpostavlja prepletenost imperialistične zgodovine z razvojem tekstila in barv ter vpliv, ki ga imajo na tekstilno industrijo napredne tehnologije in barve same po sebi.

Pamela Neuwirth, Franz Xaver, Markus Decker: Ghostradio (2014) Ghostradio je fizični mehanizem, ki generira naključna števila. Kiber kultura postaja pereč problem v naših demokratičnih družbah. Namesto da bi se digitalne tehnologije uporabljale za potrebe družbenega razvoja, nas v resnici nadzira nevidno oko oblasti – panoptikum, ki ga napajajo superračunalniki. Vohunske agencije in korporacije kopirajo internetno komunikacijo in analizirajo njeno vsebino. Danes poteka izmenjava informacij na internetu na dva načina: v obliki golega, nešifriranega besedila (plaintext) ali v t. i. »varnih« prenosih, kjer so besedila šifrirana (encryption). Za oblikovanje varnih kriptografskih metod je bistvenega pomena, da ustvarimo zelo dober naključni šifrirni ključ, ki jih običajno proizvajajo psevdo-naključni generatorji števil. Ker pa pri tem uporabljajo algoritme, v resnici niso povsem naključni, zato lahko s pomočjo najsodobnejših računalnikov »uganemo« njihov izbor. Temu vprašanju se posvečajo umetniki, ki so zgradili ghostradio – napravo, ki proizvaja resnično naključna števila. Naslanjajoč se na teorijo uporabe naključij v umetnosti in idejo kibernetike drugega reda, ki jo je razvil Heinz von Förster, se ghostradio poslužuje kvantnih učinkov ter povratnih informacij in na ta način ustvarja naključna števila na meji resničnosti in onkraj nje. Nastali podatkovni tok naključnih števil nato objavijo, da lahko postane orodje za generiranje kriptografskih ključev. Javnost bo tako osvobojena trenutnega stanja vseprisotnega nadzora. YoHa in Matthew Fuller: Endless War (2012) Neskončna vojna je delo s tematiko obdelave podatkov v realnem času ter večkanalno projekcijo zvokov in podob. Gre za obdelavo podatkov afganistanskega vojnega arhiva, ki so shranjeni v 76.000 datotekah, razporejenih po algoritmičnih metodah, kot je denimo biometrični »N-gram fingerprints«. Med vojnim dogajanjem se v podatkovnih bazah ustvarjajo podatki, ki jih nato analizirajo s pomočjo programske opreme, pri tem pa se osredotočajo na ponavljajoče se vzorce dogodkov, prostorske informacije, vrsto akterjev, časovno razporeditev in druge dejavnike. Projekt Endless War tako prikazuje, kako je način razmišljanja o vojni povezan z načinom samega bojevanja vojne. Obe plati sta predstavljeni kot – potencialno neskončna – računska procesa. Imaginarna algoritemska števila sodobnih tehnoloških dosežkov se prepletajo s propadlim poskusom imperialistične avanture. Endless War namiguje na obstoj kompleksnega senzornega in intelektualnega aparata vojaškega telesa, pripravljenega na boj. Kako mi sodelujemo v teh formacijah in kako one sodelujejo v nas? Predstavljena oblika digitalnega arhiva od nas zahteva kolektivno pridružitev, podprto s kompleksnim naborom tehničnih objektov. Ustvarja arhitekturo seznamov, kjer imajo formalni odnosi prednost pred semantiko, ter generira področja potenciala, od koder izvirajo nova znanja, z njimi pa tudi nove oblike moči, na bojišču ali izven njega.

Class Wargames, ustanovljena 2007, je skupina umetnikov, akademikov in agitatorjev, ki so se združili, da bi skupaj igrali, uprizorili in raziskali možnosti računalniške igre Guya Deborda, imenovane The Game of War. Gre za t. i. Clausewitzov simulator, igro vojaške strategije, postavljeno v čas Napoleona, v kateri morajo vojske vzdrževati svojo komunikacijsko mrežo, če želijo preživeti. Guy Debord je sicer znan kot vodja mednarodne organizacije Situationist International in avtor Družbe spektakla, neprizanesljive kritike z mediji zasičene družbe potrošniškega kapitalizma. V filmu Class Wargames je Debordova igra predstavljena kot razprava na temo revolucionarnih strategij 21. stoletja. Zanj igra vojne (The Game of War) ni bila zgolj igra, temveč tudi vodič za življenje ljudi v industrijski družbi. Z igranjem so se lahko revolucionarni aktivisti naučili, kako se boriti in zmagati v boju proti zatiralcem iz vrst spektakularne družbe. Isidora Todorović, Andrea Palašti, Luka Ranisaljević (Srbija): Can you feel the spill? Namizna igra s politično vsebino, tesno povezano z mestom Neringa in specifičnim vprašanjem (potencialnega) vpliva naftnega polja Kravtsovskoya D6 na peščeni Kurski polotok, ki spada pod svetovno dediščino Unesca. Umetniki so razvili natančen igralni sistem, ki simulira odločitve in procese vodilnega kadra omenjenega naftnega polja D6 – igralec 1 se temu primerno imenuje »naftni kralj«, na drugi strani pa mu nasprotuje »okoljevarstvenik«, igralec 2. Osnovni cilj igre je okupacija vseh teritorijev na igralni plošči in uničenje nasprotnika. Namen igre predstavlja prizadevanje za očiščenje naftnega madeža, ki ga je povzročilo razlitje na ploščadi Kravtsovskoya, zgrajeni (pre)blizu zaščitenega Unescovega področja. Can you feel the spill? se ukvarja z dejanskimi družbeno-ekonomskimi posledicami nesreče na naftni ploščadi ter z okoljskimi posledicami, ki jih v splošnem prinašajo naftne konstrukcije za bogato biotsko raznovrstnost na omenjenem območju. Računalniška igra zavzema jasno stališče v odnosu do političnih bojev, vpliva kapitala in splošnih struktur moči, ki prevladujejo v kapitalistično urejeni družbi in ki jih preizkuša črpanje črnega zlata – nafte. Gre torej za mentalno, okoljsko in družbeno-politično namizno igro; mikro-družbeno prakso in teorijo v enem. V strateški igri potez sodelujeta dva igralca, idejno pa se ukvarja z ekološko vprašljivostjo priobalnega vrtanja in posledic, ki jih le-to prinaša za okolje. Ob uporabi igrivega, ironičnega jezika in konceptualnega okvirja je bila večina mehanike oziroma strategij v igri izbranih tako, da spodbujajo razmislek o idejah subjektivnosti in kapitalističnih formacij moči. Igra se osredotoča na cilje emancipatornega boja proti kapitalistični moči: ne zavzema absolutne eksterne opozicije, temveč se z njo sooča na ravni mentalne ekologije vsakdanjega življenja – vabi nas k igranju! Photo / Foto Janez Klenovšek


Institute uho; oko: Maribor

Central Stat Project Centr uho; oko: institute for art and technology Maribor, a non-profit association acting in public interest, was founded in 2009 by Marko Ornik with the purpose of encouraging the development of digital culture and technological/artistic innovations from the field of new media practices. Our activities are carried out on a location, which was obtained through a public tender of the Municipality of Maribor in 2012. Central Station is a production/project/exhibition space that supports diverse artistic events and stands as a production unit that enables the production of various artistic endeavors. The production space of the Central Station is an open lab for experimental programs and contents; the functioning of the organization comprises the organization/production of events, concerts, lectures, discussions and exhibitions. It has been divided into several sections/programs/projects/production units:

_Vitrine:: The display window space serves as a 24/7 gallery _Beli Ĺ um:: A concert cycle of contemporary audio-visual production, with live performances _Exp_Lab:: A production and working environment with project-based activities, oriented towards the research

and production of digital video works, web-based AV contents and an interdisciplinary combination of all of the above (web transmissions / web AV production / fresh AV production / lectures / open source workshops)

www.uho-oko.si


Zavod uho; oko: Maribor

tion projekt

tralna postaja uho;oko: zavod za umetnost in tehnologijo Maribor, neprofitni zavod, s statusom v javnem interesu, je leta 2009 ustanovil Marko Ornik z namenom spodbujanja razvoja digitalne kulture ter tehnološko/umetniških inovacij s področja novomedijskih praks. Upravljamo s prostorom, ki smo ga pridobili na javnem razpisu Mestne občine Maribor leta 2012. Centralna postaja je produkcijsko/projektno/razstaviščni prostor, ki podpira raznovrstne umetniške dogodke in predstavlja produkcijsko enoto, ki omogoča produkcijo različnih umetniških vsebin. Produkcijski prostor Centralne postaje je odprt laboratorij za eksperimentalne programe in vsebine; delovanje zavoda obsega organizacijo/produkcijo dogodkov, koncertov, predavanj, pogovorov ter razstav. Razdelili smo ga na več sklopov/programov/projektov/produkcijskih enot:

_Vitrine:: Izložbeni prostori predstavljajo galerijo, ki je odprta 24/7 _Beli Šum:: Koncertni ciklus sodobne avdio-vizualne produkcije v živo _Exp_Lab:: Produkcijsko in delovno okolje, kjer na projektni podlagi stremimo k raziskovanju in delu digitalnega videa,

spletnim AV vsebinam ter interdisciplinarnemu združevanja vsega naštetega (spletni prenosi/ spletna AV produkcija/ nova AV produkcija/ predavanja/ odprtokodne delavnice)

www.centralnapostaja.si/Events_list.aspx


Petra Varl, Kiss, wall drawing, parking lot at the Law Faculty, 2012, Maribor / Poljub, stenska risba, parkirisce pri Pravni falkulteti, 2012, Maribor. Photo / foto: Branimir Ritonja


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 67

Tadej Vindiš

Untitled figures Figure brez naslova

Žiga Dobnikar Regardless of the high level of our integration inside communication flows, which could perhaps unfasten some of the typical ways of local settings, and the countless hours we spend wondering on the information superhighway, which continues to tempt us again and again to gaze at the complex texture of personal stories and global front-page events, we are still marked by, and tightly involved with the dynamics of our local environment and the scenes that (co)create it. Especially urban centers, which seem to be more about leaving than about arriving, appear to be lacking the occasional shake-up, or any kind of long-term input of fresh energy and ideas. It seems that contemporary photography is indeed one of the areas where younger-generation authors are visibly defining new criteria in terms of how we perceive this medium, which is becoming increasingly intertwined with other means of expression. At the same time, a re-defining of presentational methods is taking place, as they take on markedly different dramaturgical strategies compared to the traditional exhibition format. In the light of all this, it seems particularly interesting to consider the work of Tadej Vindiš, a young photographer who just recently returned to Maribor. In his early series, Vindiš was mainly interested in the figure as such, more specifically self-portraits, but also, in a more curious twist of the same motive, in a particularly narrational absence of the figure (the Untitled Grass series). In the Untitled Figures series, which is the focal point of this text, the figure is re-established as the center of the author’s attention. The photographs, or better yet, photographic objects that make up the series, are part of the creative process which began during the final year of Vindiš’s studies at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). These monumental photographs are marked by qualities typically associated with the genre of painting, which are not expressed through a pictorial manipulation of the image, but by mastering the métier and a thoughtful play of light. Objects made from wire, nylon and wax are submerged under water, carefully illuminated and thus moved to a somber, almost monochromatic spacelessness. The traditional visual strategy of placing a dramatically illuminated object against a neutral background is perverted by the submersion. In individual places the object is obscured and softened by the water, and becomes fused with the non-matter of the background. At first sight, the impression of objectness is preserved very persuasively, but the figure is in fact loosened. However, this stunted objectness does not by any means dispossess the presence of the figure. The photographs become charged with a powerful evocative potential, which constitutes the subject-matter of the entire series. The crucial aspect is the author’s perceptive use of an-

thropomorphism – the psychological process in which human characteristics are attributed to non-human beings. In Untitled Figures, it is about the reflex of searching for familiar, mostly human or human-like forms in unknown and ambiguous objects. Through the attribution of human characteristics we try to establish a relation, an empathetic association to the inanimate body. The suggestive, grotesquely gnarled figures remain indiscernible and decidedly ambivalent. They remind us of the homunculi in the works of Zdenko Huzjan, or at other times of Giger’s Alien, swinging between extreme compassion and reluctance, yet preserving their distinct aesthetic appeal. The sophisticated shading of restrained colors in harmony with the subtle texture of the background pushes the objects into the space, leaving a gaping pit behind them. The observer is gradually consumed by the cocoon-like figures inside massive frames. They pull him inside their fabricated reality, to engage in a dialog with dead matter, and bestow upon it a quality of the living. It is this very phenomenon – the human reflex to project oneself to any situation that allows it, is the main source of fascination for the author, even in his latest series. Mars is based on a recording of the planet taken by a NASA exploration rover. By challenging the viewer, who “enters” the unearthly landscape so instinctively, it reexamines the insatiable human tendency to expand and conquer new territories, regardless of how unapproachable they are. It is precisely this impetus that captures the duality which so often characterizes the work of Tadej Vindiš – optimism on one side, and the promise of rebooting the cycle of mistakes on the other.

SI Ne glede na vpetost v komunikacijske tokove, ki bi morda mogli razrahljati lokalne miljeje, in neskončna vandranja po svetovnem spletu, ki vedno znova vabi z zrenjem v kompleksno tapiserijo osebnih zgodb in globalno odmevnih dogodkov, smo še vedno zaznamovani in tesno vpleteni v dinamike lokalnega okolja in scen, ki ga (so) oblikujejo. Posebno v mestih, ki jih bolj zaznamuje odhajanje kot prihajanje, premalokrat pride do prevetritev in trajnejših vnosov svežih energij in idej. Zdi se, da je prav polje sodobne fotografije eno od tistih, kjer mlajša generacija avtorjev opazno definira nove kriterije pojmovanja medija, ki ga vedno bolj prepleta z drugimi izraznimi sredstvi. Hkrati pa prihaja tudi do redefinicij prezentacijskih metod, ki ubirajo bistveno drugačne dramaturške strategije kot tradicionalen razstavni format. S tem v mislih se je zanimivo ustaviti pri delu mladega fotografa Tadeja Vindiša, ki se je pred kratkim vrnil v Maribor. V svojih zgodnejših serijah se je ukvarjal predvsem s figuro – predvsem avtoportretom – in v bolj zanimivem

obratu tega motiva z izrazito narativno odsotnostjo le-te (serija Untitled Grass). V seriji Figure brez naslova, ki je jedro tega teksta, se v središče ponovno vrne figura. Fotografije, bolje fotografski objekti, ki sestavljajo fotografsko postavitev, so del ustvarjalnega procesa, ki je potekal od zaključnega letnika na praškem FAMU. Monumentalne fotografije zaznamujejo izrazito likovne kvalitete, ki niso izražene skozi piktorialistično manipulacijo s fotografijo, temveč z obvladovanjem metiera ter premišljeno igro svetlobe. Predmeti iz žice, najlona in voska so potopljeni v vodo, precizno osvetljeni ter tako premaknjeni v temačno, skoraj monokromno brezprostorje. Tradicionalna vizualna strategija postavljanja dramatično osvetljenega predmeta pred nevtralno ozadje je pervertirana s potopitvijo. Voda na nekaterih mestih predmet zabriše, ga omehča in ga prične spajati z ne-materijo ozadja. Na prvi pogled je vtis suverene predmetnosti ohranjen, a je figura v resnici razrahljana. Okrnjena predmetnost pa figuram nikakor ne odvzema prezence. Fotografije postanejo nosilci močnega evokativnega potenciala, ki tvori vsebinsko os serije. Ključna je avtorjeva premišljena raba antropomorfizacije – psihološkega procesa, v katerem ljudje pripisujemo človeške lastnosti nečloveškim akterjem. Pri Figurah brez naslova gre za refleks iskanja znane, največkrat človeške ali človeku podobne forme v neznanih in pomensko odprtih objektih. Skozi pripisovanje človeških lastnosti skušamo vzpostaviti relacijo, empatičen odnos do neživega predmeta. Sugestivne, groteskno skrivenčene figure ostajajo nespoznavne in izrazito ambivalentne. Včasih spomnijo na Huzjanove homunkule, drugič na Gigerjeve Aliene in tako nihajo med skrajnostma sočutja in odpora, vendar pri tem ohranjajo izrazit estetski privlak. Pretanjeno niansiranje zamolklih barv v sozvočju s subtilno teksturo ozadja predmete potiska v prostor, za njimi pa pušča zevajočo globino. Gledalca kokonaste figure v masivnih okvirjih postopno konzumirajo. Vlečejo ga v svojo skonstruirano resničnost in ga zapletejo v dialog z mrtvo materijo, ki ga vabi, da ji prida lastnosti živega. Prav slednje – človeški refleks po projiciranju sebe v vsako situacijo, ki to dopušča – je fenomen, ki avtorja fascinira tudi v novejših serijah. Mars temelji na posnetku planeta, ki ga je zajel NASIN rover. Z izzivanjem gledalca, ki refleksno “vstopi” v nezemeljsko krajino, preizprašuje nepotešljivo človeško težnjo po ekspanziji in osvajanju novih teritorijev, ne glede na to, kako nedostopni so. Prav v tem vzgibu je zajeta dvojnost, ki pogosto zaznamuje Vindiševo delo – optimizem na eni strani in obet vnovičnega zagona cikla napak na drugi.


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 68

T

adej Vindiš is the first student in the history of the Prague FAMU (The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Department of Photography) who graduated without using a camera in his Bachelor’s thesis, titled “What to do with photography”. “How can we understand pictures from Mars? A certain fascination is that for the first time our technology has reached another planet, a place where human structures do not yet exist (...) We might be blinded by the fascination with such new territory, however we have to face the fact that our understanding of such a landscape is through our perception...” He revalues his fascination with technology into a final meaningful product, which, according to all criteria, is always a photograph. On the other hand, he often considers photography as nothing but a tool, which he employs to question himself and to provide provocative answers to those questions. His final solutions become food for thought to the audience. *** What did studying at the FAMU in Prague mean to you? When I came to FAMU, I met with the head of the department and showed him my catalog (Self-portrait 2007– 2009), which summed up my high school achievements. He browsed through it, closed it and threw it across the table saying “you’ll get better!” That was an ultimate reality check for me. When I was defending my bachelor’s degree in 2013, a discussion came up about what the school teaches us to become. Does it teach us to become craftsmen of our trade or artists? If we are raised to become craftsmen, it is the technical knowledge that counts, proper use of the camera and lights, getting the perfect print etc. But if we are raised to become artists, then it is all about understanding the final product as a result of technical knowledge, about understanding photography as such – and grasping the wider cultural, socio-political and philosophical context of photography. The central part of my BA installation was a photo of Mars taken from the NASA archives, and one of the assistants, Aleš Jiráček, commented: “Tadej, do you have any idea what you’ve done? You opened the door, you proved that you actually don’t need to create a photo to graduate!” Later on, while we were talking with the professors, we all laughed at that statement, but in the end the most amusing thing was that they unanimously voted that the highest grade of the year will not be awarded to one of the students, but to Nasa’s Opportunity – it has been active on Mars since 2004 and is part of the “Mars Exploration Rover” program by Nasa. Indeed, it was the Opportunity that produced the best photo of the senior graduates’ art exhibition. It had the best concept, because it went to another planet and delivered a technically flawless photo, because it is a robot. And this is the point where we ask ourselves, why study at all, if we already have a robot on Mars that just mops the floor with any one of us… It was a provocation, but one received very well by the school. So, in your bachelor’s thesis (titled “What to do with photography”), i. e. the Mars project, you didn’t actually use a camera? The core of my paper revolves around a theoretic consideration about the role of photography today and the question of how to understand photography as one of the crucial visual media inside the contemporary social setting. In the case of Mars it was not so much about technique as it was about the meaning of photography – what does photography represent or how it should be understood, considering the fact that certain photos that are circling around nowadays come from places that we cannot visit physically. Thus, the photos from Mars point again to the primary issues related to photography – issues concerning the reality of its representation. In terms of social context, Mars is related to the idea of new territory and its colonization potential. Recently there have been several private initiatives for the establishment of the first human colony on Mars. Among the most prominent is the non-profit organization Mars One, whose plans for the first stages of inhabiting the Red Planet are set as early as 2020. The idea is designed as a one-way mission, since the astronauts that the organization will choose through an open call will not have the possibility of returning back to Earth, because the available technology will be unable to support it. It is a scary fact that in this context the Mars colony is seen as an opportunity for a new beginning, yet with the generally known fact – that life on Mars is not possible – it will only

be able to function as an incubator of an Earthly environment somewhere outside of Earth. This is the reason why the photos from Mars are so intriguing, we are fascinated by them, and my own assumption is that this fascination stems from personal imagination, an enthusiasm over oneself and over the potential we have as a civilization. For this reason I decided to cover the photo with a reflection filter and thus create a barrier between the viewer and Mars; i. e. , I confronted the viewer with his own reflection, which is projected over the Martian landscape. Project “Moth” carries an interesting story. Mostly in terms of using a particular, sort of analog-virtual visual technique, and tools to create illusions… did you use the camera with “Moth”? The only tool I used was a scanner, which is basically a type of camera, but in a very broad sense of understanding the word. A scanner scans, and at the same time it photographs. I did not use a proper still camera or any kind of derivative such as a cell phone, a digital camera or a reflex camera… You were already very active during your high school years at Prva Gimnazija Maribor. My friend Karin Lovrec and I shared a common interest, we both wanted to learn about analog photography. And of course, if we wanted to act upon our wishes, the first thing we needed was to set up a darkroom. Natalija Rojc Črnčec offered us a space on the premises of Prva Gimnazija (a secondary school in Maribor) if we agreed to organize a photography workshop in return. It gave us a chance to learn and experiment, and other students also benefited from the situation. We thus began with the FART Photography Workshop, and this pretty much sums up my beginnings in the field of photography. The workshops were attended by groups of five to eight participants, the number varying between years. Later on, Karin wasn’t that interested in the whole idea anymore, she went on to study medicine, whereas I was becoming increasingly drawn to experiments with liquid emulsions, analog photography etc. I decided to study photography on an academic level and applied at FAMU. Before the application I examined several European schools, and FAMU turned out to be the most appealing to me in terms of tradition, but mostly because it enables the student to focus on a single field of photography, whichever suits him best. The beginning is very general, neutral. The specific focus begins in the second year and continues fully in the third, when the student finally chooses his or her area of specialization, i. e. documentary, reporting, studio, conceptual, art, fashion or advertising photography, in short, whatever the school offers and allows. At that time, the ALUO (Academy of Fine arts and Design) in Ljubljana did not yet facilitate the study of photography, it was only after I had already been accepted to FAMU that they began carrying out that program as part of their visual communications’ program. So, it was very early that you began to pass your knowledge onto others, to work as a mentor? Who were your “students”? As a mentor, I started out at 17. I taught those younger than myself. By that time, I had already gained a certain amount of technical knowledge, and it was mostly about introducing to them the techniques of using the tools. Things got more interesting a bit later on, when I was already a university student and took over the workshops on Prva Gimnazija and Druga Gimnazija high schools in Maribor. I had between eight and ten pupils each year. The work was quite intense. We organized performances and set up exhibitions. It was not really mentorship in the traditional sense of the word, because we worked as a group of equals, learning and creating within a common field of interest – photography. We learned from each other, while my own role was mostly to direct them within the creative processes. I learned a lot from the participants myself, and used whatever knowledge I gained for my study in Prague. Among the workshop participants were, for example, Anja Seničar, who went on to study at the ALUO, and Gregor Prah, who decided to go to AGRFT (Academy of Theater, Radio, Film and Television) to study acting. Our paths have parted, and it was the end of a very important period in my life. I performed my final work as mentor during the international Spring Festival on Druga gimnazija, when we were dealing with conceptual photography. I had another workshop during the European Capital of Culture – Maribor 2012 as part of the Mladibor project program (organized by the Bunker Institute from Ljubljana), which was about interventions in public space.

Photo / Foto Damjan Švarc


Tadej Vindiš

A photographer ... even without a camera Fotograf ... tudi brez fotoaparata Dejan Pestotnik


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You also received an award at your secondary school, Prva Gimnazija Maribor? I received an award on the occasion of the Prešeren day celebration held at Prva Gimnazija. The school gave me the award for my active work in the field of extracurricular activities (I wasn’t exactly a straight-A student). They also published a catalog on that occasion. It was my first catalog of self-portraits. Why did you stop doing sports? Was that parallel to the beginning of your interest in photography? At first, I did gymnastics, and then I somehow switched to free climbing, I don’t even remember why. Apart from that, I also finished primary music school parallel to the elementary state school. There were generally always a lot of activities present in my life. But in the sports department, climbing was the most serious; I even got the license to compete at national level. I even won a medal! A bronze one! It wasn’t gold, but it was a bronze one nonetheless. But I thought that constant competitiveness was just so unnerving. It was all competition, competition, competition … practice, practice, practice … training, training, training … the better I got, the more pressure I felt from the coach. And so it came to the point where there was just going to be sports and nothing else. The competitions were crucial, which is what dissuaded me from climbing the most, because it was not a pleasure for me anymore, it was all just pushing to reach a goal, a medal, a license … Instead of that there were now other things: photography, art, the heavy metal scene. This was going on when I was 16. I realized I felt much more comfortable in the field of art than in sports. It is more challenging, and the success depends on several factors, not just on the amount of time you invest in training. You are also an event organizer. If we travel a little across your time capsule, we can see that you are currently an active member and co-organizer of the “fotopub” festival, and the vice-president of the Kombajn collective. Finishing university was a turning point: I could either stay in Prague and try to find a job there, or come to Maribor. After four years of studying, I needed a change. I was utterly depressed at the idea of having to come back to Maribor. But then an invitation for a solo exhibition came from Kibla. The exhibition (Untitled figures, 2014) was a great opportunity in the sense that as soon as I finished university, I was given the chance of presenting a large solo exhibition in a serious institution. It was the main reason I finally decided to move to Maribor and wait another year before I apply for a MA degree study. The exhibition in Kibla opened quite a few doors for me. Dušan Josip Smode and Jure Kastelic from Novo Mesto were there, who both grew up with Fotopub; they decided to take on the management of this festival and thus continue with the tradition. Fotopub found itself in an unfortunate financial situation, which indicated that there wasn’t to be another edition in 2014. Their idea was to form a new team to take on the project. They drew together a group of eight young artists (Dušan Josip Smodej, Jure Kastelic, Klemen Ilovar, Aljaž Celarc, Miha Erjavec, Dare Sintič, Bojan Mijatović and I) at the beginning of their careers. We were the potential that could take over the festival and manage it successfully. Thus, from the ruins of Fotopub, the new “fotopub” was born. A similar thing happened with the Kombajn collective. It was an initiative of a group of youngsters, who were active in the field of culture and arts, art criticism, art history, and the humanities. We were looking for a way to create possibilities to work on projects autonomously, independent of other institutions, and with an independent legal basis for acquiring project funds. I was invited to participate, at first as an external consultant. Who were the first members of Kombajn? In the first stage there were Živa Kleindienst, Marija Brklje, Saša Bach, Dorijan Šiško, Tanja Milharčič, Eva Bračič, Janez Klenovšek and Miha Sagadin. I joined the team and our first collaboration was with GT22, we connected to the SONDA Foundation, which was the first to enable us an independent acquisition of funds and at the same time offered us the facilities at GT22, where we could begin to realize our ideas. With our first group exhibition Odkloni (Deviations) in 2015 the lobby at GT22 was turned into a gallery space. After the January (2015) reconstruction I became vice-president of the association, and Živa was appointed president, we are now working on ideas of what Kombajn might develop into; how it could potentially become a place of interdisciplinary artistic and creative expression, but not in the direction of technol-

ogy. We feel that the Slovene art scene is already well established and rather saturated in this respect, which is why we are looking more for the connection of interdisciplinary art to social sciences and the humanities. You are 25 years old, and speak about youngsters in the third person plural? When I got back to Maribor I felt alienated. During my studies in Prague I lost touch with my old friends. I was lonely, but not for long. I met new people and created new friendships. After a year I feel “at home” again in Maribor. Going abroad for a longer period of time has its advantages, but it also has negative aspects. Returning home is just as hard as it was to leave home. Prague has shaped me in an entirely different way than Maribor would have, mostly in terms of independent functioning. I saw much more self-initiative among my peers in Prague. The context of a large city is different, especially when you move to a place where you don’t know anybody at 19. Two weeks before school started the only two people I knew were the school secretary and the bank clerk who opened my account, and with whom we totally clicked. After she opened my account we went for coffee. The rest of the time I was just roaming around this huge city (that’s how I saw it), across this giant scenery, where it’s you that has to come in, to try hard, to be the one to make contacts and take the first steps. You’re alone. All alone. It was a truly powerful experience. On your return from Prague to Maribor, you really got activated… Yes, otherwise it really would have been boring. If I hadn’t activated myself, I would have been swimming in the Drava river (the river running through Maribor - ed.) long ago, out of boredom. But it is true that the unstable social and political situation, coupled with the odd apathetic social climate, which is probably the result of several factors, has caused a sense of entrapment in me. As if I found myself inside a paralyzed, stagnating system that has a negative effect on people and their desire for creativity. Throughout the history of art many artists have depicted – and still do depict – themselves in their creations. Today we have “selfies”, an extremely popular way of self-portraying oneself and publishing such photos on social networks. Can you explain why such self-portraits are so in style? Several people have asked me this question. Why create a self-portrait? You turn the camera toward yourself and at the same time you control it. The easiest way to experiment is with yourself. For me it was just a simple way of avoiding the whole organization and complications of working with a model. The easiest thing to do is to point the camera toward yourself and shoot. Of course, at the same time it’s interesting, because you are in fact creating a work of art in the process of photographing your own image, and for me, it means interacting with oneself. Sure, it involves a certain level of narcissism. But at the same time I saw the whole thing as part of growing up, of confronting all those teenager frustrations and troubles… who am I? And who will I become? In the broader context, I still find self-portraits interesting. Any work of art can be understood as a self-portrait to a certain level; a kind of proper authorial statement, an expression of one’s personality. Even the Untitled figures that were on display at Kibla, are self-portraits to a great extent. With the solo exhibition Untitled figures at KiBela Gallery in Kibla you presented your work to the Slovene public for the first time. What inspired the title? I dearly wanted to exhibit at the Prague Photo Festival, but my professor turned me down in my first year at university, because I wasn’t good enough. In the second year, I lost interest, because there was a creative conflict going on between myself and that same professor. In the third year I had my final chance to exhibit at this festival, so I decided to create a series of photos with the sole intention of showcasing my work. I sent in a single photo, I finally got to exhibit, and later I created a whole series based on that photo. My starting point was self-portrayal, but I really wanted to look for that principle in an inorganic form, i. e. an object, yet preserving the impression of the organic. I worked alongside Nina Šulin and observed how she created wax puppets. I was aiming at a very specific form with my instructions. I submerged these wax puppets under water, because water provides a certain organic aspect to the material, and then photographed the

whole thing in a particular manner. In these figures and in the material I was searching for some new person, a personification. I created a series out of it and I could say – if we’re discussing self-portraits – that this involved a wider perspective of understanding portraits or self-portraits, since it is reflected through the photographed material, in which I was looking for an image, that is, myself. Due to their dimensions, the photographs at the exhibition were almost on a 1:1 scale with the viewer, which caused them to confront the figure, to look for a person inside the photo, perhaps even to look for themselves. In a symbolic way, the photos thus also represented a mirror. I called them “untitled figures”, because I wanted to motivate the visitors to see their own figures, without me previously defining it. What is the significance of photography in your opinion, and the related digital age technology? If I consider photography as a medium, I can say that I am no longer interested in analog photography. Digital technology is ubiquitous. Even with a cell phone, you can create a high quality photo. The prices of production have dropped immensely, while accessibility has increased, and digital photography is so technologically perfected, that it has entirely outperformed analog photography, which still had certain advantages not so long ago. Today, it makes no sense anymore to be producing analog photos, unless for some personal romantic impulses or nostalgia. I believe there are no other reasons left. Digital technology – and I am not discussing photography in the sense of an artistic medium here – enables us to understand photography in a much wider sense than just as craft or trade. With analog photography the old masters possessed exceptional knowledge, which was required to produce a beautiful, perfect impression. Today this kind of knowledge is no longer important, it has become entirely irrelevant. Nowadays we speak of photography in the digital age, we take photos with our phones and other digital devices of all sorts, shapes and qualities. With the technological progress photography is becoming more alive than ever before. As far as my own work is concerned, I always use the technique that enables me to obtain the result I was going for. But I am not primarily interested in the technique. From the point of view of technology, everything is possible today. You are also an eCult Ambassador, a member of the association that connects producers, operators and innovators in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) to users, museums, artists, galleries. Can we talk about the eCult Ambassador as the career of the future? Why do I believe that technology is important and why I shouldn’t dismiss it arrogantly? In part, my general interest in the ICT is a result and a consequence of a European project, where I worked as co-editor of the book “UPTAKE – Increase Interest in Cultural Heritage through ICT”. We dealt with questions such as attracting new audiences and addressing issues related to outdated museums in the sense of updating their capacities in the field of technologies and communications – we were considering the potential of the possibilities offered by new technologies. On the other hand, my visit to the international project conference Women Shift Digital, led by Ghislaine Boddington (body>data>space, London), and the discussions about the impact of technologies on individual areas, made it clear to me that technology today is present in virtually every segment of our lives, and is becoming economically, as well as culturally, more and more dominant. To me, being an eCult Ambassador means education in the sense of understanding the connections between cultural heritage and its potential interpretation by means of ICT. At the same time, ICT is what dictates these potential possibilities, making the subject matter of cultural heritage all the more interesting. The possibilities offered by technology, which can be very useful and creative in terms of studying and getting to know culture, have opened up a new horizon of perspectives to me as an artist. Why? Because I operate in the realm of digital technologies, that is, within the sphere of digital structures, which I also create. Do you classify communication separately, or is it an integral concept to you, together with your artwork? To me photography is the primary communication tool. Speaking from the perspective of the communication medium and from my own personal perspective – as I am a very communicative person by nature – I also feel that applying the concepts of modern communications,


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which are visual, is of primary importance too. I also love to experiment and test myself on new territories. But why do I like doing projects such as books, or, for example, interior design with photos from the archive of Slovene power plants in the offices of HSE Invest? It simply means that one should realize that being an artist today is quite problematic. Everything I do is meaningful to me in the long run. I would love to just flip a coin, so the chances would be 50 : 50 – will I be able to survive by being an artist or not? Expanding to commercial, but still creative, fields is an existential necessity. In this way I can continue to develop my own creativity and create independent artworks, which, for the moment, cause nothing but expenses to me. At the end of the day, art to me as an artist is nothing but one big expense! Are you going abroad again? Yes, it felt good to come back and live in Maribor for a short time again, but I would not stay here permanently. I’m going off to study in London. I’ve always wanted to go to London, ever since I was little. To live in a giant cosmopolis with crowds above and under the earth. Studying provides the simplest way for socialization, which is what any newcomer needs in a big city. I already experienced that in Prague – by going to school, you are immediately placed inside an active circle of people. This time I chose a non-academic type of education, because I think one academy was quite enough for one lifetime. I am now migrating to the technological domain, to the field of research; I am interested in the impact of technology on contemporary society, and the related connections to photography. The study I chose in London is part of cultural studies (MA Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice, Centre for Culture Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London). It is about the high level of involving theory in practice, which is very important to me. This particular connection was also the key moment behind my decision to choose a non-academic form of education. I believe that the approach to education is very one-dimensional when you’re studying at an academy; it includes the assumption that if you finish the academy, you will become an ultimate and absolute artist, who will never be interested in anything but artistic creation. Which is just as OK. Just recently, I went to Prague and met with the head of the photography department at FAMU, Štěpánka Šimlova, and we discussed about how the period of two years is the crucial time for any student after they’ve finished the academy. Whether you can make it on the art scene in those two years or not. If you don’t, you probably never will. If you do, you might have a chance for a career in the field of arts. But I am not strictly interested in art. I’m into the wider context as well. We live in a time where the postmodernist logic has become entirely dominant. I am talking about multi-functionality, multiactivity, multitasking concepts, the connection of different fields, knowledge, experiences, activities… The art scene in all its relevance is becoming increasingly selfsufficient, and it is losing contact with the wider audience. I feel it should really be the other way around, i. e. once again, art should become integrated in the general, wider social happening. It is this “bridge” that interests me the most. The art scene ego should come down off its pedestal. I feel that once again, we are facing certain shifts, but I am unable to define them yet. To me, it is all about the role of art in the wider social context. Today, everything that is “image” is photography. And to limit photography solely and exclusively to the realm of art would be utterly boring. Photography is the life of society, and its reflection. It is a medium which anybody can use to express themselves.

SI Tadej Vindiš je prvi študent v zgodovini praške FAMU (Fakulteta za film in televizijo Akademije za uprizoritvene umetnosti, Katedra za fotografijo), ki pri svoji diplomski nalogi ni uporabil fotoaparata. Svoje zaključno delo je naslovil “Kaj početi s fotografijo”. »Kako lahko razumemo posnetke z Marsa? Gre za določeno fascinacijo nad našo tehnologijo, ki ji prvič uspelo doseči drug planet, prostor, kjer človeške strukture še ne obstajajo (...) Čeprav smo nemara zaslepljeni od navdušenja nad novimi teritoriji, se moramo soočiti z dejstvom, da je razumevanje takšne pokrajine pogojeno z našim zaznavanjem ...« Fascinacijo nad tehnologijami prevrednoti v končni vsebinski izdelek, ki je po vseh kriterijih vedno fotografija. Po drugi strani je fotografija zanj le orodje, preko katerega samemu sebi zastavlja vprašanja, ponuja provokativne odgovore. Končno rešitev ponudi občinstvu v razmislek. *** Kaj je zate pomenilo obdobje študija na FAMU v Pragi? Ko sem prišel na FAMU, sem predstojniku pokazal katalog (Avtoportret / Self-Portrait 2007–2009, Prva gimnazija Maribor), kot svoj dosežek iz srednje šole. In on je prelistal katalog, ga zaprl, vrgel po mizi in rekel: »You’ll get better!« To je bil takrat zame maksimalni »reality check«. Na mojem zagovoru diplome leta 2013 se je razvila diskusija, koga šola izobražuje, koga šola dejansko vzgaja. Obrtnika ali umetnika? Če šola vzgaja obrtnika, potem je pomembno tehnično znanje, uporaba kamere, uporaba luči, popolni print itd. Če pa šola vzgaja umetnika, mora ta razumeti končni izdelek, ki nastane na podlagi tehničnega znanja, fotografijo kot tako, in jo razumeti v širšem kulturnem, družbeno političnem in filozofskem kontekstu. Ker sem za osrednji del moje diplomske instalacije uporabil fotografijo Marsa iz arhiva NASA, je eden od asistentov, Aleš Jiráček, dejal: „Tadej, veš, kaj si naredil? Odprl si vrata in dokazal, da za zaključni diplomski projekt dejansko sploh ni treba več fotografirati.“ Kasneje, med pogovorom s profesorji, smo se temu vsi smejali, a na koncu je bilo najbolj zabavno, da so pri ocenjevanju enoglasno izglasovali, da najvišjo oceno v letniku ne dobi noben izmed študentov, ampak Rover Opportunity iz Nase, ki je aktiven na Marsu od leta 2004 in je del Nasinega programa »Mars Exploration Rover«. Rover Opportunity je dejansko naredil najboljšo fotografijo na razstavi diplomantov. Imel je najboljši koncept, ker je šel na drugi planet in naredil tehnično popolno fotografijo, ker je robot. In tu se pojavlja vprašanje, kaj mi sploh študiramo, če imamo robota na Marsu, ki nas vse, z vseh zornih kotov, totalno sesuje. Šlo je za provokacijo, ki jo je šola zelo dobro sprejela. Pri svoji diplomski nalogi »What to do with photography« oziroma projektu Mars torej nisi uporabljal fotoaparata? Bistvo moje diplomske naloge je teoretsko razmišljanje o vlogi fotografije danes in kako jo razumeti kot enega izmed ključnih vizualnih medijev sodobnega družbenega prostora. Pri Marsu ni šlo toliko za tehniko, bolj za pomen fotografije – kaj fotografija reprezentira oziroma kako jo razumeti ob dejstvu, da določene fotografije, ki so danes v obtoku, prihajajo iz prostorov, ki jih fizično ne moremo obiskati. Fotografije z Marsa tako ponovno postavljajo osnovna vprašanja o fotografiji – o resničnosti njene reprezentacije. Iz družbenega konteksta pa lahko pri Marsu govorimo o ideji novega teritorija in o potencialu njegove kolonizacije. V zadnjem času se je pojavilo veliko privatnih iniciativ po vzpostavitvi prve človeške kolonije na Marsu. Med najodmevnejšimi je neprofitna fundacija Mars One, ki prvo naseljevanje na rdečem planetu načrtuje že leta 2020. Ta misija bi naj bila enosmerna, saj astronavti, ki jih bo organizacija izbrala na podlagi javnega poziva, ne bodo imeli možnosti vrnitve na Zemljo, saj tehnologija povratka takrat še ne bo omogočala. Grozljivo je dejstvo, da se v tem kontekstu kolonija na Marsu razume kot priložnost novega začetka, vendar bo ob vsesplošno znanem dejstvu, da življenje na Marsu ni mogoče, dosegla le inkubator Zemeljskega okolja nekje drugje. Zato so fotografije z Marsa zanimive, ker v nas sprožajo fascinacijo, moja predpostavka pa je, da le-ta izhaja iz osebne domišljije in navdušenja nad samim seboj ter nad potencialom, ki ga imamo kot civilizacija. Zato sem prekril fotografijo z refleksnim filtrom in s tem ustvaril bariero med gledalcem in Marsom; torej gledalca soočil z lastnim odsevom, ki se projicira preko pokrajine Marsa.

Projekt »Vešča« ima zanimivo zgodbo. Predvsem uporabljaš vizualno tehniko, ki je na nek način analogno virtualna, in s pomočjo orodij ustvarjaš iluzije ... si pri Vešči uporabljal fotoaparat? Edino orodje je bil skener, ki je neke vrste fotoaparat, ampak v zelo razširjeni dimenziji razumevanja kamere. Skener ob skeniranju istočasno fotografira. Nisem uporabil fotoaparata ali kakršnekoli verzije aparata, kot je telefon, kamera, zrcalno refleksna kamera ... Tudi na srednji šoli, Prvi gimnaziji Maribor, si bil že zelo aktiven. S prijateljico Karin Lovrec sva imela skupni interes, da se naučiva analogne fotografije. In seveda, če sva zadevo želela uresničiti, sva najprej morala urediti temnico. Natalija Rojc Črnčec nama je ponudila prostor na Prvi gimnaziji v zameno, da ustanoviva fotografsko delavnico. Izobraževala sva se in eksperimentirala, od tega pa so imeli korist še drugi dijaki. Tako smo naredili fotografsko delavnico FART. To so bili moji začetki na področju fotografije. Delavnic se je udeleževala skupina med pet in osem udeležencev, število je variiralo iz leta v leto. Kasneje Karin zadeva ni več toliko zanimala, odločila se je za študij medicine, mene pa so vedno bolj zanimali eksperimenti s tekočimi emulzijami, analogno fotografijo itd. Odločil sem se za študij fotografije na akademskem nivoju in se vpisal na FAMU. Pred vpisom sem preučil več šol po Evropi in FAMU je bil najbolj zanimiv z vidika tradicije, predvsem pa, ker je omogočal, da se študent skozi študij fokusira na eno izmed področij fotografije, ki mu najbolj ustreza. Začetek je zelo splošen, nevtralen. Konkretno fokusiranje sledi v drugem, popolnoma pa v tretjem letniku, kjer se študent popolnoma usmeri; ali se odloči za dokumentarno fotografijo, reportažno, studijsko, konceptualno, umetniško, modno, reklamno, skratka, kar šola ponuja in dopušča. Akademija (ALUO) v Ljubljani takrat še ni omogočala tovrstnega študija, šele ko sem že bil sprejet na FAMU, je akademija v Sloveniji razpisala program fotografije v okviru programa vizualnih komunikacij. Torej si že zelo zgodaj posredoval svoje znanje in učil druge kot mentor? Kdo so bili tvoji »učenci«? Kot mentor sem začel pri 17-ih letih. Prihajali so mlajši od mene. Do tedaj sem že pridobil določena tehnična znanja in predvsem je šlo za posredovanje tehnik uporabe orodij. Bolj zanimivo je postalo kasneje, ko sem že študiral in sem v celoti prevzel delavnico na Prvi in na II. gimnaziji v Mariboru. Letno sem imel 8 do 10 dijakov. Delo je bilo zelo intenzivno. Izvajali smo performanse in postavljali razstave. Ni šlo za klasično mentorstvo, saj smo delovali kot homogena skupina, se učili in ustvarjali znotraj skupnega interesnega polja – fotografije. Učili smo se drug od drugega, moja vloga pa je bila predvsem usmerjanje znotraj kreativnih procesov. Tudi sam sem se veliko naučil od udeležencev in pridobljeno znanje uporabljal v okviru študija v Pragi. Od udeležencev delavnic je na primer Anja Seničar kasneje nadaljevala študij na ALUO (Akademiji za likovno umetnost in oblikovanje). Gregor Prah pa se je vpisal na AGRFT (Akademija za gledališče, radio, film in televizijo) in se odločil za študij igre. Naše poti so se ločile in s tem je bilo zaključeno pomembno obdobje v mojem življenju. Zadnja mentorstva sem izvedel še v času mednarodnega festivala Spring na II. gimnaziji, kjer smo se ukvarjali s konceptualno fotografijo. Tudi v času Maribor – EPK 2012 sem izvedel delavnico v okviru programa projekta Mladibor v organizaciji Zavoda BUNKER iz Ljubljane, in sicer intervencije v javni prostor. Na Prvi gimnaziji si na proslavi Prešernovega dne prejel tudi nagrado? Dobil sem nagrado na Prešernovi proslavi Prve gimnazije. Gimnazija mi je takrat za uspešno aktivno delo na področju obšolskih dejavnosti podelila to nagrado, ker v šoli nisem ravno blestel. Ob tem so mi izdali katalog. To je bil moj prvi katalog avtoportretov. Zakaj si se nehal ukvarjati s športom? Ali je šlo za časovno vzporednico tvojega »vzgiba«, ko si se začel ukvarjati s fotografijo? Najprej sem se ukvarjal z gimnastiko, nakar sem nekako presedlal na prosto plezanje, sploh se ne spomnim, zakaj. Med drugim sem vzporedno z osnovno šolo naredil tudi nižjo glasbeno šolo. Vedno je bilo v mojem življenju veliko aktivnosti. Vendar je bilo na športnem področju plezanje najbolj resno, pridobil sem tudi licenco za tekmovanja na državni ravni. Dobil sem celo medaljo! Bronasto! Ni bila zlata, je bila pa bronasta. Najbolj me je nervirala konstantna tekmovalnost. Tekma, tekma, tekma ... vadit, vadit, vadit ... trenirat, trenirat, trenirat ... boljši ko


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sem bil, bolj je trener pritiskal. Nakar se je zgodilo – ali bo samo šport in nič drugega. Tekmovanja so bila ključna, kar me je najbolj odvrnilo od plezanja, ker to zame ni bil več užitek, ampak le forsiranje za dosego ciljev, medalje, licence ... Namesto tega se je pojavila fotografija, umetnost in heavy metal scena. To se je odvijalo pri 16-ih letih. Ugotovil sem, da se dosti boljše počutim v umetnosti kot v športu. Dosti več izzivov in od več dejavnikov je odvisen uspeh, ne le od tega, koliko treniraš. Si tudi organizator dogodkov. Če malce potujeva po tvoji časovni kapsuli, zdaj si aktiven tudi v “fotopubu” kot soorganizator festivala in v Kombajnu, kjer si podpredsednik društva. Zaključek faksa je predstavljal prelomnico: ali naj ostanem v Pragi in si uredim službo ali pa pridem v Maribor. Po štirih letih študija sem potreboval spremembo. Bil sem blazno depresiven ob misli, da se moram vrniti v Maribor. Nakar je prišlo vabilo iz KIBLE za postavitev samostojne razstave. Razstava v KIBLI (Figure brez naslova, 2014) je bila velika priložnost v smislu, da takoj ko zaključim fakulteto, dobim priložnost za večjo samostojno razstavo v resni instituciji. To je bil tudi ključen razlog za selitev v Maribor in da še za eno leto počakam s prijavo na magisterij. Z razstavo v KIBLI se je marsikaj odprlo. Prišla je pobuda s strani Dušana Josipa Smodeja in Jureta Kastelica iz Novega mesta, ki sta s Fotopubom odraščala in sta se odločila prevzeti festival ter nadaljevati s tradicijo. Fotopub kot festival se je znašel v nesrečni finančni situaciji, ki je nakazovala, da v letu 2014 Fotopuba ne bo več. Dušano-

PIA13794: Color Panorama of ‘Santa Maria’ Crater for Opportunity’s Anniversary / Barvna panorama kraterja Santa Maria, posneta ob obletnici pristanka vozila Opportunity na Marsu Image Credit / Fotografija: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU Image Addition Date / Datum prve objave fotografije: 2011-01-20 Original Caption Released with Image: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending the seventh anniversary of its landing on Mars investigating a crater called “Santa Maria,” which has a diameter about the length of a football field. Izvirnik podpisa k fotografiji: Nasino raziskovalno vozilo Opportunity (Priložnost) praznuje sedmo obletnico svojega pristanka na Marsu med raziskovanjem kraterja Santa Maria, ki ima premer približno v dolžini nogometnega igrišča.

va in Juretova ideja je bila oblikovati novo ekipo, ki bo prevzela projekt. Oblikovala sta skupino osmih mladih (Dušan Josip Smodej, Jure Kastelic, Klemen Ilovar, Aljaž Celarc, Miha Erjavec, Dare Sintič, Bojan Mijatović in jaz) na začetku razvijanja svojih umetniških karier. Takrat smo predstavljali potencial, ki lahko prevzame festival in ga tudi vodi. Na ruševinah vsem dobro znanega Fotopuba se je tako rodil “fotopub”.

četkom šole sta bili edini osebi, ki sem ju poznal, tajnica moje šole in bančna uslužbenka, ki mi je odprla račun in s katero sva se totalno zaštekala. Po odprtju bančnega računa sva šla na kavo. Preostanek časa sem taval po tem, zame ogromnem mestu, po ogromni kulisi, kjer moraš ti vstopati, se truditi in biti tisti, ki vzpostavlja stike in dela prve korake. Si sam. Čisto sam. Ta izkušnja je bila blazno močna.

Podobno je bilo z društvom Kombajn. Šlo je za pobudo skupine mladih, ki so delovali na področju kulture in umetnosti, umetnostne kritike, umetnostne zgodovine, humanistike. Iskali smo način, kako ustvariti možnosti za samostojno delovanje na projektih neodvisno od ostalih institucij; s samostojno pravno podlago za pridobivanje projektnih sredstev. Povabili so me k sodelovanju, najprej kot zunanjega svetovalca.

Ob povratku iz Prage v Maribor si se precej aktiviral ...

Kdo so bili prvi člani Kombajna? V prvi fazi so bili Živa Kleindienst, Marija Brklje, Saša Bach, Dorijan Šiško, Tanja Milharčič, Eva Bračič, Janez Klenovšek in Miha Sagadin. Priključil sem se ekipi in najprej smo začeli sodelovati z GT22, povezali smo se s Fundacijo SONDA, ki nam je prva omogočila samostojno pridobivanje sredstev in nam obenem ponudila prostore v GT22, kjer smo lahko pričeli uresničevati naše ideje. Z našo prvo skupinsko razstavo Odkloni v letu 2015 je avla v GT22 postala galerijski prostor. Po januarski (2015) rekonstrukciji društva sem postal podpredsednik, Živa predsednica in sedaj razvijava ideje, kaj bi Kombajn dejansko lahko bil in nudil potencialne možnosti za interdisciplinarno umetniško in kreativno izražanje, vendar ne v smeri tehnologije. Tukaj se nama zdi, da je slovenska umetniška scena prenasičena in precej močna, zato želiva s Kombajnom iskati interdisciplinarne umetnosti v povezavi z družboslovjem in s humanizmom. Star si 25 let in o mladih govoriš v tretji osebi množine? Ko sem se vrnil v Maribor, sem se počutil odtujeno. V času študija v Pragi sem zgubil stik s starimi prijatelji. Bil sem osamljen, vendar za kratek čas. Spoznaval sem nove ljudi in ustvaril nova prijateljstva. Po enem letu bivanja v Mariboru se spet počutim »domače«. Odhod v tujino za daljši čas je zame predstavljal številne prednosti, ima pa tudi negativne posledice. Vrnitev domov je prav tako težka kot odhod od doma. Okolje v Pragi me je oblikovalo popolnoma drugače, kot bi me mariborsko, predvsem v smislu samostojnega delovanja. V Pragi sem prepoznal več samoiniciativnosti med vrstniki. Kontekst velikega mesta je drugačen, sploh ko se preseliš pri 19-ih letih v mesto, kjer nikogar ne poznaš. Prva dva tedna pred pri-

Ja, drugače bi pa res bil dolgčas. Če se ne bi aktiviral, bi že zdavnaj plaval v Dravi od dolgočasja. Je pa res, da je nestabilna družbeno politična situacija in svojevrstna apatična klima v družbi, ki je verjetno posledica več dejavnikov, v meni povzročala občutek ujetosti. Kot da sem se znašel v ohromelem, stagnirajočem sistemu, ki negativno vpliva na ljudi in na njihovo željo po kreativnosti. V umetnosti so se in še vedno številni ustvarjalci upodabljajo samega sebe. Danes poznamo »selfije«, izjemno popularen način upodabljanja samih sebe in objavljanja tovrstnih fotografij na družbenih omrežjih. Ali lahko pojasniš, čemu je avtoportretiranje oziroma upodabljanje samega sebe tako »in«? To vprašanje mi je bilo zastavljeno že večkrat. Zakaj portretirati sebe? Kamero obrneš proti sebi in jo istočasno nadziraš. Najlažje je eksperimentirati s samim seboj. Jaz sem se na ta način preprosto izognil celotni organizaciji in komplikaciji delati z modeli. Istočasno pa je seveda zanimivo, saj skozi avtoportretiranje ustvarjaš umetniško delo, ko fotografiraš svojo lastno podobo, in to je zame interakcija s samim seboj. Seveda gre za določeno mero narcizma, to je logično. Hkrati je bil pa zame to faktor odraščanja in soočanja z vsemi mogočimi srednješolskimi frustracijami in najstniškimi tegobami ... kdo sem jaz? In kaj bom? Avtoportretiranje me v širšem kontekstu še vedno zanima. Vsako umetniško delo lahko do določene mere razumemo kot avtoportretiranje, kot avtorski »statement«, kot izražanje osebnosti. Tudi pri Figurah brez naslova, ki sem jih razstavljal v KIBLI, gre v veliki meri za avtoportretiranje. Z razstavo »Figure brez naslova« si se samostojno prvič predstavil slovenski javnosti v galeriji KiBela, v KIBLI. Od kod naslov Figure brez naslova? V Pragi poteka Prague Photo Festival, na katerem sem si blazno želel razstavljati. V prvem letniku me je profesorica zavrnila, ker nisem bil dovolj dober. V drugem letniku se mi ni dalo, ker sva imela z isto profesorico kreativni konflikt. V tretjem letniku pa je bila zadnja možnost, da razstavljam na tem festivalu in odločil sem se, da bom


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naredil serijo fotografij izključno z namenom, da razstavljam. Poslal sem eno fotografijo, razstavljal na festivalu, v nadaljevanju pa sem iz te ene fotografije razvil serijo. Izhajal sem iz avtoportretiranja, a sem ta princip želel iskati v neorganski formi, v objektu, a ohraniti videz organskega. Skupaj z Nino Šulin sem naredil oziroma bolj opazoval, kako je ona ustvarjala lutke, ki so voskane. S svojimi navodili sem želel doseči točno določeno formo. Te voskane lutke sem nato potopil v vodo, saj voda da materialu neke vrste organskost, nakar sem to na specifičen način fotografiral. V teh figurah in materialu sem iskal neko osebo, neko personifikacijo. Iz tega je nastala serija in lahko bi rekel – če se pogovarjava o avtoportretih – da gre tukaj za širši zorni kot razumevanja portreta oziroma avtoportreta, saj se ta odraža skozi fotografirani material, v katerem sem iskal podobo oziroma sebe. Na razstavi so fotografije zaradi svoje velikosti delovale skoraj 1 : 1 z gledalcem, kar je povzročilo, da se s figuro soočijo, da v njej iščejo človeka, lahko tudi sebe. Fotografije so tako v simboličnem kontekstu predstavljale tudi zrcalo. Naslovil sem jih „brez naslova“ zato, ker želim vzpodbujati gledalca, da vidi svojo figuro, ne da bi jo jaz v naprej definiral. Kaj je zate smisel fotografije in z njo povezane tehnologije v digitalni dobi? Če izhajam iz fotografije kot medija, me analogna fotografija več ne zanima. Digitalna tehnologija je vseprisotna. Že s telefonom lahko naredimo zelo kvalitetno fotografijo. Produkcija se je blazno pocenila, dostopnost pa s tem povečala in je tehnološko tako izpopolnjena, da je v tehničnem smislu presegla analogno fotografijo, ki je še nedavno imela določene prednosti. Danes nima več nobenega smisla delati analogno, razen iz osebne romantike ali nostalgije. Menim, da drugi razlogi več ne obstajajo. Digitalna tehnologija, tukaj ne govorim o fotografiji kot umetniškemu mediju, nam omogoča razumevanje fotografije dosti širše kot zgolj razumevanje fotografske dejavnosti kot obrti. Pri analogni fotografiji so stari mojstri posedovali izjemno znanje, potrebno za izdelavo lepega, popolnega odtisa. Danes to znanje ni več pomembno, je popolnoma irelevantno. Danes govorimo o fotografiji v digitalni dobi, fotografiramo s telefoni in vse mogočimi digitalnimi aparati, vseh mogočih vrst, oblik in kvalitet. Fotografija z razvojem tehnologij postaja bolj živa kot kdaj koli v zgodovini. Kar se tiče mojega dela, vedno uporabljam tehniko, ki mi omogoča rezultat, ki ga jaz hočem. Me pa tehnika primarno ne zanima. S stališča tehnologije je danes že vse možno.

Si tudi eCult ambasador, član združenja, ki povezuje proizvajalce, ponudnike in inovatorje na področju informacijsko komunikacijskih tehnologij (IKT) z uporabniki, muzeji, umetniki, galerijami. Lahko govoriva o eCult ambasadorju kot o poklicu prihodnosti?

Ponovno odhajaš v tujino?

Zakaj se mi zdi, da je tehnologija pomembna in zakaj je ne smem arogantno zavračati? Moje zanimanje za IKT nasploh je po eni strani rezultat in posledica projekta, na katerem sem delal kot sourednik knjige »UPTAKE – Increase Interest in Cultural Heritage through ICT«. Ukvarjali smo se z vprašanji, kako pritegniti nove publike in kako reševati problematiko zastarelih muzejev v smislu njihove posodobitve na področju tehnologij in komunikacij – razmišljati o potencialnih možnostih, ki jih nove tehnologije ponujajo. Na drugi strani pa mi je obisk mednarodne konference projekta Women Shift Digital, ki ga vodi Ghislaine Boddington (body>data>space, London), skozi razprave o vplivu tehnologije na posamezna področja jasno nakazal, da je danes tehnologija prisotna v čisto vsakem segmentu našega življenja in postaja gospodarsko kot tudi kulturno vedno bolj dominantna.

Študij mi omogoča najbolj enostavno socializacijo, ki jo prišlek v veliko mesto potrebuje. To je bila že moja izkušnja iz Prage, saj s šolo nemudoma padeš v aktivni krog ljudi. Tokrat sem si izbral neakademsko izobraževanje, saj mislim, da je ena akademija v življenju bila dovolj. Sedaj bom migriral v tehnološko področje, raziskave, vpliv tehnologij na sodobno družbo in njeno povezovanje s fotografijo. Izbrani študij v Londonu spada pod kulturne študije (MA Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice, Centre for Culture Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London). Gre za visoko stopnjo vključevanja teorije v prakso, kar je zame izredno pomembno. To povezovanje je tudi bil ključni moment, zakaj sem se odločil za neakademsko izobraževanje. Zdi se mi, da je način izobraževanja na akademiji zelo enodimenzionalen, s predpostavko, da boš absolutni artist, če boš končal akademijo in te na koncu ne bo zanimalo nič drugega kot umetniško ustvarjanje. Kar je tudi OK.

Biti eCult ambasador je zame izobraževanje v razumevanju povezav med kulturno dediščino in potencialnih možnosti njene interpretacije s pomočjo IKT, ki pa jih istočasno IKT diktirajo in s tem vsebine kulturne dediščine delajo zanimive. Možnosti, ki jih tehnologija ponuja in ki se lahko koristno in kreativno uporabijo v spoznavanju kulture, so mi kot umetniku odprle nov horizont perspektiv. Zakaj? Ker delujem v svetu digitalnih tehnologij, torej znotraj digitalnih struktur, in jih tudi kreiram. Ali komunikacijo klasificiraš separativno ali je to zate celovit koncept, skupaj s tvojim umetniškim delom? Zame je fotografija primarno komunikacijsko orodje. In če izhajam iz komunikacijskega medija in iz samega sebe, saj sem tudi karakterno komunikativen, potem se mi zdi aplicirati koncepte sodobnih komunikacij, ki so vizualne, primarno. Rad tudi eksperimentiram in se preizkušam na novih teritorijih. Ampak zakaj rad delam projekte, kot so knjige ali na primer oblikovanje interiera s fotografijami iz arhiva slovenskih elektrarn v pisarnah družbe HSE Invest d.o.o.? To pomeni, da se je potrebno zavedati, da je danes biti umetnik precej problematično. Vse, kar počnem, ima zame dolgoročni smisel. Vrgel bi kovanec, torej 50 : 50, ali bom lahko živel od umetniškega ustvarjanja ali ne. Širiti se v komercialna in še vedno v kreativna področja je eksistencialna nuja. Na ta način lahko naprej razvijam svojo lastno kreativo in neodvisno ustvarjam umetniška dela, ki so ta trenutek zame en sam strošek. Umetnost je zame kot umetnika v končni fazi en sam strošek!

Ja, lepo je bilo priti nazaj in spet za kratek čas živeti v Mariboru, vendar ne bi tukaj ostal. Odhajam študirat v London. London je moja želja že od malega. Živeti v velikem kozmopolisu množic nad zemljo in pod zemljo.

Ko sva se s predstojnico Katedre za fotografijo na FAMU, Štěpánko Šimlovo, pred kratkim srečala v Pragi, sva diskutirala o tem, da je obdobje dveh let ključni moment po zaključku akademije. Ali v teh dveh letih uspeš delati v umetniški sceni ali ne. Če ne, potem najverjetneje tudi nikoli ne boš. Če ja, boš pa morda le dosegel neko kariero znotraj umetnosti. Ampak mene ne zanima samo umetnost. Zanima me širši kontekst. Živimo v času, kjer je postmodernistična logika popolnoma prevladala. Govorim o multifunkcionalnosti, multiaktivnosti, »multitasking« konceptih, povezovanju različnih področij, znanj, izkušenj, dejavnosti ... Umetniška scena v vsej svoji pomembnosti postaja samozadostna in s tem zgublja stik s širšo publiko. Zdi se mi, da bi moralo biti ravno obratno, torej, umetnost bi se morala ponovno integrirati v splošno, širše družbeno socialno dogajanje. In ta most me zelo zanima. Treba je malo znižati ego umetniške scene. Mislim, da se spet soočamo z nekimi premiki, ki jih še ne znam definirati. Zanima me vloga umetnosti v širšem družbenem kontekstu. Danes je vse, kar je podoba, fotografija. Da bi fotografijo omejil zgolj in izključno na umetniško sceno, bi bilo popolnoma dolgočasno. Fotografija je življenje družbe in jo reflektira. Je medij, skozi katerega se lahko izrazi kdorkoli.


D K DK folio / / 2014–2015 / / 74

Matjaž Brulc

“The evolution of photography, from its origins right up to the present, is a process of increasing awareness of the concept of information: from an appetite for the continually new using the same old method to an interest in continually evolving new methods.” Vilém Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography “Razvoj fotografiranja, od začetkov do danes, je proces vse večjega ozavedanja pojma informacije: od sle po vedno novem z vedno isto metodo do zanimanja za vedno nove metode.” Vilém Flusser, K filozofiji fotografije

The accentuated heterogeneity of his work reflects the immensely varied content registers that move from a verism of documentary modalities at the one end of the range (the series The Thorn) to staged, entirely metaphorical ones at the other (the series Testimonies). His entire body of work is thus characterised by an array of almost parallel narratives whose common denominator must be often sought in the artist’s sensitive reaction to events in wider social reality. Its turbulent dynamics call for not only an equally dynamic reflexion, but a consistent shifting of perspectives, and, simultaneously, the very methods of creation. Despite their sometimes unbearable straightforwardness, his visual records nevertheless remain generally subtle, open to interpretation and, at times, even curiously enigmatic. The degree of flexibility in their content enables interpretation at various levels, which evokes an abundance of associative conclusions in an attentive observer. Inspired by Flusser’s introductory quote, one may ponder the increasing understanding of a photograph as a piece of information in light of the artist’s quest, which has experienced transitions to various stages of change and maturity over the course of years. Without doubt, his photographs are a sort of note on his encounters with the world – they remain bits of information about interactions, about his subjective understanding, sensation of, and reflection on the world. However, the photographer is less interested in the tangible – call it the documentary value of the moment captured if you will – and more in the distanced, almost foreign expression, which inherently carries the rare and valuable quality of being able to straddle universalistic timelessness and, as a consequence, simultaneously play with an inexhaustible network of meanings. And so it seems that the internalised search for and reflection on the images that can encompass a totality of a world or the experience of life in it no longer takes place at the empirical or descriptive levels – a photograph as a piece of information becomes an explicit witness of a direct subjective experience (the series Silent), a medium of the artist’s emotional reasoning, thereby moving DK to coordinates that cannot be adequately defined by the power of the rational. Through the images from this series, displaying fantastic and abstract tendencies, a culmination of his work if considered as a whole, the photographer takes on a daunting task: visual wording of the unconscious,

even mystical. The photograph becomes a testament to the pursuit of the absolute, a tool for recording the transcendental, and seeks to encompass a totality of a life experience by way of its poetic character. Nevertheless, DK has a constant grip on a reasonable distance. As he himself states, “to photograph is to experience distance and separation between myself and the object. I move away from a ‘realistic’ aesthetics towards an aesthetics of ’distance’.”1 When applying the wealth of his savoir-faire, DK remains highly consistent and strict: frames, compositions, colour tonality, and the skilful use of (contrastive) lighting attest to an artist who never neglects the visual layer of his work when focusing on the subject matter. As he himself states, a photograph must reflect the contemporary without being divested of the classical. The impression his photographs convey is frequently close to monumental (particularly in the series The Face and Testimonies). Such representations of the form point to the artist’s intentional use of references from the dark eras of the twentieth century, when art directly and openly served specific ideological objectives. It seems that these accentuations allude to a communication with the viewer, clarity and directness of the artist’s materialised vision, which must produce as direct, as iconic and as fully semantic an effect as possible. The exciting selection of photographs displayed in Folio magazine testifies once more to one of the most intriguing stances in modern Slovenian photography. “Photography is a trace. It is a testament of (my) existence,”2 he writes. Whether it is portraits of activists of the alternative scene at Metelkova in Ljubljana, renowned musicians, animals, or fatigued night owls, metaphorical digressions into mystical silence or territories of conflict, DK remains faithful to his own creed, with dedicatedly engaged and uncompromising reasoning of the world, his own position within it and, finally, the very medium of photography. “DK explores the fundamental questions: Can we possibly do anything more with photography in the prevailing world already tired of images, for they are much too profuse? Can photography still be contradictory, or transcendent?” Marina Gržinić wonders in the foreword to the artist’s book.3 Needless to say, the answer is evident. DK (1970, www.dkphotography.net) is member of multimedia art and production collective Strip Core. 1 Summarised from the artist’s text (Artist’s Statement). The emphases are in the original. 2 Ibid. 3 Marina Gržinić, “DK: Vse – in še več” (DK – Everything and more), published in DK – Prehajanja k modernim skrbem (DK – Passages to modern concerns), Strip Core/Forum Ljubljana & Mestna galerija Ljubljana, Ljubljana, 2008, pg. 11.

DK, Big Breath Testimonies, 2012

Even a cursory glance at DK’s body of work, spanning a number of years, reveals that he is an artist who is not afraid of using new and different creative methods. DK’s interest in continually evolving new methods is an inescapable element in the development of conceptual frameworks for his series, which generally take shape over long periods of time. Some thus remain incomplete and, through their diverse characters, showcase the wide spectrum of his interests in photography.


DK, War series, 2000

SI

Že bežen prelet dolgoletnega opusa fotografa, ki se običajno predstavlja z inicialkama DK, razodeva, da imamo opraviti z enim od avtorjev, ki se pri ustvarjanju ne branijo uporabe vedno novih, med seboj dokaj različnih ustvarjalnih metod. Še več, v primeru DK se prav »zanimanje za vedno nove metode« kaže kot neizogiben dejavnik pri razvijanju konceptualnih okvirjev avtorjevih serij, ki se praviloma oblikujejo v širših časovnih obdobjih. Nekatere tako ostajajo še nezaključene in s svojimi raznolikimi značaji kažejo na širok spekter ustvarjalčevih interesov na polju avtorske fotografije. Naglašena heterogenost opusa odslikava karseda različne vsebinske registre, ki prehajajo od verizma dokumentarističnih na enem (serija Trn/The Thorn) pa do insceniranih, skrajno metaforičnih modalitet na drugem polu (serija Pričevanja/Testimonies). DK-jevo delo kot celoto tako zaznamuje vrsta domala paralelnih narativov, katerih presečišče oziroma skupni imenovalec je potrebno najpogosteje iskati v avtorjevem tenkočutnem odzivanju na dogajanja v širši družbeni stvarnosti, ki s svojim turbulentnim dinamizmom ne terja zgolj prav tako dinamične refleksije, temveč tudi redno menjavanje očišč, vzporedno s tem pa tudi samih metod ustvarjanja. Kljub mestoma neznosni neposrednosti njegovi vizualni zapisi vendarle ostajajo praviloma subtilni, interpretacijsko odprti, ponekod celo skrajno zagonetni. Jakost njihove vsebinske prožnosti omogoča branja na različnih ravneh, kar zmore pri pozornem gledalcu sprožati cel niz asociativnih sklepov. Sledeč uvodnemu Flusserjevemu citatu lahko ob avtorjevem iskateljstvu, ki skozi leta prehaja v različne faze spreminjanja in dozorevanja, prav tako premišljamo tudi o ozavedanju konkretnega fotografskega dela kot informacije. Fotografije so brez dvoma nekakšne beležke njegovih srečevanj s svetom – še vedno so torej informacije o interakcijah, o avtorjevem subjektivnem razumevanju, občutenju in premišljanju sveta. A fotografa pri tem ne zanima toliko konkretna, recimo ji dokumentarna vrednost ulovljenega trenutka, kot ga zanima distancirana, domala že potujena izraznost, ki nosi v sebi to redko in dragoceno odliko, da se zmore razpeti v univerzalistično brezčasje in se hkrati posledično poigrati z neizčrpno mrežo pomenov. Tako se zdi, da ponotranjeno, vase umaknjeno iskanje in premišljanje podob, ki premorejo vrednost, da zajamejo neko totaliteto sveta oziroma izkušnjo življenja v njem, ne potekata več nujno na ravneh empiričnega ali opisnega – fotografija kot informacija postane izrazita pričevalka neposredne subjektivne izkušnje (serija Silent), postane medij avtorjevega čustvenega rezoniranja, s čimer se DK seli tudi v koordinate, ki jih moč racionalnega ne zmore več ustrezno definirati. Fotograf se s pomočjo podob iz omenjene serije, ki se nagibajo k fantastičnemu oziroma abstraktnemu

– kot celota pa nedvomno predstavljajo enega vrhuncev njegovega dela –, loteva naloge, ki se zdi domala neizvedljiva: vizualnega ubesedovanja nezavednega in celo mističnega. Fotografija tako postaja pričevalec pri iskanju absolutnega, postaja orodje za beleženje transcedentalnega in skuša tudi s pomočjo svoje poetičnosti zaobjeti neko totalnost bivanjske izkušnje. Vendar avtor pri tem vseskozi ohranja razumsko distanco: »Fotografiranje ustvarja izkušnjo razdalje in razmejevanja med menoj in objektom. Od ‘realistične’ estetike prehajam k estetiki ‘distance’.«1 Pri uporabi svojega bogatega metjejskega znanja ostaja DK vseskozi izjemno dosleden in strog: izrezi, kompozicije, barvne tonalitete in vešča uporaba (kontrastne) svetlobe pričajo o avtorju, ki ob posvečanju vsebini nikakor ne zanemarja likovne plati svojega dela. Kot pravi sam, mora fotografija zrcaliti sodobnost, a se hkrati ne odrekati klasičnemu. Vtis, ki ga puščajo njegove fotografije, se največkrat približuje monumentalnemu (še zlasti seriji Lice/The Face in Pričevanja/Testimonies); tovrstno reprezentiranje forme kaže na avtorjevo zavestno spogledovanje s tistimi temačnimi obdobji v 20. stoletju, ko je umetnost na neposreden in odkrit način služila določenim ideološkim ciljem. Zdi se, da tovrstni oblikovni poudarki tokrat merijo predvsem na komunikacijo z gledalcem, na jasnost in neposrednost avtorjeve materializirane vizije, ki mora učinkovati karseda direktno, ikonično, polnopomensko. Vznemirljiv izbor fotografij, s katerimi se DK predstavlja v časopisu Folio, vnovič dokazuje, da imamo opraviti z eno zanimivejših avtorskih pozicij v sodobni slovenski fotografiji. »[Fotografija] je sled. Je priča (moje) eksistence,«2 zapiše. Naj gre za portrete metelkovcev in znanih glasbenikov, za scene z živalmi ali obnemoglimi ponočnjaki, za metaforične ekskurze na področja mistične tišine ali teritorije konfliktnosti – DK ostaja zvest svojemu credu, posvečenemu angažiranemu in brezkompromisnemu prevpraševanju sveta, lastne pozicije v njem in nenazadnje tudi samega medija fotografije. »DK raziskuje temeljno vprašanje, ali lahko v današnjem svetu, ki je že itak naveličan podob zaradi njihove preobilice, naredimo s fotografijo še kaj več. Ali je fotografija še lahko vznemirljiva, transcedentna?« se v spremni besedi v avtorjevi monografiji sprašuje dr. Marina Gržinić.3 Odgovor je seveda na dlani. DK (1970, www.dkphotography.net) je član multimedijskega umetniškega in produkcijskega kolektiva Strip Core. 1  Povzeto po avtorjevem lastnem besedilu (Artist’s Statement). Poudarki so avtorjevi. 2 Ibid. 3  Marina Gržinić, DK: Vse – in še več, objavljeno v DK – Prehajanja k modernim skrbem, Strip Core/Forum Ljubljana & Mestna galerija Ljubljana, Ljubljana 2008.


DK, The Face of War, War series, 2005


DK: Premonition

DK, The Premonition series, 2014

Landscape as an organisation of a view of a country, (man-altered) nature, city, urban life, industrial wasteland etc. It is one of best-fitting forms for indexing the fears, longing, desires, etc. (be they personal, national, cultural, sociological, political, or ideological) in the mute environments of a country. „The Premonition“ is a series still in progress. Through the images from this series, displaying abstract tendencies, I’m taken on a daunting task: visual wording of the unconscious. The internalised search for and reflection on the images that can encompass a totality of a world or the experience of life in it no longer takes place at the empirical or descriptive levels – a photograph as a piece of information becomes an explicit witness of a direct subjective experience, a medium of my emotional reasoning, thereby moving me to coordinates that cannot be adequately defined by the power of the rational. It deals with political and sociological uncertainty that became our daily routine. It questions our individual and collective destiny. We don’t want to believe it, but more and more people have a vague premonition of danger. Somehow we are mutually assured that destruction will occur.


DK: Slutnja Krajina kot organizacija pogleda na deželo, (s človeško prisotnostjo zaznamovane) narave, mesta, urbanega življenja ali industrijske devastacije itd. je ena najbolj primernih oblik za označevanje strahov, teženj ali želja – pa naj bodo osebna, nacionalna, kulturna, sociološka, politična ali ideološka – v nemem okolju pokrajine. „Slutnja“ je serija v nastajanju. Preko podob iz te serije, ki se nagibajo k abstraktnemu, se lotevam naloge, ki se zdi domala neizvedljiva: vizualnega ubesedovanja nezavednega in celo mističnega. Tako se zdi, da ponotranjeno, vase umaknjeno iskanje in premišljanje podob, ki premorejo vrednost, da zajamejo neko totaliteto sveta oziroma izkušnjo življenja v njem, ne potekata več nujno na ravneh empiričnega ali opisnega – fotografija kot informacija postane izrazita pričevalka neposredne subjektivne izkušnje, postane medij mojega čustvenega rezoniranja, s čimer se selim tudi v koordinate, ki jih moč racionalnega ne zmore več ustrezno definirati. Serija se ukvarja s politično in sociološko negotovostjo, ki je postala naša dnevna rutina. Presprašuje našo posamično in skupno usodo. Sicer nismo pripravljeni verjeti, vendar ima vse več posameznikov neko nejasno slutnjo nevarnosti. Nekako vzajemno smo prepričani, da bo prišlo do uničenja.


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Neven Korda: The historization of

Borghesia Zgodovinjenje Borghesie

Miha Colner

Whoever controls the past also overpowers the present. The interpretation of the past is an important factor of institutional or market-related canonization, which is – especially in the world of art – of paramount value to the individual authors, who always want to leave a trace behind them. In the following interview, Neven Korda and I analyze the processes behind the artistic and pop-cultural historization in the case of the Borghesia collective. Borghesia initially made its way into the pages of local history as a multimedia group that surpassed the division to art disciplines and genres, and offered a total (comprehensive) sound-and-image experience, while most people today know the group simply as one of the most successful internationally acclaimed music bands from Slovenia. In 2009, Borghesia published a collection of their greatest hits entitled 20th Century, where its efforts were presented solely through the prism of their musical activity. Why and when did Borghesia become an exclusively musical phenomenon in the eyes of the public? How did its historization unfold? Is history really only written by the winners? And last but not least, who is the winner in this case and why? The interview thus touch upon the broader issues related to the historization of alternative practices. Historization is a monopoly of the dominant social practices who want to create myths: “But the myth is always about a perverted relationship that empties the value of historic material, so that its place can be occupied by other, also historically defined conceptual structures. The myth, then, is always about absorbing other interest fields…” says Sergej Kapus in his work Ugrabljeni slikar (The Abducted Painter), which analyzes the processes of mythologization and historization in the case of painter Jožef Petkovšek. *** The story of Borghesia begins with theater (FV112/15) and ends with music. When did Borghesia become, and how long did it remain a multimedia group based on the ideas of comprehensive artworks, total art and collective work beyond genre limitations? The FV conglomerate started out in the form of FV 112/15 Theater, and Borghesia was a part of this conglomerate. Let us consider just the first year of project Borghesia. As part of an exhibition of the FV production at Škuc Gallery, the Borghesia 1983 cassette tape was released in 1983. The group was presented as a duo and at the same time a photographic series by Jane Štravs was also created. During the summer, posters were attached across the city to announce the band’s appearance at the Novi Rock 1983 festival, the concert took place in the fall and was followed by a performance at the symposium Kaj je Alternativa (What is Alternative) in November 1983. During this time, in the spring of 1983, some of the video works were created, multiple versions of the pieces Divja horda (The Wild Bunch) and Tako mladi (So Young), which became an integral part of the last performance of the FV112/15 Theater in June 1983. This was the first year of Borghesia. FV112/15 was a multimedia theater, whose projects were a result of the collaboration and exchange of various contributions by all (distinctly interdisciplinary) participants. Borghesia was just one of the projects generated inside this creative environment. From then on, the prac-

tice of the band turned in the direction of subject-related contributions becoming the subject as such, while the multimedia performances were kept on several levels. As a matter of fact, I want to correct you on using the expression “genre” limitations. But this is not about genres; it’s about the different fields, i. e. disciplines. “Beyond genre limitations” is a term pertaining to individual sectors, or branches. It’s what happened after the transdisciplinarity of the project was transformed and changed into a single discipline – music. Borghesia absorbed the functioning models of the music industry and at that point, everything became just music, genres and styles. You say that Borghesia built its typical visual and sound iconography in the early period, and later mainly capitalized on it. As one of the founding members, Aldo Ivančič was always considered as the central figure of the collective. Why did he decide to work without his visual team after 1989, the team that was a constituent part of the band until then? Oh, first of all, it was not “his” visual team. We can’t call it that. But your question really implies a different kind of reality. The FV112/15 was a collective, and that was the basic purpose and idea behind the band. Today, Aldo claims that Borghesia was never intended as a collective, and that this label was in fact used to conceal a hidden agenda, which was to access the resources of the original collective. These resources include the intellectual capital, the symbolic capital, public funds for the field of culture, technical equipment, the facilities and the logistic, all of which he appropriated and therefore consumed free of charge. And Borghesia gave nothing in return. Anyway, today, as I am seeing things from a temporal distance, this basic mimicry of Borghesia reveals the deeper reasons that prevented Borghesia from surviving and developing as an original multimedia group. Perhaps it’s not even relevant why this happened. Again, your question refers to the situation after the break-up of the multimedia band. Back then, the whole thing was decided exclusively by Aldo Ivančič and Dario Seraval. They obviously thought that they can run like any other ordinary band, and considered the multimedia functioning as worthless jumble. They probably seriously believed it too. Again, I want to stress this: which were these groundbreaking products that the band supposedly created after 1989? Personally, I think there are two problems regarding the break-up of the band. First, the two members that kept the name Borghesia never issued any information about the termination of the multimedia author group; in fact, they deliberately postponed and concealed this information. Second, the band that kept the name Borghesia, simply never worked as a collective, it was a centralized group which operated without the collaboration of other authors-creators. It no longer operated in the performative, visual or cinematic field, and it also failed to perform in the social-emancipatory field of establishing different, alternative production modes and transcending the dominant ideological production fields. The articles in the press reveal a shift in the discourse – from the multimedia band in the 1980’s, to a music band in the beginning of the 1990’s. It was then that Borghesia became a key player within the EBM genre. Is it merely a simplification? History is proverbially always written by the winners. What constitutes the victory of Borghesia, the music band, over Borghesia, the multimedia band?

Borghesia was a leading player on the EBM scene ever since its beginnings. It was virtually its co-founder. Back then, PIAS Recordings acted as a great promoter of the genre. The documentary video tape Triumf želje (Triumph of the Wish) features part of our discussion regarding the subject. As far as this is concerned, not much has changed in the early 1990’s, when Borghesia became a purely musical band. It was all happening before: it was still the same story, the same iconography and the same statement. If any kind of shift in terms of authoring, or expression, did happen in the last years (1989–1995), by all means, let me know. However, in the early 1990’s, even the EBM scene as such gained a somewhat wider cultural and social significance, which has somehow preserved it as part of the history of music genres. But I think the relevant question here is in what way the vision of a multimedia group was transformed into the vision of a band, and how it was reflected in the products of that band. I am glad to hear you speak about history being written by the winners, because this is directly related to the issues regarding the historization of alternative practices as opposed to the historization of dominant practices. With the question presented in this particular fashion, I would of course like to see some kind of a more in-depth analysis about the processes and products concerned. But the social-emancipatory significance of Borghesia, its transdisciplinarity in the artistic and social sense, is part of a structure that was created long before the emergence of the EBM scene. Perhaps even this interview will end up providing us with some sort of analysis in this respect. In the process of historizing Borghesia, mostly individual pieces and records were taken into account, perhaps even individual concerts, in short, all the things that represent a (rock) band. But what should have been done was an analysis of which pieces are “circulating”, i. e. what their online frequency is. What also matters are the magazine and newspaper articles from the beginning of the 1990’s, where the authors write not so much about the new Borghesia and its products created in that period, but about the principles that have been transferred from the preceding period. How many of these contents are concerned with new steps in the group’s expressiveness after 1989, and how are these “novelties” re-defining this music band? By this I am mainly referring to the discourse about the new orientation and the added foundation of a group that turned into a music band. I believe the overall image and orientation of Borghesia is based exclusively on the appropriation of already established and executed ideas and the symbolic capital that emanates from some other type of production. Seen from the perspective of music, the whole thing is mainly about the dilemma of where Borghesia ends and where Aldo Ivančič and his author projects begin. But in my opinion, one of his projects is also the denial of Borghesia as an original multimedia group. You mentioned that (Ičo Vidmar’s statement) the visual arts criticisms (as opposed to musical criticism) never entirely accepted Borghesia, or provide a satisfactory analysis. To this day, the visual field experts perceive Borghesia mostly in the context of FV video production, and much less in the context of multimedia, performative functioning. Is that one of the crucial shortfalls regarding its historization? Borghesia is not mentioned in the context of FV video production; this production is entirely shrouded in reference to Borghesia. They are referring mostly to Bor-


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ghesia’s videos, but only as a fact, and not about the way they were created. It is probably true that Aldo Ivančič and Dario Seraval, as the founding members of Borghesia, were occupying the leading position in the group; however, towards the end of the 1980’s, individual name references are occurring increasingly, Zemira Alajbegović and Neven Korda as the visual team, and Ivančič and Seraval as the musicians. In 1989, Janez Strehovec wrote about Borghesia: “Why are they only bothered with this newwave esthetics (the Ljubljana version), the dismantling and modulation of the visual, as if these things weren’t much better simulated by a computer video, it crossed my mind, as I found myself faced with the new and newer products of Neven Korda and Zemira Alajbegović (Borghesia). But their works do possess good music, a sense of rhythm, and even topical social criticism in the case of Disciplines.”

Scene from the performance Who Turned Out the Light, FV Theater 112/15, June 1983 Prizor iz predstave Kdo je ugasnil luč, gledališče FV 112/15, junij 1983

My intuitive answer to this question would probably be, that it simply became more and more clear that Aldo and Dario wanted to perform with Borghesia as an independent project, and that we had no future as a collective. The above commentary by Janez Strehovec was probably recorded in the fall of 1989, after Borghesia had already broken up as a collective. A more detailed answer would probably move in the direction, which I already implied a few times – that is, the tactical manipulation and concealment that was used during this transition. So, the entire construct of history is conditioned only by the ruthless ambition to succeed and economic reasons, so that Borghesia could function with fewer members and lower operative costs – or is there a deeper ideological and creative divergence behind it? I think it’s a fact. After 1990, Aldo developed into a minor merchant and Dario into a mythomaniac. It’s only human, and I have no intention of interfering with that, unless it’s small talk over some drinks. It is also true that it was a matter of cutting down the costs. But that’s plain old plundering and reduction, like anywhere else in this age of financial capitalism. I call it plundering, because nothing new is produced in this way, it’s just a method of exhausting the existing resources. Why did Borghesia focus on the relation between the alternative and the mainstream from the very beginning? This was already brought up in the performance “What is alternative?”, which was created in 1983. “Alternative” does not stand for a genre, or discipline, but is used to characterize a modus operandi, which can, unaltered, make its way also to the dominant sphere.

Dario Seraval in the video / v videu: Borghesia, AR, 1984, released on So Young / izšlo na Tako mladi (1985)

I don’t think it’s true that an unaltered modus operandi can make its way also to the dominant sphere. Just the opposite, in fact. Only a final product can make its way into the dominant sphere unaltered, but the mode of production is definitely changed. And indeed, Borghesia is exactly such an example; an almost perfect, rather well-documented and last but not least very local example of such a process of historization, which has been going on uninterrupted for 25 years. Like I already said more than once – the music stays the same, but the mode of production changes. Perhaps this is not the best way of putting it, but to me your question seems so very typical of the ideology behind the music industry, which I perceive as the generator of artificial dilemmas, which we can then philosophize about, without the whole thing having any kind of effect on the existing dominant production system. Such a discourse can act only as extra fuel to the “spontaneous” process of the supremacy of the dominant production mode at the expense of literally stifling the different, alternative modes of production. By this I am referring to the economic foundations of these different modes. The mere fact that you explicitly state in your question that alternative is not a genre, proves that something is slowly starting to move in the “musical” philosophy. As little as a year or two ago, you could never hear that sort of thing coming from a “musical” critic or theorist. Anyway, if we stay with this terminology of alternative against mainstream – I am not saying that one of these modes is better than the other: I am advocating their peaceful co-existence, in a truly spontaneous and non-programmatic fashion. Of course, this doesn’t mean that one should not analyze, without prejudice, the mechanisms through which a certain product makes its way into the mainstream. Especially if these mainstream processes, alongside their transformation, stifle down an entire field. It is for this very reason that even the mainstream as such fails to develop and progress, to renew;

Zemira Alajbegović in the video / v videu: Borghesia, Ni upanja ni strahu (No Hope No Fear) 1989; released on The Triumph of Desire / izšlo na Triumf želje (1990)


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and usually in the end it simply goes round in circles. Perhaps it would be more adequate to refer to this as the altermainstream, or NGO altermainstream. My own reaction to these phenomena is distinctly local, by following and commenting the developments on the Ljubljana alternative scene. All my arguments are based on local sources, but which are, synchronously, also global. My examples and conclusions are therefore quite universal. The music industry can serve as an example. Similar processes are underway in all disciplines, including the academic or institutional art sphere. However, is the change, or improvement of production conditions (e. g. the professionalization) necessarily linked to the change of production modes and giving in to the demands of the market? I don’t know, my problem is mainly the background of all this, and the related questions. What is the purpose of such narrow-mindedness, which stems from this particular mentality? It seems that sociologists often simply make something up, and then insist upon it. I apologize, but professionalization has nothing to do with the improvement of production conditions. On the other hand, the expression “giving in to the demands of the market”, is incorrect to begin with. It’s just another concoction invented by rock critics to avoid talking about the real issues. All they ever do these days is to scream about not giving in to the demands of the market. In its early stages, Borghesia probably worked at least semi-professionally. What were the production- and survival tactics in the period before 1989? I don’t know, I always acted as a professional. I never considered myself as a semi-professional or amateur. It was generally applied to the wider alternative scene of the 1980’s. As soon as someone couldn’t take it anymore, they would find other ways of surviving. Between 1986 and 1989, in the period of our most intense work on the idea of Borghesia as a band, I made my living mostly by touring with and developing projects for Borghesia.

SI Kdor kontrolira zgodovino, si podreja tudi sedanjost. Interpretacija preteklosti je pomemben dejavnik institucionalne ali tržne kanonizacije, ki je – zlasti v svetu umetnosti – ena najpomembnejših valut posameznega ustvarjalca, ki želi za sabo vselej puščati sledi. V pričujočem pogovoru bova z Nevenom Kordo analizirala procese umetniške in pop-kulturne historizacije na primeru kolektiva Borghesia. Borghesia se je v lokalno zgodovino sprva vpisala kot multimedijska skupina, ki je presegala delitev na umetniške discipline in žanre ter ponujala totalno (celostno) izkustvo zvoka in slike, medtem ko jo danes večina ljudi pozna kot eno najuspešnejših mednarodno delujočih glasbenih skupin s področja Slovenije. Borghesia je leta 2009 objavila zbirko največjih hitov z naslovom 20th Century, kjer je svoje delovanje predstavljala izključno iz prizme svoje glasbene dejavnosti. Zakaj in kdaj je Borghesia v javnem diskurzu postala izključno glasbeni fenomen? Kako se je odvijalo njeno zgodovinjenje? Ali zgodovino res vedno pišejo zmagovalci? In nenazadnje, kdo je v tem primeru zmagovalec in zakaj? Pogovor se dotika širših vprašanj zgodovinjenja alternativnih praks. Zgodovinjenje je monopol dominantnih družbenih praks, ki želijo ustvarjati mite: „Toda pri mitu gre vedno za pervertirano razmerje, ki prazni vrednost historičnega materiala, da lahko njegovo izpraznjeno mesto zasedajo drugi, prav tako historično opredeljeni pojmovni sklopi. V mitu gre torej vedno za absorbiranje drugih interesnih polj ... “ je zapisal Sergej Kapus v svojem delu Ugrabljeni slikar, ki analizira procese mitologizacije in zgodovinjenja narodovega slikarja Jožefa Petkovška.

Zgodba Borghesie se začenja z gledališčem (FV112/15) in zaključuje z glasbo. Kdaj je Borghesia postala in do kdaj je ostala multimedijska skupina, ki je temeljila na ideji celostne umetnine, totalne umetnosti in kolektivnega dela onstran žanrskih omejitev? FV konglomerat se je začel z Gledališčem FV112/15 in del tega konglomerata je bila Borghesia. Poglejmo samo prvo leto projekta Borghesia. Ob razstavi FV produkcije v Galeriji Škuc je leta 1983 izšla kaseta Borghesia 1983, kjer je bila skupina predstavljena kot duo, takrat pa je nastala tudi serija fotografij Janeta Štravsa. Sledila je plakatna akcija čez poletje za nastop na Novem Rocku 1983 in sam nastop, nato pa še v novembru 1983 predstava v sklopu simpozija Kaj je Alternativa. V tem času, spomladi leta 1983, so nastala nekatera video dela, več različic videov, komadov Divja horda in Tako mladi, ki so bili integralni del zadnje predstave gledališča FV112/15 junija 1983. To je bilo prvo leto delovanja Borghesie. FV112/15 je bilo multimedijsko gledališče, katerega projekti so bili plod sodelovanja in izmenjevanja različnih prispevkov vseh (izrazito interdisciplinarnih) sodelujočih. Borghesia je bila zgolj eden od projektov tega kreativnega okolja. V nadaljevanju se je praksa skupine razvijala v smeri, da je vsebinski prispevek postal vsebina, izvedba pa je na več nivojih ostala multimedijska. Pravzaprav bi rad popravil tvoje vprašanje, saj namreč govoriš o „žanrskih“ omejitvah. Tukaj pa ne gre za žanre, temveč za področja oziroma discipline. Onstran žanrskih omejitev je skrajno panožni pojem. To se je zgodilo, ko se je trans-področnost projekta prelevila in se spremenila v eno samo področje – glasbo. Borghesia je absorbirala modele delovanja glasbene industrije in tedaj je vse postalo le glasba, žanri in slogi. Praviš, da je Borghesia svojo značilno vizualno in zvočno ikonografijo zgradila v zgodnjem obdobju, kasneje pa jo je predvsem unovčevala. Kot ustanovni član je Aldo Ivančič vselej veljal za osrednjo figuro kolektiva. Zakaj je po letu 1989 želel delati brez svoje vizualne ekipe, ki je bila do tedaj sestavni del benda? Ah, predvsem to ni bila njegova vizualna ekipa. Temu nikakor ne moremo tako reči. Tvoje vprašanje pa nakazuje neko drugo stvarnost. FV112/15 je bil kolektiv in to je bil tudi osnovni namen in smisel skupine. Aldo danes trdi, da Borghesia nikdar ni bila zamišljena kot kolektiv, da se je za to oznako pravzaprav skrivala le z namenom, da bi imela dostop do resursov izvirnega kolektiva. Ti resursi so intelektualni kapital, simbolni kapital, javna sredstva za kulturo, tehnika, prostori in logistika, ki si jih je v celoti prilastil in jih s tem brezplačno potrošil. Borghesia pa ni dala ničesar v zameno. Skratka v tej temeljni mimikriji Borghesie je zdaj, ko stvari gledam s časovne distance, mogoče iskati globlje razloge, ki so Borghesii onemogočili, da obstane in se razvija kot izvirna multimedijska skupina. Zakaj se je to zgodilo, morda niti ni pomembno. Tvoje vprašanje izhaja iz situacije po razpadu multimedijske skupine. Takrat sta o tem odločala izključno Aldo Ivančič in Dario Seraval. Očitno sta pomislila, da lahko delujeta kot povsem običajen bend in se jima je multimedijsko delovanje zazdelo nepotrebna navlaka. V to sta verjetno tudi resnično verjela. Še enkrat poudarjam: kateri so ti prelomni izdelki, ki jih je ta bend naredil po letu 1989? Jaz v tem razpadu kolektiva vidim predvsem dve težavi. Prvič – člana, ki sta obdržala ime Borghesia, nista nikdar objavila informacije o prenehanju delovanja multimedijske avtorske skupine oziroma sta to informacijo načrtno odrivala in skrivala. Drugič – bend, ki je obdržal ime Borghesia, pa preprosto ni deloval kot kolektiv, bil je voden centralistično brez sodelovanja drugih ustvarjalcev. Ni več deloval na performativnem, uprizoritvenem, vizualnem in cinematičnem področju, obenem pa ni deloval niti na družbeno emancipatornem področju vzpostavljanja drugačnih, alternativnih produkcijskih načinov in transcendiranja dominantnih ideološko produkcijskih področij. V novinarskih člankih je moč zaznati premik v diskurzu – od multimedijske skupine v 80. letih do glasbene skupine v začetku 90. let. Takrat Borghesia postane eden pomembnejših igralcev znotraj kroga EBM glasbenega žanra. Gre tu za preprosto simplifikacijo? Zgodovino pregovorno vedno pišejo zmagovalci. V čem je glasbena Borghesia porazila multimedijsko Borghesio? Borghesia je bila pomemben igralec na EBM sceni že vse od začetka te scene. Bila je tako rekoč njena soustanoviteljica. Založba PIAS je bila tedaj velik promotor tega žanra. Na dokumentarni videokaseti Triumf želje je moč

zaslediti del naše razprave na to temo. Glede tega se v začetku 90. let, ko je Borghesia postala zgolj glasbena skupina, ni nič bistvenega spremenilo. Vse to se je že dogajalo: še vedno je bila to ista zgodba, ista ikonografija in izjava. Če se je v zadnjih letih (1989–1995) zgodil kakšen avtorski oziroma izrazni premik – me prosim na to opozori. V začetku 90. let pa je tudi sama EBM scena dobila nekoliko širši kulturni in družbeni pomen, kar jo je nekako ohranilo v zgodovini glasbenih žanrov. A mislim, da je bolj na mestu vprašanje, na kakšen način se je vizija multimedijske skupine prelevila v vizijo benda in kako se je to odrazilo na izdelkih tega benda. Všeč mi je, ko praviš, da zgodovino pišejo zmagovalci, ker se dotika neposrednih problemov zgodovinjenja alternativnih praks v nasprotju z zgodovinjenjem dominantnih praks. Ob tako zastavljenem vprašanju bi seveda rajši videl kakšno globljo analizo o tem, za katere procese in izdelke gre. Družbeno emancipatorni pomen Borghesie, njena trans-področnost v umetniškem in družbenem pomenu pa so del strukture, ki so nastale že veliko pred EBM sceno. Morda se bova skozi ta intervju celo dokopala do kakšne takšne analize. Ko se je zgodovinila Borghesia, se je upoštevalo predvsem posamezne komade in plošče, morda tudi koncerte, skratka to, kar predstavlja (rock) bend. Potrebna pa bi bila analiza o tem, kateri komadi so „v obtoku“, kakšna je njihova frekventnost na spletu. Pomembne so tudi vsebine različnih novinarskih člankov iz začetka 90. let, ko avtorji besedil ne pišejo toliko o novi Borghesii in njenih izdelkih, ki so nastajali tedaj, ampak o principih, ki so bili preneseni iz prejšnjega obdobja. Koliko teh vsebin je posvečenih novim korakom v izraznosti, po letu 1989, in kako te „novosti“ na novo opredeljujejo to glasbeno skupino? Pri tem imam v mislih predvsem diskurz o novi usmeritvi in dodani utemeljitvi skupine, ki je postala glasbeni bend. Menim, da celostna podoba in usmeritev nove Borghesie temelji izključno na zaplembi že ustvarjenih in izvedenih stvari in simbolnega kapitala, ki izhaja iz nekega drugega produkcijskega načina. Pri glasbi gre pri vsem tem predvsem za dilemo, kje se konča Borghesia in začne Aldo Ivančič s svojimi avtorskimi projekti. Eden od teh njegovih projektov pa je po mojem mnenju tudi zanikanje Borghesie kot avtorske multimedijske skupine. Dejal si mi (izjava Iča Vidmarja), da likovna kritika (za razliko od glasbene) nikdar ni sprejela Borghesie in je zadovoljivo analizirala? Likovna stroka Borghesio še dandanes vidi večinoma v kontekstu FV video produkcije, veliko manj pa v kontekstu multimedijskega, performativnega delovanja. Je to eden ključnih mankov pri zgodovinjenju? O Borghesii se ne govori v kontekstu FV video produkcije, ta produkcija je v Borghesiinem govoru popolnoma zastrta. Govori se predvsem o video spotih Borghesie kot o nečem, kar je dejstvo, ne pa tudi o tem, kako je to nastalo. Verjetno sta Aldo Ivančič in Dario Seraval kot ustanovna člana Borghesie nekako držala primat v skupini; ampak proti koncu 80. let se vse bolj pojavljajo poimenske navedbe, Zemira Alajbegović in Neven Korda kot vizualca in Aldo Ivančič in Dario Seraval kot glasbenika. Janez Strehovec je o Borghesii leta 1989 zapisal: „Čemu se trapijo samo z novovalovsko estetiko (v ljubljanski varianti) in z razbijanjem in moduliranjem slikovnega, ko pa je te stvari veliko bolje simulirati z računalniškim videom, sem pomislil, ko sem obsedel pred novimi in novejšimi izdelki Nevena Korde in Zemire Alajbegović (Borghesia). Je pa v njunih delih dobra glasba, smisel za ritem, v videu Discipline pa tudi aktualna družbena kritičnost.“ Moj intuitivni odgovor bi bil, da je pač postajalo vse bolj jasno, da hočeta Aldo in Dario z Borghesio delovati v samostojnem projektu in da kolektiv nima nobene prihodnosti. Omenjeni citat Janeza Strehovca pa je bil najbrž zapisan jeseni leta 1989, ko je Borghesia kot kolektiv že razpadla. Bolj obširen bi bil odgovor v smeri, ki sva jo že večkrat načela, to so taktike manipulacije in zastiranja, ki so bile uporabljene pri tem prehodu. Torej je celotna konstrukcija zgodovine pogojena zgolj s častihlepnostjo in ekonomskimi razlogi, tj. da je Borghesia lahko delovala z manj člani in manjšimi operativnimi stroški, ali gre za globlji ideološki in ustvarjalni razcep? Mislim, da je to dejstvo. Po letu 1990 se je Aldo razvil v majhnega obrtnika, Dario pa v mitomana. To je človeško in v to se ne nameravam vtikati, razen ob barskih pogovorih. Drži tudi to, da je bil cilj zniževanje stroškov. To pa


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je plenjenje in redukcija kot povsod v sodobnem finančnem kapitalizmu. Plenjenje zato, ker takšen način ne proizvaja ničesar novega, ampak je to le tehnika izčrpavanja obstoječih resursov. Zakaj se je Borghesia že v začetku ubadala z razmerjem med alternativo in mainstreamom? O tem je bilo govora tudi v predstavi „Kaj je alternativa? “ leta 1983. Alternativa ni žanr ali disciplina, pač pa način dela, ki lahko nespremenjen preide tudi v dominantno sfero. Menim, da ni res, da način dela lahko nespremenjen preide v dominantno sfero. Ravno nasprotno. Nespremenjen lahko v dominantno sfero preide le končni izdelek, produkcijski način pa se vsekakor spremeni. In prav Borghesia je skorajda idealen, dokaj dobro dokumentiran in nenazadnje zelo lokalen primer takšnega procesa zgodovinjenja, ki se neprekinjeno dogaja že 25 let. Kot sem že večkrat rekel – glasba ostaja ista, spremeni se le produkcijski način. Morda se ne znam pravilno izraziti, ampak tvoje vprašanje se mi zdi popolnoma potopljeno v ideologijo glasbene industrije, ki jo vidim kot ustvarjalko umetnih dilem, o katerih lahko potem modrujemo, ne da bi vse to imelo kakršen koli učinek na siceršnji dominantni produkcijski način. Takšen diskurz lahko učinkuje le kot dodatno gorivo „spontanemu“ procesu prevlade dominantnega produkcijskega načina na račun dobesednega dušenja drugačnih produkcijskih načinov. S tem mislim na ekonomske temelje teh drugačnih načinov. Že samo dejstvo, da v vprašanju navajaš, da alternativa ni žanr, priča o tem, da se v „glasbeni“ misli nekaj počasi premika. Česa takšnega še pred letom ali dvema ni bilo mogoče slišati med „glasbenimi“ kritiki in teoretiki.

Aldo Ivančić, Zemira Alajbegović, Dario Seraval, Neven Korda in the video / v videu: Borghesia, Discipline, 1989, released on The Triumph of Desire / izšlo na Triumf želje (1990)

Skratka, če ostaneva pri tej terminologiji alternative proti mainstreamu, sam ne trdim, da je eden izmed teh načinov boljši od drugega, ampak popolnoma spontano, povsem neprogramatsko zagovarjam njuno miroljubno koeksistenco. To pa seveda ne pomeni, da ni potrebno brez predsodkov analizirati mehanizmov, s katerimi nek izdelek preide v mainstream. Še zlasti, če ti mainstream procesi ob svoji transformaciji zadušijo celotno polje. Prav zaradi tega pa se niti mainstream ne more dobro razvijati, se obnavljati in običajno se na koncu preprosto zacikla. Morda je boljša označba tega alter mainstream ali NVO alter mainstream. Na te fenomene sam reagiram izrazito lokalno, s spremljanjem in komentiranjem dogajanj na ljubljanski alternativni sceni. Vse moje razlage temeljijo na lokalnih virih, ki pa so sinhrono tudi globalni. Moji primeri in sklepi so tako dokaj univerzalni. Glasbena industrija lahko služi kot primer. Podobni procesi se dogajajo v vseh disciplinah, tudi v akademski oziroma institucionalni umetnostni sferi. Ampak ali je sprememba oziroma izboljšanje produkcijskih pogojev (npr. profesionalizacija) nujno povezana s spremembo produkcijskih načinov in podleganju zahtevam trga? Ne vem, moti me predvsem ozadje tega in takšnih vprašanj. Zakaj takšna omejenost, ki veje iz tega načina razmišljanja? Zdi se mi, da si nekateri družboslovci kar nekaj izmislijo in potem vztrajajo pri tem. Se opravičujem, ampak profesionalizacija nima nobene zveze z izboljšanjem produkcijskih pogojev. Po drugi strani pa je sam izraz „podleganje trgu“ nekorekten. To je spet nekaj, kar so si rock kritiki izmislili, da se ne bi govorilo o pravih problemih. Vsi namreč ves čas vpijejo, kako ne podlegajo zahtevam trga. Borghesia je v svojem prvem obdobju verjetno delovala vsaj pol-profesionalno. Kakšne so bile produkcijske in preživetvene taktike v času do 1989? Ne vem, jaz sem vedno deloval profesionalno. Nikoli se nisem počutil kot pol-profesionalec ali ljubitelj. To je načeloma veljalo za širšo alternativno sceno 80. let. Ko kdo ni več zdržal, si je poiskal druge načine preživetja. Med leti 1986 in 1989, ko smo intenzivno delali na Borghesii kot bendu, sem se preživljal predvsem s turnejami in projekti Borghesie.

Neven Korda in the video / v videu: Borghesia, Discipline, 1989, released on The Triumph of Desire / izšlo na Triumf želje (1990)

Goran Devide in the video / v videu: Borghesia, Ni upanja ni strahu, 1989 (No Hope No Fear) 1989, released on The Triumph of Desire / izšlo na Triumf želje (1990)


Marko Reza

Die Antwoord @ Schengenfest (a detailed description / podroben opis)


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meters from the venue itself. They let us, the photographers, inside the pit no sooner than the concert began.

Ibogaine, za Ninjo pa majico, na kateri je preprosto pisalo Ibogaine. Z velikimi malimi tiskanimi črkami.

Despite the fact that the gig started with a thirty-minute delay, it ended right on schedule. So we only actually enjoyed two thirds of the planned concert… but it didn’t fail to live up to the expectations. A few thousand people agreed with that.

Priznati moram, da ni nič kaj dobro kazalo. Organizator mi je povedal, da Odgovori ne bodo odgovarjali na vprašanja – kar pomeni tudi to, da ne bo nobenega avtograma in nobenega selfija z njima – vprašljivo pa je bilo tudi, če bomo akreditirani fotografi sploh lahko šli v pit in naredili kakšno fotko od blizu. Zdelo se je, da sem prišel napol zaman.

Immediately after the end, the van took the band back to the house, to which I had, of course, no admission. But since they must have come out of somewhere before the gig, I figured that they would shortly be leaving in that direction again. But where to? To some other rented location? A motel? A hotel? The airport? Since coincidences don’t exist, there must have been some greater force at work at this point. It brought to my path a young man. After a little chat, listening to my wonderings about where the van would take the band members, he told me that rumors have been circling in his town that they were staying in their best hotel. Four stars. I drove for those 47 kilometers and arrived to the hotel lobby at 2 a.m. I told the night receptionist that I was waiting for their guests, Mr Jones and Ms du Toit. He checked, and apparently they were signed in, because he allowed me to sit there and wait. And so I sat and waited. They came in an hour later. ¥olandi and Ninja were visibly spent. All of the energy they exerted on stage had not been restored yet. ¥olandi was looking down and dragged her feet towards the elevator. I jumped out of the armchair, thanked them for the concert, and said “Ninja, a little present for you” as I gave him the T-shirt that read ‘ibogaine’, and afterwards, “¥olandi, a little present for you”, as I gave her the tee with the sign ‘ZEF’, made up of 1251 whole and 138 partial spellings of the word ‘ibogaine’. They both took their gifts, entirely automatically, showing no interest whatsoever. I asked if it was alright to ask them a few questions, but Ninja told me they were too exhausted; he entered the elevator and they left for their room on the second floor. I could have waited until they checked out and try again then. And if that didn’t work, I could have driven behind them and try again at the airport. But that just wouldn’t be it. It would have been harassment. ¥olandi and Ninja are world-famous, and there’s so many people that want to talk to them every day, people whom they don’t know, asking the same, probably boring questions and meddling with their lives much more than is necessary.

Photo / Foto Marko Reza

A few thousand people and a few thousand T-shirts, each with a different message. From the most trivial, advertising mobile phone operators, to the unique ones. Mine was definitely one of the latter. The sign on it read ¥O LA NDI, and was designed out of tiny letters that spelled the word ‘ibogaine’, 1089 whole words and 207 beginnings of the same word, to be exact. The only reason I went to Schengenfest was to hear and see ¥olandi in person, to interview her and Ninja, the second frontman (I had prepared questions related to the topic of ibogaine), to photograph them and possibly ask for an autograph. I brought symbolic gifts; for ¥olandi it was a T-shirt printed with the sign ‘ZEF’, made up of 1251 whole and 138 partial spellings of the word ‘ibogaine’; for Ninja it was a T-shirt that simply read ‘ibogaine’, spelled in large lower-case letters. I have to admit it didn’t look very promising. The organizer informed me that the Answers will not be answering any questions – which also meant no autographs and no s elfies – and it was also uncertain whether the accredited photographs would even be allowed in the pit to get a couple of close-up shots of the artists. (Ed. Note: Die Antwoord means “The Answer” in Afrikaans) It seemed I had made my trip almost in vain. Then things took a turn for the better. We were now told that we could shoot the first three songs out of the pit, but we still weren’t allowed inside it at the time. The stage was all set, and then suddenly, it became strangely empty. The technical crew, which was there all along, the stage management and the occasional VIP busybody here and there – they were all gone. Apparently the backstage had been cleared as well. At that point the band was transported directly to the stage by a van from the house that served as the organizer’s base, some fifty

I wondered, did I cross the line already by coming to the hotel? Would it be fun for me to have somebody follow me around and intrude upon me? No, definitely not. It is why I decided not to wait for them anymore, and not follow them either. As a matter of fact, I did most of what I had planned. I got the photos, I gave the presents to ¥olandi and Ninja, and I informed Die Antwoord about the existence of ibogaine. Perhaps they will at least take a look at the signs on the T-shirts and ask uncle Google what ibogaine is, and maybe they’ll even use this information to help out some of their people in the ghetto. As for the interview, the autographs and the selfies – well, some other time, you can’t win ’em all, right? Especially when you’re dealing with stars. Actually, come to think about it, Ninja already told me everything. According to the organizers, Schengenfest is the Greatest and the Hottest. Highly recommended! p. s. ¥olandi is about 5 feet tall (150 cm). p. p. s. Did I mention ibogaine?

SI Nekaj tisoč ljudi in nekaj tisoč majic, vsaka s svojim sporočilom. Od najbolj banalnih z reklamo za mobilnega operaterja do unikatnih. Moja je vsekakor spadala med slednje. Na njej je pisalo ¥O LA NDI, ta napis pa je bil oblikovan iz majhnih besedic Ibogaine. Natančno 1089 celih in 207 začetih besedic Ibogaine je bilo na njej. Na Schengenfest sem se odpravil samo zato, da bi slišal in videl ¥olandi v živo, da bi naredil intervju z njo in Ninjo, ki je poleg nje še drugi frontmen skupine (pripravil sem vprašanja v zvezi z ibogainom), da bi ju fotografiral, da bi dobil kak avtogram. Prinesel sem jima tudi simbolični darili, za ¥olandi majico z napisom ZEF, ki je bil izoblikovan iz 1251 celih besedic Ibogaine in 138 začetih besedic

Nato se je obrnilo na bolje. Fotografom so dovolili, da iz pita slikamo prve tri skladbe, a v pit nam še niso dovolili. Oder so pripravili, nato pa se je nenavadno spraznil. Tehniki, ki so do tedaj bili ob strani, vodstvo odra, pa še kakšen VIP firbec – vsi so izginili. Menda je tudi zaodrje bilo popolnoma prazno. Takrat so iz hiše, v kateri je bila baza organizatorjev, oddaljene kakšnih 50 metrov, s kombijem pripeljali skupino čisto do odra. Nas, fotografe, so spustili v pit ob samem začetku. Kljub temu, da so začeli pol ure kasneje kot po programu, so končali, kot je bilo napovedano. Tako smo pravzaprav slišali samo dve tretjini koncerta ... a je kljub temu izpolnil vsa pričakovanja. Nekaj tisoč ljudi se je strinjalo s tem. Takoj po koncu jih je kombi spet odpeljal do hiše, v katero seveda nisem imel vstopa. Ker pa jih je pred koncertom v to hišo od nekod pripeljal, sem sklepal, da jih bo v kratkem tudi nekam odpeljal. A kam? V kakšno drugo najeto hišo? V motel? Hotel? Na letališče? Ker naključja ne obstajajo, se je tukaj vmešala višja sila. Na pot mi je pripeljala mladeniča, s katerim sva malo pokramljala in ob mojem razglabljanju, kam jih bo kombi peljal, je povedal, da se v njegovem kraju govori, da stanujejo v tamkajšnjem najboljšem hotelu. Štiri zvezdice. Odpeljal sem se tistih 47 kilometrov in ob dveh sem bil v lobiju hotela. Nočnemu receptorju sem povedal, da čakam njihove goste, gospoda Jonesa in gospo du Toit. Receptor je preveril in očitno sta bila prijavljena, ker mi je dovolil čakati. Potem sem pač čakal. Uro kasneje so prišli. ¥olandi in Ninja sta bila vidno razsuta. Vsa energija, ki sta jo na odru razdala, še ni prišla nazaj. ¥olandi je gledala v tla in se vlekla proti dvigalu. Takrat sem skočil s fotelja, se jima zahvalil za koncert in rekel: “Ninja, majhno darilce za vas” ter mu izročil majico z napisom Ibogaine, nato pa še “¥olandi, majhno darilce za vas” in ji izročil majico z napisom ZEF, izoblikovan iz 1251 celih besedic Ibogaine in 138 začetih besedic Ibogaine. Vsak je vzel svojo majico, kot avtomat, brez kakršnega zanimanja. Vprašal sem, če lahko nekaj vprašam, in Ninja mi je odgovoril, da so preveč uničeni, vstopil v dvigalo in odpeljali so se v drugo nadstropje. Lahko bi počakal na njihov odhod iz hotela in poskusil takrat. In če mi ne bi uspelo, bi lahko peljal za njimi in znova poskusil na letališču. A to ne bi bilo to. To bi bila gnjavaža. ¥olandi in Ninja sta svetovno znana in vsak dan želi z njima govoriti ogromno ljudi, katerih sploh ne poznata, ki postavljajo vedno ista, verjetno dolgočasna vprašanja in se jima vpletajo v življenje bolj, kot bi bilo potrebno. Vprašal sem se, če sem že s prihodom v hotel prestopil mejo? Bi meni bilo zabavno, če bi me nekdo zasledoval in se mi vsiljeval? Ne, zagotovo ne. Zato jih nisem več čakal in tudi nisem šel za njimi. Pravzaprav sem opravil večji del načrtovanega. Imam fotografije, ¥olandi in Ninji sem predal darilca in Die Antwoord obvestil, da ibogain obstaja. Mogoče bosta vsaj pogledala, kaj piše na majicah in vprašala strica Googla, kaj da je ibogain in mogoče bosta s to informacijo pomagala nekaterim svojim v getu. Intervju in avtogrami in selfiji pa kdaj drugič, saj človek ne more dobiti vsega, kajne? Sploh takrat, kadar ima opravka z zvezdami. Pravzaprav pa mi je Ninja povedal čisto vse. Schengenfest je, po besedah organizatorja, največji in najbolj seksi. Močno priporočam! p. s. ¥olandi je visoka okrog meter in pol. p. p. s. Sem omenil ibogain?

http://tinyurl.com/yolandizef


짜O LA Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbo Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineI Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ie IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Iboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibo Ibo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ib IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine Ibogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ib IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine I Ibogaine I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine I IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibo Ib IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine Ibogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo Ibog http://sacrament.kibla.si http://sacrament.kibla.si

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IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain Ibogainhttp://sacrament.kibla.si

Copyleft Marko Reza

IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ib IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIb gaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibogai IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogain IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbo IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaine Ibo IbogaineIbogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbog IbogaineIb IbogaineIbogain Ibogaine Ibogai Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIboga IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIbogaineIb IbogaineIbogain Ibogaine Ibogaine IbogaineIbogaineIboga http://sacrament.kibla.si IbogaineIbogaineIbogaineI IbogaineIbogain Ibo Iboga http://sacrament.kibla.si


THE YOUNG DRUMMER AND THE BEAR MLADI BOBNAR IN MEDVED Nino Mureškič

The young drummer’s handbook, part 2 Priročnik za mladega bobnarja, drugi del


THE YOUNG DRUMMER AND THE BEAR It is generally recommended to the young drummer to keep up the best possible relations with his neighbors. This should come in handy whenever his enthusiasm launches him to another dimension and – just (sitting) by the way – he forgets about the late hour as his loud drumming disturbs the nightly peace. This chapter introduces the issue of suitable drumming practice spaces, which are all but easy to find. Often they come in the form of dusty, airless, stuffy basements where that fine seasoned dust raises in minutes and never runs out, even when there’s a hundred persons breathing at the same time. Such occasions call for a chewing gum or sage mint. At some point in the course of our own history we were also practicing in an old house basement. Then it just so happened that we didn’t meet for two or three months. When we finally got back to the place, it was like wonderland. The walls and speakers were sprouting with moss and mold, the latter blooming in several colors and transforming around the angles into a strange, frothy, foam-like substance that reminded of cotton candy from the circus. In between there were colonies of small dark fungi that appeared quite dangerous. We were guessing an entire army of soldiers would be hallucinating for at least three days, if we were to chuck just a little bit into a three hundred gallon stew pot. That kind of space is lost for good, no termite will ever smell it, rats will avoid it, mice will not be caught in traps, spiders will weave no webs and potatoes will not sprout. A healthy alternative is of course drumming in nature, for example in a forest or at the edge of a forest. It is pretty much safe to be drumming in Slovenian woods, but drummers from the Dolenjska region should be partly prepared for an occasional bear encounter, the beast obviously unable to resist the dance rhythms. In such cases an old can of sardines might be convenient and should be opened immediately, so that its smell causes a momentary distraction for the bear. Before the bear solves the riddle of how the sardines got to the forest, it’s time for us to make haste and escape somewhere safe, but never onto a tree. The other option is to act like idiots, roll our eyes and produce the strangest possible sounds, walk a little forwards and a little backwards, and hit a tree occasionally. In the meantime, sing a happy tune in a major key, and use modern and abstract dance steps to move in the desired direction. If there is more than one drummer involved in the situation, a group somersault could also help to do the trick. Perplexed and concerned, the bear will not attack and eat us, being afraid that such an absurd demeanor might be contagious. Now, that would definitely jeopardize his forest status and make him a prime target for mockery in beehives. The bear jokes and skits around the camp fire would simply never be as funny again. An adventure of such proportion is bound to leave a trace in the musical efforts of the young drummer, somewhat like the basement-born fungus from the army pot stew. THE YOUNG DRUMMER AND BAMBOO The curse of the bamboo is a little known natural phenomenon around our parts, which is, however, acquiring new dimensions due to the increasing popularity of evergreen plants. Before planting bamboo, the young drummer should take a final look at his current surroundings and keep that scene locked inside his memory, or possibly take a photo of the place to prove to our disbelieving descendants that the northeastern Slovenian region is not the original habitat of panda bears. Well, if they could climb the grapevine and chew on the self-sown, methyl alcohol producing “šmarnica” grapes, perhaps something could be arranged in terms of their provenience. Anyway, it is also advised to the young drummer to seek advice with someone who already has experience in fighting bamboo. In these parts, bamboo is called bomboo, and its lucky owners are referred to as bomboo men. In order to further increase the awareness about our own responsibility towards acts of gardening, we are publishing a short, uncensored extract of an interview with a member of the drummers’ society, a local bomboo man who wishes to remain anonymous until he finally wins or surrenders. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: Tell us, how did you recklessly incur the curse of bomboo, did it happen in a state of shock, did you have a migraine or something? Bosnia / Bosna, 1977 (personal archive / osebni arhiv)

THE BOMBOO MAN: No such thing actually. The headache only started a few years later. Bomboo is just

pretty, that’s it. You just stick it in incidentally somewhere along the garden fence. And then you wait. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: What do you mean, you wait? Did you just sit by it and watch it grow? What about going to work; what about your social life? THE BOMBOO MAN: No, it’s not like I’m crazy to be sitting next to the bomboo – and besides, there’s nothing to see really. Bomboo is smart as hell... actually, come to think about it, it’s smart like the Chinese..., anyway, it was just a thought... So, be that as it may, after you’ve planted the bomboo it’s going to take some time to think, a year or so, or sometimes more. Not a single word, it’s just going to appear to keep quiet and enjoy the sun. All the while it will already begin to machinate underground, straight through the mole’s bedroom and into the previously chosen direction. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: What do you mean, the mole’s bedroom? And how do you imagine a bomboo plant to see anyway? THE BOMBOO MAN: What, you don’t think moles have bedrooms? They don’t sleep on branches, do they? And it’s not like you always need eyes to see. Look, sometimes I just like to use metaphors; it’s what we do on farms as a form of entertainment. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: Interesting, indeed. I get it, sometimes I just blurt out stuff, metaphors are as exotic to me as amphoras. Please, go on and tell us all about how the bomboo tricked you. THE BOMBOO MAN: Anyway, while enjoying the sun, the bomboo was already engaged in a real guerrila attack. With its fingerbreadth roots it penetrated the soil, from ten to around forty centimeters deep. Then, after two years, I noticed a little new bud sprouting from the ground some ten meters away; the first scout and the harbinger of a drama. I knew right away that the soil was already entirely interspersed with roots at least to where the new bud appeared. It gets worse – the molehills in the neighbor’s garden have all disappeared! In the following days an entire little bomboo grove was formed and like all things, it was tiny in the beginning. Nothing can stop bomboo from growing, it will grow through walls and concrete and straight through the floor if it has to. If you’re really angry at someone, you should secretly plant a bomboo in his garden at night. But don’t do it to an immediate neighbor, because bomboo always comes back. Cases are known when it lifted the coffee table and turned over the popcorn bowl in the middle of the TV series. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: In the middle of the series! Is it really possible, that nothing will stop it? You mean that sooner or later the entire world will be swamped with bomboo? THE BOMBOO MAN: Well, there are tricks that can help. For the time being, the best thing is a live panda bear, or this thick German foil that you can use to fence in the bomboo inside the ground. It also doesn’t particularly like to grow over water, or not at all. I suppose regularly making strudel batches from young bomboo shoots could also help. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: How is it that it was the Germans out of all nations that invented the anti-bomboo foil? THE BOMBOO MAN: I don’t know, they were probably fed up with it. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: What happens after the bomboo has spread and begins to endanger the indigenous population and vegetation? Can you imagine bomboo attacking the local Styrian vineyards? THE BOMBOO MAN: I can imagine that, yes, but I think it wouldn’t take long before it would be crossbred with “jurka” or “izabela” or any other local grape sort. As long as it’s within two or three square meters, you can still remove it by hand, the best thing is to use a pickax and scour the soil thoroughly. Other than that, a JCB or a bulldozer. You should remember that even the slightest bit left in the soil can produce an entire new generation. Bomboo is our great teacher. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: Teacher? What does bomboo teach us, is this another one of your metaphors... THE BOMBOO MAN: Bomboo is yours forever, you can never get rid of it. Then you learn to accept it for whatever it is. It’s going to teach you to be patient, persistent and attentive, and regularly remind you that whatever grows is exactly what you planted. You will learn that any patch of land is always dug out and ready for stupidity, anger, spite and envy. But to have smarts, joy and compassion, you need to add com-


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post. You can easily conclude that bomboo is an unfading reminder. Long live bomboo, long live compost! THE YOUNG DRUMMER: An interesting and emotional account. Thank you for sharing this experience, may the worms in your compost be thick and merry. THE YOUNG DRUMMER AND THE PREDATOR To the young drummer, who has a gap in general film education, it has to be first explained that the Predator is an alien of unknown origin, whose space ship, like so many others’ probably, crashed on one of his space adventures and landed on Earth somewhere in the South American jungle. He brought with him a nasty habit of collecting trophies, and he thought the most appropriate collectable here was the human skull. Perhaps because there are so few Klingons running around the jungle. He would then carefully polish the collected skulls, arrange them by size and admire them with plenty of sighs and approving nods. However, what interests the young drummer is the Predator’s analysis of the environment, and death. The Predator was namely a keen observer of his surroundings and he also had the ability to rewind the film, go through the events in detail, and carefully reconsider once more how to indulge in his habit of polishing skulls. He paid serious attention to his addiction and used every single moment to complete his collection, which was never to be finished. As he was unable to mend his ways even by a fraction, it was clear that what was bound to happen eventually finally happened. During one of his adventures in the rainforest he came across a village freak from the Austrian region of Steiermark, the world-famous muscleman named Arnold. Arnold was the senator of California, who spent his spare time in jungles rescuing hostages from the hands of self-willed guerilla fighters, all victims of emotional deprivation. The Predator thought Arnold’s skull would fit perfectly on his palisander shelf, but he had no idea that Arnold was in fact Conan in his past life. Despite his Martian experiences, Arnold was shocked at the ghastly breath of the Predator as the latter grabbed him by the neck with the intent of teaching him a lesson, and scanned his skull in the meantime. But because the Predator was too conceited, Arnold managed to defeat him using a prehistoric trick: he made a giant swing out of tree branches, and launched it directly into his face, which already looked like cauliflower, or shitake with fangs. At this point, the young drummer is faced with a crucial situation: the Predator creates a genuine hara-kiri, one of space proportions. However, before breathing his last breath (though it remains a question, whether the Predator thinks so himself ), he laughs his head off. Some say that it’s the Predators’ way of praying, and it’s true to say that laughter is the best medicine. But until the galactic dictionary is completed, we will never be able to know that for certain. The moral for the young drummer is to consider whether it’s better to give up nasty habits, or meet Arnold in the woods. THE YOUNG DRUMMER AND THE VENTILATOR WITH NO MONOLOGUE It often occurs that the young drummer, because of the specificity of his instrument, but also for personal interests, seeks knowledge in foreign lands. Should he choose to expand his knowledge somewhere in the tropics, it is very probable, or at least quite possible, that he will practice and refresh the knowledge he gained under some kind of ventilator, or even, that the room will be equipped with an even greater enemy of the sweaty drummer – air conditioning. The occasion is right to shed some light on the seriousness of the matter by providing a short, uncensored extract from an interview with one of our NHM members, who was in India and sat under a ventilator for too long. The interview was conducted in a relaxed atmosphere. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: How did it happen that you sat under a ventilator for so long, an entire afternoon... didn’t your butt hurt ... (laughter in the background) NHM: Hahaha! No, I had a padded chair, but unfortunately, I placed it under the ventilator. THE YOUNG DRUMMER: If you feel like it, could you just briefly outline the other circumstances that led you to this thoughtless act? NHM: Okay, I will explain it to you briefly. But to make things clearer, I have to begin the story at 9 am in the morning, when I knocked on the door of the master, my personal Guruji. He had plans for the afternoon, so he gave me instructions and sent me back home to prac-

tice right away. He expected me to play in rolls as soon the next day. I was staying not far away in a little squareshaped extension built over a flat roof. I thought it was superb, I had my own sun-glazed roof, peace and quiet, a bathroom and a ventilator with a beautiful view of the street, green with palm trees. I took my task very seriously, so I sat down to practice immediately after lunch. The ventilator was on since morning, playing invisible with its monotonous sound and firmly insisting on the essence of its existence by making slow, constant turns. It whirred in an r-sound, and when you turned it on, it started with a fr-sounding spin. Its persistence was bolstered by the silence of the afternoon heat, which dragged itself under the shade and waited for the giant shining ball to mercifully turn orange. Yes, even the chocolate ice cream in the freezer was feeling scared and... THE YOUNG DRUMMER: Hm hm krh krk (clears his throat) ... I’m sorry, we’re sort of losing the thread here, we said you’d give us a short account of why you got that sudden stitch in your neck ... NMH: Yes, yes, of course... anyway, with a frame drum between my legs, I delved into the new material. I was driven by the desire to succeed, the time under the ventilator passed differently than it did out on the terrace, and a black hole formed between us. In the blink of an eye five hours had passed and I flinched at the idea of not having spoken to myself for such a long time. That is to say, I thought of nothing else but the task, and eventually not even that anymore. It was like touching a gentle, goodnatured electric fence still fuelled by the big bang. I felt I was bursting with energy; what an experience, I kept telling myself; it’s pure meditation; I had to give credit to the effect India was having on me. All this time, the ventilator carefully and regularly wiped the drops of sweat off my body, missing a few every now and then and letting them drip from my nose straight to the drum. Yes, then I started something coming over me during the night and by morning, I had already come up with a first-class stitch in my neck and my shoulder, and my nose was running like crazy. I had to play the drum leaning sideways from there on... THE YOUNG DRUMMER: Now that’s embarrassing, to have your booger fall on your drumhead while you’re playing! It’s a wonder your fingers didn’t get glued together! NHM: You’re taking it a little too far here, though I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. You know, it’s the combination that is tricky. You’re burning up a little, it’s already smoking hot outside, and then there’s the pain all the way from your shoulder to the ear and the stuffy nose. A regular nuisance; you can’t concentrate, the whole thing just waters you down entirely. So, it is all true what they say about ventilators – they leave no mistake unpunished, and we’re all equal under the mighty fan. And though a draft is the ventilator’s competition, it does not turn anyway the wind blows.

SI MLADI BOBNAR IN MEDVED Mlademu bobnarju se na splošno priporoča, da je s sosedi v kar najboljših odnosih. To pride prav, ko mladega bobnarja val navdušenja ponese v višave in mimosede pozabi na pozno uro in s svojim preglasnim bobnanjem kali nočni mir. To poglavje odpira problem prostora za bobnarske vaje, ki ga ni lahko najti. Dostikrat so to prašni in neprezračeni kletni prostori in zaklonišča, kjer se po nekaj minutah že dvigne stari fini prah, ki ga nikoli ne zmanjka, četudi nas diha sto naenkrat. Dobro je takrat žvečit čigumi ali žajbljeve bombone. Zgodilo se je tudi, da smo imeli prostor za vaje v neki stari hiši v kleti. Potem se je zgodilo, da nismo prišli skupaj dva ali tri mesece. Ko smo nato vstopili v prostor za vaje, je bilo kot v čudežni deželi. Po stenah in zvočnikih sta se prijemala mah in plesen, ki je cvetela v več barvah in se po vogalih transformirala v neko puhlo peno, še najbolj podobno tisti naviti na palčko iz cirkusa. Vmes je bilo najti kolonije majhnih temnih gob, ki so zgledale zelo nevarno. Imeli smo občutek, da bi cela kasarna vojakov halucinirala tri dni skupaj, če bi jim eno samo vrgli v tisoč litrski kotel pasulja. Takšen prostor je izgubljen za vedno, niti termit ga ne povoha, podgana se ga izogiba, miš se ne ujame v past, pajek ne plete mreže in krompir ne skali. Kot zdrava alternativa je potemtakem seveda bobnanje v naravi, recimo v gozdu in na obronku. V gozdu bobnat je v Sloveniji dokaj varno, dolenjski bobnarji naj računajo delno z obiskom medveda, ki se ne bo mogel upreti plesnim ritmom. V tem primeru pride prav stara ribja konzerva, ki jo je treba nemudoma odpreti, da vonj sardin medvedu

Priročnik za mladega bobnarja nastaja iz spontane želje miroljubnega izvora po ravnovesju našega planeta. Hkrati pomaga mladim začetnikom s praktičnimi nasveti, ki so nastali iz dolgoletnih izkušenj ekonomičnega zlaganja inštrumentov v prtljažnik. Primeren je za širšo rabo, ker pri vsaki vrstici daje upanje, da je sodelovanje možno. Dobro je vedeti, da priročnik simbolizira, idealizira in kaže naravnanost Dupleške bobnarske šole. Vsaka podobnost z bralcem je možna in temelji na resničnih dogodkih. Kakorkoli že, ko mladi bobnar odrašča, seveda opazuje vse okoli sebe in še ne ve, da bo to delal vse življenje.

povzroči kratkoročno novo preokupacijo. Preden medved reši uganko, kako so se sardine znašle v gozdu, se v tem času podvizamo na varno, nikakor pa ne na drevo. Druga opcija pa je, da se obnašamo bebavo, zavijamo z očmi, spuščamo kar se da čudne zvoke, hodimo malo nazaj malo naprej in se vsakih toliko zaletimo v drevo. Zraven še zapojmo kaj veselega v duru in se z modernimi in abstraktnimi plesnimi koraki premikajmo v želeno smer. Če je bobnarjev več, pride prav še skupinska salta. Začuden in zaskrbljen nas medved ne bo napadel in pojedel, ker ga je strah, da bi se tako tega absurdnega obnašanja nalezel. To pa bi ogrozilo njegov gozdni status in ga pahnilo v prvo vrsto zasmehovanja v panjih in medvedji vici in skeči ob tabornem ognju ne bi bili več tako smešni. Pustolovščina takšnih razsežnosti pusti sled v glasbenem ustvarjanju mladega bobnarja. Podobno kot kletna gobica iz vojaškega pasulja. MLADI BOBNAR IN BAMBUS Prekletstvo bambusa je v naših krajih malo znan naravni pojav, ki pa zaradi vse večje priljubljenosti zimzelenih rastlin dobiva nove razsežnosti. Preden mladi bobnar posadi bambus, naj zajame s pogledom okolico in si prizor shrani v spomin ali pa naredi fotografijo, ki bo nejevernim zanamcem dokazovala, da pande niso štajerskega porekla. Če bi plezale po trti in grizle šmarnico, bi se še mogoče dalo kaj zrihtat. Prav tako naj se mladi bobnar najprej posvetuje z nekom, ki se je že boril z bambusom. Na Štajerskem se bambusu reče bombus, tistim, ki ga imajo, pa bombusari. Da bi se še bolj zavedali odgovornosti svojih vrtnarskih dejanj, bomo objavili kratek necenzuriran izsek iz intervjuja s članom bobnarskega društva, lokalnim bombusarjem, ki želi ostati anonimen,


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Nino Mureškič, Stari Pes goes to Africa – Afro večer, Vetrinjski dvor, GLAS PODZEMLJA (photo / foto Janez Klenovšek)

dokler ne zmaga ali se preda. MLADI BOBNAR: Povej nam, kako si si nepremišljeno na glavo nakopal bombusovo prekletstvo, je bil to afekt, migrena ali kaj podobnega? BOMBUSAR: V bistvu nič takega, glava me je začela bolet čez nekaj let. Bombus je pač lep in mimogrede ga vtakneš kje pri vrtu ali pri ograji. Potem pa čakaš. MLADI BOBNAR: Kako misliš, čakaš, sedel si zraven in gledal, kako raste? Kaj pa služba in družabno življenje? BOMBUSAR: Ne, saj nisem nor, da bi sedel zraven bombusa, sicer pa ni kaj za videt. Bombus je pameten kot hudič ... pravzaprav, če pomislim, kot Kitajci ..., pač neka asociacija ... No, ni važno, skratka bombus si bo potem, ko ga daš v zemljo, vzel čas za premislek, leto dni ali pa še več. Ne bev ne mev, samo tiho bo navidezno in se sončil. Pod zemljo pa bo že rovaril skozi krtovo spalnico v prej nagledane smeri. MLADI BOBNAR: Kako misliš, krtovo spalnico? Pa kako naj bi bombus sploh gledal? BOMBUSAR: Ja, kaj pa misliš, da krt nima spalnice, saj vendar ne spi na veji! Da vidiš, pa tudi ne rabiš vedno oči. Glej, včasih pač uporabljam metafore, to nam na kmetih paše, da se malo razvedrimo. MLADI BOBNAR: Zanimivo, res. Razumem, včasih kaj prehitro bleknem, metafore so mi taka neznanka kot amfore. Prosim, če poveš, kako ti je bombus zagodel. BOMBUSAR: Skratka, bombus je medtem, ko se je sončil, izvajal pravo gverilsko akcijo in z za palec debelimi koreninami prodiral skozi zemljo, od deset pa do približno štirideset centimetrov globoko. Potem sem čez dve leti opazil deset metrov vstran, kako iz zemlje žene mladi poganjek, prvi izvidnik in znanilec drame. Takoj mi je bilo

jasno, da je zemlja vsaj do njega že popolnoma prepredena s koreninami. Še več, pri sosedu ni bilo več krtin! V naslednjih dneh se je naredil pravi majhni bombusov gozdiček, ki je tako kot vse ostalo na začetku majhen. Bombusa ne ustavi nič, šel bo skozi zid, skozi beton, če je treba, tla. Če si na koga res jezen, mu ponoči v vrt podtakneš košček bombusa. Ampak ne sme biti sosed, ker bombus pride nazaj. So primeri, ko je dvignil mizo in so kokice sredi nanizanke popadale na tla. MLADI BOBNAR: Sredi nanizanke! Je to mogoče, da ga nič ne ustavi? Se pravi, da bo prej ko slej cel svet v bombusu? BOMBUSAR: No dobro, saj se kaj najde. Zaenkrat je najboljša panda in ena debela nemška folija, s katero v zemlji ogradiš bombus. Pa čez vodo ne gre rad ali pa sploh ne. Pa tudi, če bi redno delal štrudel iz mladega bombusa, bi pomagalo. MLADI BOBNAR: Kako to, da so ravno Nemci izumili antibombus folijo? BOMBUSAR: Ne vem, mogoče so ga imeli že prek glave. MLADI BOBNAR: Kaj pa potem, ko se bombus razpase in začne ogrožat avtohtono prebivalstvo in rastlinstvo? Si predstavljaš, da na Štajerskem napade vinograd? BOMBUSAR: Si predstavljam, ampak po moje bi ga hitro skrižali z jurko ali pa z izabelo. Če gre za dva tri kvadratne metre, se ga še da ročno odstranit, najboljše s krampom in podrobno prečesat vso zemljo. Drugače pa ICB ali buldožer. Vedi, da lahko že iz najmanjšega koščka, ki je ostal v zemlji, zraste nov rod. Bombus je naš veliki učitelj. MLADI BOBNAR: Učitelj? Kaj pa nas bombus uči, to se mi zdi spet neka metafora ... BOMBUSAR: Bombus je tvoj za vedno, ne rešiš se ga niko-

li. Se pravi, potem ga sprejmeš, kakršenkoli že je. Naučil te bo potrpežljivosti, vztrajnosti in pozornosti in te redno opominjal, da raste to, kar sadiš. Spoznal boš, da je greda vedno preštihana in pripravljena za neumnost, jezo, zavist in nevoščljivost. Za pamet, veselje in sočutje pa je treba dodati kompost. Mirno lahko zaključiš, da je bombus zimzeleni opomnik. Živel bombus, živel kompost! MLADI BOBNAR: Zanimivo, čustveno. Hvala za te izkušnje in želimo debele črve v kompostu. MLADI BOBNAR IN PREDATOR Za mladega bobnarja, ki ima luknjo v splošni filmski izobrazbi, je v grobem treba razložit, da je Predator nezemljan neznanega porekla, ki se mu je tako kot verjetno mnogim pred njim na potepanju po vesolju pokvarila vesoljska ladja in je treščil na Zemljo, v pravo džunglo Južne Amerike. S seboj je prinesel grdo navado, da je zbiral trofeje in pri nas so se mu zdele najbolj primerne človeške lobanje. Mogoče zato, ker je tako malo Klingonov v džungli. Te lobanje je potem zloščil v nulo, jih razvrstil po velikosti in jih nato z vzdihi in kimajočo glavo občudoval. Ampak kar zanima mladega bobnarja, pa je njegova analiza okolice in smrt. Predator je namreč pozorno opazoval okolico in si zraven tega film vrtel še nazaj, da je lahko natančno pregledal dogodke, še enkrat tehtno razmislil, kako bo ugodil svoji razvadi, poliranju lobanjic. Resno se je ukvarjal s svojo odvisnostjo, izkoristil je vsak trenutek, da je dopolnjeval svojo zbirko, ki je ni bilo mogoče dokončati. Ker se ni uspel poboljšati niti za las, se je zgodilo seveda to, kar se je enkrat moralo zgoditi. Enkrat je na svojih potepanjih po pragozdu naletel na vaškega posebneža iz avstrijske Štajerske, svetovno znanega mišičnjaka Arnolda. Arnold je bil senator Kalifornije in je v


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prostem času v džunglah reševal talce iz rok samovoljnih gverilcev, ki so vsi po vrsti izkusili pomanjkanje ljubezni. Predatorju se je zdelo, da bi Arnoldova lobanja lepo pasala na polico iz palisandra, ni pa vedel, da je Arnold bil v prejšnjem življenju Konan. Kljub marsovskim izkušnjam je bil Arnold šokiran nad Predatorjevim zadahom, ko ga je ta držal za vrat in mu pel molitvice, zraven pa skeniral njegovo lobanjo. Ker je bil vzvišen, ga je Arnold premagal s prazgodovinsko finto, ko je iz drevesa naredil veliko gugalnico in mu jo zalučal direktno v obraz, ki je že prej zgledal kot cvetača ali šitake s čekani. Na tem mestu se razvije za mladega bobnarja pozorna situacija, ker Predator naredi vesoljski harakiri. Pred odhodom v smrt, čeprav je vprašanje, ali to misli tudi Predator, se namreč na veliko krohota. Eni pravijo, da tako Predatorji molijo, je pa res, da je smeh vir zdravja. Dokler ne bo dokončan galaktični slovar, tega ne bomo z gotovostjo vedeli. Mladi bobnar naj ob tem razmisli, ali je bolje opustiti grde navade ali pa v gozdu srečati Arnolda. MLADI BOBNAR IN VENTILATOR BREZ MONOLOGA Zgodi se, da mora mladi bobnar zaradi specifičnosti inštrumenta in zaradi sebe poiskati znanje v tujih deželah. Če gre v vroče in tropske kraje, je precej verjetno ali pa vsaj zelo možno, da bo vadil in utrjeval pridobljeno znanje pod kakšnim ventilatorjem ali pa bo v sobi celo še večji sovražnik prepotenega bobnarja – air condition. Prava priložnost je, da resnost zadeve osvetlimo s kratkim necenzuriranim izvlečkom iz intervjuja z našim članom NHM, ki je enkrat v Indiji predolgo sedel pod ventilatorjem. Intervju je potekal v sproščeni atmosferi. MLADI BOBNAR: Kako to, da si tako dolgo sedel pod ventilatorjem, celo popoldne ... te ni nič rit bolela ... (v ozadju smeh) NHM: Hahaha! Ne, sem imel tapiciran stol, ampak sem ga na žalost postavil pod ventilator. MLADI BOBNAR: Če se ti da, bi nam lahko za konec še na kratko orisal ostale okoliščine, ki so te privedle do tega nepremišljenega dejanja. NHM: Ja, bom na kratko povedal. Ampak da bo bolj jasno, moram začeti že zjutraj ob devetih, ko sem potrkal na vrata mojstra, mojega guruđija. Popoldan je bil zaseden, zato mi je takoj dal lekcijo in me odpravil domov vadit. Od mene je pričakoval, da bom naslednji dan že žgal v rolih. Stanoval sem nedaleč proč v majhnem štirioglatem prizidku na ravni strehi. Meni se je zdelo super, imel sem celo streho s pripeko, mir, kopalnico in ventilator z lepim pogledom na zeleno ulico s palmami. Ker sem se resno lotil naloge, sem po kosilu sedel na stol in pričel z vajo. Ventilator je bil vklopljen že od jutra, s svojim monotonim zvokom se je naredil neopaznega in s počasnimi vrtljaji odločno vztrajal pri svojem bistvu. Brnel je v črki r, ko pa se je zaštartal, pa je začel s fr. Njegovo vztrajnost je potencirala tišina popoldanske pripeke, ki se je zavlekla pod senco in čakala, da se bo bleščeča krogla spremenila v milostno oranžno. Ja, še čokoladni sladoled v zmrzovalniku se je bal in ... MLADI BOBNAR: Hm hm krh krk (se odkašlja) ... oprosti, malo smo že izgubili nit, smo rekli, da boš na kratko povedal, zakaj te je vsekalo ... NMH: Ja, ja, seveda ... v glavnem, potem sem se z okvirnim bobnom med nogami zatopil v novi material in gnala me je želja po uspehu, čas pod ventilatorjem je tekel drugače kot na terasi, med nama se je naredila črna luknja. Kot bi mignil, je minilo pet ur in zdrznil sem se ob spoznanju, da sam s sabo že nisem toliko časa spregovoril. Se pravi, na nič drugega mislil kot le na nalogo, potem pa še to ne. Kot bi prijel rahlega dobrodušnega električnega pastirja, ki se še zdaj napaja iz velikega poka. Počutil sem se poln energije, kakšna izkušnja, sem si dopovedoval, to je ja meditacija in priznal, da je to pač vpliv Indije. V tem času je ventilator sproti skrbno brisal znojne kaplje z mojega telesa, vsakih toliko mu je katera ušla, ko mi je padla z nosa direktno na boben. Ja, potem me je ponoči začelo nekaj grabit in zjutraj sem že imel prvorazredni vsek v vratu in ramenu in iz nosa mi je lilo kot iz škafa. Sem zato moral boben igrati postrani ... MLADI BOBNAR: To pa je nerodna zadeva, če ti šmrkl pade na opno, medtem ko igraš! To ti ja prste skupaj zalepi! NHM: Zdaj malo pretiravaš, je pa možno. Veš, bolj je kritična kombinacija. Malo te kuha, fejst je vroče že itak, potem pa še vsek preko rame do ušesa in zabasanega nosu. To potem najeda, da se ne moreš prav skoncentrirati, te čisto razredči. Ja, res je, kot pravijo, ventilator ne odpušča nobene napake, pod njim smo vsi enaki. Čeprav je prepih njegova konkurenca, se ne obrača tako kot veter piha. Laura Pezzenati, Cucina (Kuhinja), 2014


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“L’occhio non vede cose, ma figure di coseche significano altre cose.” I. Calvino, “Le città invisibili” (The eye doesn’t see things, but images of things that mean other things / Oko ne vidi stvari, temveč podobe stvari, ki pomenijo druge stvari ...) (Italo Calvino, Nevidna mesta)


Photo / foto: studio Milimeter – Matjaž Wenzel

SALON of Applied Arts / SALON uporabnih umetnosti

Concept Store / trgovina s konceptom * Coffe Shop / kavarna * Concert Venue / koncertno prizorišče * Coworking Artisants / sodelo Enter and pay close artension. Takeaway pleasure. No sugar added. Glavni trg 1, 2000 Maribor / salon.peron@gmail.com / www.facebook.com/SALON.maribor


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Mondrian Mondrian yellow and pearl grey / rumena in biserno siva Tanja Grosman

Would it be possible, from the point of view of a postmodernist experience, to offer an explanation and suggest a link between two artworks, or two artists, who lived and worked as far as three centuries apart? Numerous theorists, among them Ivan Gaskell, John Milner, Arthur K. Wheelock and Kenneth Clark, have speculated on the possibility of a connection between the artistic expressions of Piet Mondrian and Johannes Vermeer. None of them presents their speculation as a fact, even the paintings they refer to are merely an association to such a connection, since the aforementioned works were not accessible in museums or galleries of that time (of the latter I have made certain by looking up their proveniences).1 Undoubtedly the two artists are connected through the use of geometrical structure and the colours of yellow, blue and pearl grey. Vermeer’s Milkmaid (fig. 1) reveals a stunningly vibrating pearly greyness covering the upper right portion of the painting surface. An observation of the painting in high definition on a computer screen enables an exploration of the gradation of vibrant greys with white, blue and yellow. The painting was acquired by the Rijksmuseum in 1908. Mondrian became acquainted with the Rijksmuseum collection in Amsterdam during the time of the Academy (1894–97). In the following years he created a number of custom-made reproductions, this means he knew the collection well. At that time, the museum possessed two of Vermeer’s works: Woman in Blue Reading a Letter and The Love Letter. The democratic nature of accessing institutional internet databases offers numerous associative options, which can, by a critically aware individual, using a selective scientific methodological approach, be connected into surprising hypotheses. I was thus able to follow my intuition in forming a hypothesis that there is a good chance that Mondrian, whilst conceiving his Composition with Yellow Lines (fig. 2), dated 1933, kept by the Geementenmuseum in The Hague in their permanent collection under item No. 0332044, was guided by his experience of reproducing Vermeer’s works, as ordered by his clients. We can thus hypothetically link the pearl grey and yellow in the aforementioned painting to Vermeer’s Milkmaid (1658–1660), kept in the permanent collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam under item No. SK-A-2344. The hypothesis can also imply a tendency for synesthetic properties of colour, as presented by Kandinsky in his work Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Indeed, in a sensitive observer, the motif of contemplative concentration while carefully pouring milk in the Milkmaid can evoke a synaesthesia of a simultaneous manifestation of the senses of taste and smell. The representational genre motif presents the background of a pearl grey wall stretching over the right part of the painting surface. Mondrian’s depiction of pearl grey and yellow in a diamond-shaped format reaches into the subliminal and addresses the inner spiritual experience of the observer in a contemplative dialogue with the work, awakening the senses and combining them into a transcendental experience. The yellow, band-shaped surfaces, joining outside the pearl-grey painting surface, in the zone of the imaginary, create an active inwardly-concentric core of a successive perception of yellow, concentrically vibrating particles, which generate a dimension of motion of the energy of the universal. 1 http://www.essentialvermeer.com/references/provenance.html.

Figure 1 / slika 1: Johannes Vermeer, Milkmaid, 1658–1660 / Dekla, ki vliva mleko, 1658–1660

In his work The New Art – The New Life, Mondrian quoted with approval Dr H. Jaworsky on the “the rhythm of interiorization and exteriorization, which is the life principle of all organisms”.2 The exploration of colour has a particular place inside Mondrian’s artistic and research opus. To him, colour is the light of primary colours, which is why these have to be expressed independently of the form, in all their purity, freed from the individual view of their maker. They must express their spiritual essence. The extent of Mondrian’s neoplastic model, the depiction of the universally ubiquitous, is apparent in his acceptance of the new. He was not rigidly bound to the postulates of his theoretical essays, because, as he himself said, when something is effective as a painting expression, then the theory needs to be changed. 2 

Blotkamp, 1994, p. 223.

Mondrian painted in the style of luminism3 since 1908 and then moved away from colour during the years 1911–1912 under the influence of cubism; it is thus only from his sketchbook, which he also used to take notes of his thoughts, that we learn that he was acquainted with Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art.4 Thus, in 1917 he conceived his own colour palette based on black, white and grey, and the three primary colours: red, blue and yellow. During World War I, Mondrian lived in Laren, the Netherlands, which provided a safe haven from the maelstrom 3 Color divisionism became known as luminism in the DutchBelgian area. The tiny village of Domburg provided a creative atmosphere for the painters, to whom the composite of the ocean, the sand dunes and the sky served as a inspiration to express themselves in the placement of pure colours one next to the other. 4 Gage, 1999, p. 260.


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 97 Figure 2 / slika 2: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow Lines, 1933 / Kompozicija z rumenimi linijami, 1933

of war to numerous artists and theorists devoted to conceiving a new art. This was a period in which he created rare works in a new spirit. He made a living by painting copies of old masterpieces and spent the money he earned to continue to rent his Paris studio, which he refused to give up, having left a considerable number of works behind – works that testify about his cubisminspired painting exploration. Indeed, these pre-war Parisian period paintings, marked by the influence of cubism of Braque and Picasso, e. g. Trees (fig. 3) dated 1912, reveal the artist’s exploration of (the relations between) blue and yellow, his search for balance, and also the creation of entities that radiate a light of their own. The said painting is kept in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsbourgh (USA). Composition with Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Grey (fig. 4), dated 1921, owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from New York under item No. 154.1957, discloses the step-by-step composition of greys. The artist generated the colour of grey by adding appropriate measures of yellow (raw umber) and blue pigments to the white. This grey-bluish hue is darker than the dappled whiteness of the pearl grey that is present in Composition with Yellow Lines. It can be placed in the middle range of greys on the achromatic value scale. The harmony of balanced relations, the so-called exploration of balance, between colour and form in the geometrical orthogonal expression, was a subject of great interest to Mondrian for the rest of his life. In this day and age, with all the available tools and programs for computer graphics, it is hard to imagine time consuming nature of his procedure. On a chosen basic format of the painting surface he was gradually building a rhythm of balanced lines, by multiple movements in the vertical and horizontal direction. Several unfinished paintings testify to this scrupulous exploration and at the same time prove that his paintings are not a product of mathematically calculated internal compositional grids, but rather a product of an artistically sensitive exploration for compositional balance. This life-long quest is expressed in the testimony of Herbert Read, who used to visit Mondrian in his London studio. Read noticed that, “during a period of two or three visits, he was always engaged in painting the black lines in the same picture, and I asked him whether it was a question of the exact width of the line. He answered: no. It was a question of its intensity, which could only be achieved by repeated applications of the paint.” Read concludes: “There is a tendency to consider Mondrian’s paintings as primarily the organization of form or space, but to the artist himself these qualities could not be divorced from colour, and colour to him was a quality of the utmost purity and exactitude. Hence any attempt to re-paint or ‘restore’ a painting by

Mondrian (…) inevitably destroys the perfection which was the artist’s supreme passion.”5 The above testimony sheds some light on the understanding of the artist’s enthusiasm in New York, after he discovered coloured adhesive tape, which helped to advance his research quite significantly. The last works were an exploration of the relations between colour, shape and direction, but the real paintings were still waiting to be created. He began exploring the effect of chromaticity of one colour surface over another, something very typical of his last painting, Victory Boogie Woogie, which remained unfinished as its creator passed away during its making. In terms of composition, this work is related to his earliest works, created in the early years of De Stijl. The fact that it was precisely this painting that could have led to a formation of a structurally and linguistically more comprehensive theory, is reflected in the words of Charmion von Wiegand, who has witnessed at least seven final solutions under the surface of Victory Boogie Woogie, each of which could be regarded as an individual painting in its own right. Mondrian was excited about her visits to the studio, because he was looking for an external confirmation regarding the functionality of the painted colour and composition relations. Wiegand was surprised to find the disposition of elements (one coloured surface over the other) contrary to his theory. His response was that “all of his paintings were created first, only later came the theory”. He concluded that he would “obviously have to change the theory…”6 There was no time to write another theory, but the painting had been altered for another whole year. As a matter of fact, Wiegand was the last to see the painting ten days prior to his death. She reports that it was “covered once again with small tapes and looked as though he’d been working on it in fever and with great intensity. He covered all those solid lines and once again opened up the entire surface.”7 His studios were his research- and creative laboratories. The walls in the Paris and the London studios were painted white, while the one in New York was a dappled pearl grey colour. In his work Natural Reality and Abstract Reality (1919– 20),8 Mondrian states that an artist can only be happy in an environment that provides him with a continuous aesthetic pleasure. The space has to be articulated and partially filled, limited by six articulated surfaces, con5 Gayford, Wright, 1998, p. 30. 6 Bochner, 1995, p. 86. 7 Ibid. 8 Natural Reality and Abstract Reality: A Trialogue (While Strolling from the Country to the City) published in Holtzman, 1987, pp. 82–123.

trasting in position, dimension and colour. The organization of the space should not rely on objects; it should not be decorative. All elements in that space should function as a single entity. The harmony between the space and its purpose is achieved through the composition of the relations between coloured surfaces, i. e. the character of the colour of that space. In his essays, marked by a futuristic view of social collectivism, he writes that after human life changes from materialistic reality to abstract reality, the latter will require such accoutrements of the living spaces.9 The post-war studio on Rue du Départ 26 in Paris (fig. 5) was the first example of realizing the idea of neoplasticism inside a living environment. Simple pieces of furniture were painted in white or black. The easels were not used for painting, but to exhibit his works. On the walls he had installed panels in primary colours, as well as white and grey ones. In New York in September 1943, five months before his death, he moved to a spacious three-room studio on 59th street. He arranged a space for his mural works (fig. 6). The walls were painted a dappled white pearl-grey colour, with attached panels in red, blue, yellow, grey and white. He made furniture out of discarded objects, wooden fruit crates that he painted in white. Mondrian worked on the significance of colour in neoplasticism during the De Stijl period (1917–1924). To him, colour is a spiritual dimension expressed in pure primary colours, and he sees that as the only way it can be freed from the artist’s subjectivity. “If yellow and blue are the most spiritual among primary colours, and red is the most external, then a painting expression with only yellow and blue is more “spiritual” than plasticism in three primary colours. However, since the near future is still far away from the inner (the spiritual) and because in our times the use of natural colour is not yet in decline, the abstract-realistic painting should build on the three primary colours, complemented with white, black and grey.”10 The De Stijl movement summarized Ostwald’s colour theory, which was first printed in 1916 in a booklet entitled The Farbenfibel that speaks about primary colours and colour harmony. In 1917 the first issue of the De Stijl magazine published an article about Ostwald’s colour system. Mondrian was the first to use his findings in his works; the harmonization of colour hues with a balanced content of white and black seems as the logical succession to his cubist period, and led to a re-exploration of creation in the field of pure colours, supported by the newly-founded theory of neo-plasticism.11 According to Gage, Mondrian considered red as the more external, or exteriorized colour, while yellow and blue were more spiritual, which was in line with the postulates of Goethe, Kandinsky and the Dutch theosophist H. Schoenmaekers. He claimed that red, blue and yellow still remain primary colours when mixed with black and white. Like Mondrian, Schoenmaekers too resided in Laren during the war. He offers a discussion on colours in his work Principles of Plastic Mathematics. He considered red, yellow and blue as ultimately the only existing colours, since they are the basis of all other colours that are created by their fusion. He thus writes that “yellow is the visually expansive; it is the movement of the ray (vertical). Blue recedes visually – it retreats, steps back; it is the sky. Red is the mating of yellow and blue, decelerating and floating and as such it is another foundation of the contrast between yellow and blue.”12 The colour palette connects Vermeer to the artists of the first quarter of the 20th century and coincides with Mondrian’s luministic exploration of colours, which he built together with Toorop in Domburg. The subtle colours of the Woman in Blue Reading a Letter were an inspiration even to Van Gogh, who was intrigued by his colour palette in his letter to Emile Bernard (1887–1889):13 “Do you know a painter called Van der Meer? The palette of this remarkable painter is blue, lemon yellow, pearl grey, black, white. Of course, all the riches of a full palette are there too, in his rarely encountered pictures, but the combination of lemon yellow, pale blue and pearl grey is as characteristic of him as black, white, grey and pink are of Velásquez.” 1892 is the year of Van Gogh’s death, which was commemorated with a large retrospective organized by Jan 9 Ibid, in the last, seventh scene, he speaks about space. 10 Ibid, pp. 36–39. 11 Gage, 1999, p. 260. 12 Milner, 2002, p.129. 13 Riley, 1997, p.43.


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Figure 5 / slika 5: The post-war studio on Rue du Départ 26 in Paris / Povojni atelje na Rue du Départ 26 v Parizu

Figure 3 / slika 3: Piet Mondrian, Trees, 1912 / Drevesa, 1912

Toorop. Vermeer’s paintings exude an incredible energy of colour, which is why he only became appreciated with the onset of modern flows in the 19th century. Bernard’s publishing of the letters coincides with Mondrian’s stay in Paris during 1911 – we can therefore assume he was acquainted with the contents. During the De Stijl period he wrote that blue and yellow are the most spiritual among primary colours. In the late 1920’s, Mondrian develops the pearl grey colour hue. He explored yellow during the 1930’s, in his last Parisbased period, before moving to England. He created some paintings that explored the balance between yellow surfaces and black lines. Winifred Nicholson was a painter and a good friend of Mondrian during the 1930’s. Her experience of the studio, filled with canvases in all stages of the creative process, was that it was “clarity and silence. The silence in which one could compose and create.” According to Nicholson, he took a long time to work on every one of his numerous canvases.14 It was precisely Nicholson’s testimony that revealed the particular significance of yellow to me: she once told Mondrian he was the first person to have ever painted Yellow. The artist gave her as a gift his work, the Composition with Double Line and Yellow (fig. 7), dated 1932. As part of Winifred Nicholson’s legacy, the painting later became property of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, where it is kept under item nr. GMA 2502. My hypothesis was also inspired by the photographs from Mondrian’s final Parisian period, depicting the artist standing in front of the above mentioned paintings with the yellow composition. The painting that he later gave to Nicholson is evident in the photograph (fig. 8) taken during the visit of his brother Carel and his wife, at the studio on Boulevard Raspail in Paris in August 1936, and is kept by the Netherlands Institute for Art History (item nr. 0000215819). The photograph of the Parisian studio (fig. 9) was taken in November 1933. We see Mondrian standing proudly in front of the easel with the Composition with Yellow Lines, and the photo was sent as a postcard to Mies Elout-Drabbe. It is a testimony of a long-lasting friendship, which began in Domburg during the time of his initial exploration of pure colours; the period that celebrated Mondrian as a promising painter. To Mondrian, the artistic achievement of Composition with Yellow Lines was the peak of his exploration at that time, which is why on his sixtieth birthday he decided to present it as a gift to the Gemeentenmuseum in The Hague. The connection to Vermeer can be established in the light of his own reply to Winifred Nicholson’s observation that he succeeded in painting a “pure lemon yellow like the sun”. On her next visit Mondrian replied that “it is so, but it is merely because Cadmium yellow pigment has not been invented.”15 Perhaps he was referring to Vermeer’s typical use of that colour, which was already previously exposed by Van Gogh. The work is radically modern and really stands out from the studio environment. The fact that he donated the painting to the Gemeentenmuseum confirms the artist’s self-appreciation of his own artistic lyricism. 14 Gayford, Wright, 1998, pp. 28–29. 15 Ibid, pp. 28–29.

Figure 4 / slika 4: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Grey, 1921 / Kompozicija z rdečo, modro, črno, rumeno in sivo, 1921

The comparison and interpretation of the works of both artists is hypothetical and established on the basis of collected information and an attempt to grasp Mondrian’s theory of neo-plasticism: “The new plastic idea thus correctly represents actual aesthetic relationships. To the modern artist, it is a natural consequence of all the plastic ideas of the past. This is particularly true for painting, which is the art least bounded to contingencies. The picture can be a pure reflection of life, in its deepest essence.”16 In the neo-plastic space of the two-dimensional painting surface, without using the key of past perspectives, the idea of life is expressed clearly by means of straight lines and pure colours. John Milner says that Mondrian was, already in 1918, apart from the creation of new painting structures, simultaneously also dedicated to the understanding of progress of the human kind. The new painting surface did not appear as an innovation without a predecessor. It bears relations to past achievements; it searches for future orientations through the study of the past.17 With objects and their relations inside the hidden structure of points and lines, which are parallel to the penetrating light – the energy of nature, Vermeer builds the narrative of the motif in the interior, and defines it by means of colour. Mondrian abstracts beauty, the motive’s exterior, thus recognizing “the plastic ideas” of art past. He concretizes beauty through its own true essence, a reflection of life in the deepest sense. Mondrian’s colour, presented through a geometrical abstract form, represents no particular phenomenon or object, yet at the same time it represents all objects and phenomena; freed from individuality and individual sensations, it expresses only the pure emotion of the universal. His paintings were a model attempt to surpass and transcend the limits and boundaries of matter. They are a model of pure and clear relationships, which would be functional in all aspects of the New Life.

Literature and references / Literatura in viri Blotkamp, Carel (1994). Mondrian: The Art of Destruction. London: Reaktion Books Bochner, Mel (1995). Finish line. [In:] Plastic made perfect: Measuring Mondrian. Artforum, 34 (2), 85–87 Gage, John (1999). Color and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press Gayford, Martin and Wright, Karen (1998) The Grove Book of Art Writing. In the Studio: Artist at work. New York: Grove Press Holtzman, Harry and James, Martin S. (1987). The New Art – the New Life. The Collected Writings of Piet Mondrian. London: Thames & Hudson Milner, John (2002). Mondrian. New York: Phaidon Riley, Bridget (1995). Colour for the painter [In:] Lamb, T., Bourriau, J. (Ed.), Colour, Art and Science. (pp. 31–64). Cambridge: University Press Johannes Vermeer – Provenances. Source: http://www.essentialvermeer.com/references/provenance.html (26. 3. 2013) 16 Holtzman, 1987, pp. 83–123. 17 Milner, 2002, p. 145.

Figure 6 / slika 6: Mondrian’s studio in New York, 1944 / Mondrianov atelje v New Yorku, 1944

Ali je možno s stališča postmodernistične izkušnje podati razlago in povezavo dveh del oziroma dveh umetnikov, ki sta delovala kar tri stoletja narazen? Številni teoretiki kot Ivan Gaskell, John Milner, Arthur K. Wheelock in Kenneth Clark so podali možnost povezave med umetniškim izrazom Pieta Mondriana in Johannesa Vermeerja. Nihče od njih ne trdi, da je to dejstvo, tudi slikovni primeri, na katere se sklicujejo, jim predstavljajo zgolj asociacijo za tovrstno povezavo, ker omenjena dela v tistem času niso bila dostopna v galerijah ali muzejih (o slednjem sem se prepričala z iskanjem provenienc).1 Nedvomno ju povezuje način uporabe geometrijske strukture kakor tudi rumene, modre in biserno sive barve. Vermeerjevo delo Dekla, ki vliva mleko (sl. 1) razkriva osupljivo vibrirajočo biserno sivino, ki zasega gornji desni del slikovne ploskve. Ogled slike v visoki ločljivosti na računalniškem ekranu omogoča raziskovanje grajenja vibrantnih sivin z belo, modro in rumeno. Sliko je Rijksmuseum pridobil leta 1908. Mondrian je bil prvič seznanjen z zbirko Rijksmuseuma v Amsterdamu za časa Akademije (1894–97). V naslednjih letih je ustvaril marsikatero kopijo po naročilu, kar pomeni, da je zbirko dobro poznal. V tistem času sta bili v lasti muzeja dve Vermeerjevi deli: Dekle v modrem in Ljubezensko pismo. Demokratičnost dostopa v spletne podatkovne baze inštitucij nudi številne asociativne možnosti, ki jih s selektivnostjo znanstveno metodološkega pristopa lahko kritično osveščen posameznik poveže v presenetljive hipotetične danosti. Tako sem lahko sledila svoji intuiciji v postavitvi hipoteze, da obstaja verjetnost, da je na Mondriana pri snovanju dela Kompozicija z rumenimi linijami (sl. 2), nastale 1933, ki jo hrani Geementenmuseum v Haagu v stalni zbirki pod številko 0332044, vplivala izkušnja reprodukcije Vermeerjevih del po naročilu. Tako lahko hipotetično biserno sivo in rumeno omenjene slike povežemo z Vermeerjevim delom Dekla, ki vliva mleko (1658–1660), ki jo hranijo v stalni zbirki Rijksmuseuma v Amsterdamu pod številko SK-A-2344. Hipoteza lahko govori tudi o težnji k sinestetični razsežnosti barve, ki jo je podal Kandinski v delu O duhovnem v umetnosti. Motiv kontemplativne zbranosti ob skrbnem vlivanju mleka na omenjenem Vermeerjevem delu 1 http://www.essentialvermeer.com/references/provenance.html


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Figure 7 / slika 7: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Double Line and Yellow, 1932 / Kompozicija z dvojno linijo in rumeno, 1932

pa lahko zbuja v senzibilnem opazovalcu sinestezijo hkratne manifestacije čuta okusa in vonja. Reprezentativen žanrski motiv podaja ozadje biserne sivine stene, ki se širi v desnem delu slikovnega polja. Mondrianova upodobitev biserne sivine in rumene v diamantnem formatu posega v sublimno in nagovarja notranje duhovno doživetje opazovalca v kontemplativnem dialogu z delom, prebuja čute in jih združi v transcedentalno doživetje. Rumene trakovne ploskve, ki se stikajo izven slikovnega polja biserno sive barve v območju imaginarnega, ustvarjajo aktivno notranje koncentrično jedro sukcesivne zaznave rumenih koncentrično vibrirajočih delcev, ki dajejo dimenzijo gibanja energije Univerzalnega. V delu »Nova umetnost – novo življenje« je z odobravanjem citiral dr. H. Jaworskyega, ki govori o »ritmu interiorizacije in eksteriozacije, ki je v življenju princip vseh organizmov«.2 Raziskovanje barve ima v Mondrianovem umetniško raziskovalnem opusu posebno mesto. Barva je zanj svetloba primarnih barv, zato morajo biti izražene neodvisno od oblike, v svoji čistosti, osvobojene individualnega pogleda ustvarjalca. Izražati morajo svoje duhovno bistvo. Razsežnost Mondrianovega neoplasticističnega modela, podajanja univerzalno vseprisotnega, je razvidna v odprtosti do sprejemanja novega. Sam ni bil rigidno zavezan postulatom svojih teoretičnih esejev, saj kot je dejal, če nekaj deluje v slikarskem izrazu, potem je potrebno spremeniti teorijo. Mondrian, ki je slikal od leta 1908 v stilu luminizma,3 se je pod vplivom kubizma v letih 1911–1912 odvrnil od barve, tako lahko zasledimo samo v njegovi skicirki, kamor je beležil tudi misli, da je seznanjen z delom O duhovnem v umetnosti Vasilija Kandinskega4. Tako je leta 1917 zasnoval svojo barvno paleto, ki je temeljila na črni, beli in sivi ter treh primarnih barvah: rdeči, modri in rumeni. V času I. svetovne vojne je Mondrian živel na Nizozemskem, v Larenu, ki je dajal zavetje pred vojno vihro številnim umetnikom in teoretikom snovanja nove umetnosti. V tem obdobju so nastala redka slikarska dela v novem duhu. Preživljal se je s kopijami starih mojstrov, zaslužek je šel za najemnino pariškega ateljeja, kateremu se ni želel odreči, saj so tam ostala številna dela, ki pričajo o njegovem slikarskem raziskovanju, navdihnjenim s kubizmom. Prav ob ogledu slik iz predvojnega pariškega obdobja, ki so nastale pod vplivom kubizma Braqua in Picassa, kot npr. Drevesa (sl. 3), nastali 1912, se nam razkrije umetnikovo raziskovanje modre in rumene barve ter njunih odnosov, iskanje ravnotežja kakor tudi ustvarjanje entitet, ki širijo lastno svetlobo. Omenjeno sliko hrani Carnegie Museum of Art v Pittsburghu (ZDA). Na primeru slike, nastale v povojnem obdobju De Stijl, z imenom Kompozicija z rdečo, modro, črno, rumeno in sivo (sl. 4), nastali 1921, ki je v lasti Muzeja moderne umetnosti MoMA v New Yorku in je evidentirana pod oznako 154.1957, se nam razkrije grajenje sive barve. Umetnik jo je ustvarjal z ustreznimi dodajanji rumenih (surova umbra) in modrih pigmentov k beli barvi. Ta sivo modrikasti odtenek je temnejši od zastrte beline biserne sivine, ki je prisotna na Kompoziciji z rumenimi linijami. Spada v polje sredinskih sivin akromatične lestvice. 2 Blotkamp, 1994, str. 223. 3 Barvni divizionizem je na nizozemsko-belgijskem območju prevzel ime luminizem. Majhna vasica Domburg je nudila kreativno vzdušje slikarjem, ki so v kompozitu morja, sipin in neba našli navdih za izraz v polaganju čistih barv ene poleg druge. 4 Gage, 1999, str. 260.

Figure 8 / slika 8: Mondrian, his brother Carel and his wife, at the studio on Boulevard Raspail in Paris, 1936 / Mondrian in njegov brat Carel z ženo v ateljeju na Boulevard Raspail v Parizu, 1936

Harmonijo uravnoteženih odnosov, tako imenovano raziskovanje ravnovesja med barvo in obliko v geometrijskem ortogonalnem izrazu, je raziskoval do konca svojega življenja. V današnjem času, ko imamo na razpolago številna računalniška grafična orodja in programe, si težko predstavljamo, kako dolgotrajen je bil njegov postopek. Na izbranem osnovnem formatu slikovne ploskve je počasi gradil ritem ravnovesja linij z večkratnim premikanjem v vertikalni in horizontalni smeri. Številne nedokončane slike pričajo o tem skrbnem raziskovanju in so hkrati tudi dokaz, da njegove slike niso produkt matematičnih izračunov notranjih kompozicijskih mrež, ampak umetniško senzibilnega iskanja kompozicijskega ravnovesja. To njegovo življenjsko iskanje je predstavljeno s pričevanjem Herberta Reada, ki ga je obiskoval v njegovem londonskem ateljeju. Pravi, da je v obdobju dveh do treh obiskov opazil, da je pravzaprav deloval samo na eni in isti sliki – dodeloval je črne linije. Zato ga je vprašal, če želi doseči pravilno širino linij. Umetnik mu je odgovoril, da želi doseči intenzivnost, ki jo lahko doseže samo z večkratnim nanosom barve! Tako Read poda zaključek, da »ostaja tendenca razumevanja njegove umetnosti v primarnem pomenu kot organizacije oblike ali prostora, vendar je umetnik deloval neločljivo tudi na barvi, ki je zanj predstavljala kvaliteto najvišje čistosti in natančnosti. Vsak poskus poustvarjanja – tako tudi restavriranja njegovih slik – neizbežno uniči perfekcijo, kateri se je umetnik strastno predajal.«5 To pričevanje osvetli razumevanje umetnikovega navdušenja, ko se je v New Yorku seznanil z barvnimi lepilnimi trakovi, ki so njegova raziskovanja bistveno pospešili. Njegova zadnja dela so bila raziskovanje odnosov barve, oblike in smeri, prave slike bi nastale šele kasneje. Začel je raziskovati vpliv kromatičnosti barvne ploskve na barvni ploskvi, kar je značilno za njegovo zadnjo sliko, Victory Boogie Woogie, ki je ostala nedokončana, saj je med njenim ustvarjanjem preminil. Delo se kompozicijsko veže na njegova prva dela, ki so nastala v zgodnjem obdobju De Stijla. Dejstvo, da bi prav to zadnje delo morda pripeljalo do zasnove strukturno in jezikovno razumljivejše teorije, je predstavljeno skozi pričevanje Charmion von Wiegand, ko pravi, da Victory Boogie Woogie pod površino vsebuje vsaj sedem končnih rešitev, ki bi lahko bile vsaka zase samostojne slike. Mondrian je bil vesel njenih obiskov v ateljeju, saj si je želel zunanjo potrditev, da nastali slikarski odnos med barvo in kompozicijo deluje. Wiegandova je bila presenečena, ker so postavitve elementov (dve barvni ploskvi ena na drugo) nasprotovale 5 Gayford, Wright, 1998, str. 30.

njegovi teoriji. Odgovoril ji je, da so bile vse njegove slike najprej narejene, šele potem je iz njih nastala teorija. Zaključil je, da bo najbrž moral spremeniti teorijo … 6 Za pisanje nove teorije ni bilo časa, sliko pa je spreminjal še eno leto. Wiegandova je bila pravzaprav zadnja, ki je videla sliko, in sicer deset dni pred njegovo smrtjo. Tako pravi, da je bila “znova dobesedno prekrita z malimi koščki traku, videlo se je, da je delal s hudo vnemo in veliko intenzivnostjo. Prekril je vse tiste ravne linije in znova odprl celotno površino.”7 Laboratoriji raziskovanja in ustvarjanja so bili njegovi ateljeji. Pariški in londonski atelje sta imela bele stene, newyorški pa zastrto biserno sive barve. V delu Naravna realnost in abstraktna realnost (1919–20)8 je zapisal, da je umetnik lahko srečen le v okolju, ki mu daje kontinuirano estetsko zadovoljstvo. Prostor mora biti artikuliran in delno zapolnjen, omejen s šestimi artikuliranimi ploskvami, ki si nasprotujejo s pozicijo, dimenzijo in barvo. Organizacija prostora ne sme imeti poudarka na predmetih, ne sme biti dekorativna. Vsi elementi v prostoru morajo delovati kot skupna entiteta. Harmonija med prostorom in njegovo namembnostjo je dosežena s kompozicijo odnosov barvnih ploskev, skozi karakter barve prostora. V svojih esejih, v katerih je razvijal futurološke poglede na socialni kolektivizem, je zapisal, da ko se bo življenje ljudi iz materialistične realnosti razvilo v abstraktno realnost, bo ta narekovala takšno opremljenost prostorov.9 Povojni atelje na Rue du Départ številka 26 v Parizu (sl. 5) je bil prvi primer uresničitve ideje neoplasticizma v bivalnem okolju. Preprosto pohištvo je prebarval belo ali črno. Slikarska stojala niso služila slikanju, ampak razstavi njegovih del. Na stene je pritrdil plošče v primarnih barvah ter bele in sive. V New Yorku se je pet mesecev pred smrtjo, v septembru 1943, preselil v velik trisobni atelje na 59. ulici. Uredil si je prostor za svoja stenska dela (sl. 6). Stene je prebarval v zastrto beli barvi, nanje je pritrdil barvne plošče v rdeči, modri, rumeni ter sivi in beli barvi. Pohištvo si je uredil iz najdenih predmetov, lesenih zabojčkov embalaže za sadje, ki jih je prebarval z belo barvo. Mondrian je pomen barve v neoplasticizmu razvijal v obdobju De Stijla (1917–1924). Barva je zanj duhovna 6 Bochner, 1994, str. 86. 7 Ibid. 8 Natural Reality and Abstract Reality: A Trialogue (While Strolling from the Country to the City) v celoti objavljen v Holtzman, 1987, str. 82–123. 9 Ibid. V sedmem, zadnjem prizoru, govori o prostoru.


Figure 9 / slika 9: Mondrian in his studio, in the background on the easel Composition with Yellow Lines, 1933 / Mondrian v ateljeju, v ozadju na stojalu Kompozicija z rumenimi linijami, 1933

dimenzija, izražena v primarnih čistih barvah, ker je to način, da je osvobojena subjektivnosti umetnika. Zapisal je, da če sta med primarnimi barvami rumena in modra najbolj duhovni, če je rdeča najbolj zunanja, potem je slikarski izraz s samo rumeno in modro bolj duhoven kot plasticizem v treh primarnih barvah. Vendar uporaba naravne barve še ni bila v zatonu, zato je moralo abstraktno-realno slikarstvo graditi na treh primarnih barvah, dopolnjenih z belo, črno in sivo.10 Gibanje De Stijl je povzelo Ostwaldovo barvno teorijo, ki je bila prvič natisnjena leta 1916 v knjižici z naslovom The Farbenfibel, ki govori o osnovnih barvah in barvni harmoniji. V prvi številki revije De Stijl je bil leta 1917 objavljen članek o Ostwaldovem barvnem sistemu. Mondrian je prvi uporabil njegov nauk na svojih slikarskih delih, harmoniziranje barvnih odtenkov z uravnoteženjem vsebnosti bele in črne se zdi logično sosledje njegovemu kubističnemu obdobju in je ponovno vodilo k raziskovanju ustvarjanja v polju čistih barv, podprtih z novonastalo teorijo neoplasticizma.11 Gage pravi, da je rdečo barvo pojmoval kot zunanjo, eksteorizirano, medtem ko je v skladu s tezami Goetheja, Kandinskega in nizozemskega teozofa H. Schoenmakersa zagovarjal stališče, da sta rumena in modra barva bolj duhovni. Trdil je, da rdeča, modra in rumena ob mešanju s črno in belo ostanejo še vedno primarne. Schoenmakers je v času vojne leta 1917 bival v Larenu. V delu Plastična matematika je razpravljal o barvah. Smatral je, da so rdeča, rumena in modra barva ultimativno edine obstoječe barve, saj so osnova vsem ostalim, ki nastanejo iz njihovih spajanj. Tako je zapisal, da je rumena vizualno ekspanzivna (razsežna), je gibanje žarkov navzven. Modra vizualno recedira – se umika, stopa nazaj, je nebesni svod. Rdeča je nekje vmes, zavirajoča in lebdeča; takšna znova postavlja trdne temelje nasprotju med rumeno in modro.12 Barvna paleta povezuje Vermeerja z umetniki prve četrtine dvajsetega stoletja in sovpada z Mondrianovim luminističnim raziskovanjem barv, ki ga je v Domburgu gradil skupaj s Tooropom. Subtilne barve Dekleta v modrem so inspirirale že Van Gogha, ki je v pismu Emilu Bernardu (1887–1889)13 opozoril na njegovo barvno paleto. Zapisal je: »Ali poznaš slikarja, ki se imenuje Van der Meer? Paleto tega zanimivega slikarja sestavljajo modra, citronsko rumena, biserno siva, črna in bela. V zelo redkih delih uporablja bogastvo celotne palete; toda kombinacija citronsko rumene, svetlo modre in biserno sive je tako 10 Ibid, str. 36–39. 11 Gage, 1999, str. 260. 12 Milner, 2002, str. 129. 13 Riley, 1997, str. 43.

karakteristična zanj kot je črna, siva in rožnata za Velasqueza«. 1892 je leto Van Goghove smrti, ki so jo obeležili z veliko retrospektivno razstavo, ki jo je organiziral Jan Toorop. Vermeerjeve slike izžarevajo neverjetno energijo barve, tako da so ga začeli ceniti šele s prodorom modernih tokov v 19. stoletju. Bernardova objava pisem sovpada z Mondrianovim bivanjem v Parizu leta 1911, lahko predvidevamo, da je bil seznanjen z vsebino. V obdobju De Stijl (1917–1924) je napisal, da sta modra in rumena najbolj duhovni med primarnimi barvami. V poznih dvajsetih razvije biserno sivo barvo. Rumeno barvo je raziskoval v 30-tih letih 20. stoletja, v svojem zadnjem pariškem obdobju pred preselitvijo v Anglijo. Nastalo je nekaj slik, ki so raziskovale ravnovesje med rumenimi ploskvami in črnimi črtami. Slikarka Winnifred Nicholson je bila z umetnikom v tridesetih letih tesna prijateljica. Atelje, zapolnjen s slikarskimi platni v vseh fazah ustvarjanja, je doživela kot »čistost in tišino, ki je potrebna za komponiranje in ustvarjanje«. Nicholsonova pravi, da je na vsakem od številnih platen deloval dolgo.14 Poseben pomen rumene barve sem zasledila prav v njenem pričevanju, saj ga je označila kot slikarja, ki je prvi naslikal Rumeno. Umetnik ji je podaril delo Kompozicija z dvojno linijo in rumeno (sl. 7), nastalo 1932. Ta slika je kot zapuščina Winnifred Nicholson prešla v last Narodne galerije v Edinburgu na Škotskem, kjer jo hranijo pod zaporedno številko GMA 2502. K hipotezi so me vodile tudi fotografije iz zadnjega pariškega obdobja, ki prikazujejo Mondriana, ki pozira pred omenjenima slikama z rumeno kompozicijo. Slika, ki jo je kasneje podaril Nicholsonovi, je razvidna na fotografiji (sl. 8), ki je nastala ob obisku brata Carela z ženo v ateljeju na Boulevard Raspail v Parizu avgusta 1936 in jo hrani Nizozemski umetnostno-zgodovinski inštitut pod številko 0000215819. Fotografija pariškega ateljeja (sl. 9) je nastala v novembru 1933. Vidimo Mondriana v ponosni drži pred slikarskim stojalom, na katerem je Kompozicija z rumenimi linijami, ki je bila poslala kot poštna razglednica s pozdravi slikarki Mies Elout-Drabbe. Priča o dolgoletnem prijateljstvu, ki je nastalo v Domburgu v času njegovega prvega raziskovanja čistih barv, v obdobju, ki ga je slavilo kot obetavnega slikarja. Umetniški dosežek Kompozicije z rumenimi linijami je Mondrianu predstavljal vrhunec takratnega raziskovanja, zato jo je podaril Gemeentenmuseumu v Haagu za svojo šestdesetletnico. Povezavo z Vermeerjem lahko osvetlimo z njegovim 14 Gayford, Wright, 1998, str. 28–29.

odgovorom na pripombo Winifred Nicholson, da mu je uspelo naslikati »citronsko rumeno, čisto kot sonce«. Mondrian ji je odgovoril šele ob naslednjem obisku z besedami, da je temu tako »samo zato, ker kadmium rumeni pigment še ni bil izumljen«.15 Morda je imel pri tem v mislih Vermeerja, njegovo značilno barvo, ki jo je izpostavil že Van Gogh. Delo je radikalno moderno in izstopa iz okolja ateljeja. Dejstvo, da je sliko podaril Gemeentenmuseumu v Haagu, priča o visokem samovrednotenju umetniške izpovednosti. Primerjava in interpretacija del obeh umetnikov je hipotetična, podana na podlagi zbranih podatkov in poskusa razumevanja Mondrianove teorije novega plasticizma, ko pravi: »Neoplastična ideja korektno predstavlja estetska razmerja. Modernemu umetniku predstavlja naravno posledico plastičnih idej preteklosti. To je še posebej resnično za slikarstvo, ki je najmanj omejeno z odvisnostjo od okoliščin. Slika je lahko čista refleksija življenja, v najglobljem bistvu.«16 V neoplastičnem prostoru dvodimenzionalne slikovne ploskve, brez uporabe ključev perspektiv preteklosti, je ideja življenja jasno izražena skozi ravno linijo in čisto barvo. John Milner pravi, da je Mondrian že leta 1918 razvijal istočasno z ustvarjanjem novih slikovnih struktur spoznanje razvoja v človeštvu. Nova slikovna površina se ni pojavila kot inovacija brez predhodnika. Nosi povezave s starejšimi dosežki, išče smeri prihodnosti v študiju preteklosti.17 Vermeer s predmeti in njihovimi odnosi znotraj skrite strukture točk in linij, ki so paralelne s prodirajočo svetlobo, energijo narave, gradi pripoved motiva v interieru in jo definira skozi barvo. Mondrian abstrahira lepoto, zunanjost motiva, zato prepozna »plastične ideje« umetnosti preteklosti. Konkretizira jo skozi njeno resnično bistvo, refleksijo življenja v najglobljem smislu. Mondrianova barva, predstavljena skozi geometrijsko abstraktno obliko, ne predstavlja nobenega določenega pojava ali predmeta in hkrati vse predmete in pojave; je osvobojena individualnosti in individualnih senzacij, izraža samo jasno emocijo univerzalnega. Njegove slike so bile model poskusa, kako preseči, transcendirati meje omejitev materije. Predstavljajo model čistih odnosov, ki bi deloval na vseh področjih Novega Življenja. 15 Ibid. 16 Holtzman, 1987, str. 82–123. 17 Milner, 2002, str. 145.


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Is the time ripe to articulate the language of colors?

Ali je že zrel čas za artikulacijo jezika barv? Vojko Pogačar All attempts to present the issue of colors from any point of view are still incomplete, inadequate, and usually greatly distorted because we adapt the facts to our perceptual abilities. Everything that is related to the theory of colors is extremely complex and complicated. Already in the 17th century Isaac Newton came to the conclusion that colors on the physical level do not exist. Everything we see as color is only our mental interpretation of the particles of light energy of different intensity and spectral composition, which are reflected in our eyes from various surfaces in our environment. The molecular surface of matter itself is actually completely colorless! Our vision is based on tripartite RGB capturing of the visible part of the spectrum of light energy (between 400 and 700 nm), while some animals have different systems. For example, some fish in the equatorial zone have eight-color capture, while the sea praying mantis (Mantis shrimp) even has 12-color capture with three focuses at the same time. To us, this is completely unthinkable. An even more unusual perceptual system is found in bats, which can obtain information from their surroundings in the dark on the basis of ultrasonic detection. Similar capabilities are typical of dolphins, while whales with their bio-sonar perceive their surroundings in the radius of up to 50 km. Such forms of perception of the environment represent for us a totally unknown experience from the physiological point of view, one that is totally beyond our perceptional and representational possibilities. However, today a small part of such perceptions can fortunately be interpreted with the help of modern computer technology that extends our visual perception to almost the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves and to all the intensities of energy. But this means that we have to previously convert all the information that is beyond our visible area to our downsized visible color space, which is then interpreted in the cortex. For example, the human vision system does not have the sensors to capture data in the field of radioactive x-rays, but it is now possible, with the help of technology, to convert this invisible and lethal part of the spectrum into a visible one, though of course only in the monochromatic spectrum! In science colors are defined in the color space according to the CIE Lab model with three mutually exclusive opposites: black – white, blue – yellow and red – green, with the extreme positions of each color appearing as the most intense and clean, while in relation to each other they mix and meet in the middle in a neutralized gray tone (Figure 1 a). The CIE Lab model is implemented as a machine language into the processing colors in our computers, while for applications and general purposes a model is used that functions according to the principle of human eyesight, capturing light energy (the visible part of the electromagnetic waves) with cones (the RGB model) and rods (achromatic, black–gray–white) as in night vision. So, as regards light mixing (additive mixing) the basic color lights are RGB (Red, Green, Blue), while everything that is printed, for example, follows the principle of material color mixing (subtract mixing) CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) (Figure 1 b, c). These two models, the scientific (CIE Lab) and the prag-

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Figure 1 / Slika 1: a. The CIE Lab model with three mutually exclusive opposites: absolute black–white, blue–yellow and red–green. By mixing, each of the opposites is eliminated in the middle by a neutral gray tone. b. The RGB model represents the mixing of color lights, and is hence called “light” or “additive” mixing. c. The CMYK model represents a substantial mixing of colors, called “subtract” mixing. a. CIE Lab model s tremi absolutno izključujočimi nasprotji črno-belim, modro-rumenim in rdeče-zelenim. Z medsbojnim mešanjem se vsako izmed nasprotij na sredi izniči v nevtralni sivi ton; b. RGB model predstavlja mešanje barvnih svetlob, zato se imenuje svetlobno (ali aditivno) mešanje; c. CMYK model predstavlja snovni način mešanja barv (t. i. subtraktno mešanje) matic (RGB + CMYK), describe the color space that we see and interpret in the best possible way so far. But because colors are extremely complex, a wide selection of models has been kept during the varied historical practice, and they interpret colors from different pragmatic or theoretical perspectives. This is why today we can come across a number of models that have been maintained for various reasons, but mostly because of our habit to understand and select colors in a particular way. We are listing just a few of the most important existing models, which are based on: a. visually equal intervals of the color tones (OSA, Munsell, NCS) b. the rules of mixing and the properties of dyes / pigments (Ostwald, Pantone) c. the CIE Lab system (DIN, RAL) d. user specifics (SCOTDIC – in textiles, COLOROID – in architecture) In general, these physical aspects of light energy and colors have been well established from the scientific point of view. They represent a constructive basis for the development of all kinds of support in the form of technologies and devices for the treatment of reproducible colors. At the same time they form a basis for further research based on subjective interpretations, both in the psychological and philosophical sense (Figure 2). It is this last part that raises an extremely complex area of interpretations and laws (rules), which will have be processed into a form that will be useful for the wider social environment. Colors can provide a foundation for the development of a social consensus model of communication – the direct language of emotions. In terms of communication, colors represent absolutely everything that we see – they are literally the skin of the visible world. Although physically non-existent, they have become a necessary part of the social convention

which allows for a variety of interpersonal communications. But what stands out is definitely our internal interpretation, “our language – “the brain language” – as an internal physiological monitor for seeing ideas, ideas, dreams...”, and then as a perception of all external visual information from the environment. Namely, it is through our eyes that we capture over 80% of all information, which, in connection to the other sensors, enable a more complete understanding of the accepted perceptions, information and all kinds of communication forms. It is the interpretation of individual colors and of course the related contextual information that opens up a number of issues, which first require principle definitions, and only then the answers. Just as colors cannot be discussed without a thorough knowledge of the scientific findings on light and color, it is not possible to interpret colors without relying on the fundamental sciences of psychology and philosophy, and their immediate subordinates, phenomenology, semantics, semiotics, and of course the color theory as such, i. e. all the involved areas that enable a clear articulation and the development of all necessary elements of “visual grammar”. The development of ‘visual’ language is closely associated with the development of a medium that enables its reproduction: computer equipment and the multitude of software tools, which enable reproducible interpretation and manipulation of colors. Unidirectional visual communication that enables the mass transfer of verbal contents, primarily in the written form, has been known since the Gutenburg times. Prior to his invention the books were copied by hand, and it was only his printing press that allowed for a truly massive reproduction of works, as well as the dissemination of printed information that in turn created the conditions for a proper education of a much wider class of people than ever before. Two centuries after the invention of


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Figure 2: The phenomenological view of light and colors, with presented scientific aspects (1 to 9), which at the same time already suggest the complexity of the area of light energy, color, its interpretation and manipulation. In the background (10 to 20) we can see the more subjectively interpreted issues concerning colors, which are perhaps even more complex than the scientific-physical part, but this is probably due to the mostly unresolved and not unambiguous conclusions, as is the case in the following scientific fields:

Graf 2: Prikazuje fenomenološki pogled na področje svetlobe in barv, kjer so v ospredju nanizani predvsem različni znanstveni aspekti (od 1 do 9), ki hkrati že nakazujejo na izjemno kompleksnost obravnave področja svetlobne energije, barv, njene interpretacije ter manipulacije. V ozadju tabele (od 10 do 20) pa lahko vidimo področja bolj subjektivno interpretiranih problematik okoli barv, ki so morda še kompleksnejša od znanstveno fizikalnega dela, a to je najbrž posledica pretežno nedorečenih in ne enoznačnih zaključkov, kot je to primer na znanstvenih področjih:

1. The macro-physical relationship between the Sun and the Earth has already been explored in

1. Makro fizikalna relacija med Soncem in Zemljo je že dodobra raziskana. Letni in dnevni ciklusi rezultirajo iz te relacije; 2. Fizikalne raziskave s področja barvnega prostora (CIE Lab) so prignane skoraj do popolnosti; 3. Umetni svetlobni viri, ekrani in projektorji prihajajo v zrelo fazo razvoja; 4. Ves fizični obseg barvnega prostora v celotnem razponu svetlobne jakosti pa našim očem ni zaznaven v vsej celovitosti hkrati/naenkrat, temveč le po delčkih v več adaptacijskih korakih ali pa v zadnjem času z računalniško tehnologijo združevanja več nivojev v enotni vidni prostor (HDR); 5. Naše oko lahko zazna le odbitke svetlobne energije, medtem ko brezbarvne svetlobne energije direktno ne moremo videti; 6. Na fiziološko perceptivni ravni očesa se recipirana svetlobna energija po zaznavi v treh različnih vrstah receptorjev pretvori v tri polarizirane pare informacij; 7. Na retinalno-nevrološki ravni se transformirani informacijski pari zapakirajo v kvantne grupe in se transportirajo v zadnji predel možganske skorje; 8. V kortikalnem sektorju se kvantne grupe odpakirajo in interpretirajo na notranjem fiziološkem ekranu kot integriran in komprimiran barvni model;

detail. The annual and daily cycles are a result of this relationship; 2. Physical research in the field of color space (CIE Lab) has been pushed almost to perfection; 3. Artificial light sources, screens and projectors are reaching a mature stage of development; 4. All the physical volume of the color space in the entire range of light intensity, however, is not perceptible to our eyes in all its integrity, but only by fragments in several adaptation steps, or recently, through the use of computer technology that combines multiple levels into a single visual space (HDR – high definition range); 5. Our eyes can only detect deductions of light energy, while the colorless light energy cannot be seen directly; 6. On the physiologically perceptive eye level, the light energy is detected in three different types of receptors, and then converted into three pairs of polarized information; 7. On the retinal-neurological level, the transformed information pairs are stored into quantum groups and transported to the back area of the cerebral cortex; 8. In the cortical sector the quantum groups are unpacked and interpreted on our internal physiological screen, as an integrated and compressed color model. Sectors from 1 to 9 therefore represent predominantly scientific and objective components in addressing the issue of light energy, colors, their perception and capturing and their data manipulation, while the background sectors (10 to 20) show a modest range of otherwise broad areas related to light, colors, their use or explanation. The word ‘color’ therefore represents a very loose denomination for an extremely wide scope of issues and fields. It represents them either as a means or a medium, or as a topic that is treated by artistic, philosophical, psychological, visual and color-theoretical fields, semiotics, phenomenology, or pragmatic applications into various, already established linguistic designs, as in the case of internationally standardized traffic signs etc.

Sektorji v razponu od 1 do 9 torej predstavljajo pretežno znanstveno objektivne dele pri obravnavi problematike svetlobne energije, barv, zaznavanja, zajemanja le-teh in njihovo podatkovno manipulacijo, medtem ko v ozadju nanizani sektorji (od 10 do 20) prikazujejo v skromnem obsegu razpon širokih področij, ki se navezujejo na svetlobo, barve, njih uporabo ali razlago. Besedica ‘barva’ predstavlja torej zelo ohlapno oznako za izjemno širok okvir problematik in področij, ki jih predstavlja bodisi kot sredstvo ali medij ali kot tema obravnave itd., in to od temeljnih umetniških, filozofskih, psiholoških, likovno- in barvno-teoretskih področij, semiotike, fenomenologije pa do pragmatičnih aplikacij v različne že formirane jezikovne zasnove, kot je to na primer mednarodno enoznačno udejanjeno v prometnih znakih itd.

the printing press, schools for elementary education of masses began to be established across Europe.

the general rules of all grammatical basics, both in the visual field as in the color space.

Printing thus made it possible to create a kind of a ‘digital’ format of texts. The letter represents that single basic information bit which, when assembled into syllables and words, creates semantic units, which can then be used to form meaningful sentences and consequently, of course, larger meaningful sections. In this context, I have long been convinced that this linguistic system, or grammar, is actually an appropriate basis also for the development and upgrading of an art/visual/color grammar. The basic difference is of course primarily in the concerned dimensions. In linguistics the one-dimensional linear function is sufficient in terms of communication, while the colors and their associated visual forms are related to two-and three-dimensionality. Images are defined in a two-dimensional field, while colors are defined in a three-dimensional space. And all of this is also related to

Let me present a simplified example: a linguistic sentence and its understanding require time (Tx) to record (write down) and read the necessary information. The recording, or depiction, of a visual information also requires time Tx, but the reading of this same visual (artistic) information requires significantly less time (T0). This means that the visual field already contains in its two-dimensionality a sort of a warped, relative time (T0), which is sufficient for an instant ‘reading’ of this twodimensional visual information! The “reading” of pictures is therefore instant, diagonal, integrated and of course enabled by means of light and the speed of light. A linguistic sentence represents complete abstraction and the absence of any kind of objective relation to reality (its form basically does not carry ‘truth’ as such; it can express anything – a made-up, false, fantasy or true

sentence). Pictorial information, however, represents a seemingly more realistic image of the real environment, even though it is basically always complete illusion – it just looks real, but it is not necessarily completely true. It is only the three-dimensional form (i. e. objects, things etc.) that represents an objective reality in itself, as facti bruti or corpus delicti. Colors also cannot be understood unambiguously. Paul Green-Armytage et al. suggested the use of at least eight different color groups with names like Conventional Color, Substance Color, Formula Color, Spectral Profile Color, Psychophysical Color, Inherent Color, Identity Color and Visual Color, showing us different ways to recognize and define specific colors. However, such color formulas do not imply any color meaning or semantic value. Yet at the same time we know that colors evoke emotions, which we can compare with previous experiences from our life or from nature. As a result we have


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expressions like bloody red, sky blue, marine blue, snow white, ivory black, toxic green, etc. Although we have long known that physical colors do not exist (after Newton) they can be defined in threedimensional space and at the same time represent the core system of our perception. Colors thus become one of our fundamental communication tools, so it will be necessary in this regard to penetrate as soon as possible into their grammatical basis and structure, if we want to improve our information system and begin to apply it more sensibly, mutatis mutandis. In this context, I consider as relevant the research of colors in connection to natural cycles, since these cycles are also part of our everyday living experience, which has been written in our genes through centuries of evolution. This idea is also the basis of proposals designed to make use of a certain reality – that all people share a relatively univocal understanding of individual parts of such cyclic phenomena, e. g. the meaning of ‘morning’, ‘midday’, ‘evening’ or ‘midnight’, and the feelings associated with these phenomena. This understanding and behavior should represent the basis for the development of a visual grammar, which is needed for a better utilization of pictorial information and their inclusion in the system of a more conscious visual communication.

Figure 3 a, b: The variation of light energy in the tropical zone daily cycle is highly dynamic, while the annual cycle is completely indistinct. This is why in the tropics they do not know the seasons of fall or winter, because there is always just the variation in the spring–summer temperatures. Only in the temperate zone the daily and yearly cycles become more pronounced. In the polar regions day and night stretch over one half of the year, which makes the experience of the cycles less vivid. The daily cycle is completely dissipated, while the annual is reduced to the form of the daily one. Graf 3 a, b: Nihanje svetlobne energije v dnevnem ciklusu tropskega pasu je izrazito dinamično, medtem ko je letni ciklus popolnoma neizrazit. Zato v tropih ne poznajo niti jeseni niti zime, saj je ves čas prisotno le nihanje v poletno-pomladanskih temperaturah. Šele v zmernem pasu postaneta dnevni in letni ciklus bolj izrazita. V polarnem pasu se noč in dan razvlečeta na pol leta, kar doživljanje ciklusov naredi manj izrazite. Dnevni ciklus se popolnoma razblini, medtem ko se letni zreducira na formo dnevnega

Colors possess an inherently bi-semantic dimension: they define the shape and transmit the information about the content arising from the form, but apart from that they also possess a proper intrinsic color information charged with a certain emotional value and a certain atmosphere. Colors therefore represent the direct natural language of emotions, which was historically used in accordance with the development level of awareness about the existence of individual colors and color tones. The genesis of this awareness in different civilizations is described in detail in Berlin and Kay’s work Basic Color Terms. Just as verbal language follows certain grammatical rules, which allow for our writing and reading to make sense, to be grammatically correct and thereby to form a narrative, the need for a grammatically regulated system is also present in the field of colors – a system that would provide a better visual literacy and contemporary visual communication in the broader context of visual elements.

Figure 4: The polarization of the light intensity range of the daily cycle to white and black, or to a 12-step gray scale. / Graf 4: Polarizacija razpona svetlobne jakosti dnevnega ciklusa na belo in črno ali na 12-delno sivinsko lestvico.

Figure 5: The annual cycle contains at its ends two diametrical opposites, with 5 symmetric levels in between. Graf 5: Letni ciklus vsebuje na svojih koncih dvoje diametralnih nasprotij, vmes pa je 5 simetričnih ravni.

We are therefore on the verge of a new era of basic visual literacy activities, but it appears that we will first have to thoroughly organize the grammatical foundations of this color and image language. An attempt in this direction is precisely this semantic taxonomy of summarizing the rules of natural cycles and their inclusion in the systematic scheme of color language. DAILY and ANNUAL CYCLES The daily cycle (figure 3) can be interpreted arithmetically and semantically in different ways. The relationship between day and night can be explained:

Figure 6: The annual cycle is based on a 7-step gray scale, which is polarized into the cool and the warm part. Graf 6: Letni ciklus temelji na 7-stopenjski sivi lestvici, ki se polarizira na hladno-topli pol.

– as a distribution of light energy: if the value of distributed light energy during the day is marked with 1, then the night means 0. This is the simplest binary division; in color language, this is the polarization to white and black (Figure 4); – in terms of daily and nightly hours: the 24-hour cycle is simply divided symmetrically into a 12-step gray scale, which provides a stepwise distribution of the different intensity of light energy during the day and night period. The changing intensity of light energy through every hour of the day and night is symbolically interpreted in shades of gray, where white means the top of the distribution of light energy around noon and black the lowest point of the distribution of light energy at around midnight. All the other shades of gray are the result of the interim distribution of light energy (Figure 4). In terms of color interpretation, the 12-step gray scale can be distributed symmetrically according to the 24part color circle, where yellow represents the highest peak in the distribution of light energy around noon, and blue the lowest point at midnight. All other shades in between are distributed using the spectral matrix. The differences between morning and afternoon hours are to be interpreted as the arithmetic difference in the overall energy balance: in the morning the light energy from the sun accumulates on the earth’s surface, while in the afternoon part of that accumulated energy begins to return back to the atmosphere, thereby increasing the ambient temperature, which causes changes in weather conditions and also affects our perception of colors. For example, although the amount of received solar energy is

Figure 7: The line of large-angle color circle sequences, designed on a major key basis: 4-, 8-, 16-, 32-, 64-, 128, etc. Graf 7: Linija veliko-kotnih, na durovski zasnovi oblikovanih zaporedij barvnih krogov: 4-, 8-, 16-, 32-, 64-, 128-, itd.

Figure 8: The line of small-angle color circle sequences, designed on a minor key basis: 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, etc. Graf 8: Linija malo-kotnih, na molovski zasnovi oblikovanih zaporedij barvnih krogov: 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, itd.


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exactly symmetrical at 9 am as it is at 3 pm, certain differences appear in the afternoon because of the additional irradiance of the accumulated energy in the earth’s surface during the morning hours! The difference between the constant solar radiation and the irradiance of accumulated energy into the atmosphere creates a minimal difference in the total amount of available energy at each symmetric level. That small difference distinguishes, in a symbolic sense, between cool and warm colors. And this is the unique and charming feature of colors! The semantic principles of the annual cycle (Figure 3) are quite similar to those of the daily cycle: – the relationship between the polar day and the polar night can be explained similarly to the one in the daily cycle, by polarization to white and black; – the annual summer/winter cycle can be explained by analogy as the ratio between yellow and blue, and the spring/autumn cycle as the ratio between green and red; The annual cycle is divided into 12 monthly periods, and the daily one into 24 hours: we can observe a similar principle in this relationship, but with a different distribution. The annual cycle is based on a 7-step gray scale, which contains at its ends two diametrical opposites, with 5 symmetric levels in between (Figure 5). The opposites are defined on one side with the peak in mid-summer, when the maximum of light energy falls on this part of the earth, and on the other side with the lowest point in the middle of winter, when the least of light energy falls on this part of the earth.

Figure 9: In the case of the eight-color periodic color model we can see how the color circles are arranged according to the different sectional points along the model. Within each individual color wheel, one of the colors is marked as dominant. It is precisely this potential for changing dominance and the ability to precisely define the relationship between the individual colors in a given color circle that signifies the potential for the establishment of a value system and thereby a manageable control of the expressive possibilities of color. Graf 9: Na primeru osem-barvnega periodičnega modela barv lahko vidimo, kako se razvrščajo barvni krogi glede na različne presečne točke vzdolž modela. Znotraj posameznega barvnega kroga pa je vedno izpostavljena ena izmed barv kot dominantna. Prav ta potencial spreminjanja dominanc in možnost natančnega definiranja medsebojnih razmerij med posameznimi barvami v določenem barvnem krogu pa pomeni potencial za vzpostavitev vrednostnega sistema ter s tem obvladljivo kontrolo izraznih možnosti barv.

The intermediate symmetric levels receive relatively equal proportions of light energy from the sun at each stage. This interim distribution of light energy between the months represents a symbolic differentiation of gray levels that can be divided into warm and cool color tones (Figure 6). COLOR CIRCLE TYPOLOGY In principle, colors melt into each other continuously, but to be able to better understand and display them we use discrete simplifications in the form of color circles. There are two different basic types of color circles: the large-angle (major key) color circle (Figure 7), which is derived from the model of the annual cycle, and the lowangle (minor key) color circle (Figure 8), which is derived from the model of the daily cycle. The large-angle color circle contains the minimum number of colors derived from two pairs of opposites (based on the CIE Lab model) and these four basic colors already form the origin of a major-key-balanced color circle, which is further developed into a line of x-color circles (8-, 16-, 32-, 64-, etc.). Of course, the greater the multitude of colors in the color circle, the smaller the angular difference between the individual color directions, which eventually disappear altogether (Figure 7). The main feature of this sequence is that it starts with the smallest possible version of the entire system of colors; a similar type of sequence was already used successfully during the times of heraldry in the 11th century. The names of colors in that time were based on material names such as gold for yellow, silver for white, night for black, or blood/sore throat for red, etc. Nonetheless, these ancient examples from the heraldic heritage demonstrate how symbolic meanings are turned to the semantic conception of colors. The small-angle (minor key) color circle (Figure 8) is based on three pairs of opposites, which means that there are six basic colors. This basic color circle captures the principles of light- and material mixing, i. e. the RGB and CMY systems, combined in the color circle. The main feature of this sequence is that it starts with a maximum optimized color circle, with a wide range of primary colors that are able to create more combinations than the four-color circle, but still with a clear distinguishing ability. Since the angular differences between the color directions are somewhat smaller, the basic palette creates a more complete impression of coherent relations between the colors, apart from the fact that this is the optimum distinguishing palette, from which we obtain an incomparably larger number of color combinations than from the basic major key palette. COLOR DOMINANCE OBSERVED IN PERIODIC COLOR MODELS The periodic model represents a form of arranging colors as color directions in relation to time, i. e. to the cyclical. The periodic model enables a controlled way of manag-

No. of colors in the color circle / Št. barv v barvnem krogu 4

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No. of hierarchical levels / Št. hierarhičnih nivojev

Figure 10: Depending on the type of color circles, the volume of color palettes is different and thus also the hierarchical range of dominance (the 4-color circle (CC) has three-hierarchical levels (HL), 6-CC has 4-HL, 8-CC has 5-HL, 12-CC has 7-HL, 16-CC has 9-HL, 24-CC has 13-HL, 32-CC has 17-HL, 48-CC has 25-HL, etc.). Graf 10: Glede na vrsto barvnih krogov je obseg barvnih palet različen in s tem tudi hierarhični razpon dominanc (4-barvni krog (BK) ima 3-hierarhične nivoje (HN), 6-BK ima 4-HN, 8-BK ima 5-HN, 12-BK ima 7-HN, 16-BK ima 9-HN, 24BK ima 13-HN, 32-BK ima 17-HN, 48-BK ima 25-HN, itd.) Chart 11: The compressed image of the fundamental characteristics of the daily and annual cycle acts as the foundation of a value system that transmits meanings from natural cycles to the semantics of color symbolism. Graf 11: Strnjena podoba temeljnih značilnosti dnevnega in letnega ciklusa deluje kot temelj vrednostnega sistema, ki prenaša pomene iz naravnega cikliranja v semantiko barvne simbolike.

Figure 12: The connection of everyday concepts with color directions in the cyclical model points to the logic of their interconnection. Graf 12: Prikaz povezanosti vsakdanjih pojmov z barvnimi smermi v cikličnem modelu kaže na logiko medsebojne povezanosti.


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ing color dominance. At each cross-sectional point we obtain a section of the coordinated relationships between colors depending on the cyclical phase and their position in the color circle (Figure 9). The principle of dominance of certain colors in the color circle is a system based on the analogy of semantic relations from natural cycles. Dominance hierarchy is expressed by the formula: N/2+1. The classification system allows us to control the positioning color values (up/down), the quantitative values (high/low) and the order values (type of color tone). At any cross-sectional point in the periodic color model we can observe the color relationships, but the quality of application also depends on the number of colors in the model. By increasing the number of colors in the color circle the complexity in periodic color model also increases (Figure 10). In Figure 11 we can observe the relationship between semantic correlations of the cross-sectional points of the day or season. We recognize the characteristics that are associated with everyday habits and customs, and compare them with color directions. Of course, these color directions represent only a general picture of the dominant color, which means that the selected dominant color in a certain cross-sectional point of the day or season summarizes the overall character and the typical atmosphere of that particular moment. A SHORT REVIEW OF SOME BASIC PERIODIC COLOR MODELS (Figure 13–15) The two-dimensional visualization of periodic color models is intended to demonstrate the complexity, which increases with the number of colors, thereby increasing the (non)manageability of the individual system. Such models could be manipulated only by means of a computer software tool, the home of colors as such. It was only through the arrival of the computer, namely, that colors were given their platform, and thereby their reproduction ability was enabled. The computer represents, so to speak, the Gutenburg reproduction machine. One of the objectives of this text was to evaluate the relationship between the semantics of natural cycles and colors. I am convinced that the periodic color model introduces new possibilities in the transfer of basic meanings from the understanding of natural cycles to the field of color semantics, and therefore also to the field of visual communications culture, visual systematics, and its grammatical context. The relationships in the periodic color model can also serve as the basis for a computerized instrumentalization of colors in software tools, for a more conscious management of colors, for compositions, design and semantic analysis in the field of visual communications, as well as for predicting color trends in design, architecture and art, or perhaps even beyond these areas. Namely, colors as such do not exist, but in terms of communication they are present in almost every segment of our living environment, so there is a real possibility that they will become the subject of new education and literacy as they clearly have the ability to transfer emotional information. And this is something that will enable a more powerful development and articulation of emotional communication.

SI Vsi poizkusi, predstaviti problematiko barv iz kateregakoli vidika, so vedno pomanjkljivi, nezadostni, nepopolni in običajno močno popačeni zaradi prilagajanja dejstev našim predstavnim zmožnostim. Vse, kar je povezano s teorijo o barvah, je izjemno kompleksno in komplicirano. Že v 17. stoletju je prišel Isaac Newton do zaključka, da barve na fizikalni ravni ne obstajajo. Vse, kar vidimo kot barve, je namreč le naša možganska interpretacija delcev svetlobne energije različnih jakosti in spektralne sestave, ki se odbijajo v naše oko od različnih površin v našem okolju. Molekularna površina same materije je pa dejansko popolnoma brezbarvna!

Figure 13: The 4-color periodic color model / Graf 13: Periodični model iz 4-barv Naš vid temelji na tripartitnem RGB zajemanju vidnega dela spektra svetlobne energije (med 400 in 700 nm), medtem ko imajo nekatere živali drugačne sisteme. Na primer, nekatere ribe v ekvatorialnem pasu imajo osem barvno zajemanje, morska bogomoljka (Mantis shrimp) pa celo 12-barvno zajemanje s tremi fokusi ostrenja hkrati. To je za naše pojmovanje popolnoma nepredstavljivo. Še bolj nenavaden sistem zaznavanja imajo netopirji, ki lahko v temi zajemajo podatke iz svoje okolice na podlagi ultrazvočne detekcije. Podobne sposobnosti imajo tudi delfini, medtem ko lahko kiti s svojim bio-sonarjem zaznavajo okolico celo v radiju do 50 km. Take oblike zaznavanja okolja predstavljajo za nas s fiziološkega stališča popolnoma neznano izkušnjo, ki je povsem izven naših percepcijskih in predstavnih zmožnosti. Vendar pa si dandanes k sreči lahko majhen del takih zaznav interpretiramo s pomočjo sodobne računalniške tehnologije, ki našo vidno zaznavo razširi na skoraj ves spekter elektromagnetnega valovanja in na vse jakosti energije. Vendar to pomeni, da moramo vse informacije, ki so izven našega vidnega območja, predhodno pretvoriti v naš skrčen vidni barvni prostor, ki si ga potem interpretiramo v korteksu. Na primer: človek s svojim sistemom vida ne razpolaga s senzorji za zajemanje podatkov s področja radioaktivnih x žarkov, vendar pa je danes mogoče s pomočjo tehnologije tudi ta nevidni in smrtno nevarni del spektra pretvoriti v nam vidnega, seveda le v monokromatskem spektru! V znanosti so barve definirane v barvnem prostoru po CIE Lab modelu s tremi izključujočimi nasprotji: črno-belim, modro-rumenim in rdeče-zelenim, kjer je na skrajnih legah nasprotij posamezna barvna entiteta maksimalno intenzivna, čista, v medsebojni relaciji se pa mešata in na sredi izničita v nevtralni sivi ton (Slika 1 a). CIE Lab model je kot strojni jezik implementiran v procesiranje barv v naših računalnikih, medtem ko je za aplikacije in tudi za splošno rabo uporabljen model, delujoč na principu našega organa vida, ki zajema svetlobno energijo (vidni del elektromagnetnega valovanja) s čepki (po RGB modelu) in paličicami (akromatsko, črno-sivo-belo) kot nočni vid. Torej, v okviru svetlobnega mešanja (aditivno mešanje) so osnovne barvne svetlobe RGB (Red, Green, Blue), vse, kar je na primer natisnjeno, pa se ravna po snovnem načinu mešanja barv (subtraktno mešanje) CMYK (Cian, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) (Slika 1 b, c). Ta dva modela, znanstveni (CIE Lab) in pragmatični (RGB + CMYK), opisujeta barvni prostor, ki ga vidimo oziroma interpretiramo, sicer do sedaj najbolje, vendar – ker so barve izjemno kompleksne, se je skozi pestro zgodovinsko prakso ohranila množica raznih modelov, ki so interpretirali barve iz različnih pragmatičnih ali teoretičnih izhodišč. Zato lahko dandanes srečamo še vrsto modelov, ki se ohranjajo iz različnih vzrokov, predvsem pa zaradi navajenosti na določen način razumevanja in izbire barv. Navedli bomo le nekaj pomembnejših obstoječih modelov, ki bazirajo: a. na vizualno enakih razmikih barvnih tonov (OSA, Munsell, NCS), b. na pravilih mešanja in lastnostih barvil/pigmentov (Ostwald, Pantone), c. na sistemu CIE Lab (DIN, RAL), d. na uporabniški specifiki (SCOTDIC – v tekstilstvu, COLOROID – za arhitekturo).

Figure 14: The 6-color periodic color model / Graf 14: Periodični model iz 6-barv

V splošnem so ti fizikalni vidiki svetlobne energije in barv z znanstvenega stališča že dobro raziskani in predstavljajo konstruktivno podlago za razvoj vsakovrstne podpore v obliki tehnologij in naprav za ponovljivo obravnavo barv, hkrati pa predstavljajo podlago za nadaljnje raziskave, ki temeljijo na subjektivnih interpretacijah, tako v psihološkem kot filozofskem smislu (graf 2). Prav ta zadnji del pa odpira izjemno kompleksno področje interpretacij in zakonitosti, ki jih bo potrebno predelati v tako obliko, da bodo uporabne za najširše družbeno okolje. Barve lahko predstavljajo temelj za razvoj družbeno konsenzualnega modela komuniciranja – direktnega jezika čustev. Barve predstavljajo v komunikacijskem smislu popolnoma vse, kar vidimo – so dobesedno koža vidnega sveta. Čeprav fizikalno ne obstajajo, so postale nujni del družbene konvencije, ki nam omogoča vrsto medsebojnih komunikacij. A na prvem mestu je zagotovo notranja interpretacija “naš jezik – ‘možganščina’ – kot interno fiziološko ekranizirano videnje zamisli, idej, predstav, sanj, …”, nato pa kot zaznava vseh eksternih vizualnih informacij iz okolice. Skozi organ vida zajemamo namreč preko 80 % vseh informacij, ki v skupni povezavi še z ostalimi senzorji omogočajo popolnejše razumevanje sprejetih zaznav, informacij, vsakovrstnih oblik komunikacij. Prav ob interpretacijah posameznih barvnih in seveda s tem povezanih vsebinskih informacij se odpira izjemno veliko vprašanj, ki terjajo najprej načelne opredelitve in šele nato odgovore. Tako kakor ni mogoče obravnavati barv brez temeljitega poznavanja znanstvenih izsledkov o svetlobi in barvah, tako ni mogoče v zvezi z interpretiranjem barv mimo temeljnih ved psihologije in filozofije ter ožje podrednih fenomenologije, semantike, semiotike ter seveda same (s)likovne in barvne teorije, torej vseh vpletenih področij, ki omogočajo jasno artikulacijo in razvoj vseh potrebnih elementov vizualne gramatike. Gre namreč za to, da je razvoj (s)likovne ‘vizualne’ govorice tesno povezan in pogojen z razvojem medija, ki omogoča njeno reprodukcijo: to je danes računalniška oprema in množica programskih orodij, ki omogočajo ponovljivo interpretacijo in manipulacijo z barvami. Enosmerno vizualno komunikacijo, ki omogoča množični prenos verbalnih vsebin predvsem v pisni obliki, poznamo že iz Guttenbergovih časov. Pred njegovim izumom so knjige prepisovali, šele s tiskarskim strojem pa je bila omogočena resnično množična reprodukcija in razširjanje tiskanih informacij, ki so posledično ustvarile pogoje za intenzivnejše izobraževanje mnogo širših slojev kot kdajkoli prej. Dve stoletji po izumu tiskarskega stroja so pričele vznikati po Evropi šole za množičnejše temeljno izobraževanje. Tisk je torej omogočil neke vrste ‘digitalni’ zapis besedil. Črka predstavlja tisti osnovni informacijski bit, ki s sestavljanjem v zloge in besede ustvarja pomenske skupke, s katerimi lahko potem tvorimo povedne stavke in seveda v nadaljevanju vsebinske sklope. V tem kontekstu sem že leta prepričan, da je lingvistična gramatika pravzaprav primerna osnova tudi za razvoj in nadgradnjo (s) likovne in barvne gramatike. Osnovna razlika je seveda v izhodišču povezana z dimenzijami. Lingvistiki zadošča za komuniciranje enodimenzionalna linearna funkcija, medtem ko se barve in z njimi povezane (s)likovne forme navezujejo na dva- in tri-dimenzijsko razsežnost. (S)li-

Figure 15: The 8-color periodic color model / Graf 15: Periodični model iz 8-barv


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kovno polje je definirano v dvorazsežni ravnini, medtem ko so barve definirane v trirazsežnem prostoru. In s tem v zvezi so povezane tudi vse zakonitosti gramatičnih osnov, tako za (s)likovno ravnino kot za barvni prostor.

DNEVNI IN LETNI CIKLUS

Naj predstavim poenostavljen primer: za lingvistično poved in njeno umevanje je potreben čas Tx za zapis informacije in za prebiranje te informacije. Za zapis oziroma izris (s)likovne informacije je prav tako potreben določen čas Tx , medtem ko je za prebiranje te iste (s) likovne informacije potreben bistveno krajši čas T0. To pomeni, da (s)likovna ravnina vsebuje v svoji dvorazsežnosti že nek ukrivljen relativni čas T0, ki zadošča za hipno ‘prebiranje’ dvorazsežnih vizualnih informacij! ‘Branje’ slike je torej hipno, diagonalno, celovito in seveda omogočeno s pomočjo svetlobe in njene svetlobne hitrosti.

– z distribucijo svetlobne energije: če označimo vrednost distribuirane energije svetlobe čez dan z 1, potem velja za noč 0. To je najpreprostejša binarna delitev in polarizacija na belo in črno v barvnem jeziku (Graf 4);

Če predstavlja lingvistična poved popolno abstrakcijo in odsotnost kakršnekoli objektivne relacije do resničnosti (njena forma v osnovi ni ‘resniconosna’ sama po sebi, lahko pač izraža karkoli, izmišljene, zlagane, pravljične ali resnične povedi). (S)likovna informacija predstavlja navidezno bolj realno podobo iz realnega okolja, čeprav je v osnovi vedno popolna iluzija (torej le videz resničnega, kar pa tudi ni nujno, da je povsem resnično). Šele trirazsežna forma, objekti, predmeti itd., predstavljajo objektivno (objektno) resničnost, samo na sebi kot facti bruti ali corpus delicti. Barve tudi ni mogoče razumeti enoznačno. Avstralski kolega, Paul Green-Armytage, je na primer predlagal uporabo vsaj osmih različnih barvnih skupin z imeni, kot so: snovne barve, konvencionalne barve, barve iz formul, spektralno profilirane barve, psihofizične barve, naravne barve, osebne barve, vizualne barve itd., kar kaže na različne načine prepoznavanja, uporabe in določanja specifik, ki se navezujejo na isti pojem barv. Vendar barve iz formul ne predstavljajo nobenega barvnega pomena ali kake semantične vrednosti. Hkrati pa vemo, da barve izzovejo čustva, ki jih lahko primerjamo s predhodnimi doživetji iz naših življenjskih izkušenj ali iz narave. Rezultat predstavljajo izrazi, kot so: krvavo rdeča, nebesno modra, sinje modra, snežno bela, slonokoščeno črna, strupeno zelena, itd. Čeprav že dolgo vemo, da barve fizikalno ne obstajajo (po Newtonu), jih je mogoče definirati v trirazsežnem prostoru in hkrati predstavljajo osnovni sistem našega zaznavanja. Barve postajajo torej naše temeljno komunikacijsko orodje, zato bo potrebno v tem pogledu čim prej prodreti v njeno gramatično osnovo in strukturo, če želimo naš informacijski sistem izpopolniti in ga pričeti bolj vsebinsko smiselno uporabljati. V tem kontekstu se mi zdijo pomembne raziskave barv v povezavi z naravnimi ciklusi, kajti prav ti ciklusi so del naše vsakodnevne bivanjske izkušnje, zapisane v naših genih že skozi tisočletne evolucije. Na tej ideji temeljijo tudi predlogi, s katerimi naj bi izkoristili to danost, da vsi ljudje relativno enoznačno razumemo posamične delce cikličnih pojavov, npr.: kaj pomeni jutro, opoldne, večer ali polnoč in s tem povezana občutja ob teh pojavih. To razumevanje in vedenje pa naj bi predstavljalo za začetek osnovo za razvoj (s)likovne gramatike, potrebne za boljšo izrabo (s)likovnih informacij in njihovo vključitev v sistem bolj ozaveščenega vizualnega komuniciranja. Barve imajo same po sebi bi-semantično razsežnost: definirajo oblike in prenašajo informacije o vsebinah, ki izhajajo iz oblik, razen tega pa imajo nasebno, samo sebi lastno barvno informacijo s čustvenim nabojem in določenim razpoloženjem. Barve predstavljajo torej neposredni naravni jezik čustev, ki se je v dosedanji zgodovini uporabljal v skladu z razvojno stopnjo ozaveščenosti o obstoju posameznih barv in barvnih tonov. O tej genezi ozaveščanja pri različnih civilizacijah sta podrobno pisala Berlin in Kay v knjigi Basic Color Terms. Tako kot ima verbalni jezik svoje gramatične zakonitosti, ki omogočajo, da je potem naše pisanje in branje smiselno, pravopisno pravilno oblikovano ter s tem povedno, se kaže tudi na področju barv potreba po gramatično urejenem sistemu, ki v širšem sklopu (s)likovnih elementov skupaj omogoča boljšo (s)likovno pismenost in sodobno vizualno komuniciranje. Smo torej na pragu nove dobe osnovnega (s)likovnega opismenjevanja, a kot je videti, bo potrebno pred tem še temeljito urediti gramatične temelje barvnemu in (s) likovnemu jeziku. Poizkus v tej smeri predstavlja prav ta sistematika povzemanja pomenskih zakonitosti iz naravnih ciklusov in njihovo vključevanje v sistematiko barvnega jezika.

V splošnem je mogoče dnevni ciklus (Graf 3) interpretirati aritmetično in semantično na različne načine, odnos med dnevom in nočjo pa lahko razložimo:

– z urami dneva in noči: 24 urni ciklus razdelimo po simetriji na 12 stopenjsko sivo lestvico, ki predstavlja stopenjsko razporeditev različnih jakosti svetlobne energije med dnevnim in nočnim obdobjem. Spreminjanje jakosti svetlobne energije skozi vsako uro dneva in noči simbolno interpretiramo v sivih odtenkih, kjer bela pomeni vrh porazdelitve svetlobne energije okoli poldneva in črna najnižjo točko porazdelitve svetlobne energije okoli polnoči. Vsi ostali sivi odtenki so rezultat vmesnih porazdelitev svetlobne energije (Graf 4). S stališča barvne interpretacije lahko 12 stopenjsko sivo lestvico razdelimo po simetriji na 24 barvni krog, kjer predstavlja rumena najvišji vrh porazdelitve svetlobne energije okoli poldneva in modra najnižjo točko v času polnoči. Vsi ostali toni vmes se porazdelijo po spektralnem ključu. Razlike med jutranjimi in popoldanskimi urami se da aritmetično razlagati kot razlike v skupni energetski bilanci: zjutraj se svetlobna energija s sonca akumulira na površju zemlje, medtem ko se v popoldanskih urah del akumulirane energije prične vračati nazaj v ozračje in s tem narašča temperatura okolja, kar vpliva na spreminjanje vremenskih razmer in to vpliva tudi na naše zaznavanje barv. Čeprav je na primer ob 9. uri dopoldne kakor tudi ob 15. uri popoldne količina prejete sončne energije simetrično povsem enaka, nastane v popoldanskih urah določena razlika prav zaradi dodatnega izsevanja akumulirane energije, ki se je kopičila v dopoldanskih urah v površini zemlje. Razlika med konstantnim sevanjem sončne energije in povratno iradiacijo nakopičene energije iz zemljine površine v ozračje potem ustvari tisto minimalno razliko, ki v skupnem znesku razpoložljive energije na vsaki simetrični ravni razloči barve v simboličnem pomenu na hladno ali toplo. In to je ta edinstvena in očarljiva lastnost barv! Semantični principi letnega ciklusa (Graf 3) so precej podobni tistim v dnevnem ciklu: – odnos med polarnim dnevom in polarno nočjo lahko razložimo podobno kot pri dnevnem ciklusu s polarizacijo med belo in črno. – letna ciklusa poletje/zima lahko po analogiji razložimo kot razmerje med rumeno in modro barvo, relacijo pomlad/jesen pa kot razmerje med zeleno in rdečo barvo. Letni ciklus je razdeljen na 12 mesečnih obdobij, dnevni pa na 24 ur, vendar lahko v tem razmerju vidimo podoben princip, a le z drugačno porazdelitvijo. Letni ciklus temelji na 7 stopenjski sivi lestvici, ki vsebuje na svojih koncih dvoje diametralnih nasprotij, vmes pa je 5 simetričnih ravni (Graf 5). Nasprotji sta definirani na eni strani z vrhom sredi poletja, ko pade na ta del zemljine oble največ svetlobne energije in na drugi strani z najnižjo točko sredi zime, ko pade v tem času najmanj svetlobne energije na ta del zemljine oble. Vmesne simetrične ravni prejemajo na vsaki stopnji relativno enake deleže svetlobne energije s sonca. Ta vmesna porazdelitev svetlobne energije med letom po mesecih pa predstavlja simbolično diferenciacijo sivih stopenj, ki se lahko razdelijo na toplo/hladne barvne tone (Graf 6). TIPOLOGIJA BARVNIH KROGOV Načeloma se barve pretapljajo zvezno ena v drugo, vendar zaradi boljšega razumevanja in prikazovanja uporabljamo diskretne poenostavitve v obliki barvnih krogov. Obstajata dva različna izhodiščna tipa barvnih krogov, poimenovanih: veliko-kotni (durovski) barvni krog (graf 7), ki izvira iz predstavljenega modela letnega cikla in malo-kotni (molovski) barvni krog (graf 8), ki izvira iz predstavljenega modela dnevnega cikla. Veliko-kotni barvni krog vsebuje najmanjše možno število barv, izvirajočih iz dveh parov nasprotij (temelji na CIE Lab modelu) in te štiri osnovne barve že tvorijo zametek durovsko uravnoteženega barvnega kroga, ki v se nadaljevanju razvije v linijo x-barvnih krogov (8-, 16-, 32-, 64-, itd.). Seveda, večja kot je množica barv v barvnem krogu, manjše so kotne razlike med posameznimi barvnimi smermi in pomen izvorne durovske narave barvnega kroga se povsem razgubi (Graf 7).

Glavna značilnost tega zaporedja je, da se začne z najmanjšo možno različico iz celotnega sistema barv in da je bila tej podobna paleta uspešno uporabljena že v časih heraldike v 11. stoletju. Imena barv so v tistem času temeljila na materialnih imenih, kot so: zlato za rumeno, srebro za belo, noč za črno ali kri/vneto grlo za rdečo, itd. Vendar ti starodavni primeri iz heraldične dediščine dokazujejo, kako simbolni pomeni prehajajo v semantično zasnovo barv. Malo-kotni (molovski) barvni krog (Graf 8) pa bazira na treh parih nasprotij, kar pomeni šest osnovnih barv. Pri tem izhodiščnem barvnem krogu je zajet princip svetlobnega in snovnega mešanja, torej RGB in CMY sistem, združena v barvni krog. Glavna značilnost tega zaporedja je, da začne z maksimalno optimalnim barvnim krogom, s širšo paleto osnovnih barv, ki so sposobne ustvariti več različnih kombinacij kot štiribarvni, vendar še vedno z nedvoumno razlikovalno sposobnostjo. Ker so kotne razlike med barvnimi smermi nekoliko manjše, daje osnovna paleta tudi bolj popoln vtis skladnih odnosov med barvami, poleg dejstva, da je to optimalno razlikovalna paleta, iz katere dobimo neprimerno večje število barvnih kombinacij kot pri izhodiščni durovski paleti. BARVNA DOMINANCA IN PERIODIČNI MODEL BARV Periodični model predstavlja obliko urejanja barv kot barvnih smeri v relaciji s časom, torej v povezavi s cikličnostjo. Periodični model omogoča kontroliran način upravljanja z barvnimi dominancami. Na vsaki presečni točki dobimo prerez usklajenih razmerij med barvami glede na ciklično fazo in njihov položaj v barvnem krogu (Graf 9). Načelo prevladujočega (dominantnega) položaja določene barve v barvnem krogu predstavlja sistem, ki temelji na analogiji semantičnih relacij iz naravnih ciklov. Hierarhičnost dominanc je izražena s formulo: N/2+1. Sistem razvrščanja barv nam omogoča nadzorovati položajne vrednosti barv (gor/dol), količinske vrednosti (veliko/malo) in zvrstne vrednosti (vrsta barvnega tona). Na katerikoli presečni točki v periodnem modelu barv lahko opazujemo barvna razmerja, vendar je kvaliteta aplikacij odvisna tudi od števila barv v modelu. Z večanjem števila barv v barvnem krogu namreč narašča tudi kompleksnost v periodičnem modelu barv (Graf 10). V grafu 11 lahko opazujemo relacije med pomenskimi korelacijami presečnih točk dnevnega in letnega časa. Prepoznamo lahko značilnosti, ki so povezane z vsakdanjimi navadami in običaji, ter jih primerjamo z barvnimi smermi. Seveda te barvne smeri predstavljajo le generalno sliko dominantne barve, kar pomeni, da izbrana dominantna barva v določeni presečni točki dneva ali letnega časa povzema celotno atmosfero in tipično vzdušje tistega presečnega trenutka. PRELET NEKAJ OSNOVNIH PERIODIČNIH MODELOV BARV (Grafi 13–15) Dvodimenzionalna vizualizacija periodičnih modelov barv ima namen prikazati kompleksnost, ki narašča s številom barv, s tem pa narašča tudi (ne)obvladljivost posameznega sistema. Tovrstne modele bo mogoče manipulirati le z računalniškim programskim orodjem, torej v samem domovanju barv. Barve so namreč šele z računalnikom dobile svojo platformo, kjer je njihova reprodukcijska sposobnost omogočena. Računalnik predstavlja tako rekoč Guttenbergov reprodukcijski stroj. Eden izmed ciljev je bil ovrednotiti odnos med semantiko naravnih ciklov in barvami. Prepričan sem, da predstavlja periodični model barv nekatere nove možnosti pri prenosu osnovnih pomenov iz razumevanja naravnih ciklov v polje barvne semantike in s tem tudi v polje kulture vizualnega komuniciranja, vizualno sistematiko ter njeno gramatično ozadje. Relacije v periodičnem modelu barv lahko predstavljajo tudi osnovo za računalniško instrumentalizacijo barv v programskih orodjih, za bolj ozaveščeno barvno upravljanje, komponiranje, projektiranje, semantično analizo na področju vizualnih komunikacij, za prognoziranje barvnih trendov v dizajnu, arhitekturi in umetnosti, morda pa celo tudi izven teh področij. Barve namreč kot take ne obstajajo, a so komunikacijskem smislu prisotne v skoraj vsakem segmentu našega življenjskega okolja, zato obstaja realna možnost, da bodo postale predmet novega izobraževanja in opismenjevanja, saj imajo barve nedvoumno sposobnost prenašanja čustveno obarvanih informacij. To pa je nekaj, kar bo omogočilo smelejši razvoj in artikulacijo čustvenega komuniciranja.


Matej ÄŒepin, The Swing, 2014, oil, wax, resin on canvas / Gugalnica, 2014, olje, vosek, smola na platno, 200 x 150 cm


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DAMIJAN STEPANČIČ I’m like some sort of archaeologist, excavating old pots and skeletons Maša Ogrizek Damijan Stepančič and his family – his wife Lucija and their three sons – live in a stone house in the village of Senožeče. On the outside the house resembles a wobbly ship kindly blinking into the world with its turquoise eyes. Entering the house it feels like the inside of a huge whale’s stomach, with a fire burning in the middle of a charred open fireplace. The archaic scene is stunning, especially the wooden bench covered with ashes, sitting by the fire. “Is it actually meant to be sat on?” I ask with a hint of disbelief. “Of course. And over there you can hang the pot. People used to sit around the fire like this, especially in Christmas time,” Damijan explains. And passed the time by storytelling, I suppose.

ture books, etc. On one hand, this is a good thing, but it’s also very time-consuming. You have to obtain a lot of knowledge by yourself, while in a specialized study it would have been presented to you directly. The academy is a great place to provide knowledge of craftsmanship, expertise in anatomy, etc. But the knowledge of what an illustration is; why it is placed in a specific position inside a book, or what its technical features are – the academy will not teach you that. If you visit, for example, the fair in Bologna, you will see how many different techniques of illustration there are. I am familiar with three or four, but there are countless; they are invented literally on a daily basis.

The photographer and I are then invited to the top floor where the children’s rooms are, as well as a huge studio, a rearrangement of the old barn. The room is spacious and airy, and there is a creative mess that oozes through it. “It’s only now that I see how cramped I actually was in my old studio in Ljubljana, and I didn’t even realize it” he smiles contentedly.

In this respect courses would be welcome, where the authors could meet with various illustrator techniques and exchange experiences.

Damijan’s working space is warm and homelike. There is a rich library in the corner, with a coffee table and a pair of canvas chairs, besides the large working desk covered in illustrations and piles of books there is another writing desk in the studio for Lucija; the floors are covered with countless children’s drawings. ”The younger two love to draw in here” Damijan explains. His studio is thus a room bursting with family life rather than a solemn shrine. And it seems that the same is true of his attitude towards his own visual creativity: he is truly committed, but doesn’t try to mystify it – above all he enjoys it immensely. “Do you ever miss painting?” I wonder. “Not nearly; whatever I have to say, it’s much easier to do with illustrations” he answers without a second thought. He feels that stories are the most important thing about illustrations. He often looks for them in old maps, and occasionally also finds them at the nearby local inn. You are a painter by education. Some while ago you mentioned that you regretted there was no specialized study for illustrators, which would enable them to acquire some of the skills sooner, while now the road to that is much longer. During the entire time of my studies I drew storyboards for an advertising company. It had nothing to do with painting or any great art, what had to be done was a sort of a comic book for soft drink or car or other advertisements. God forbid any of the faculty professors should hear about this, I’m sure they would have resented it forever (laughs). Through this work I became familiar with a different way of thinking that wasn’t directly connected to painting. The university provided an excellent education in drawing, anatomy, the perception of space and format design. That is something I can use very effectively in illustrations. But what I didn’t learn was a very important component, which is also a constituent of a good illustration – storytelling, how to tell a story through images. It was something I had to learn on my own from the experience of reading comic books, looking at pic-

I was recently at an exhibition by Tina Stegovec. I bought a catalogue where she describes how she decided to stay with an artist in his studio in Paris for three months, or six. She spent time with people from around the world, who share a common interest. That’s genius. What I wouldn’t give to have an experience like that! Such an exchange of knowledge is virtually lost in today’s era of individualism. Everyone is supposed to work individually, as if team working meant that they would lose their “own expression”. I don’t even understand the concept of “own expression”. What I like is precisely the fact that a technique will determine you, I think this is a quality. To take pens, screen printing or a dry needle and to be able to be flexible with them; not taking acrylic colors and coming up with ugly plaster-like colors. To me, that’s not illustration. You mentioned building narratives with visual means. In your case the visual story is so evident, that sometimes even words are unnecessary – for example in your “silent” picture book Zgodba o sidru (The Story of the Anchor). I don’t think of illustration as a transfer of text into picture. The ratio between text and illustration could be summarized in a 1+1=3 formula. There is a new quality created, which runs along parallel; you can even build a completely own story, and present it through details or in a long shot. Personally I am trying to create such illustrations that even if you don’t read the text, you are able to read the story through images. Some authors feel a great obligation towards the text; they try to deliver it as faithfully as possible. With you though, it feels that you need a lot of autonomy. Yes, I simply take this autonomy, without asking anyone. This has nothing to do with the author of the text or the editor; it is my own personal thing. I have to say that I have been very fortunate with authors; I have been collaborating with authors that produce very open texts. Peter Svetina, for example, is one of them. His texts, you see, are so very open, that apart from the basic common thread of the story you will have a pile of other things to choose from – you can place the story in a particular time

Sem kot nekakšen arheolog, ki izkopava stare posode in okostja


Damijan Stepančič, Zgodba o sidru (The Story of the Anchor), Mladinska knjiga, 2010

or space frame, there are a lot of parallels that are not even mentioned in the text itself, but which offer so many possibilities. You mentioned time frames. It seems to me that you are chasing the spirit of the age, rather than trying to reproduce it credibly by means of costumes, architectural elements, objects … This is not to say that I am not interested in that. I am very interested in history, especially the maritime history, and I include this in my work. Peter Svetina, for example, wrote Usodne platnice (Fatal covers); I saw exactly that the setting was beneath the Ljubljana castle, even though it’s not mentioned anywhere in the text. I went there, photographed the houses and the cars and placed it in a 1980’s context. I included a number of logotypes from that time; it was the time of the winter Olympics in Sarajevo, so I decided to use the logo of the local department store Varteks – house of fashion, and a badge with the name of the recently deceased Tito; the Mediterranean games in Split… it is the spirit of the age that stirs the surface of your memories, and then different anecdotes swim up to daylight. With Svetina’s Čudežni prstan (The Magic Ring) I felt it was set in the early twentieth century bourgeois Ljubljana. It doesn’t say so in the text, but I thought it would overlap nicely with the story. This is where I take the autonomy, to make and execute such decisions. Then I examine through different books, I try to immerse myself inside a particular time. For example, I investigate about the type of street lamps that were used in that time; I also try to pinpoint the story geographically. I think it’s vital that you create an ambient through the illustration, a place where the story

unfolds. I’m like some sort of archaeologist, excavating old pots and skeletons. This is my way of understanding illustration. Even in the technical sense I use the old ways: I use ink and a pen to draw. I am not interested in illustration in the modern sense. When someone says illustration, the first thing that springs to mind is illuminators. When I was illustrating Vitomil Zupan’s Pravljica o črnem šejku z rdečo rožo (The Tale of the Black Sheikh with the Red Flower), I had just read Orhan Pamuk’s novel My Name is Red, in which he describes the illuminators from Istanbul. Now that was just crazy, how they were dealing with whether the girl’s ankle should be seen or not. This is the way I understand illustration – as archaic and ancient.

about a lighthouse and fishermen; it’s a more maritime story. It will be similar to The Story of the Anchor, but denser with pictures.

You also use different typographies to invoke the spirit of the age; you include them in the illustration itself.

You can say great things in a simple way, which is of course very different from the banalities you have just mentioned.

Yes, I am becoming increasingly interested in doing this, or in borders and margins. It’s all in the function of conjuring up an archaic atmosphere. Typography can act as a visual element, or it can be used to convey something. I am, for instance, looking very much forward to the Srečko Kosovel book, because constructivism includes a lot of typography; in fact certain poems are made from clippings alone.

With The Story of the Anchor I wanted to use minimal means, just employing the composition and the atmosphere, to tell a very simple story: about two people, one ship and a town. I suppose it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Most of the time you illustrate the works of other authors, but you have also produced your own picture book Zgodba o sidru (The Story of the Anchor). Would you call this a “natural” development? I don’t see why an authorial picture book should be so mystified. I simply came up with a story at a certain moment, and I wanted to tell that story without any words. I am now working on another picture book

I think it’s very important that the stories present children like miniature people, who are changing the course of destiny. I think children have a lot to say, they just haven’t developed the tools to do it yet. It’s significant to have children as the lead characters. In today’s abundance of different educationally-didactic picture books – about why the king doesn’t put away his slippers or why the children don’t wash their teeth, and other nonsense – it’s extremely important to let the children hear the great stories as well, like the Greek myths or the Andersen fairytales.

The book also reveals magical realism… Yes, because the ship sails across the sky instead of sailing on water. But the story is very concise and simple. Where does the fascination with maps and maritime originate from, that occurs so often in your work? I don’t know. I was always interested in alchemy, old alchemist illustrations, which led me to old maps. I have a whole collection of them. I realized that these old maps, though they do not portray the actual phys-


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Damijan Stepančič in studio / Damijan Stepančič v ateljeju (Photo / foto: Marjana Šegula)

ical state, reflect the spiritual landscape of their authors. Basically, that’s illustration. The story constructed itself. As for the sea and sailing – they are close to me, because I love to spend my time in this way. Every person today should have enough distance towards himself/herself, to be able to create a story about oneself. Of course it wouldn’t necessarily have to end tragically. Lately the story has been very important to me. I’ve always been envious of the classmates who came to school on Monday morning, full of stories to tell – including watching the ten o’clock sports overview on Sunday … In a way, everything can be a story. Yes, it’s important to know how to dose out the events in the right way, introducing characters at the right time… but the tales about putting away slippers and washing teeth are not stories to me, it is children training. We have to strive towards a more magnificent dimension of the story, where fates intertwine, where there are fights between the good and the evil; it’s the only way you can help to build the child into a grown personality, to whom values are no stranger. This feeling should be given to children through picture books and quality illustrations. They are not to be underestimated. Is it necessary to maintain a certain amount of transcendence, or mysteriousness?

Recently a book was published, which is a shared result of your own and your wife’s work: Kako so videli svet (How They Saw the World). In it you try to portray the past world to the young readers through the eyes of the ancient researchers of the world: sailors, merchants, cartographers, pirates, adventurers, rulers, scientists, philosophers, artists and astronauts. The mental horizon is in the center, their individual viewpoints. In a certain way every age, and every person creates their own world, isn’t that so? Yes, I totally agree with that. It seems to me that the world around us hasn’t changed too much in the course of history, in a way we are marking time. True, the technological development is racing forward and has made numerous leaps. If progress is measured by the speed of computers or cars, the leap is indeed impressive. But the world around us remains more or less the same. Trees have been growing; clouds have been wondering the skies for billions of years. What truly changes is our explanation, our perception, the way the world is or should be constructed. And in this respect I think stories play an important part even today: they explain the structure of the world in their own way. And they should not be underestimated despite all the progress and the high standard of living. What are the things that you consider indispensable inside a private room of every illustrator? It would be difficult to expose just one concrete thing. Any object that stirs the imagination – books, tin toys, antique postcards, puppets, they all have their own place in the studio. In case anything is still missing, my sons will take care of that, bringing other things to the room.

SI Damijan Stepančič z družino, ženo Lucijo in tremi sinovi, živi v kamniti hiši v vasici Senožeče. Od zunaj je hiša videti kot vegasta ladja, ki prijazno mežika v svet s turkiznimi očmi. Ko vstopiš vanjo, se počutiš kot bi bil v prostornem trebuhu kita, na sredi katerega tli ogenj na počrnelem odprtem ognjišču. Prizor me s svojo arhaičnostjo osupne, posebej lesena klop, ki posuta s pepelom ždi ob ognju. »Pa je dejansko namenjena sedenju?« nekoliko nejeverno vprašam. »Seveda. Tamle pa se obesi kotel. Tu so ljudje včasih posedali, posebej za božič,« mi pojasni Damijan. In si krajšali čas s pripovedovanjem zgodb, pomislim. Potem naju s fotografinjo odpelje v zgornje nadstropje, kjer so otroške sobe in ogromen atelje, v katerega so preuredili nekdanji senik. Prostor je prostoren in zračen, skozenj veje ustvarjalni nered. »Šele sedaj vidim, kako utesnjen sem bil v svojem starem ateljeju v Ljubljani, pa se tega sploh nisem zavedal,« se zadovoljno namuzne.

Damijanov delovni prostor je topel in domačen. V kotu je bogata knjižnica s klubsko mizico in platnenima stoloma; ob veliki delovni mizi, prekriti z ilustracijami in kupi knjig, je v ateljeju tudi pisalna miza, za katero ustvarja Lucija; tla so prekrita s številnimi otroškimi risbicami. »Mlajša otroka rada rišeta pri meni,« pojasni Damijan. Njegov atelje tako ni resnoben tempelj, ampak družinskega življenja polna soba. In zdi se, da je takšen tudi njegov odnos do lastnega likovnega ustvarjanja – predano se mu posveča, a ga ne mistificira, predvsem pa v njem neizmerno uživa. »Ali kaj pogrešate slikanje?« ga povprašam. »Čisto nič; kar imam povedati, lažje povem prek ilustracij,« brez pomisleka odgovori. Zgodbe se mu zdijo pri ilustracijah najpomembnejše. Pogosto jih išče na starih zemljevidih, včasih pa kakšno najde tudi v bližnji vaški gostilni. Po izobrazbi ste akademski slikar. Pred časom ste mi omenili, da vam je žal, da ne obstaja tudi specializirani študij ilustratorstva, saj bi na ta način nekatere veščine hitreje osvojili, tako pa je bila pot veliko daljša. Ves čas študija sem že risal story boarde za eno od oglaševalskih agencij. To ni imelo veze s slikarstvom ali kakšno veliko umetnostjo; potrebno je bilo narediti nekakšen stripek za reklamo za osvežilne pijače, avtomobile ipd. Bog ne daj, da bi to vedel kateri od profesorjev na fakulteti, zagotovo bi se mu do smrti zameril. (smeh) Pri tem delu sem spoznal drug način razmišljanja, ki ni bil neposredno povezan s slikanjem. Na fakulteti sem dobil zelo dobro izobrazbo v risanju, anatomiji, dojemanju prostora in oblikovanju formata. To mi sedaj pride zelo prav pri ilustracijah. Nisem pa se naučil zelo pomembne komponente, ki je prav tako sestavni del dobre ilustracije – pripovedništva, podajanja zgodbe skozi sliko. Tega sem se moral naučiti popolnoma sam na podlagi izkušenj ob branju stripov, gledanju slikanic ipd. To je po eni strani sicer dobro, po drugi pa tudi zamudno. Do veliko stvari se moraš dokopati sam, medtem ko bi jih na specializiranem študiju dobil neposredno. Za neko obrtniško znanje, v smislu poznavanje anatomije in podobnega, je akademija zelo dobra. Znanja o tem, kaj je ilustracija, zakaj stoji na določenem mestu v knjigi, kakšne so njene tehnične značilnosti, pa na akademiji ne dobiš. Če greš na primer na sejem v Bologno, vidiš koliko različnih tehnik ilustriranja obstaja. Jaz poznam tri ali štiri, obstaja pa jih nešteto; dobesedno dnevno jih izumljajo. V tem pogledu bi bili dobrodošli kakšni tečaji, kjer bi se ustvarjalci seznanjali z različnimi ilustratorskimi tehnikami, si izmenjavali izkušnje. Nedavno sem bil na razstavi Tince Stegovec in si kupil katalog, v katerem pravi, da se je odločila, da gre k nekemu umetniku v Pariz v atelje za tri mesece oziroma pol leta. Tam se je družila z ljudmi s celega sveta, ki so imeli podobna zanimanja. Genialno. Kaj bi dal za takšno izkušnjo! Takšna izmenjava znanja se je v današnji dobi individualizma nekako izgubila. Vsak naj bi ustvarjal individualno, kot bi s skupinskim delom izgubil »lasten izraz«. Jaz sploh ne razumem koncepta »lasten izraz«. Meni je všeč ravno to, da te tehnika determinira, to se mi zdi kva-

liteta. Da vzameš flomastre, sitotisk ali suho iglo in si v tem sposoben gibčnosti, ne pa da vzameš akrile in dobiš grde gipsaste barve. To zame ni ilustracija. Omenili ste grajenje naracije z likovnimi sredstvi. Pri vas je likovna pripoved tako močna, da so včasih besede celo odveč – na primer v vaši »nemi« slikanici Zgodba o sidru. Jaz ilustracije ne pojmujem kot prenos teksta v sliko. Razmerje teksta in ilustracije bi po mojem lahko prevedli v formulo 1+1=3. Nastane neka nova kvaliteta, ki teče vzporedno; lahko celo gradiš popolnoma svojo zgodbo, ki jo podajaš skozi detajle ali v drugem planu. Jaz poskušam delati takšne ilustracije, da tudi če ne bereš besedila, lahko prebereš zgodbo prek podob. Nekateri avtorji čutijo veliko obvezo do teksta, ki se ga trudijo podajati čim bolj zvesto. Pri vas pa je čutiti, da potrebujete veliko avtonomije. To avtonomijo si preprosto vzamem, sploh nikogar ne sprašujem. To sploh ni stvar avtorja besedila ali urednika,

Lucija in Damijan Stepančič, Kako so videli svet (How They Saw the World), Založba Miš, 2011

Yes, it has to be Zen-like. One must provide the content himself. Today, people are passive; they watch television where everything is offered to them. In rural places – such as the village I live in – where there have been local weirdoes and oddballs – stories are still interesting. There has to be something behind, otherwise it’s a brochure. I don’t think this can be achieved consciously; it either happens or it doesn’t.


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to je moja intimna stvar. Moram reči, da imam veliko srečo z avtorji; sodelujem namreč s takšnimi, ki imajo zelo odprte tekste. Peter Svetina je recimo eden od njih. Njegova besedila so tako odprta, da imaš ob osnovni rdeči niti zgodbe še celo kup stvari – zgodbo lahko postaviš v določen časovni ali prostorski okvir, veliko je vzporednih niti, ki v samem tekstu sploh niso zapisane, a ponujajo ogromno nekih možnosti.

dure, margine. Vse v funkciji pričaranja arhaičnega vzdušja. Tipografija lahko deluje kot likovni element ali pa poskušaš z njo tudi nekaj povedati. Zelo se veselim knjige Srečka Kosovela, saj je pri konstruktivizmu ogromno tipografije, določene pesmi so narejene samo iz izrezkov.

Omenili ste časovni okvir. Zdi se mi, da bolj lovite neki duh časa kot pa da bi ga želeli verodostojno reproducirati s pomočjo kostumov, arhitekturnih elementov, predmetov ...

Ne vem, zakaj bi tako mistificirali avtorsko slikanico. V nekem trenutku se mi je pač pojavila zgodba, ki sem jo želel povedati brez besed. Zdaj pripravljam novo slikanico o svetilniku in ribičih, bolj morsko. Bo podobna Zgodbi o sidru, samo bolj gosta s slikami.

Kar pa ne pomeni, da me to ne zanima. Zelo me zanima zgodovina, predvsem pomorstva, kar vpletam v svoje ilustracije. Peter Svetina je na primer napisal knjigo Usodne platnice; jaz sem točno videl, da se dogaja pod ljubljanskim gradom, čeprav to v tekstu ni nikjer omenjeno. Šel sem tja, fotografiral hiše in avtomobile ter jih umestil v osemdeseta leta prejšnjega stoletja. Vključil sem tudi različne logotipe iz tistega časa; takrat so bile ravno olimpijske igre v Sarajevu in sem jih vključil; pa na primer logotip veleblagovnice Varteks, kuća mode in značko z imenom Tita, ki je ravno takrat umrl; pa Mediteranske igre v Splitu ... Gre za duh časa, ki ti vzburka spominsko gladino in potem priplavajo na dan različne anekdote. Pri Svetinovem Čudežnem prstanu pa sem začutil, da se dogaja v začetku dvajsetega stoletja v meščanski Ljubljani. V samem tekstu to ni omenjeno, ampak se mi je zdelo, da bi se lepo pokrivalo z zgodbo. Tu si jemljem avtonomijo, da se tako odločim in naredim. Potem pregledam številne knjige, se poskušam poglobiti v določen čas. Raziskujem na primer kakšni tipi uličnih svetilk so bili v tistem času; zgodbo poskušam tudi natančno geografsko pozicionirati. Izredno pomembno se mi zdi, da skozi ilustracijo ustvariš neki ambient, kjer se zgodba dogaja. Sem kot nekakšen arheolog, ki izkopava stare posode in okostja. Tako sam razumem ilustracijo. Tudi v tehničnem smislu uporabljam stare načine: rišem s tušem, peresom. Ilustracija v modernem smislu me ne zanima. Ko nekdo reče ilustracija, prej pomislim na iluminatorje. Ko sem ilustriral Pravljico o črnem šejku z rdečo rožo Vitomila Zupana, sem ravno prebiral roman Ime mi je rdeča Orhana Pamuka, v katerem opisuje iluminatorje iz Istanbula. Bilo je noro, kako so se ukvarjali s tem, ali naj se gleženj dekleta vidi ali ne. Sam ilustracijo razumem na takšen način – arhaično, starinsko. Duh časa priklicujete tudi z različnimi tipografijami, ki jih vključujete v samo ilustracijo. To me v zadnjem času vedno bolj zanima, prav tako bor-

Večinoma ilustrirate dela drugih avtorjev, ustvarili pa ste tudi avtorsko slikanico Zgodba o sidru. Gre za »naraven« razvoj?

Zelo pomembno se mi zdi, da v zgodbah nastopajo otroci kot drobceni ljudje, ki spreminjajo tok usode. Mislim, da imajo ogromno za povedati, le da še nimajo razvitega aparata, s pomočjo katerega bi to storili. Pomembno je, da so otroci nosilni junaki. Danes, v poplavi najrazličnejših vzgojno-didaktičnih slikanic – o tem, zakaj kralj ne pospravlja copat ali zakaj si otroci ne umivajo zob in podobnih neumnosti – je izjemno pomembno, da otrokom pripovedujemo tudi velike zgodbe, na primer grške mite ali Andersenove pravljice in podobno. Globoke stvari lahko poveš na preprost način, kar je seveda nekaj povsem drugega kot banalnosti, ki jih omenjate. Pri Zgodbi o sidru sem želel z minimalnimi sredstvi, zgolj z rabo kompozicije in vzdušja, povedati zelo preprosto zgodbo: o dveh ljudeh, eni ladji in mestu. Lažje se najbrž ne da. V knjigi pa je prisoten tudi magični realizem ... Da, ker ladja pluje po nebu in ne po vodi. Ampak zgodba je zelo jedrnata, preprosta. Od kod pa fascinacija z zemljevidi, pomorstvom, ki je prisotna v vašem delu? Ne vem. Vedno me je zanimala alkimija, stare alkimistične ilustracije, kar me je pripeljalo do starih zemljevidov. Imam jih celo zbirko. Ugotovil sem, da ti stari zemljevidi, čeprav ne ustrezajo dejanskemu stanju na terenu, odražajo duhovno pokrajino tistega, ki jih je risal. To je v bistvu ilustracija. Tu se je zgodba sestavila sama od sebe. Morje in jadranje pa sta mi blizu, ker se tudi sam ukvarjam s tem. Vsak človek bi moral imeti toliko distance do samega sebe, da bi poskušal o sebi narediti zgodbo. Seveda ne nujno takšno s tragičnim koncem. Zadnje čase mi zgodba veliko pomeni. Vedno sem bil nevoščljiv sošolcem, ki so bili v ponedeljek v razredu polni nekih zgodb – do

tega, da so v nedeljo ob desetih gledali na televiziji Sportski pregled ... Na nek način je vse lahko zgodba. Pomembno je, da znaš pravilno dozirati dogajanje, kdaj se pojavi določena oseba ... A pripovedi o uporabi zobne ščetke in pospravljanju copat zame niso zgodba, to je dresura otrok. Stremeti moramo po veličastni razsežnosti zgodbe, kjer se prepletajo usode, boji med dobrimi in slabimi; le tako lahko otroka zgradiš v odraslo osebnost, ki ji vrednote niso tuje. Ta občutek morajo otroci dobiti prek slikanic in dobrih ilustracij. Ne smemo jih podcenjevati. Je potrebno ohranjati neko transcendenco, skrivnostnost? Da, mora biti zenovsko. Človek mora vsebino dati sam. Danes so ljudje pasivni; gledajo televizijo, kjer jim je vse ponujeno. V ruralnih prostorih – na primer v vasi, v kateri živim – kjer so bili čudaki in deseti bratje, so zgodbe še zanimive. Nekaj mora biti zadaj, drugače je prospekt. Mislim, da tega ni mogoče početi zavestno; ali se zgodi ali pa ne. Nedavno je izšla knjiga Kako so videli svet, ki ste jo ustvarili skupaj z ženo Lucijo, v kateri mladim bralcem približujeta minuli svet, kot so ga videli nekdanji raziskovalci sveta: mornarji, trgovci, kartografi, pirati, pustolovci, vladarji, znanstveniki, filozofi, umetniki in astronavti. V ospredju je miselni horizont, točka gledišča vsakega od njih. Na nek način vsaka doba, vsak človek kreira lasten svet, kajne? S tem se popolnoma strinjam. Zdi se mi, da se svet okoli nas skozi zgodovino ni posebej spremenil, bolj stopicamo na mestu. Res je, da tehnološki razvoj drvi in je naredil ogromno preskokov. Če napredek merimo recimo s hitrostjo računalnikov ali avtomobilov, je preskok impresiven. A svet okoli nas ostaja bolj ali manj enak. Drevesa rastejo, oblaki drvijo po nebu že milijarde let. Kar se res spreminja, je naša razlaga, dojemanje, način, kako je ali kako naj bi bil svet sestavljen. In tu zgodbe po mojem še danes igrajo veliko vlogo; na njim lasten način namreč pojasnjujejo ustroj sveta. In kljub vsemu napredku in blagostanju jih ne bi smeli podcenjevati. Katere stvari pa so po vašem mnenju nepogrešljive v lastni sobi vsakega ilustratorja? Težko bi izpostavil eno konkretno stvar. Vsak predmet, ki vzburja domišljijo – od knjig, pločevinastih igrač, do starinskih razglednic, lutk – ima svoj prostor v ateljeju. Če pa kaj slučajno manjka, za to poskrbijo sinovi in mi znosijo še kakšne reči.


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SUZI BRICELJ

More and more I am thinking about books in terms of incunabula Vedno bolj razmišljam o knjigi na način inkunabule Maša Ogrizek The door of the apartment, home of illustrator Suzi Bricelj, greets us with a small-size beehive panel with a dancing bear. The photographer and I are then taken into the dining room, where by the window there is a large desk, full of brushes, color pens, pencils, and other drawing tools. Rather than a private room it is a creative corner, framed by a large window through which a cold northern light pours in richly. The apartment is high up, so her eyes can rest at the sight of an even patch of the sky, without being disturbed by the treetops. Well, not that she is easily disturbed. She says that so far, she has developed such a discipline in her work that she manages in any kind of situation, and no longer needs complete creative isolation and quiet. This is really no surprise, since she has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Already as a little girl she illustrated her own fairytales, and made drawings instead of homework in her notebooks or on the asphalt around the houses in Novo mesto. Besides that, she was also always surrounded by picture books of the Slovenian “ladies”: Marlenka Stupica, Marjanca Jemec Božič … “In our home this was considered valuable; for straight A’s at school, I would get a book,” Suzi recalls. Personally she strives to create picture books like works of art, which will make the children enjoy them, and be fascinated with them. “Sometimes children ask me for an autograph, holding the book to their chest. I am always delighted to see this, perhaps also because books were very important to me as a child.” *** You illustrate a variety of diverse works by a number of different authors, yet it still seems that some common features can be extracted. On one hand the poeticism – you have lately illustrated some children poems by Tone Pavček – and on the other the tiny vignettes from the everyday (family) life. What kinds of texts are closest to you? I became very attached to the work Little Night Cake with Flames by Toon Tellegen. I was very satisfied with the project myself, and it received positive criticism as well. This was a text that I really fell in love with, and interpreted it in my own way. The author too was satisfied with my work, which was a great honor, because it’s not always like that; but at the same time he showed me that he sees his stories slightly more “sharp”, whereas I depicted them very mildly. It is interesting that the book speaks about human relationships, even though the stories are about animals. Such themes are very close to me, and I receive texts like these from Ciciban (a Slovenian children’s monthly) – for example Nataša Konc Lorenzutti and Majda Koren are two such writers. Usually they send me texts which include themes of parent-child relationships, or even adult relationships…

But this is not the only thing I am interested in. I also like to “interrupt” this topic with texts that allow me to use a more symbolic visual language. One such case is a Romani fairytale called How the Fiddle was Made, with an archetypal and open story. The topic seemed attractive as well, because I used to meet a lot of Romani children when I was little. When I was working on the book, I went to visit them. What I like about such projects in the artistic sense, is that you get to operate with the symbolism of the colors and have more freedom to construct the space in the visual sense – by means of color, by means of cancelling out the perspective; even in drawing you can be more lyrical. It is a fact that more open texts allow more freedom than the texts where you have to take into account certain parameters, which are inside it, such as the children’s age, the social framework which they live in… Your illustration could be characterized as realist; often even as “photo-realist”, since some architectural elements can be identified within your work. And you build a sense of surrealism, which often reflects the metaphorical use of language, with artistic elements. I only use the visual artistic metaphor where I believe the text allows me to do so. For example, it was possible in the case of the Romani fairytale. I was searching for the equivalents of music; personally I see many similarities between our (visual) and musical creativeness. And I was able to convey this metaphoric language through flowers; through color… even generally speaking I am fond of the symbolic use of colors, I use it to build the atmosphere, which I did already with Martin Krpan and apparently it seems to stick with me; I develop that even further. In a book you have to be convincing; you have to persuade the reader to get absorbed by the story, and then it’s even better if you can inspire him to enjoy it. This is the goal I want to achieve. More and more I am thinking about books in terms of incunabula, which – unfortunately – does not comply with today’s consumer society. I firmly believe that a book has to contain an artistic dimension; so that you go back to the illustrations and that they fulfill you, just like the text. Illustrations need to be constructed (with images) as text is constructed with words. But of course, you have to be convincing. Another typical feature of your work is a sophisticated depiction of characters. You never resort to explicit portraying or even caricaturing, but use an authentic characterization by means of typical gestures, clothes, physiognomy, implied expressions … Many things are derived from sketches, something I practiced intensely during my study years in Paris. I realized I had to develop the skill of drawing. By drawing a lot I discovered very different things. Among others, I discovered that drawing is perhaps the most personal record of


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all, and that you can use it to convey the most intimate of expressions. At the same time I noticed progress in the skill of quickly marking the idea of the human body. I have always kept away from caricature; personally, I understand it as a particular genre, one that I am not interested in. Including caricature in illustration even strikes me as somewhat vulgar. I don’t mean to put down the authors who use it as their form of expression, but it’s just not close to me. Through the practice of sketching, I came to possess a certain type of knowledge about people, about the way we move, and so on. Sometimes I manage to capture a gesture in the first sketch, but then a drawing has to be made, one that stands firmly and that is not too open. I could compare the discipline of sketching to music – just like musicians have to practise regularly the scales and etudes, illustrators practise sketching to maintain our drawing condition. Your characters are indeed very persuasive. Where do you get the knowledge about the psychological types of people? Are you an “observer” by nature? At first I worked a lot by observing live models; through the years all of this sinks in and creates quite an extensive archive. Now I can sense and see certain characters already from the text. In time, even the view changes – you don’t look at people anymore like somebody who is not an illustrator, or the way you used to look at people back when you were not a professional. You compare all the information that you receive visually from a person to the information you receive about them in other ways. These are simply the consequences of our profession. At the same time I am aware that I should not be too hasty in judging a character on the basis of appearance. This

means that you also develop a sensitivity for all the prejudice we have regarding the external appearance.

ers. I think they must have chosen me precisely because of the humor, which is present generally in my drawings.

Another thing that is present in your work is humor, though it may not be very obvious; it is mild and subtle…

Another work that could well be classified as humorous is The Emperor’s New Clothes, where the subtle social criticism is only implied...

It reflects the kind of person I am. I am no entertainer, but I do have a sense of humor, which I like very much to express through the language I use, for instance in a comical sound or a comical use of the words. During my study in France I learnt that humor is the final point that you can reach in some other language, which also makes the communication that much harder.

Yes, often there is an intertwinement of both: social criticism and humor. I think it’s hard to combine these, especially in works that are primarily intended for children. I don’t think in such cases you can afford the same amount of cynicism and sarcasm as with older readers. You have to express things in an entirely different manner: you have to be careful that the criticism is not too direct or too banal, but still present. Every work must have a message – if there is a message in the text, it has to be expressed in the illustration.

Humor is also connected to something that was revealed to me by professor Radovan Jenko – namely that it’s good to communicate in a positive manner. Naturally, not at any price and it doesn’t always solve the problem. But such an attitude is generally close to me. I also enjoy drama and dramatic things. For example, I loved Tone Pavček’s work Romeo and Juliet, because I like the power that it carries and the catharsis at the end. I like powerful texts, because they absorb me. I wish there were more works like that. In terms of humor, two other works stand out in your opus: Gospod in hruška (The Gentleman and the Pear) and Humoreske (Comedies) by Fran Milčinski. These are Slovenian classics. Why were you drawn to them? Martin Krpan was the topic chosen for my diploma paper, together with professor Zdravko Papič. It was a way for me to develop drawing skills, but I also enjoyed it because of its humorous side. In that rebellious age I was also inspired by the character of Martin Krpan. The other texts you are referring to were offered to me by publish-

I am always in search of equivalents. For me, this is an intellectual job; it’s not something that comes by inspiration. It’s about thinking, research, collecting materials. For example, when I was designing the visuals for Rabelais’ Gargantua in Pantagruel, I did a lot of research on the historical background, to be able to grasp the text, what was going on inside it; to understand his humor, which is exceptional. In my work, a lot of the time is devoted to the initial study of the text, before I even begin to sketch or draw. Lately I have noticed this initial study has become more and more extensive. Of course this depends on the text as well; Pavček’s poem Po morju plava kit (A Whale Swims in the Sea) required more factual materials. His crocodile poem demanded a wider search. I had to return to the fairytale psychoanalysis and other theories of fairytales. There were also ethnographic elements in the text, because the setting is a foreign country, which raises the

Suzi Bricelj, Neredko, Nina Mav Hrovat, Mladinska knjiga Založba 2011


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question why is it set somewhere else … On the basis of the ideas I receive, I construct my visual interpretation. Do you have any secret wishes about a particular text you would like to illustrate? At the moment I wish I could do Gargantua and Pantagruel once more, only this time in full color. I would love to do any of Grimm’s fairytales; because they are archetypal stories, which leave a lot of room for interpretation, a lot of freedom. More and more I want to illustrate texts that allow more freedom. Lately I have mostly been working on stories set in the modern times, so I wish I could return to history again, which is richer in terms of costumes and architecture. What are the things that you consider indispensable inside a private room of every illustrator? Colors, brushes and paper (laughs). And peace and quiet. Especially at the beginning of a project you need a lot of concentration, to become absorbed by the depth of the text, which you then explore, and draw. Naturally, I draw behind my desk, but I often go outside for some visual impressions. When I was drawing bears, I went to the zoo; when I’m drawing forest, I go to the forest; when I was drawing Piran, I went to Piran… I love field work. It’s also indispensable to have “empty time”, when you create just for yourself. For example, I deliberately didn’t take any of the tools with me to the sea, and then out of pure pleasure I created interesting, free things, which I use many times as a guide for my work. At the same time I believe that if your interest and your wish are really great, all you need are colors, brushes and paper.

SI Na vratih stanovanja, kjer prebiva ilustratorka Suzi Bricelj, nas pozdravi drobna panjska končnica s plešočim medvedom. Potem naju s fotografinjo odpelje v jedilnico, kjer ob oknu stoji velika miza, polna čopičev, barvic, svinčnikov in drugih risarskih pripomočkov. Bolj ustvarjalni kotiček kot lastna soba, ki ga uokvirja veliko okno, skozi katerega se bogato razliva hladna severna svetloba. Ker je stanovanje visoko, se njen pogled lahko spočije na enakomerni zaplati neba, ne da bi ga zmotile krošnje dreves. No, pa saj je ni lahko zmotiti. Pravi namreč, da je doslej pri ilustriranju razvila tolikšno disciplino, da se znajde v katerikoli situaciji in ne potrebuje več popolne ustvarjalne samote in miru. Kar niti ne preseneča, saj riše, odkar pomni. Že kot deklica je ilustrirala pravljice, ki jih je sama napisala; namesto domačih nalog je risala v zvezke ali na asfalt okoli hiš in blokov v Novem mestu. Vedno pa je bila obdana tudi s slikanicami naših »dam«: Marlenke Stupice, Marjance Jemec Božič ... »Pri nas je bila to vrednota; za odličen uspeh sem na primer dobila knjigo,« se spominja Suzi. Sama stremi k temu, da bi bile njene slikanice umetnine, v katerih bi otroci uživali in bi jih osupnile. »Včasih me otroci prosijo za avtogram in k prsim stiskajo knjigo. To me razveseli; morda tudi zato, ker so tudi meni kot otroku knjige veliko pomenile.« *** Ilustrirate raznolika dela številnih avtorjev, pa vendarle se mi zdi, da je mogoče izluščiti nekaj skupnih potez. Na eni strani poetičnost, v zadnjem času ste ilustrirali nekaj pesnitev za otroke Toneta Pavčka, na drugi pa drobne vinjete iz vsakdanjega (družinskega) življenja. Kakšna besedila so vam najbližje? Zelo blizu mi je bila knjiga Mala nočna torta s plameni Toona Tellegena. Sama sem bila zadovoljna s projektom in tudi sprejet je bil zelo dobro. Takrat sem se res zaljubila v besedilo in ga po svoje interpretirala. Tudi avtor je bil zadovoljen z mojimi ilustracijami, kar mi je bilo v veliko čast, saj ni vedno tako; mi je pa hkrati pokazal, da on malo bolj »ostro« vidi svoje zgodbe, jaz pa sem jih prikazala zelo milo.

projektih všeč, da lahko operiraš s simbolnostjo barv in imaš več svobode, da gradiš prostor v likovnem smislu – z barvo, z ukinjanjem perspektive; tudi v risbi si lahko bolj liričen. Dejstvo je, da bolj odprti teksti dajo več svobode kot teksti, pri katerih moraš upoštevati določene parametre, ki so v tekstu: na primer starost otrok, socialni okvir, v katerem živijo ...

katarza, ki je na koncu. Všeč so mi močna besedila, ker te potegnejo, da greš tudi sam noter. Takih besedil bi si želela še več.

Vašo ilustracijo bi lahko imenovali realistično; pogosto gre celo za »foto-realizem«, saj so na primer prepoznavni nekateri arhitekturni elementi. Občutek nadrealizma, ki pogosto odseva metaforično rabo jezika, pa gradite z likovnimi elementi.

Martin Krpan je bila tema, ki sva jo izbrala za moje diplomsko delo skupaj s profesorjem Zdravkom Papičem. Omogočala mi je, da sem razvijala risarske veščine, blizu pa mi je bila tudi zaradi humorne plati. V obdobju, ko si še bolj uporniški, mi je ustrezal tudi uporniški lik Martina Krpana. Drugi teksti, ki jih omenjate, pa so bili ponujeni s strani založnikov. Mislim, da so me izbrali prav zaradi humorja, ki je tudi sicer v moji risbi.

Likovne metafore se poslužujem tam, kjer domnevam, da mi besedilo to dopušča. Na primer v romski pravljici je bilo to mogoče. Tam sem iskala likovne ekvivalente glasbe; sama vidim veliko sorodnosti med našim ustvarjanjem in glasbenim ustvarjanjem. In sem lahko spravila to metaforiko skozi rože, skozi barvo ... Tudi sicer mi je blizu simbolna raba barv, s čimer gradim atmosfero, kar sem počela že pri Martinu Krpanu in se me – kot kaže – še vedno drži, kar razvijam naprej. V knjigi moraš biti prepričljiv; bralca moraš prepričati, da pade v zgodbo, potem pa je fino, da ga še očaraš, da uživa. To je moj cilj, ki si ga želim doseči. Vedno bolj razmišljam o knjigi na način inkunabule, kar na žalost ni v skladu z našo potrošniško družbo. Prepričana sem, da mora knjiga imeti v sebi umetniško razsežnost; da se vračaš k ilustracijam in te izpolnjujejo tako kot besedilo. Ilustracije je potrebno graditi kot tekst ob besedilu. Tudi skozi ilustracijo lahko pripoveduješ stvari. Moraš pa seveda biti prepričljiv. Za vaše delo je značilna tudi prefinjena karakterizacija likov. Nikoli se ne zatekate k poudarjenemu portretiranju ali celo karikiranju, vendar značaje likov avtentično izrišete prek značilnih gest, obleke, fiziognomije, nakazanih izrazov ... Veliko izhaja iz skiciranja, kar sem intenzivno počela med študijskim bivanjem v Parizu. Zavedala sem se, da moram graditi na risbi. S tem, ko sem tako veliko risala, sem odkrivala različne stvari. Med drugim sem spoznala, da je risba morda najbolj oseben zapis in da se skozi njo lahko zelo intimno izražaš. Hkrati pa sem napredovala tudi v veščini, da hitro zabeležim idejo človeškega telesa. Vedno sem se odmikala od karikature; sama jo razumem kot posebno vrsto, ki me ne zanima. Vključevanje karikature v ilustracijo pa se mi zdi do neke mere celo vulgarno. Ne želim slabšalno govoriti o avtorjih, ki to počnejo, ampak meni enostavno ni blizu.

Po humorju v vašem opusu izstopata še Gospod in hruška ter Humoreske Frana Milčinskega. Tudi Martin Krpan Frana Levstika ima v sebi neki robat humor. Gre za slovenske klasike; zakaj so vas pritegnili?

Med humorna dela bi lahko uvrstili tudi Cesarjeva nova oblačila, kjer je družbena kritika subtilno nakazana ... Da, pogosto gre za preplet obojega: na eni strani družbena kritika in na drugi humor. Meni je to dvoje težko združevati, sploh če gre za dela, ki so primarno namenjena otrokom. Po mojem mnenju si ne moreš privoščiti cinizma in sarkazma, ki si ju lahko privoščiš, če delaš za starejše bralce. Stvari je treba izraziti na drugačen način; paziti je treba, da kritika ni preveč direktna, da ni banalna, ampak je vseeno prisotna. Vsako delo mora imeti sporočilnost – če je sporočilo v besedilu, ga je treba spraviti v ilustracijo. Vedno iščem neke ekvivalente. To je zame intelektualno delo, ni nekaj, kar bi prišlo z navdihom. Gre za razmišljanje, raziskovanje, zbiranje materiala. Ko sem na primer likovno opremljala Rabelaisov roman Gargantua in Pantagruel, sem veliko raziskovala tudi zgodovinsko ozadje, da sem dojela, kaj se dogaja v tekstu, da sem sploh dojela njegov humor, ki je izjemen. Pri delu velik delež zavzema začetni študij teksta, preden se sploh lotim skiciranja oziroma risb. Opažam, da v zadnjem času vedno več zavzema začetni študij. Seveda je to odvisno tudi od besedila; pri Pavčkovi pesnitvi Po morju plava kit je bilo potrebno zbrati več faktografskega materiala. Pri njegovi pesnitvi o krokodilu pa je bilo potrebno iti širše. Morala sem se vrniti k psihoanalizi pravljic in drugim teorijam pravljic; v besedilu so tudi etnografski elementi, ker se pesnitev dogaja v drugi deželi, ob čemer se zastavlja vprašanje, zakaj se dogaja drugje ... Na podlagi idej, ki jih dobim, potem gradim svojo vizualno interpretacijo. Imate kakšno skrito željo, katerega teksta bi se lotili?

S pomočjo skiciranja je nastalo tudi neko vedenje o ljudeh, o tem, kako se premikamo in podobno. Včasih mi že s prvo skico uspe ujeti gesto, a potem je potrebno narediti risbo, ki stoji in ki ni preveč odprta. Disciplino skiciranja bi lahko primerjala z glasbo – tako kot morajo glasbeniki redno vaditi lestvice in etude, ilustratorji s skiciranjem vzdržujemo risarsko kondicijo.

Trenutno si želim, da bi se ponovno lotila Gargantue in Pantagruela, ampak tokrat »full color«. Lotila bi se tudi kakšne Grimmove pravljice; ker gre za arhetipske zgodbe, je veliko možnosti za interpretacijo, imaš veliko svobode. Vedno bolj si želim besedil, ki dopuščajo več svobode. Zadnje čase delam predvsem zgodbe, ki se dogajajo v sodobnem času, zato bi si ponovno želela iti v zgodovino, ki je kostumsko in arhitekturno bolj bogata.

Vaši liki so zares prepričljivi; od kje črpate svoje vedenje o psiholoških tipih ljudi? Ste po značaju »opazovalka«?

Katere stvari pa so po vašem mnenju nepogrešljive v lastni sobi vsakega ilustratorja?

Sprva sem veliko delala po živih modelih; skozi leta se vse to useda in nastane kar velik arhiv. Sedaj že skozi besedilo začutim in vidim določen lik. Sčasoma se spremeni tudi pogled – ljudi ne gledaš več kot nekdo, ki se s tem ne ukvarja, tako kot si jih sam včasih gledal, ko se s tem nisi intenzivno ukvarjal. Vse informacije, ki jih dobiš vizualno s človekom, primerjaš z informacijami, ki jih dobiš o njem na druge načine. To so preprosto posledice poklica, ki ga opravljamo. Obenem se zavedam, da ne smem prehitro soditi o značaju na podlagi videza. Hkrati postaneš tudi bolj pozoren na predsodke, ki jih imamo na podlagi zunanje podobe. V vašem delu je prisoten tudi humor, ki pa morda ni v prvem planu; je blag, subtilno nakazan ...

Zanimivo je, da je v knjigi govor o medčloveških odnosih, čeprav pripoveduje o živalih. Takšne teme so mi blizu, tako da mi tudi v Cicibanu dajejo tovrstna besedila – na primer Nataša Konc Lorenzutti veliko piše o tem, pa Majda Koren in drugi. Po navadi mi dajejo stvari, ki vključujejo teme o medsebojnih odnosih med starši in otroki, med odraslimi ...

Tudi sama sem tak tip človeka. Nisem zabavljač, imam pa v sebi humor, ki ga zelo rada izražam skozi jezik, na primer skozi komično sozvočje besed ali komično rabo besede. Ko sem študirala v Franciji, sem opazila, da je humor tista zadnja točka, do katere lahko prideš v nekem drugem jezikovnem področju, zaradi česar je komunikacija dosti težja.

A to ni edina stvar, ki me zanima. To tematiko rada »presekam« z besedili, v katerih lahko uporabljam bolj simbolno likovno govorico. Takšen primer je romska pravljica Kako so nastale gosli, kjer je zgodba arhetipska in odprta. Tudi tematika se mi je zdela zanimiva, ker sem se kot otrok srečevala z Romi. Ko sem delala knjigo, sem jih šla tudi obiskat. V likovnem smislu pa mi je pri takšnih

Humor je povezan tudi s spoznanjem, ki mi ga je posredoval profesor Radovan Jenko – da je stvari dobro sporočati na pozitiven način. Seveda ne za vsako ceno in to vedno ne rešuje naloge. Ampak tak pristop mi je v osnovi blizu. Rada imam tudi dramo oziroma dramatične stvari. Na primer knjiga Toneta Pavčka Romeo in Julija mi je bila všeč, ker mi je všeč moč, ki jo ima drama v sebi, in

Barve, čopiči in papir. (smeh) In mir. Sploh na začetku projekta potrebuješ veliko koncentracije, da padeš v globino besedila in potem tam brskaš in iščeš. Rišem seveda v sobi, za mizo, po vizualne vtise pa grem pogosto ven. Ko sem risala medvede, sem šla v živalski vrt; če rišem gozd, grem v gozd; ko sem risala Piran, sem šla v Piran ... Terensko delo imam rada. Nepogrešljivo je tudi, da imaš »prazen čas«, ko ustvarjaš samo zase. Na primer, na morje namenoma nisem vzela ničesar in so iz čistega užitka nastajale zanimive, svobodne stvari, da jih velikokrat uporabim kot vodilo pri svojem delu. Hkrati pa mislim, če imaš res velik interes in željo, potrebuješ le barvice, čopiče in papir.


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Immaculate conception?

Artificial insemination as the immaculate conception of Zvonka T Simčič in the performance Doulas ”ad utero, ab ovo”

Performans Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo” Zvonke T Simčič

Alenka Spacal In the prevailing tradition of Western fine arts, women were most often presented on behalf of male authors as erotic or maternal figures. The latter were depicted in the images of mother of god or images of real mothers with children. In this way motherhood was, in most cases, presented one-sidedly in rather idealized ways. The sacral works celebrated the cult of divine maternity1, which Adrienne Rich names the ”sacrificial iconography of the Christian church, which praises the passive maternity of the Virgin Mary”2. In the portraits of real mothers, the glorifying cult of motherhood was connected to femininity in general, or to female fertility and its disposition to nature. In the history of fine arts even a large number of female artists have depicted themselves as mothers, trying to highlight the myth of happy motherhood in particular. Women did not begin to unravel the different sides of their own maternal experience more critically until the twentieth century. That is when the image of the pregnant body became a frequent theme of maternal figures. If in the past the prevailing myths about maternity uncritically glorified, worshipped, exalted and idealized the child-bearing role of women, later visual works began to display a critique of such cults with more realistic depictions of maternal and pregnancy roles. Among contemporary artists, certain maternal images are becoming increasingly obsolete: those which still stress the physiological changes of the female body in the time of pregnancy, the experience of breast-feeding, or the division between the roles of mother and professional artist. Such issues have been transferred – mostly by constructivist-oriented artists – to a more political sphere, by addressing the current social issues as connected to the different forms of maternity and family. Among such socially engaged feminist issues, linked to the ideas of pregnancy, motherhood, and modern forms of family, is the issue of artificial insemination of single women, which was introduced to Slovenian visual art by Zvonka T Simčič. In 2007, in a most innovative and socially engaged performance entitled Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo”3, the author raised the issue of the (im)possibility of artificial insemination of single women4. The aforementioned issues were exposed through a performative declaration about her own experience of insemination, impregnation, pregnancy and child birth. By presenting her own case in the form of an artistic performance she also responded as an activist to the dismal results of the Slo1  The Christian representations of femininity or the maternal based on the cult of the Virgin Mary, or the “humanization of Christianity by the cult of Mother”, were described by Julia Kristeva in her text “Stabat Mater”. According to her, Christianity is “doubtless the most refined symbolic construct in which femininity, if it shines through it – and it permeates constantly – finds its sanctuary inside the maternal.” (Julia Kristeva, “Stabat mater”, Delta, 1995, 1–2, p. 18.) 2  Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Selected essays 1966-1978, ŠKUC, Lambda / 28, Ljubljana, 2003, p. 254 3  The title of the performance includes the term “doula”, which is used to describe an experienced woman present during childbirth in traditional cultures, offering both physical and psychological support. She is not a traditional midwife, but a relative or a friend, who takes care of and nurtures the birthing mother and the newborn even after the child is born. 4  The performance Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo” was discussed already by Ida Hiršenfelder and Ana Grobler. (Prim. Ida Hiršenfelder, “‘Brezmadežno spočetje’?”, Dnevnik, 18 December 2007, http://www.dnevnik.si/novice/kulture/287830; Ana Grobler, [Ne]močne, exhibition catalog, Zavod za kulturo Delavski dom Trbovlje, 2–19 March 2010.)

Umetna oploditev kot brezmadežno spočetje

venian 2001 referendum, when the majority voted5 that single women do not have the right to artificial insemination.6 Prior to that and accompanying the suggested changes and legal amendments on infertility treatment and insemination procedures by means of biomedical assistance, a public debate was formed, which raised the question of whether single women7 should have the right to a child, or the right to choose about their own maternity. After the failure of the referendum this issue subsided significantly in the wider public, but has been revived with the debates about the Family Code in 2012, which resembled rather strongly those of a decade ago.8 In her performance, Zvonka T Simčič reached from a personal experience to the political level, and warned about the wider social issues concerning the unequal rights of women to a biomedically assisted insemination. It should be pointed out particularly, that she was impregnated as a single woman in a country which otherwise will not allow such medical assistance to women who do not live in a community with a man. The artist stood up successfully to an unjust legislation; and at the age of 43 – which is otherwise the upper age limit for executing artificial insemination procedures – she searched the web for a man, who was ready to become a donor, and later a real father, to her future child. Since the practice with medical procedures does not involve checking the actual relationships, they had no trouble acting the part of partners. We could say that the author was fortunate both with the state and the biology, because her body didn’t let her down and she had no problems getting pregnant immediately. 5  26,38 % (i.e. 149.799 voters) spoke for the enforcement of the law, and 72,36 % (i.e. 410.856 voters) against it. 6  The violation of women’s rights was addressed by the representatives of the lesbian section ŠKUC-LL. (Prim. Tatjana Greif, »Dosje: Urad varuha človekovih pravic RS: Prva devetletka«, Lesbo, 15–16, 2002, p. 4.) 7  It is worth mentioning, that apart from the discriminative law, which already violates human rights in principle, by excluding a part of the female population, the legal amendment which introduces the syntagm of “the single woman” is also questionable. Namely, the only problem was not the interference into the autonomy and freedom of women concerning their marital status, but also the exclusive character of the formulation, that even those women who are not single, but do not live with a man, are considered as single. The differences between women were not established on the basis of their marital status or singleness, but on the basis of whom they were living with. Living as a couple was not opposed to single living; rather living in a male-female couple was opposed to single women and lesbian partners. This law was therefore not only about the question of singleness, as proposed by the referendum question, but about whether a woman was living with a man or not, which constitutes an unacceptable interference of the state into the fundamental rights of the women. 8  The problematic discourse which appeared in the public with the artificial insemination referendum in 2001, has been continued in 2012 by the opponents of the Family Code. With a petition to support the “family referendum”, representatives of the Civil initiative for family and children’s rights published 14 reasons, according to which they think the Family Code should be rejected. One of the reasons states the questionable legalization of free artificial insemination for the homosexually oriented. In their opinion the proposed Family Code represents one of the major steps towards the enactment of impregnation by means of biomedical assistance for lesbians, and legalization of surrogate maternity for homosexual men. (Source: http://lj.rkc.si/ps/?id=517&fmod=4) But the Family Code does not in fact interfere with the area of artificial insemination and surrogate maternity, as these issues are covered by the law on infertility treatment and biomedically assisted procreation procedures, passed in 2000. (Source: http://www.zavsedruzine.si/)

The performance, composed of a rhetorical part and a video, was conducted together with guest Renata Šribar on December 13th 2007 at the Škuc Gallery. In the event, the artist presented her path from finding the sperm donor to artificial insemination and labor. With the cooperation of photographer Nada Žgank, videos and photographs were created, distinguished by outstanding editing work, with individual images displaying two perfectly joined figures of Zvonka T Simčič at the same time in one character. The transparent white veil discloses different poses of the author’s nude body, either in the figure of a real pregnant woman, or at other times in the character of the Virgin Mary. The figures percolate one into the other, thus joining together inventively into one common image. In the figure of the expectant mother in her late pregnancy, the author’s eyes rest lovingly on the stomach of the unborn baby from the test tube, whom she embraces; while the figure of the mother of god shows her face staring into her hands, joined in prayer. While the author as a pregnant woman bows her head towards the child, she appears happy – a blessed look on her face, her lips revealing a gentle, hardly noticeable smile, which predicts the forthcoming maternal love. In the form of Mary, with a rapt, almost expressionless look directed towards the praying hands, her face appears serious and without any particular emotion. Although the percolating images seem equivalent at the first sight, the figure of Mary is slightly more noticeable than the pregnant woman’s, which is somewhat withdrawn. The hands touching the future mother’s stomach are not as emphasized as the hands of the praying figure. Both images make the author’s body, covered in white fabric, seem virtually colorless. In the absence of any kind of color- or lighting-contrasts it appears, with the barely noticeable, gentle complexion shades, somehow unearthly or non-physical. In some places the thin whitish garment opens up just enough, to expose besides the face and the hands another detail of the author’s body, like legs or breasts. Even though the body under the tender lace veil seems naked, it is still covered, so it doesn’t primarily stress nudity. The praying pregnant woman discloses more spiritual than bodily eroticism. The symbolism of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a truly ingenious metaphor in the context of artificial insemination. In the text accompanying the performance the author asks: “Is this an Immaculate Conception?” The described photographs were also printed in the form of little ‘holy cards’, with a ‘religious text’ by Renata Šlibar on the back: “As much as there is of the holy, there should be of the rude.” The image of the Virgin Mary presented in the simultaneous role of a pregnant woman, seems highly subversive. It is a motif that has not been depicted in the tradition of the Western fine arts. The mother of god appeared only in the role of mother, never as a pregnant woman. On the contrary, the photo-editing of Zvonka T Simčič the image of a pregnant woman is interlaced with the figure of the mother of god, through which the author personifies the pregnant Virgin Mary. This is no longer some kind of abstract Mary stripped of all physicality, but an actual pregnant woman of flesh and blood. There is also no longer an idealized image of Mary, impregnated by the Holy Ghost, but a real person, inseminated with the help of biomedical assistance. As such, she no longer acts only in the role of the humble, subservient, shy and quiet prayer; instead she becomes, with an almost revealed nudity, a shameless, bold and brave woman, who controls her own body entirely. The


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spiritual figure is replaced by an increasingly real individual. The right which should belong to her legally, she took herself. In the character of the future mother, who was impregnated by means of biomedical assistance, and a simultaneous image of the mother of god, Zvonka T Simčič appears to be “praying” for all the women in our country who still do not have the possibility of such a medical service. In the form of the woman who was, according to Christian mythology, impregnated immaculately, she embodies the “prayer” for all those women, whose fundamental right to a free choice about the birth of their own children is being violated. It seems that she “prays” for the content of article 55 of Slovenian constitution to be understood equally for all. In doing so she is standing up for all those women whose right to an access to artificial insemination – and by that the right to have children - has been stopped, simply because they do not live in the only type of community that the state acknowledges, i.e. a heterosexual community; or because they do not live in any kind of community, but are single. Simčič’s “Virgin Mary” looks as if in her peaceful “prayer” she is asking for the right to insemination for all those women, who would like to have a child, but have not decided to live with a man, or have not found the right partner. As the mother of a child, who was not conceived directly by a man or by god, but through medical intervention, the artist has stood up for all women to have the same rights concerning artificial insemination. Her performance could be interpreted as a subversive artistic gesture, which was used to draw attention to a discriminatorily designed law that does not grant equal possibilities for all women – the possibility of a biomedically assisted insemination. By deciding to go through with the procedure which is otherwise not allowed by the state, she took the right to decide about her own reproduction, and became the mother of her son, Adam. The decision for artificial insemination in a country that prohibits this right to single women is a brave and bold act of a confident individual, who uses this gesture also to refuse female submission to the male hegemony in reproduction. If the women were, as Laura Cottingham says, “as far as history can tell, forced to spend their lives as their husbands’ personal servants, sexual objects and reproductive bodies”9, then a single woman impregnated with biomedical assistance could be characterized as a free and independent person, who stands up against all this, because her body is no longer in any way owned by a heterosexual man. It is about the body of a woman who has, much like a lesbian, terminated the heterosexual social contract – in the words of Monique Wittig; which means that she rejected the economic, ideological and political power of the male.10 This is why artificial insemination of single women symbolically stands as the acknowledgement of women’s social power, and at the same time as an opposition to the heterosexist authoritative male ideology. After her child was born, Zvonka T Simčič chose her following projects to discuss the postnatal period, the role of a single mother, and the attitude of the state towards single-parent families. She first exposed her own position as a single mother in a performance entitled New Allegories, performed in 2008 at the Kapelica gallery. The event was designed with a group of co-workers and performers as an audio-video interactive orchestration of an ambient space, with a theoretical introduction by Tanja Rener and Tatjana Greif. The central point of the installation was occupied by the author’s self-portrait with her child. In her previous project the author in the figure of Virgin Mary, was expecting a child conceived with biomedical assistance; in her next performance she appeared as the mother of god, dressed all in white and holding her naked baby. On her special maternal mission, through different audio-visual fragments and the visitor’s interactive entrances into the space, she appeared almost unearthly. Her position as a single mother, stumbling across a number of existentialist problems in our country, was then radicalized in the framework of a special exhibition at the Museum of pre-modern art in Hotič, on her son Adam’s second birthday, April 5th 2009. It was a highly activist event, an appeal to the state. In the role of a single mother Zvonka T Simčič, who works in Slovenia as a free cultural worker, together with singersongwriter Ksenija Jus – Xenija, made a public appeal to 9  Laura Cottingham, Lesbans are so chic … that we are not really lesbians at all, ŠKUC, Vizibilija collection, Ljubljana, 2009, p. 30. 10  Monique Wittig, Essays, ŠKUC, Vizibilija collection / III, Ljubljana, 2000, pp. 34, 77, 97.

Zvonka Simčič, Doulas, 2007

the state, to change the status of the self-employed in the field of culture. On this occasion she exhibited her son as, in her own words, “an artifact – a reminder to the state”. She used her child as a living object of the artwork, as a warning call or an appeal to the state. With such an activist gesture the artist deliberately objectified her own child for the purposes of the artwork. In the performance Doualas “ad utero, ab ovo”, which referred to artificial insemination, the main object of the artwork was the author herself, as an artist and future mother of a test tube baby. In her later works, where she focused on the postnatal period and her son’s place in society, both of them became the object of her artistic research; in this way the author re-questioned their rights and non-rights, as well as the attitude of the entire social apparatus towards her status of a free artist, or one self-employed cultural worker on one side, and her status as a single mother on the other. In all this she focused mainly on the influence of the environment and the possibilities for survival of a single woman with a child. In the political sense, both performances by Zvonka T Simčič, Doualas “ad utero, ab ovo” and New Allegories, remain just as topical as they were a few years ago, when they were created. Despite the fact that in June 2011 the Family Code was passed in the Slovenian parliament, the constitutional court did not prevent the referendum the following year, in which later, in March 2012, the majority decided once again about the rights of the minority. As few as 15 % of all citizens voted against it decisively, and it was enough to reject the Family Code. The author’s son Adam is thus growing up in a country where children from single-parent, same-sex and all other contemporary forms of family still don’t have the same rights as children from traditional families.11

11  The text was written in 2013. In March this year the parliament passed the amendments to The Marriage and Family Relations Act, which leaves us with the hope that things are finally going to change for the better.

SI V prevladujoči tradiciji zahodne likovne umetnosti so bile ženske s strani moških avtorjev najpogosteje predstavljene kot erotične ali materinske figure. Slednje so bile upodabljane v likih matere božje ali v podobah realnih mater z otroki. Pri tem je bilo materinstvo največkrat prikazovano enostransko na precej idealizirane načine. V sakralnih delih se je slavil kult božjega materinstva,1 kar je Adrienne Rich imenovala “žrtvena ikonografija krščanske Cerkve, ki povzdiguje pasivno materinstvo Device Marije”.2 V portretih realnih mater pa se je poveličevani kult materinstva povezovalo z ženskostjo nasploh oziroma z žensko plodnostjo in njeno naravnanostjo na naravo. Tudi kar nekaj umetnic se je v zgodovini likovne umetnosti upodobilo v lastni materinski vlogi, pri čemer so skušale izpostaviti predvsem mit srečnega materinstva. Ženske so začele različne plati lastne materinske izkušnje bolj kritično obravnavati šele v 20. stoletju. Takrat so postale pogosta tema materinskih figur tudi podobe lastnega nosečniškega telesa. Če so v preteklosti prevladovali miti o materinstvu, ki so roditeljsko vlogo ženske popolnoma nekritično slavili, častili, poveličevali in idealizirali, so se kasneje v vizualnih delih začele pojavljati kritike tovrstnih kultov z realnejšimi prikazi nosečniških in materinskih vlog. Med sodobnimi umetnicami so vse manj aktualne materinske podobe, ki bi še izpostavljale fiziološke spremembe ženskega telesa v času nosečnosti, izkušnje dojenja ali razcepljenosti med vlogama matere in profesionalne umetnice. Tovrstne tematike so predvsem konstruktivistično naravnane umetnice premestile na bolj politično raven, tako da so ob različnih oblikah materinstva in družin problematizirale aktualnejša družbena vprašanja. Med takšne angažirane feministične tematike, vezane na nosečnost, materinjenje in sodobne 1  O krščanskih reprezentacijah ženskosti oziroma materinskega, ki temeljijo na kultu Device Marije, oziroma o “počlovečenju krščanstva s kultom Matere”, je v besedilu Stabat mater pisala Julia Kristeva. Po njenem je krščanstvo “nedvomno najbolj prefinjena simbolna zgradba, v kateri ženskost, če posije skoznjo – in proseva neprestano – najde svoje zatočišče v materinskem.” (Julia Kristeva, Stabat mater, Delta, 1995, 1–2, str. 18.) 2  Adrienne Rich, O lažeh, skrivnostih in molku; Izbrani eseji 1966–1978, Založba ŠKUC, Lambda / 28, Ljubljana, 2003, str. 254.


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oblike družin, sodi tudi tema umetne oploditve samskih žensk, ki jo je pri nas v vizualno umetnost vpeljala Zvonka T Simčič. V nadvse inovativnem in družbeno angažiranem performansu z naslovom Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo”3 je avtorica leta 2007 problematizirala (ne)možnost umetne oploditve samskih žensk.4 Omenjeno tematiko je izpostavila s performativno izpovedjo o lastni izkušnji oploditve, zanositve, nosečnosti in rojstva otroka. Z lastnim primerom, ki ga je predstavila v obliki umetniškega performansa, se je hkrati tudi aktivistično odzvala na porazen izid referenduma iz leta 2001, ko je bilo večinsko izglasovano,5 da samske ženske nimajo pravice do umetne oploditve.6 Pred tem se je ob predlaganih spremembah in dopolnitvah zakona o zdravljenju neplodnosti in postopkih oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo vzpostavila tudi javna debata, skozi katero se je oblikovalo vprašanje o tem, če naj imajo samske ženske7 pravico do otroka oziroma pravico do izbire v zvezi z lastnim materinstvom. Po propadlem referendumu je ta tema v širši javnosti precej zamrla, nato pa je bila ponovno obujena ob razpravah o Družinskem zakoniku leta 2012, ki so precej spominjale na tiste izpred desetletja.8 Zvonka T Simčič je v svojem performansu segla od osebne izkušnje na politično raven in opozorila na širšo družbeno problematiko, ki se nanaša na neenake pravice žensk do oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo. Pri tem velja še posebej poudariti, da je bila kot samska oplojena v državi, ki sicer ne omogoča tovrstne medicinske pomoči ženskam, ki ne živijo v skupnosti z moškim. Umetnica se je uspešno zoperstavila krivični zakonodaji in pri 43ih letih, kar je sicer zgornja dovoljena meja za izvedbo postopkov umetne oploditve, je na svetovnem spletu poiskala moškega, ki je bil pripravljen postati donator ter nato tudi realni oče njenemu bodočemu otroku. Ker se dejanskega razmerja v praksi ob medicinskih postopkih ne preverja, sta v bolnišnici lahko oba prepričljivo odigrala svoji partnerski vlogi. Lahko bi rekli, da je imela avtorica srečo z državo in z biologijo, saj je tudi telo ni pustilo na cedilu in je brez težav takoj zanosila. Performans, sestavljen iz retoričnega dela in videa, je Zvonka T Simčič izvedla skupaj z gostjo Renato Šribar 13. decembra 2007 v Galeriji Škuc. Umetnica je na dogodku predstavila svojo pot od iskanja darovalca sperme do umetne oploditve in poroda. V sodelovanju s fotografinjo 3  Avtorica je v naslov performansa vključila pojem “doula”, s katerim se označuje izkušeno žensko, ki je v tradicionalnih kulturah prisotna med porodom in nudi fizično ter psihično pomoč. To sicer ni klasična medicinska babica, temveč sorodnica ali prijateljica, ki skrbi in neguje porodnico skupaj z novorojenčkom tudi po otrokovem rojstvu. 4  O performansu Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo” sta pisali že Ida Hiršenfelder in Ana Grobler. (Prim. Ida Hiršenfelder, “Brezmadežno spočetje”?, Dnevnik, 18. 12. 2007, http://www. dnevnik.si/novice/kulture/287830; Ana Grobler, [Ne]močne, katalog razstave, Zavod za kulturo Delavski dom Trbovlje, 2.–19. marec 2010.) 5  26,38 %, t.j. 149.799 glasujočih se je izreklo za uveljavitev zakona, proti pa jih je bilo 72,36 %, t.j. 410.856 glasujočih. 6  Na kršenje pravic žensk so ob referendumski pobudi opozorile predstavnice lezbične sekcije ŠKUC-LL. (Prim. Tatjana Greif, Dosje: Urad varuha človekovih pravic RS: Prva devetletka, Lesbo, 15–16, 2002, str. 4.) 7  Pri tem velja opozoriti, da je bila poleg diskriminacijskega zakona, ki že v osnovi krši človekove pravice s tem, ko izključuje del populacije žensk, vprašljiva tudi novela zakona, s katero je bila vpeljana sintagma “samske ženske”. Kajti pri tem ni bilo problematično le poseganje v avtonomijo in svobodo žensk v zvezi z njihovim stanom, temveč je bila izključujoča tudi formulacija, po kateri so bile kot samske pojmovane tudi tiste ženske, ki niso samske, a ne živijo z moškim. Razlike med ženskami se niso vzpostavljale na osnovi njihovega stanu oziroma samskosti, temveč tega, s kom živijo. Življenje v paru se namreč ni postavljalo nasproti samskosti, temveč se je življenje v paru ženske in moškega postavljalo nasproti samskim ženskam in nasproti tistim, ki živijo v lezbičnih skupnostih. Pri tem zakonu torej ni šlo več le za vprašanje samskosti, kakor je to sicer izpostavljalo referendumsko vprašanje, temveč za to, če ženska živi z moškim ali ne, kar predstavlja nedopustno poseganje države v temeljne pravice žensk. 8  Problematičen diskurz, ki se je v javnosti pojavil ob referendumu o umetni oploditvi leta 2001, so leta 2012 nadaljevali nasprotniki Družinskega zakonika. Predstavniki Civilne iniciative za družino in pravice otrok so ob zbiranju podpisov za “družinski referendum” objavili 14 razlogov, zaradi katerih bi bilo po njihovem mnenju Družinski zakonik potrebno zavrniti. V enem od razlogov so navedli sporno legalizacijo brezplačne umetne oploditve za istospolno usmerjene. Po njihovem mnenju predstavlja predlog Družinskega zakonika enega glavnih korakov do uzakonitve oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo za lezbijke in legalizacije nadomestnega materinstva za homoseksualne moške. (Vir: http://lj.rkc.si/ps/?id=517&fmod=4) Toda Družinski zakonik sploh ne posega na področje umetne oploditve in nadomestnega materinstva, saj to ureja Zakon o zdravljenju neplodnosti in postopkih oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo, ki je bil sprejet leta 2000. (Vir: http://www.zavsedruzine.si/)

Nado Žgank so nastali video in fotografije, ki jih odlikuje izjemna montaža, saj sta na posameznih podobah v en lik nadvse dovršeno združeni po dve figuri Zvonke T Simčič hkrati. Pod prosojno belo tančico je v različnih držah vidno avtoričino golo telo, ki se pojavlja enkrat v postavi realne nosečnice in drugič v liku Device Marije. Obe figuri avtorice prehajata ena v drugo in se tako domiselno spajata v skupno podobo. Na figuri bodoče matere v pozni nosečnosti je avtoričin pogled ljubeče usmerjen v trebuh še nerojenega otroka iz epruvete, ki ga objema z rokama, v figuri božje matere pa je njen obraz zazrt v roki, sklenjeni v molitev. Ko avtorica kot nosečnica sklanja glavo proti otroku, ki ga nosi v svojem telesu, je videti srečna, saj je njen pogled blaženega izraza, na ustnicah pa se ji razkriva rahel, komaj zaznaven nasmešek, ki napoveduje prihajajočo materinsko ljubezen. V podobi Marije z zamaknjenim, skorajda brezizraznim izrazom, ki ga upira v moleči roki, se zdi njen obraz resen in brez nekih posebnih čustev. Čeprav se prehajajoči podobi na prvi pogled zdita enakovredni, je lik Marije vendarle nekoliko bolj opazen od figure nosečnice, ki je malo bolj umaknjena v drugi plan. Roki, s katerima se bodoča mama dotika nosečniškega trebuha, nista tako poudarjeni kot roki figure, ki moli. Na obeh podobah je avtoričino telo, odeto v bele tkanine, videti skoraj brezbarvno. V odsotnosti kakršnihkoli barvnih ali svetlobnih kontrastov se zdi v komaj zaznavnih, svetlo kožnih odtenkih nekako nezemeljsko ali netelesno. Ponekod se tanko belkasto oblačilo razpre le toliko, da je poleg obraza in rok poudarjeno viden nek razkrit detajl avtoričinega telesa, na primer del noge ali prsi. Čeprav je telo pod rahlo čipkasto tančico videti nago, je vendarle zakrito in tako primarno ne poudarja golote. Moleča nosečnica razodeva več duhovnega kot telesno erotičnega. Simbolika Marijinega brezmadežnega spočetja predstavlja v kontekstu umetne oploditve nadvse domiselno metaforo. Avtorica se namreč v spremnem besedilu k performansu sprašuje: “Je to ‘brezmadežno spočetje’?” Opisane fotografije so bile natisnjene tudi v obliki manjših podobic, ki so bile na zadnji strani opremljene z “nabožnim” besedilom Renate Šribar: “Kolikor je svetega, naj bo tudi nesramnega.” Podoba Device Marije, ki je predstavljena v hkratni vlogi nosečnice, se zdi nadvse subverzivna. Gre za motiv, ki v tradiciji zahodne likovne umetnosti ni bil upodabljan. Božja mati se je pojavljala le v materinski vlogi in ne kot nosečnica. Na fotomontaži Zvonke T Simčič pa se lik nosečnice prepleta s figuro matere božje, s čimer avtorica pooseblja nosečo Devico Marijo. Pri tem ne gre več za nekakšno abstrahirano Marijo, ki bi ji bila odvzeta vsa telesnost, temveč za konkretno nosečnico iz mesa in krvi. Prav tako tudi ne gre več za kakorkoli idealizirano podobo Marije, ki bi jo oplodil sveti duh, temveč za realno osebo, ki je bila oplojena z biomedicinsko pomočjo. Kot taka ne nastopa več zgolj v vlogi ponižne, pokorne, sramežljive in tihe moleče osebe, temveč postane s skorajda razkrito goloto tudi brezsramna, drzna in pogumna ženska, ki ima oblast nad lastnim telesom popolnoma v svojih rokah. Namesto poduhovljene figure postaja vse bolj realna posameznica. Sama si je vzela pravico, ki bi ji sicer morala pripadati po zakonu. Zvonka T Simčič je v liku bodoče matere, ki je bila oplojena z biomedicinsko pomočjo in v hkratni podobi božje matere videti, kot da “moli” za vse ženske, ki jim takšna medicinska storitev v naši državi še vedno ni omogočena. V podobi tiste, ki naj bi po krščanski mitologiji brezmadežno spočela, uteleša “molitev” za vse ženske, katerim je s tem krnjena temeljna pravica o svobodnem odločanju v zvezi z rojstvom lastnih otrok. Zdi se, kot da “moli” zato, da bi bila vsebina 55. člena slovenske ustave razumljena za vse enako. Pri tem se zavzema za vse tiste ženske, katerim so onemogočene pravice dostopa do umetne oploditve in s tem pravice do otroka le zato, ker ne živijo v takšne vrste skupnosti, ki jo kot edino priznava država, to je v heteroseksualni skupnosti ali ker sploh ne živijo v nikakršni skupnosti, temveč so samske. “Devica Marija” Zvonke T Simčič je videti, kot da v svoji spokojni “molitvi” prosi za pravice do oploditve vseh tistih žensk, ki bi si želele otroka, a se niso odločile za življenje z moškim ali niso našle primernega partnerja. Umetnica se je kot mati otroku, ki ni bil spočet ne z neposredno moško ne z božjo pomočjo, temveč ob medicinskem posredovanju, v svojem delu zavzemala za to, da bi imele vse ženske enake pravice do umetne oploditve. Njen performans bi lahko razumeli kot subverzivno umetniško gesto, s katero je avtorica opozorila na diskriminatorno zasnovan zakon, ki vsem ženskam ne zagotavlja enakih možnosti pri dostopu do oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo. S tem, ko se je vseeno odločila za postopek, ki ga država načeloma sicer ne dovoljuje, si je sama vzela pravico do odločanja o lastni reprodukciji in postala je mati sinu Adamu.

Odločitev za umetno oploditev v državi, ki takšne pravice samskim ženskam ne omogoča, predstavlja pogumno in drzno dejanje suverene posameznice, ki s tovrstno gesto hkrati zanika žensko podrejanje moški hegemoniji pri reprodukciji. Če so bile ženske, kot je zapisala Laura Cottingham, “kar pomni zgodovina, prisiljene preživeti življenje kot moževe osebne služabnice, seksualni objekti in reproduktivna telesa,”9 potem bi samsko žensko, oplojeno z biomedicinsko pomočjo, lahko označili za svobodno in neodvisno osebo, ki se vsemu temu zoperstavlja, saj njeno telo ne pomeni več nikakršne lastnine heteroseksualnega moškega. Gre za telo ženske, ki je podobno kot lezbijka, prekinila s heteroseksualno družbeno pogodbo, kot bi dejala Monique Wittig, kar pomeni, da je zavrnila ekonomsko, ideološko in politično moč moškega.10 Zato pomeni umetna oploditev samske ženske na simbolni ravni priznanje ženski družbeni moči in hkrati tudi nasprotovanje heteroseksistični moški oblastni ideologiji. Po rojstvu otroka je Zvonka T Simčič v svojih naslednjih projektih obravnavala poporodno obdobje in vlogo matere samohranilke ter odnos države do enostarševskih družin. Lastno pozicijo samske matere z otrokom je najprej izpostavila v performansu Nove alegorije, ki ga je leta 2008 izvedla v Galeriji Kapelica. Dogodek je bil zasnovan s skupino različnih sodelavcev in performarjev kot zvočno vizualni interaktivni orkester ambientalnega prostora s teoretičnim uvodom Tanje Rener in Tatjane Greif. Središčno mesto instalacije je predstavljal avtoportret umetnice z otrokom. Avtorica, ki je v predhodnem projektu v podobi Device Marije kot nosečnica čakala na svojega otroka, spočetega z biomedicinsko pomočjo, je bila v naslednjem performansu vsa v belem videti kot mati božja, ki pestuje golo dete. V svojem posebnem materinskem poslanstvu se je med različnimi avdio-video fragmenti in obiskovalčevimi interaktivnimi vstopanji v prostor zdela skorajda nezemeljska. Svojo pozicijo matere samohranilke, ki se kot svobodna umetnica v naši državi sooča s številnimi eksistencialnimi težavami, je nato radikalizirala v okviru posebne razstave v Muzeju premoderne umetnosti v Hotiču, 5. 4. 2009, na drugi rojstni dan sina Adama. Dogodek je bil zasnovan nadvse aktivistično kot apel državi. Zvonka T Simčič je v vlogi matere samohranilke, ki deluje v Sloveniji kot svobodna ustvarjalka na področju kulture, skupaj s kantavtorico Ksenijo Jus - Xenio javno pozvala državo k spremembam statusa samozaposlenih v kulturi. Kot je dejala sama, je ob tem svojega sina razstavila kot “artefakt v opomin državi”. Otroka je uporabila za živi predmet umetnine kot opozorilni klic ali apel, usmerjen na državo. S tovrstno aktivistično gesto je umetnica lastnega otroka namenoma objektivizirala za namene umetniškega dela. V performansu Doualas “ad utero, ab ovo”, ki se je nanašal na umetno oploditev, je bila kot glavni objekt umetniškega dela izpostavljena sama avtorica kot umetnica in bodoča mati otroku iz epruvete. V kasnejših delih, ko se je osredotočila na poporodno obdobje in sinovo umestitev v družbo, sta postala predmet njenega umetniškega raziskovanja oba s sinom, pri čemer je avtorica prevpraševala njune pravice in nepravice ter odnos celotnega družbenega aparata do njenega statusa svobodne umetnice oziroma samozaposlene v kulturi in matere samohranilke. Pri tem se je osredotočala predvsem na vpliv okolja in na možnosti preživetja samske ženske z otrokom. Oba performansa Zvonke T Simčič, Doualas “ad utero, ab ovo” in Nove alegorije, ostajata v političnem smislu še vedno enako aktualna kot pred leti, ko sta nastala. Čeprav je bil junija 2011 Družinski zakonik sprejet v Državnem zboru RS, pa v naslednjem letu Ustavno sodišče ni preprečilo referenduma, na katerem je nato marca 2012 večina spet odločala o pravicah manjšine. Za zavrnitev Družinskega zakonika je bilo dovolj že 15 % vseh državljanov in državljank, ki so odločno glasovali proti. Avtoričin sin Adam tako odrašča v državi, kjer otroci iz enostarševskih, istospolnih in vseh sodobnih oblik družin še nimajo izenačenih pravic z otroki iz tradicionalnih družin.11

9  Laura Cottingham, Lezbijke smo tako šik … da pravzaprav sploh nismo več lezbijke, Založba ŠKUC, Zbirka Vizibilija, Ljubljana, 2009, str. 30. 10  Monique Wittig, Eseji, Založba ŠKUC, Zbirka Vizibilija / III, Ljubljana, 2000, str. 34, 77, 97. 11  Besedilo je bilo napisano leta 2013. Marca letos je Državni zbor sprejel novelo zakona o zakonski zvezi in družinskih razmerjih, tako da upamo, da se stvari vendarle spreminjajo na bolje.


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f the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2012, when I was commissioner for Slovenia, which was presented with the project 100YC (100 Year City), was future-oriented, then we can say that the 14th International Architecture Exhibition was rooted in the past. The largest architectural event in the world presented the city of Maribor, which in the same year also boasted the title of the European Capital of Culture 2012. The entire project was the result of the work of more than 1000 people, 400 students, studio managers, architects, advisors, mentors, 37 top experts, 23 institutions from 11 countries and other key actors from across the globe, who conceived visions of the city of future one hundred years from now, and produced over 100 projects. In 2014, between 7 June and 23 November, 65 National Participations were exhibited in the historic pavilions in the Giardini, the Arsenale, and the city of Venice. Among these, 10 countries participated for the first time: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand, and Turkey. Twenty-two official Collateral Events, approved by the Director of the International Exhibition Paolo Baratta and promoted by international institutions, held their exhibitions and initiatives in various locations in the city. With the title Fundamentals the curator, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, set out to explore the fundaments, the points of reference, the question of what constitutes contemporary architecture, and investigated its history through different historical periods. Koolhaas created an exceptional, research-centered, Architecture Biennial and planned an event that involves all of Biennale’s sectors, along with a bevy of researchers – art, film, dance, music, theater and performance, including the participation of the general public. Absorbing Modernity 1914– 2014 has been proposed for the contribution of all the pavilions, and they too were involved in a substantial part of the overall research project, whose title is Fundamentals. For the first time, the national pavilions were invited to respond to a single theme, examining the key moments from a century of modernization. Together, the presentations revealed how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries showed, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative. Entering through the Montenegro pavillion was a sort of an initiation to the flood of openings in the abundant neighborhood of national pavillions alongside Palazzo Grassi, to what was probably the biennial’s greatest extravagance, the exhibition Genius Loci – Spirit of Place organized by the Lisson Gallery and the Berengo Studio. Some of the world’s greatest art stars were invited to the Venetian Palazzo Franchetti by the Academia Bridge: Ai Weiwei, Daniel Buren, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Spencer Finch, Dan Graham, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Tatsuo Miyajima, Julian Opie, Pedro Reyes, Santiago Sierra, Lee Ufan, Koen Vanmechelen, Joana Vasconcelos, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Wentworth. Most of them were present at the opening and later sat at the long, banquet-style tables among the directors and curators of the most distinguished global art institutions, and theorists and critics of the world’s central art publications. With an exhibition of sculpture and installation going beyond the museum or gallery space, they were addressing the complex spheres of the public realm and constructed environment rather then the traditional exhibition space. By existing beyond the walls, public art can help define the character of its location, either functioning harmoniously or in dialogue with the architecture or landscape it inhabits. The curators – led by Greg Hilty – displayed a range of major pieces by 19 artists, both inside and outside the historic palace. The show included models, sculptures, drawings and projects that challenge, complement or elucidate their surroundings. In turn, these proposals, situations and sculptures – some unrealised, some temporary, some permanent – should allow us to better appreciate, contemplate and understand the world around us. After standing at the crowded South Korean reception, we arrived at the private residency of Rem Koolhaas. The porter kindly opened the door and led us to the tables, and before inviting us to sit down and help ourselves as we pleased, he asked about any special preferences and offered a selection of drinks. Greetings and introductions followed among the few tens of people that were there

In fundaments of fundamentals V temeljih osnov Peter Tomaž Dobrila before us. Naturally, Rem was fully occupied, so we just passed by for a brief handshake and a polite “Congratulations!”, but only a few minutes later we were already engaged in a relaxed conversation with him, with plenty non-formal subjects that sprang up spontaneously. The history of the past one hundred years was a prelude to the Elements of Architecture section hosted in the Central Pavilion, where the curator offered the contemporary world those elements that should represent the reference points for the discipline: for the architects but also for its dialogue with clients and society. This exhibition was the result of a two-year research studio with the Harvard Graduate School of Design and collaborations with a host of experts from industry and academia. Elements of Architecture looks under a microscope at the fundamentals of our buildings, used by any architect, anywhere, anytime: the floor, the wall, the ceiling, the roof, the door, the window, the façade, the balcony, the corridor, the fireplace, the toilet, the stair, the escalator, the elevator, the ramp. The exhibition was a selection of the most revealing, surprising, and unknown moments from a new book, Elements of Architecture, which reconstructs the global history of each element. It brings together ancient, past, current, and future versions of the elements in rooms that are each dedicated to a single element. To create diverse experiences, the pavilion recreated a number of very different environments – archive, museum, factory, laboratory, mock-up, simulation etc., which appeared illustrational and naïve. A children’s museum. The third was the Monditalia section in the Corderie, with 82 films and 41 research projects in various media and different artistic fields reminding us of the complexity of this reality,and without complacency or prejudice, which is paradigmatic of what happens elsewhere in the world; complexities that must be deliberately experienced as sources of regeneration. Art in the form of debates and seminars lasted along the entire six-month duration of the exhibition. In a moment of crucial political change, they decided to look at Italy as a “fundamental” country, completely unique but also emblematic of a global situation where many countries are balancing between chaos and a realization of their full potential. Each project in Monditalia was concerned with unique and specific conditions but together formed a comprehensive portrait of the host country.

Just nearby, there was a space reserved for Slovenia. For the first time the Slovenian presentation was held at one of the central exhibition venues, in the Arsenal. Right next to it, but parallel, floating in space. The project The Problem of Space Travel – Supre: architecture was conceived by the Cultural Center of European Space Technologies KSEVT (authors Miha Turšič, Dragan Živadinov; co-authors Dunja Zupančič, Špela Petrič, Peter Krečič, Tanja N. Želnina; curator Jurij Krpan), and offered, apart from the architectural structure designed by four studios (Bevk-Perović Architects, Dekleva-Gregorič Architects, OFIS Architects, SADAR+VUGA Architects) an insight into the past scientific and artistic exploration of space on the path towards space culturalization. It was, of course, related to Herman Potočnik Noordung, a pioneer of space architecture and science, who undoubtedly left a mark also in the arts. A realization of his plan for a space habitat can be found even in Kubrick’s adaptation of Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. With his 1928 book The Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor, Potočnik established a first vision of architecture that would enable human survival in the dangerous, even deadly conditions of zero gravity. Noordung’s attempts are reflected also in some of the modernists and avant-gardists in the early decades of the 20th century – in their search for a new artistic expression, which often coincided with the invention of a new social order and a new man. In this respect, space enabled not only a radically new view of art, but also of society. The opening ceremony was held at the Pinacoteca Manfrediniana observatory, the place where Galileo Galilei – in early 17th century Italy he was among the first scientific observers of planets and space, his work beginning in Venice – observed the four Jupiter moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, known also as Galilean moons or Galilean satellites. The guest of honor for the evening – alongside all the speakers and two choirs – was Russian cosmonaut Oleg Valerievich Kotov. In the meanwhile, the former Slovenian pavilion, the A+A Gallery was serving as a ground control point, an assembly center and a sort of an information office giving the Slovenian team a chance to rest and spend the night. As we nearly missed the Slovenian presentation, because it was set up on a rather hidden location, we could not overlook the neighboring Portugese and other, perhaps more modest, national presentations. The separate loca-


Absorbing Modernity / Absorbiranje modernosti 1914–2014 Elements of Architecture / Elementi arhitekture Monditalia 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2014

“Not as an architect, but as a client and custodian, Phyllis Lambert has made a huge contribution to architecture. (...) Architects make architecture; Phyllis Lambert made architects...” tion of the ceremony took some of the weight off the exhibition venue, which was otherwise very well visited. Even a small scale event would have stopped the flow of people in the desired space, but now, they were just passing by and continuing on their way. One of the major stops on that way was inevitably the monumental Italian story of the Cinecittà, a film studio complex in Rome which used numerous projections, models, scenographies, publications, posters, objects and other useful paraphenalia in the extensive space covering over half of the Arsenal to unveil the 100 year history of Italian film, architecture, dance, theater, performance and music. From there on, the Italian pavilion was set up under a telling title Innesti (Grafting), as if they were trying to excuse themselves for just adding to a shared pot, though for multiple reasons they were in fact in a privileged position, which is nothing new or even unusual. If the biennial is a business to begin with, and the architecture an even bigger business, let most of the money stay at home. Before the Arsenal I made another stop at the installation Fundamentally Hong Kong? DELTA FOUR 1984–2044, which didn’t stop in the present, but looked 30 years into the future. Hong Kong and the neighbouring Pearl River Delta is arguably one of the most complex, controversial and contemporary spatial developments in history and today. Eleven compact cities are rapidly connecting to one another to form a seamless living zone that anticipates a megalopolis of 150 million in population. Four short films capture, through human eyes, the personal and intimate stories of people who live and move among these emerging changes. To be able to handle this sys-

tem, a certain social innovation is needed. Not to mention what will happen when a gigapolis forms in China with an estimated 450 million in population by the year 2025... On the other side of the door, Macau invited us to Happiness Forecourt = Largo da Felicidade = ????, highlighting the unique cultural hybridisation in Macau, the blending of the East and West, and the many facets that reflect the dynamic mixture of cultures, the Portuguese (as its former colony), and the Chinese. Thus the urban morphology of the “Monte Carlo of the Orient”, as we know it today, conveys the harmonious coexistence of two contrasting cultures, which can be observed in its unique living conditions and architectural features. A special section of the biennial’s preview are exhibition openings and various receptions, from those already mentioned to the proper ones for statesmen and, of course, all the participating authors, which are among the most desirable. Usually after the closing of the venues, the array of audiences, architects, studio directors, critics and theorists, professors, journalists, sponsors, state representatives, ministers, presidents, students and busybodies or even chance tourists, weave through the locations scattered across the entire city of Venice and the islands, with some requiring a considerable amount of time and ingenuity to reach them, and often even a great deal of luck as regards waiting for public transport, the water-bus line Vaporetto. These boats are usually packed beyond the point of boarding, so it is often better and faster to simply go on foot, but sometimes that is impossible unless you want to swim across the canals. I believe another one of these receptions deserves mentioning, namely the Swiss, which took place in a luxury hotel a stone’s throw away from St Mark’s Square and virtually opposite the Slovenian, just across the canal. A superior arrogance of the discrete charm of bourgeoisie and the architectural noblesse, accompanied by the political factor, shaking hands with the minister. The phrase “welcome” stretched into the small hours and evolved into a foyer chat about architecture, about art and life and society, everything but politics. Among the other, much more approachable receptions, I should highlight the exhibition, set-up and event at the Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora, where 100 architects from 6 continents were presenting and discussing

Time Space Existence. The collateral event was, among everything I’ve seen, the best in terms of conception, organization, and execution, but also outstanding in terms of media and technology. The individual thematic parts reflected variety and were rounded up in a comprehensive conceptual design, substantial argumentation and the thematic context of the biennial. The architectural diversity coupled with embracing individual, yet at the same time general and global elements, comprised a persuasive totality, which was concerned with all the dimensions of any single presentation, and not afraid to provide artistic allusions and implications. In a transdisciplinary fashion, the show included various approaches and perspectives of architecture and urban planning, bearing in mind both the micro environment and the macro factors and combining them into what exists, and what we are: an interconnected, co-dependent entity, where as part of nature we also exist as part of a certain world of our own, which is again natural, even though we are the ones who invented it. In an extraordinary combination of ideas, projects and organizations joined by the Dutch non-profit organization Global Arts Affairs Foundation this exhibition documented current developments and thoughts in architecture, highlighting fundamental questions by discussing the philosophical concepts of Time, Space and Existence. An international group of architects with different cultural backgrounds and who are in different stages of their careers, i.e. established architects next to architects whose works might be less known, demonstrated that they have no prejudice and that they shared a common dedication to architecture in the broadest sense of their profession. The exhibition showed a large diversity of presentations (models, concepts, research results, dreams, hopes and ideas), combining classical architectural presentations with surprising artistic elements. All presentations were either site-specific, especially made for the Venice exhibition or coming directly from the architect’s studio. The architectural biennial 2014 was research- and education-oriented, and thus complying with one of the central focuses of the EU. This was evident in the Biennale Sessions program for universities, which was carried out for the fifth time consecutively. On this occasion it focused on universities, (fine) art academies, research and educational institutions from the fields of architecture

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and visual arts, and other kindred associations. The goal of the Sessions’ section was, naturally, to increase the number of visitors to the biennial on behalf of students and professors, and thus also increase the profit, with the organizers providing free locations to carry out the seminars, workshops, presentations and other events. Similarly, the Meetings on Architecture took place all along the six-month duration of the Exhibition. They were divided into seven stages, from the Weekend Specials to weekly programs and educational courses, guided tours, workshops, discussions, performances and documentaries contributing to the archiving of the entire event. However, despite the numerous and varied activities and ample visitation, the biennial’s web site is relatively modest and mediocre, virtually without visual or text materials; there are no presentations of national pavilions available, or of the three central exhibition sections. Still, three days filled with so many impressions will satiate even the greatest architectural enthusiasts. You can see it on the last day of the preview, when many prefer sitting around in cafés to attending the official opening ceremony. It makes me ponder about the role of architecture and its actual inclusion in society, yet at the same time its alienation in the sense that most people have little or no influence on the spaces where they live, work, walk, drive and frequent on a daily basis. At the same time I am considering the link between our own, intimate spaces and the external, whether architectural or wider urban, elements, and I am trying to relate them to other fields of art, to happenings in galleries and museums, on theater and dance stages, in concert halls and on the streets, in nature, on any given location on solid ground, in water or in the air. Humans are architecture too; and our social environment is a rural or urban surrounding. Even without buildings, whether new or old; we are enough; but at the same time architects and their structures often have an enormous impact on the way we as people experience our environment and the space-time. They affect our daily existence, leaving a mark on this earth, an imprint of the current time, which often outlives the architects themselves. This is why architects should be particularly aware of the impacts their actions and choices have on people and on other living creatures, as well as on the environment in the widest sense of the word. With the combination of various architectural ideas and approaches we were given the chance to raise the awareness of our own personal existence as human beings in a specific space and time. The road home brought us to another stop at the Villa Manin. The central venue hosted the collateral event dubbed Trame di cinema (Cinema textures), an exhibition of costumes used by Italian directors such as Fellini, Pasolini, Zeffirelli, Citti, Lattuada and Faenza, with presentations by Gideon Bachmann, Nico Naldini and Gianfranco Angelucci, among others. Curator Antonio Giusa rounded up the concept by adding selected film projections to the show. At the nearby stables, I even managed to satisfy my painting-artisitc streak: after the exhibition Magic of Art – Protagonists of Slovene Contemporary Art 1968–2013 curated by Aleksander Bassin, I was left thinking about Slovene art for a few hours. Nonetheless, it was great feeling, like home in the middle of Italy.

SI Če je bila 13. mednarodna razstava arhitekture v Benetkah leta 2012, ko sem bil komisar za Slovenijo, ki se je predstavila s projektom 100-letno mesto / 100 Year City (100 YC), usmerjena v prihodnost, 14. mednarodna razstava arhitekture temelji v preteklosti. V času Evropske prestolnice kulture 2012 se je prvikrat na tej največji arhitekturni prireditvi na svetu predstavilo mesto Maribor, o katerem je razmišljalo več 1000 ljudi, 400 študentov, vodij studijev, arhitektov, svetovalcev, mentorjev, 37 vrhunskih strokovnjakov, 23 institucij iz 11 držav in ključnih deležnikov z vsega sveta je snovalo vizije mesta prihodnosti čez 100 let, torej 2112; izdelanih je bilo več kot 100 projektov. Leta 2014 se je med 7. junijem in 23. novembrom predstavilo 65 držav, ki so razstavljale v zgodovinskih paviljonih v Vrtovih (Giardinih), Arsenalih in na različnih lokacijah po Benetkah. Med njimi se je 10 držav predstavilo prvikrat na arhitekturnem bienalu: Kostarika, Dominikanska republika, Združeni arabski emirati, Indonezija, Slonokoščena obala, Kenija, Maroko, Mozambik, Nova Zelandija in Turčija; 22 uradnih kolateralnih dogodkov, iniciativ in razstav, ki jih je potrdil direktor mednarodne razstave Paolo Baratta, in so promovirale mednarodne institucije, se je odvilo po mestu.

Kurator, nizozemski arhitekt Rem Koolhaas se je z naslovom Osnove (Fundamentals) odločil poiskati temelje, izhodišča, od kod smo prišli, kaj tvori sodobno arhitekturo in skozi razna obdobja raziskati njeno zgodovino. Za svojevrstno zborno raziskavo arhitekture je skupaj s skupino raziskovalcev v celoten dogodek vključil vsa področja bienala, – umetnost, film, ples, glasbo, gledališče in performans, tudi s sodelovanjem publike. Absorbiranje modernosti: 1914–2014 (Absorbing Modernity 1914–2014) je predlagal za prispevek vseh paviljonov, ki so bili prav tako vključeni v znaten del celotnega raziskovalnega projekta v okviru Temeljev.

“Ne kot arhitektka, ampak kot stranka in kustodinja je Phyllis Lambert ogromno prispevala k arhitekturi. Arhitekti naredijo arhitekturo; Phyllis Lambert je naredila arhitekte ...”

Prvikrat v zgodovini so nacionalni paviljoni razmišljali o eni temi in se sprehajali po ključnih trenutkih stoletja modernizacije. Skupno so predstavitve razkrivale, kako so različne materialne kulture in politična okolja transformirala generično modernost v specifično. Sodelujoče države so razgaljale, vsaka seveda na svoj način, radikalno razsutost modernosti v stoletju, v katerem se homogenizirajoči proces globalizacije pojavlja kot glavna pripoved.

ksnost te resničnosti brez samovšečnosti, samozadoljstva ali predsodka, kar je paradigma dogajanja kjerkoli po svetu; kompleksnosti, ki jih je treba zavestno izkusiti kot vire regeneracije. Umetnost v razpravah in seminarjih skozi vseh šest mesecev trajanja razstave. V trenutku ključne politične spremembe so vzeli Italijo kot »fundamentalno« deželo, povsem enkratno, a tudi emblematično globalni situaciji, kjer mnoge države balansirajo med kaosom in realizacijo njihovega polnega potenciala. Vsak projekt se je nanašal na izjemne in posebne pogoje, ki so skupaj tvorili celovit portret države gostiteljice.

Vstop skozi otvoritev črnogorskega paviljona, kot krst pred plazom otvoritev številne soseščine nacionalnih paviljonov ob Palači Grassi, do verjetno največje ekstravagance bienala, ki si jo je londonska Galerija Lisson (Lisson Gallery) ob sodelovanju Ateljeja Berengo (Berengo Studio) privoščila z razstavo Genius Loci – Duh prostora (Genius Loci – Spirit of Place). V Palačo Franchetti, ob mostu Accademia, so bile povabljene nekatere največje zvezde svetovne umetnosti, Ai Weiwei, Daniel Buren, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Spencer Finch, Dan Graham, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Tatsuo Miyajima, Julian Opie, Pedro Reyes, Santiago Sierra, Lee Ufan, Koen Vanmechelen, Joana Vasconcelos, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Wentworth in večina je bila tudi prisotna na otvoritvi in kasnejšem banketu za neskončno mizo, kamor so med umetnike posadili direktorje in kuratorje najbolj razvpitih svetovnih institucij ter teoretike umetnosti in kritike osrednjih svetovnih izdaj za umetnost. Z razstavo skulptur in instalacij, ki gredo preko muzejskega ali galerijskega prostora, so namesto klasičnega razstavišča naslavljali javno sfero in grajeno okolje. Z obstojem izza zidov lahko umetnost v javnem prostoru pomaga definirati karakter svoje lokacije, bodisi v harmonični funkciji ali v dialogu z arhitekturo ali krajino, ki jo naseljujejo. Kuratorji – glavni je bil Greg Hilty – so izbrali 19 umetnikov, ki so postavili svoja dela tako znotraj kot zunaj, v parku zgodovinske palače. Izbrali so makete, skulpture, risbe in projekte, ki izzivajo, dopolnjujejo ali pojasnjujejo svojo okolico. Po drugi strani pa naj bi nam ti predlogi, situacije in objekti – nekateri nerealizirani, nekateri začasni, nekateri stalni – omogočali, da bolj cenimo, premišljamo in razumemo svet okoli nas. Ko smo po nagneteno stoječem sprejemu Južne Koreje vstopili do zasebne rezidence Rema Koolhaasa, nam je portir na široko odprl vrata in nas pospremil k mizi, kjer naj sedemo in si sami poljubno postrežemo, še prej pa vpraša, če imamo kakšne posebne želje in ponudi izbor pijače. Vzkliki, »O, pozdravljen. Od kje pa ti?« in podobno se vrstijo s tistimi, ki so bili tam pred nami. Rem je seveda najbolj obkrožen, zato se pozdravimo le s kratkim stiskom rok in z bolj protokolarnim »čestitam« in že čez nekaj minut smo zapleteni v sproščen pogovor z njim, v katerem pač odpiramo nič kaj uradne teme. Zgodovina minulih sto let je bila uvod v sekcijo Elementi arhitekture (Elements of Architecture), ki jo je gostil osrednji paviljon, kjer je kurator ponudil sodobnemu svetu tiste elemente, ki morajo predstavljati referenčne točke področja: za arhitekte, pa tudi za dialog s strankami in družbo. Ta razstava je bila rezultat dvoletne raziskave, ki je nastala skupaj z Diplomsko šolo za oblikovanje Harvard (Harvard Graduate School of Design) in v sodelovanju z raznimi eksperti iz industrije in akademiki. Elementi arhitekture gleda skozi mikroskop na osnove naših stavb, ki jih kadarkoli in kjerkoli uporabi katerikoli arhitekt: tla, stena, strop, streha, vrata, okno, fasada, balkon, hodnik, ognjišče, stranišče, stopnišče, tekoče stopnice, dvigalo, rampa. Razstava je predstavljala izbor najbolj razkrivajočih, presenetljivih in neznanih trenutkov iz knjige Elementi arhitekture, ki rekonstruira globalno zgodovino vsakega elementa. Spajanje starodavnih, preteklih, sedanjih in prihodnjih verzij elementov v sobah, od katerih je vsaka posvečena enemu elementu. Za vtis in občutek različnih izkušenj so v paviljonu ustvarili različna okolja in ga razdelili na arhiv, muzej, tovarno, laboratorij, model, simulacijo itd., kar je delovalo ilustrativno in naivno. Muzej za otroke. Tretji sklop je bil Monditalia v Corderie, kjer nas je 82 filmov in 41 raziskovalnih projektov skozi razne medije in različna umetniška področja opominjalo na komple-

Tukaj nekje blizu je bil prostor tudi za Slovenijo, ki se je prvič doslej predstavljala na enem osrednjih prizorišč, v Arzenalih. Zraven, vendar paralelno, ploveče v prostoru. Projekt Problem vožnje po vesolju – Supre:arhitektura je zasnovala ekipa KSEVT (avtorja Miha Turšič, Dragan Živadinov; soavtorji Dunja Zupančič, Špela Petrič, Peter Krečič, Tanja N. Želnina; kustos Jurij Krpan), ki je poleg arhitekturne tvorbe, ki so jo skupaj zasnovali štirje arhitekturni biroji – Bevk-Perović arhitekti, Dekleva-Gregorič arhitekti, OFIS arhitekti, SADAR+VUGA arhitekti – ponudil pogled v pretekla znanstvena in umetniška raziskovanja vesolja na poti v kulturalizacijo vesolja in se seveda navezala na Hermana Potočnika Noordunga, pionirja vesoljske arhitekture in znanosti, ki je nedvomno vplival tudi na umetnost. Realizacijo njegovega načrta za vesoljsko postajo lahko najdemo tudi v Kubrickovi ekranizaciji Clarkove Vesoljske odiseje 2001. V knjigi Problem vožnje po vesolju, izdani leta 1928, je reševal ključne probleme bivanja v vesolju in ponudil vrsto tehnoloških rešitev za preživetje človeka v orbiti. Noordungovo prizadevanje se odraža tudi v modernistih in avantgardistih prvih desetletij 20. stoletja – v njihovem iskanju novega umetniškega izraza, ki je sovpadalo z izumljanjem novega družbenega reda in novega človeka. Vesolje je v tem kontekstu omogočilo predvsem radikalno nov pogled na umetnost, pa tudi na družbo. Otvoritvena slovesnost je bila v observatoriju Pinacoteca Manfrediniana, kjer je Galileo Galilei – v Italiji v začetku 17. stoletja je bil med prvimi znanstvenimi opazovalci planetov in vesolja, in začel je v Benetkah – opazil štiri Jupitrove lune, Io, Evropo, Ganimed in Kalisto, imenovane tudi Galilejeve lune oziroma Galilejevi sateliti. Častni gost večera je bil – ob vseh govorcih in dveh pevskih zborih – ruski kozmonavt Oleg Valerijevič Kotov. Medtem je nekdanji slovenski paviljon, Galerija A+A, opravljal prizemljitveno funkcijo, služil je kot zbirni center in neke vrste info pisarna in je nudil počitek ter prenočišče slovenski ekipi in nekaterim udeležencem. Ko smo slovensko postavitev skoraj obšli, saj je na vmesnem prostoru bila dokaj skrita, nismo mogli spregledati sosednje Portugalske in še nekaterih drugih, pogojno skromnejših predstavitev držav. Ločenost ceremonije je jemala nekaj teže prizorišču razstave, ki je bilo ves čas odlično obiskano in bi tudi majhen dogodek ustavil ta tok na želenem mestu, zdaj pa je samo mimobežno nadaljeval pot. Še posebej po monumentalni italijanski zgodbi Cine-Citta, filmskega mesta v Rimu, ki je s številnimi projekcijami, maketami, scenografijami, tiskovinami, plakati, predmeti in drugo pripravno šaro v več ogromnih prostorih – skoraj polovica Arsenalov – razgaljala stoletno zgodovino italijanskega filma, arhitekture, plesa, gledališča in performansa, glasbe. Naprej je bil italijanski paviljon umeščajoče naslovljen Cepljenje (Innesti / Grafting), kot da so se želeli izgovoriti, da samo dodajajo v skupno posodo, dasiravno so bili iz več razlogov v privilegiranem položaju, kar ni nič novega in še manj nenavadnega. Če je že bienale posel in arhitektura še večji, naj ostane večina denarja doma. Pred Arsenali vstopim še na instalacijo Osnovno Hong Kong? DELTA ŠTIRI 1984–2004, ki se ni zaustavila na sedanjosti, ampak se je zazrla 30 let v prihodnost. Hong Kong in bližnja delta Biserne reke doživlja enega najbolj kompleksnih, kontroverznih in sodobnih prostorskih razvojev. Enajst kompaktnih mest se naglo povezuje v nastajajočo enovito območje, ki poraja megapolis, v katerem prebiva 150 milijonov ljudi. Prikaz tega procesa so


Juan Pablo Serrano & Andres Flores: Univeridad Iberoamericana Mexico City

posneli na 4 filme osebno-izpovednih in intimnih zgodb, kako te spremembe doživljajo posamezniki. Da se znajdejo v takem sistemu, je potrebna svojevrstna socialna inovacija. Kaj šele bo, ko naj bi na Kitajskem nastal gigapolis, ki bo združeval 450 milijonov ljudi, kot napovedujejo do leta 2025 … Na drugi strani vrat je bližnji Macao vabil v “Preddvor sreče” = “Dolga sreča” = “????” (“Happiness Forecourt” = “Largo da Felicidade” = “????”) in izpostavljal kulturno hibridizacijo, ki se je zgodila z mešanjem Vzhoda in Zahoda v dinamičnem prepletu kultur, kot nekdanja portugalska kolonija s kitajsko. Urbana morfologija tega kazino mesta Kitajske, kot ga poznamo, prikazana skozi življenje in arhitekturo zaobjema svojevrstno simbiozo kultur danes že globalne metropole. Posebna sekcija predogleda bienala so otvoritve razstav in razni sprejemi, od že omenjenih do pravih državniških in seveda za vse sodelujoče avtorje in avtorice, ki je med bolj iskanimi. Ponavadi se po večernem zaprtju prizorišč reke takšnih in drugačnih publik, arhitektov, vodij birojev, kritikov in teoretikov, profesorjev, novinarjev, sponzorjev, predstavnikov držav, ministrov, predsednikov, študentov in radovednežev ali tudi naključnih turistov prebijajo od lokacije do lokacije, raztresenih po Benetkah in otokih, da je do nekaterih potrebno kar nekaj časa in truda in iznajdljivosti ter tudi sreče ob čakanju na javna prevozna sredstva, ladjo-bus Vaporetto. Zaradi zabasanosti, ko se niti ne moremo vkrcati, je nemalokrat bolje in hitreje kar pešačiti, vendar včasih ne gre, ker bi sicer morali preplavati kanal. Zato naj med nacionalnimi sprejemi izpostavim še švicarskega, ki se je zgodil v luksuznem hotelu lučaj vstran od Trga Sv. Marka in domala nasproti, čez kanal, slovenskemu. Vrhunska nadutost diskretnega šarma buržoazije in arhitekturne noblese ob političnih dejavnikih ministrskega stiska rok. »Dobrodošli,« se je zavleklo v jutranje ure in kramljanja v foyerju o arhitekturi, umetnosti in življenju in družbi, le o politiki ne. Od ostalih, mnogo bolj priljudnih sprejemov naj podčrtam razstavo, postavitev, dogodek v Palači Bembo in Palači Mora, v okviru katerega je 100 arhitektov in arhitektinj s 6 kontinentov postavljalo in razpravljalo Čas prostor obstoj (Time Space Existence). Kolateralna razstava je bila med tistim, kar sem videl, najbolje zastavljena, pripravljena in postavljena ter tudi medijsko in tehnološko dovršena in privlačna. Pestrost se je odra-

žala skozi posamične vsebinske sklope in se zaokrožala v enoviti konceptualni zasnovi, vsebinski argumentaciji in tematskem kontekstu bienala. Razgibanost arhitektur in zaobjemanje posamičnih, a hkrati generalnih in globalnih elementov je sestavljala prepričljivo celoto, ki je zadevala vse dimenzije neke predstavitve in se tudi ni bala umetniških aluzij in implikacij. Čezpodročno je vključevala razne pristope in razmisleke arhitekturnega in urbanističnega razmišljanja, upoštevajoč tako mikro okolje kot makro dejavnike in jih združevala v tisto, kar je in kar smo: v povezano, soodvisno celoto, kjer smo kot del narave tudi del nekega našega sveta, ki pa je spet naraven, četudi smo si ga izmislili mi. V izjemni kombinaciji idej, projektov in postavitev, ki jih je zbrala nizozemska neprofitna organizacija Fundacija za Globalne umetniške zadeve (Global Arts Affairs Foundation), so arhitekti sproducirali dokumente, sedanje razvojne stopnje in razmisleke o arhitekturi, poudarjajoč temeljna vprašanja z razpravljanjem o filozofskih konceptih Časa, Prostora in Obstoja. Z mešanico slavnih ter bolj in manj znanih in neznanih arhitektov so pokazali, da nimajo predsodkov in vsi skupaj delijo le predanost arhitekturi v najširšem smislu njihovega poklica. Različnost predstavitev (makete, koncepti, rezultati raziskav, sanje, upi in ideje) in kombiniranje klasičnih arhitekturnih prezentacij s presenetljivimi elementi so povezovali prostorsko posebno (site-specific) z deli, posebno narejenimi za razstavo in premierno prikazanimi v Benetkah. Da je bil arhitekturni bienale 2014 usmerjen v raziskovanje in v izobraževanje, kajpak enega osrednjih fokusov EU, so poudarjali tudi s programom Bienalska zasedanja (Biennale Sessions) za univerze, ki je potekal že petič zapored. Tokrat je bil usmerjen v univerze, akademije za (likovno) umetnost ter raziskovalne in izobraževalne institucije na področjih arhitekture, vizualnih umetnosti in drugih združenj. Cilj teh srečanj je seveda bil povečati obisk bienala ravno s strani študentov in profesorjev, torej tudi več zaslužiti, pri čemer so jim organizatorji dali na voljo brezplačen prostor za seminarje, delavnice, predstavitve in druga srečanja. Podobno so Srečanja o arhitekturi (Meetings on Architecture) potekala vseh šest mesecev. Razdeljena so bila na sedem stopenj, od posebnosti za konec tedna, seveda za vso družino in ostale, do tedenskih programov in izobraževanj, vodenih ogledov, delavnic, razprav, performansov in dokumentiranja v uslugo arhiviranju do-

godka. Toda kljub številnim aktivnostim in množičnemu obisku je spletišče bienala dokaj skromno in uborno, domala brez vsega slikovnega in tekstovnega gradiva; niti ni predstavitve nacionalnih paviljonov niti treh osrednjih razstavnih sklopov. A tri dni tolikšnih vtisov zadovolji tudi največje arhitekturne entuziaste, kar se vidi zadnji dan predogleda, ko mnogi raje posedajo v kavarnah, kot da bi prisostvovali uradni ceremoniji otvoritve. Pri tem razmišljam o vlogi arhitekture in njeni dejanski vključenosti v družbo in istočasni odtujenosti, ko večina nima (celo) nobenega vpliva na prostore, kjer prebivajo, v katerih delajo, po katerih se dnevno sprehajajo, vozijo in jih obiskujejo. Vzporedno povezujem naše, intimne prostore z zunanjimi, bodisi arhitekturnimi bodisi širše urbanimi elementi in jih navezujem na druga področja umetnosti, na dogajanja v prostorih ali zunaj, v galerijah, muzejih, gledaliških in plesnih odrih, koncertnih dvoranah ter na trgih in ulicah, v naravi, na izbranih lokacijah, na zemlji, vodi in v zraku. Tudi človek je arhitektura in socialno okolje je urbana ali ruralna sredina. Lahko brez stavb, novo- in staro-gradenj, dovolj smo mi. Hkrati pa imajo arhitekti s svojimi strukturami pogosto velik vpliv na način, kako ljudje izkusimo svoje okolje in prostor-čas. Vplivajo na naš dnevni obstoj in puščajo oznako na zemlji tega sedanjega časa in mnogokrat ta oznaka celo preživi arhitekta samega. Zato se morajo arhitekti zelo dobro zavedati vpliva svojih dejanj in odločitev, ki jih imajo na ljudi in druga živa bitja, kakor tudi na najširše okolje. S kombinacijo različnih arhitekturnih zamisli in pristopov smo dobili priložnost, da si povečamo zavest o našem osebnem obstoju kot človeških bitij v posebnem prostoru in času. Vožnja domov je pripeljala še do postanka v Vili Manin, kjer se je v osrednjem prizorišču nadaljevalo v kolateralnem dogodku Teksture kina (Trame di cinema), razstavi kostumov, ki so jih v filmih uporabili italijanskih režiserji Fellini, Pasolini, Zeffirelli, Citti, Lattuada in Faenza, pri čemer so se med drugim predstavili Gideon Bachmann, Nico Naldini in Gianfranco Angelucci, kurator Antonio Giusa pa si je celoto zamislil z dodatkom projekcij izbranih filmov. V konjušnici zraven sem poskrbel še za likovno-umetniško žilico, da sem moral po ogledu razstave Magija umetnosti – Protagonisti sodobne slovenske umetnosti 1968–2013 avtorja Aleksandra Bassina nekaj ur razmišljati o slovenski umetnosti. Kljub vsemu se je bilo fino sredi Italije počutiti doma.


Josep Ferrando Bramona

Min2 de Blacam and Meagher Architects

Tuuli Tiitola –Meskanen


Alessandro Luppi Sanjay Puri

J茅r么me Jacqmin Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA)

Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp)


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All the world’s futures

Vse prihodnosti sveta 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2015 / 56. mednarodna razstava umetnosti v Benetkah

Peter Tomaž Dobrila

The first, second, third ... fourth world? Prvi, drugi, tretji ... četrti svet?

May 9 – November 22, 2015

If we try to briefly characterize this year’s Venice biennial, we can safely say that it is globally oriented: unlike the previous 2013 edition, which hosted over 80 % European and North American artists; the current exhibition has only one half of such artists, with Asians more widely represented than North Americans and with the biggest increase of exhibiting artists from Africa, Latin America and Oceania. It is true to say, however, that since Angola won the title of best pavilion two years ago, this trend has already started to set in and has generally been present for a long time in smaller, more agile art manifestations – we’ve seen it during the 1990’s, as there is always the need to search for and open up new markets. Nonetheless, the oldest and largest manifestation of this kind is a 120-year-old lady, and as such it requires its proper maneuvering space to carry out such a historic turn.

has taken its toll on local population, whose numbers have dropped to under 50,000 souls.

Of course, such an assembly of 136 exhibiting artists – out of which 88 are presented here for the first time – from 53 countries (including 17 countries that are not represented by national pavilions) is no surprise, seeing as Okwui Enwezor, Nigerian curator, art critic, poet, writer and lecturer specialized in art history, as the first non-European in this position, acted in a similar way to when he was art director of Documenta 11 in Kassel in 2002. He was now appointed to take on the same job in Venice, where this year’s biennial was even prolonged for one month. The opening took place in early May: 89 national participations with pavilions in the Gardens (Giardini), the Arsenal (Arsenale) and across the city. It was a debut for Grenada, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique and the Seychelles, while there were altogether 44 officially approved collateral events and 159 newly realized works that were presented for the first time and that are the driving force behind this carousel, which should take up at least a week of your time, if you plan to see everything that is on display.

Just like two years ago, it seems that this year’s Golden Lion awards were mostly political decisions: the title of Best Pavilion was awarded to Armenia, which is entirely in the spirit of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish genocide over Armenians. The Golden Lion for best artist went to American conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper, which came as a surprise to many people. El Anatsui was the recipient of the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement; the sculptor from Ghana works mainly in Nigeria, i. e. in very close to the head curator. Anyway, everything is connected, we are all equal, but some are more equal than others… The Silver Lion went to Im Heung Soon, who explores the effects of modernization in Korea through documentary film, photography and installation. And the EU was left without a single award…

Most negative publicity was received by Kenya, who hired an external agency to handle the preparation and execution of their pavilion. Based on personal reasons, they selected all Chinese artists and caused the Kenyan artists and some of their colleagues to protest and eventually disavow the pavilion. With the accompanying media attention, even the Kenyan government did the same. In a way it’s funny to see what some people are willing to do for money and fame, but on the other hand it’s sad to see the level of exploitation and corruption in some of the poorest countries in the world. Clearly, the International Art Exhibition is a huge business, first with the investments, and then with the revenue made from ticket sales, catalogues and other products, including the always fully occupied tourist capacities. But it is precisely the incessant hectic on the streets of Venice that

Living between Munich and New York, Okwui is also the first indicator of a trend that shows how even the art world, once successful, soon flees to Europe and North America: as many as 30 artists have done the same, while the opposite happens much more rarely. Despite the globally more proportionate attendance of individual continents, Okwui was unable to balance the ratio between male (62,6 %) and female artists (37,4 %), with 65 % aged over and 23 % under forty, and 12 % non-living. He thereby substantiated the idea of art (still) being a predominantly male matter, but also that everything isn’t obsessively about youth and young artists etc. Indeed, art (among other things) is about a certain patina; it needs to (grow and) mature.

But then so was Australia, with its new pavilion dubbed Wrong Way Time that set up an installation of paintings, small objects, sculptures, objets trouvés and much more by Fiona Hall. The British pavilion was – finally – occupied by probably the single most neglected member of New British Artists, sculptor and installation artist Sarah Lucas, who seems to be returning to the first plan after some sort of self-willed retreat. The Japanese and their cohesive thread installation The Key in the Hand by Chiharu Shiota are the most “Zen”, while the (South) Koreans (though last year the architectural biennial already hosted even North Korean authors) with Kyungwon Moon and Joonho Jeon’s The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, are the most technological. Russia’s Green Pavilion by Irina Nakhova includes a humorous prank, while the Serbian United Dead Nations by Ivan Grubanov reminisces about fallen states with an installation of their national flags, including the banner of our own former country.


WU Tien-Chang: Farewell, Spring and Autumn Pavilions / Slovo, pomladni in jesenski paviljon, hologram (photo / foto Dejan Pestotnik)

folio / / 2014–2015 / / 125


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 126

Slovenia is represented by Jaša Mrevlje-Pollak, whose appearance at the biennial was procured by the Maribor Art Gallery. UTTER – The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope is “an installation in progress with a performative note” of the assistant and the artist, who promises to appear at the Arsenal every day until the end of the biennial. You can find the Albanian pavilion vis-à-vis the Slovenian, while the adjacent building hosts Mexico with the installation Possessing Nature by Tania Candiani (appearance at Kiblix Festival in 2014) and Luis Felipe Ortega, which is one of the more admired pavilions in general. Turkey is represented by Turkish-born, but now Paris-based Armenian artist Sarkis with the installation Respiro (Breath). Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the Italian design pavilion: it seems like a simple, additive arrangement of booths with various set-ups in a space characterized by formal emptiness. Even the Central Pavilion is not convincing; it lacks novelty and is simply a random combination of different pieces of art. Almost as if the curator was disturbed by “losing” the central room, which became the location of the debate arena hosting continuous discussions, presentations, debates and round tables that occasionally appeared pretentious or naïve, though they were certainly created with the best possible intentions and were supported by the audience. Quite boring. The Chinese could not mount the same grandiose presentation they created two years ago, but we did have another chance to meet with the artistic group AES+F from Moscow, who introduced a new monumental video piece. It was generally good to see and meet with some of the artists that we already hosted in Maribor, among them Bulgarian graphic artist Boris Pramatarov, who exhibited at last year’s Mundus Vadit Retro at KIBLA Portal. The only hologram was set up by Taiwanese artist Wu Tien-Chang as part of his subtle and colorful, conceptually and technologically persuasive and aesthetic multi-piece installation Never Say Goodbye that disclosed videos and giant-size photographs. A somewhat different, analog connection between sound and image was conceived by Brian Eno and Beezy Bailey in The Sound of Creation, with Eno in the role of painter, and Bailey outshining the images with his music. The artists from Zimbabwe were adorable with their potpourri of visual approaches, materials, techniques and media, which were used in an attempt to map out the African environment in Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu: Exploring all the different facets of social, physical and cultural identities of our contemporary societies from the past, present and future. The Russian collective Recycle Group, which was in fact the overture to our patrol around the event, compiled their work Conversion out of large, white, fragile and delicate relief structures that were set up inside a church. Just like the computer-designed deities, the eternalized characters from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The minimalistic abstraction of paintings at the group retrospective Dansaekhwa showcased a Korean art form and movement in the late 20th century that fought for freedom of expression and against censorsh ip. Project My East is Your West brings together Shilpa Gupta and Rashid Rana, an Indian and a Pakistani artist. One of the most persuasive biennial works was The Union of Fire and Water by video artist Almagul Menlibayeva and sculptor Rashad Alakbarov. Their remarkable video works, presented in unique ambient installations alongside other objects, step into the space and become its constituent part. They come alive in this interaction with the space and the sculptures, and the story of ceremony is thus rounded up. It is a story of sculptures as installations forged in the play of light and shadow and materialized in the reflections on the walls, which deliver their ultimate communicativeness. Opening receptions are, of course, a specific part of the Venice Biennial. Most of them are scheduled in the evening hours, though many also happen during the day. And since there are so many, it seems best to opt for just one and stay there, as finding the locations can be rather stressful and tiring. These events are increasingly hosting concerts of varied genres, from electronica, ambient music, electro-acoustics, to jazz, rock, punk, as well as singer-songwriter performances. Indeed, the visitors enjoy this kind of entertainment just as well, and are happy to relax in a more laid-back atmosphere, sipping art and sparkling wine and nibbling on snacks. The optimum party was organized by Luxemburg, with Filip Markiewicz and his multi-layered installation Paradiso Lussemburgo (The Luxemburg Paradise) tapping on the neuralgic points of our obsession with money, and

a real live dance floor being set up in one of the rooms, equipped with a disco ball light and a musical duo. Next door, at the former Slovenian pavilion, the A+A Gallery, a designers’ art market was set up on the same day. The following day it was replaced by another “marketplace” selling collectors’ artworks, which was hosted by Jaša Mrevlje. Apart from Jaša, the biennial also hosts Nataša Prosenc at one of the collateral events in the frame of the exhibition We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles. While the amorphous wooden and glass structures by Ursula von Rydingsvard at the park made us question reality, Jenny Holzer, best known for her LED installations carrying existentialist statements, presented War Paintings at the Museo Correr – the works were created during the past decade and signify a new phase of her artistic efforts. The exhibition takes as its starting point declassified and other sensitive U.S. government documents concerning the global war on terror that followed the events of September 11, 2001, as well as the United States military operations in Afghanistan an Iraq. Holzer’s paintings are drawn from memoranda, planning maps, diplomatic communiqués, interrogation records, autopsy reports, and the handwritten cri de cœur of detainees themselves – which were heavily redacted by the censor prior to being released to the public. However, in the same museum I was much more overcome by the exhibition New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919–1933. Some of the works appeared for the first time, and all are truly extraordinary in their reflection of the pre-Nazi frenzy that spread visibly in that period. Similarly impressive was Henri Rousseau’s Archaic Candor retrospective at the Doge’s Palace with over 100 works from leading international institutions, which, apart from the central figure in figurative art between the end of the 19th century and the revolutionary period of the avant-garde movements, famous for his dreamlike atmospheres, forests and enchanted landscapes, also features many of his contemporaries and those who influenced him or were influenced by

him – a self-taught painter nicknamed Le Douanier (from French, meaning ‘the customs officer’, which is what he did before he began painting at forty). The exhibitions at Palazzo Grassi are also exceptional. Martial Raysse is a monographic exhibition dedicated to French artist Martial Raysse and his striking pictorial depiction of the second half of the 20th century: an interplay of painting, its form and space through introducing various media and intertwining two- and three-dimensional visual expression. The surface is often used to imply other dimensions, and the author is also intrigued by the sculptured painting object, as well as installations and sculpting. Although his creative milieu is vast, he is characterized by a recognizable artistic approach that divides the immanent and discloses the symbolic in his works, with the purpose of opening, complementing and demonstrating the essence through the fields of the real and the associative. In this palette, as a contemporary of various art trends and genres, he also touches upon the historical points of the period itself and introduces various characteristics of pop art, op art, abstraction, realism, new image etc. into an individual creative twist of clear artistic expression. Slip of the Tongue at the Dogana juxtaposes historical pieces from Venetian institutions, such as the Accademia Gallery, and contemporary works, and requestions what happens to the objects after they were made and created. The vicissitudes of conservation, circulation, trade, dismemberment, dispersal, tinkering, restoration, collecting and exhibiting are not specific to the care for the “well-being” of works of art. They are intrinsically part of their stories, composing a history in transition that is sometimes broken by ruptures and shaped by destruction. The vast environment of the restored ancient building is particularly appropriate for an exhibition that looks into such challenges, the historical mishaps, which are part of our cultural histories. Each of the objects and works of art (around 120) presented in the exhibition Slip of the Tongue seem to partake in this idea that the activity of the artist is aimed at the preservation and afterlife


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The above exhibition is a contemporary insight into the past, and constitutes a kind of an antipode, an extension of this year’s festival theme All Tomorrow’s Futures, which is broad enough to encompass anything, from futurist speculations to dystopian visions, though the latter were barely present. It seems that the broader the theme, the less problematic it is to fill it with so many approaches, artistic perspectives and curatorial concepts and that it is in fact easier to organize such a large and complex manifestation. The theme offers a chance for various perspectives, which the artists exploit to the fullest as they proceed from their own preferences, which are relevant to the current happenings in the world. Perhaps it is quite telling that there were so many performances that took place in the city streets and squares, or even at the central venues. For example, various forms of artistic endeavors were the subject of Joan Jonas’ spatial performative media installation at the American pavilion titled They Come to Us without a Word, while the program Jump into the Unknown was even made up entirely of performances – with a presentation of the works of 40 international artists marking the 20th anniversary of the International Environmental Art Symposium – Nine Dragon Heads. This Korean-based interdisciplinary platform brings together site-specific work, installation, video, sculpture, photography and performances by artists from five continents. Like a mirror, art is confronted with space and time as it focuses on the themes rooted in human existence, from the individual and family to the wider community and the relationships that constitute us, first and foremost Eros and Thanatos, love and war, i. e. the conflict that can eventually bring about the end of the world; global economy and the exploitation of workforce (including children); education and establishment of creative platforms; the architecture and urbanism of the rural and

the urban, which are reflected directly in people’s life processes; ecology, and – of course – something that can be labeled as an inter-continental, if not inter-cultural dialog on a global level through various prisms and perspectives: the interpersonal relationships dictated by capital (money), arms (weapons), or just some set hierarchy in terms of connection and stratification; here nature is only a convenient means serving particular interests.

SI Za letošnji beneški bienale umetnosti bi najkrajše rekli, da je zelo globalno obarvan, saj je za razliko od prejšnjega, leta 2013, ko je sodelovalo preko 80 % umetnic in umetnikov, rojenih v Evropi in Severni Ameriki, na zdajšnjem teh le polovica, pri čemer jih več prihaja iz Azije kot iz Severne Amerike in je največji porast iz Afrike, Latinske Amerike in Oceanije. Četudi je pred dvema letoma izbor Angole za najboljši paviljon napovedoval ta trend, ki je sicer že dolgo prisoten na manjših in bolj okretnih umetniških manifestacijah, videli smo ga že v 90. letih 20. stoletja, saj je treba večno iskati in odpirati nova tržišča. Najstarejša in največja tovrstna manifestacija na svetu pa je 120 let stara dama in zahteva svoj manevrski prostor za zgodovinski obrat. Seveda takšna sestava 136 razstavljajočih – od teh jih tukaj 88 razstavlja prvič – iz 53 držav (med njimi tudi iz 17 držav, ki niso prisotne z nacionalnimi paviljoni) – ne preseneča, saj je Okwui Enwezor, nigerijski kurator, umetnostni kritik, pesnik, pisatelj, predavatelj, specializiran za umetnostno zgodovino, kot prvi neevropejec na tem mestu storil podobno, kot ko je bil umetniški direktor Documente 11 v Kasslu leta 2002. Zdaj so ga angažirali še v Benetkah, kjer so letos bienale tudi podaljšali za en mesec. Otvoritev je bila že v začetku maja: 89 nacionalnih participacij po paviljonih v Vrtovih, Arzenalih in po mestu, med njimi prvič sodelujejo Grenada, Mauritius, Mongolija, Mozambik in Sejšeli, 44 uradno odobrenih kolateralnih dogodkov in 159 na novo realiziranih del, ki so premierno na ogled, poganja ta vrtiljak, za katerega

WU Tien-Chang: Our Hearts Beat as One/Najini srci bijeta kot eno, reversal film / obrnjen film (photo / foto Dejan Pestotnik)

of objects rather than of their interpretation. It is also significant that the Charter of Venice was signed here in 1964, an international treaty on heritage, which rounds up this comprehensive and state-of-the-art exhibition.

potrebujemo intenzivni teden, če se namenimo sprehoditi se skozi vse prostore. Največ negativne publicitete je dobila Kenija, kjer so za pripravo in izvedbo najeli zunanjo agencijo, ki je iz lastnih razlogov izbrala same kitajske umetnike, da se je paviljonu po protestih kenijskih umetnikov in nekaterih njihovih kolegov in velikem medijskem pompu odpovedala celo kenijska vlada. Po svoje je tudi smešno, kaj vse so pripravljeni nekateri storiti za denar in slavo, po drugi strani pa žalostno, ko razkriva izkoriščanje in korupcijo v najrevnejših državah. Jasno, mednarodna razstava je velik posel, najprej vložek, nato pa prihodek od vstopnin, prodaje katalogov in drugih artiklov ter vedno dodobra zasedenih turističnih in ostalih kapacitet. A prav zaradi nenehne hektike na ulicah mesto zapušča prebivalstvo, ki je padlo že pod 50.000 duš. Okwui, ki živi med Münchnom in New Yorkom, je tudi prvi pokazatelj trenda, da se tudi umetniški svet, ko uspe, preseli v Evropo in Severno Ameriko, saj je enako storilo kar 30 umetnikov, medtem ko se obratno zgodi občutno redkeje. Kljub globalno enakovrednejši prisotnosti posameznih kontinentov mu ni uspelo uravnotežiti razmerja med moškimi umetniki (62,6 %) in ženskimi umetnicami (37,4 %), pri čemer je 65 % starih nad 40 let in 23 % pod, 12 % pa preminulih. S tem je potrdil, da je umetnost – še vedno – pretežno moška zadeva in da le ni vse obsedenost z mladostjo in mladimi umetniki ipd. Ja, umetnost je (tudi) patina, mora (do)zoreti. Kot pred dvema letoma se podobno tudi letos zdi, da so nagrade Zlati levi predvsem politične odločitve: za najboljši paviljon so ga podelili Armeniji, kar je povsem v duhu 100. obletnice turškega genocida nad Armenci, za najboljšo umetnico je šel v roke Adrian Piper, ameriške konceptualne umetnice in filozofinje, kar je marsikoga presenetilo, in za življenjsko delo ga je prejel El Anatsui, ganski kipar, pretežno delujoč v Nigeriji, torej zelo blizu glavnemu kuratorju. A saj je vse povezano, vsi smo eno, le nekateri so malo več. No, Srebrnega leva je dobil Im Heung Soon, ki skozi dokumentarni film, fotografijo in instalacijo raziskuje vpliv modernizacije v Koreji. In EU je ostala brez nagrade ... Kot tudi Avstralija, ki je letos odprla novi paviljon in vanj pod naslovom Čas po napačni poti (Wrong Way Time) postavila instalacijo slik, drobnih predmetov, skulptur, objets trouvés in še česa Fione Hall. Britanski paviljon je – končno – osvojila verjetno najbolj zapostavljena pripadnica “novih britanskih umetnikov” (New British Artists), kiparka in instalaterka Sarah Lucas, ki se zdi, kot da se po nekakšnem samovoljnem umiku spet vrača v prvi plan. Japonci so s svojo rdečenitno instalacijo s ključi, Chiharu Shiota: Ključ v roki (The Key in the Hand), najbolj “zen”, medtem ko so Korejci (južni, čeprav so lani, na bienalu arhitekture, že vključili tudi severnokorejske avtorje), Kyungwon Moon, Joonho Jeon: Načini upogibanja prostora in letenja (The Ways of Folding Space & Flying), najbolj tehnološki. Ruski Zeleni paviljon (The Green Pavilion) Irina Nakhova vključuje zabavno potegavščino, srbski Ivan Grubanov: Združene mrtve nacije (United Dead Nations) pa reminiscira propadle države z instalacijo njihovih zastav, kjer je tudi naša bivša. Slovenijo zastopa Jaša Mrevlje-Pollak, ki ga je za bienale oskrbela Umetnostna galerija Maribor. IZREČI – nasilna nuja za utelešeno prisotnost upanja (UTTER – The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope) je “instalacija v nastajanju s perfomativno noto” asistentke in njega, ki obljublja, da bo na prizorišču v Arzenalih prisoten vsak dan do konca bienala. Vizavi so Albanci, v sosednji stavbi eden bolj hvaljenih, mehiški paviljon z instalacijo Posedovati naravo (Possessing Nature) Tanie Candiani (leta 2014 na festivalu Kiblix) in Luisa Felipeja Ortege. Za turško predstavitev je poskrbel v Turčiji rojen in v Parizu živeči armenski umetnik Sarkis z instalacijo Respiro (Dih). Nemara je največje razočaranje oblikovalsko italijanski paviljon, ki v formalni izpraznjenosti zgolj aditivno nalaga separeje z raznimi postavitvami. Niti Centralni paviljon ne prepriča, manjka mu svežine in je nametana kombinacija raznih kosov umetnosti. Kot da je kuratorja zmotila “izguba” osrednje sobe, v katero so namestili debatno areno, kjer so se kontinuirano vršili pogovori, predstavitve, razprave, okrogle mize, ki so mestoma izzvenele pretenciozno in mestoma naivno, čeprav gotovo z najboljšimi nameni in z vključevanjem in podporo publike. Dokaj dolgočasno. Kitajci grandiozne predstavitve pred dvema letoma niso mogli doseči, smo pa ponovno srečali umetnike, skupino AES+F iz Moskve, ki so predstavili novo monumentalno video delo. Lepo je videti kopice teh, ki so razstavljali v Mariboru in se srečati z njimi, tudi bolgarskim risarjem Borisom Pramatarovom, ki smo ga videli lani v okviru


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razstave Mundus vadit retro (Svet gre nazaj) v KIBLA Portalu. Edini hologram je postavil tajvanski umetnik Wu Tien-chang v okviru subtilne in barvite, konceptualno in tehnološko prepričljive ter estetske večdelne instalacije Nikoli ne reci zbogom (Never Say Goodbye) z videi in ogromnimi fotografijami. Malo drugačno, analogno povezavo zvoka in slike sta si omislila Brian Eno in Beezy Bailey z Zvokom stvarjenja (The Sound of Creation), kjer je Eno v vlogi slikarja, Bailey pa je z glasbo prekosil slike. Prisrčni so bili umetniki Zimbabveja, ki so se s potpurijem likovnih pristopov, materialov, tehnik in medijev lotili mapiranja okolja v Piksli Ubuntuja/Unhuja: Raziskovanja vseh različnih vidikov družbenih, fizičnih in kulturnih identitet naše sodobne družbe iz preteklosti, sedanjosti in prihodnosti (Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu: Exploring all the different facets of social, physical and cultural identities of our contemporary societies from the past, present and future). Ruska skupina Recycle Group, ki je bila dejansko uvertura našega obhoda, je Pretvorbo (Conversion) sestavila iz velikih, belih, fragilnih/lomljivih, krhkih reliefnih skulptur in jih namestila v cerkvi. Kot božanstva, ki so bila narejena z računalnikom, ovekovečeni junaki filma Prometej Ridleya Scotta. Minimalistična abstrakcija slik na retrospektivni skupinski razstavi Dansaekhwa je predstavila umetniško gibanje v Koreji v poznem 20. stoletju, ki so se tako izogibali prepovedi izražanja in cenzuri. Projekt Moj vzhod je tvoj zahod (My East is Your West) združuje Shilpa Gupta in Rashida Rana, indijskega in pakistanskega umetnika. Eno najbolj prepričljivih postavitev bienala sta v Uniji ognja in vode (The Union of Fire and Water) razstavila video umetnica Almagul Menlibayeva in kipar Rashad Alakbarov. Izjemna video dela v enkratnih ambientalnih postavitvah z drugimi predmeti stopajo v prostor in postanejo njegov del, v interakciji s prostorom in skulpturami oživijo in zgodba o ceremoniji se zaokroži. Skulpture kot namestitve, ki se skozi igro svetlobe in sence oblikujejo, materializirajo v odsevih na stenah, ko dobijo svojo sporočilnost. Seveda so posebna plat beneškega bienala otvoritveni sprejemi, še posebej zgoščeni zvečer, čeprav se vršijo ves dan. Ker jih je toliko, je najbolje, da se odločimo za enega in tam ostanemo, saj je iskanje lokacij naporno in utrudljivo. Na teh dogodkih so se razširili koncerti najrazličnejših zvrsti, od elektronike, ambientalne glasbe, elektro-akustike do jazza, rocka in punka ter kantavtorjev. Ja, publika se rada tudi tako zabava in ob srkanju umetnosti in nazdravljanju s peninami ter cmokanju prigrizkov tudi bolj sproščeno zaniha. Za najbolj celovito veselico je poskrbel Luksemburg, kjer se je Filip Markiewicz v večplastni instalaciji Paradiso Lussemburgo (Luksemburški raj) dotikal nevralgičnih točk obsedenosti z denarjem in so v eno od sob postavili čisto pravi plesni podij z barvnimi lučkami in glasbenim duetom, ki je poskrbel za ples. Zraven, v nekdanjem slovenskem paviljonu, v Galeriji A+A, so napravili prodajno tržnico oblikovalskih izdelkov, naslednji dan pa še tržnico umetnin za zbiralce, ki jo je vodil Jaša. Poleg Jaše na bienalu sodeluje še Nataša Prosenc na kolateralnem dogodku v okviru razstave Moramo tvegati navdušenje: Dvajset umetnikov iz Los Angelesa (We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles). Če so nas amorfne lesene skulpture in ena steklena Ursule von Rydingsvard v parku spravljale v dvom resničnega, je Jenny Holzer, ki smo je vajeni po tekočih napisih z eksistencialističnimi izjavami, v Museo Correr obesila Vojne slike (War Paintings), ki so nastajale v minulem desetletju in pomenijo novo fazo njenega delovanja. Kot izhodišče jemlje dokumente, s katerih so umaknili tajnost, in druge občutljive vladne dokumente ZDA v zvezi z globalno vojno proti terorizmu, ki je sledila dogodkom 11. septembra 2001, kot tudi z vojaško operacijo ZDA v Afganistanu v Iraku. Slike so sestavljene iz memorandumov, zemljevidov z načrti, diplomatskih sporočil, evidenc zasliševanj, poročil o obdukcijah in lastnoročnih cris de coeur (jok src) samih zapornikov, v katere je cenzor močno posegel pred izpustom v javnost. Vendar me je v taistem muzeju mnogo bolj prevzela razstava Nova objektivnost – Moderna nemška umetnost v Weimarski republiki 1919–1933 (New Objectivity. Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919–1933) z nekaterimi izjemnimi in prvikrat videnimi kosi prednacistične norije, ki je zaznavno opazna tudi na delih in vidno narašča z leti. Podobno je navdušila pregledna razstava Henri Rousseau: Arhaični poštenjak (Archaic candour) v Doževi palači s preko 100 deli iz raznih muzejev, ki poleg osrednjega slikarja figurativne umetnosti med koncem 19. stoletja in revolucionarnim obdobjem

avantgardnih gibanj, slavnega po sanjavih atmosferah, gozdovih in začaranih krajinah, razstavlja tudi številne sodobnike in tiste, ki so nanj vplivali in na katere je vplival samouki slikar z nadimkom “carinik” – bil je dacar, preden je začel slikati pri štiridesetih. Izjemna je tudi razstava v Palazzo Grassi, kjer s pregledno razstavo prevzame Martial Raysse, francoski umetnik, ki slikovito ponazarja drugo polovico 20. stoletja v poigravanju s sliko, njeno formo in prostorom, vpeljevanju raznih medijev in prepletanju dvodimenzionalnega in tridimenzionalnega likovnega izražanja, ko v površini nakazuje druge dimenzije in se loti tudi skulpturiranega slikarskega objekta in instalacije ter kiparstva. Čeprav je njegov ustvarjalni milje zelo širok, ima prepoznaven umetniški pristop, ki v delih razdeljuje imanentno in razkriva simbolno, da bi odprl, dodal, pokazal bistvo skozi polje realnega in asociativnega. V tej paleti se kot spremljevalec raznih umetniških trendov in žanrov tudi dotakne zgodovinskih izhodišč obdobja in vplete razne značilnosti poparta, oparta, abstrakcije, realizma, nove podobe ipd. v samosvoj ustvarjalni obrat jasnega umetniškega izraza. Zdrs jezika (Slip of the tongue) v Dogani ob bok postavlja zgodovinske kose iz beneških institucij, denimo Akademije, in sodobna dela, da se presprašuje, kaj se zgodi z objekti po njihovi izdelavi in stvaritvi. Spremenljive okoliščine kažejo, da ohranjanje, promet, trgovina, razkosanje, razpršenost, krpanje, restavriranje, zbiranje niso značilnost skrbi za “dobrobit” umetnin. So pa neločljiv del njihovih zgodb, ki sestavljajo zgodovino v tranziciji, ki jo včasih delijo prelomi in oblikuje uničenje. Prostrano in iz stare stavbe prenovljeno okolje se zdi idealen prostor za skupinsko razstavo, ki se z obravnavo, izpostavljanjem, primerjanjem takšnih zgodovinskih nezgod zazira v izzive, ki so del naših kulturnih zgodovin. Za vsakega od predmetov in umetniških del (okoli 120), predstavljenih na razstavi, se zdi, da sodelujejo v ideji, da je dejavnost umetnika bolj usmerjena v ohranjanje in “posmrtno življenje” predmetov kot v njihovo razlago. Ob tem naj še izpostavimo, da je bila leta 1964 tukaj podpisana Beneška listina (Charter of Venice), mednarodna pogodba o dediščini, kar zaokroža celovito in vrhunsko postavitev. Slednja razstava je kot sodobni pogled v preteklost svojevrsten antipod, ekstenzija teme letošnjega bienala, Vse jutrišnje prihodnosti, ki je toliko široka, da lahko zaobjame karkoli, od futurističnih spekulacij do distopičnih vizij, dasiravno je bilo takšnih še najmanj. Zdi se, da širša, kot je tema, manj problematično spravimo vanjo toliko pristopov, umetniških pogledov in kuratorskih konceptov, da je enostavneje sestaviti tako veliko in kompleksno manifestacijo. Tema prinaša možnosti pogledov z raznih plati, kar sodelujoči s pridom izkoriščajo in izhajajo iz lastnih preferenc, ki se dotikajo vseh aktualnih dogajanj v svetu. Nemara je povedno, da je bilo izjemno veliko performansov, ki so se odvijali bodisi na ulicah in trgih, bodisi v osrednjih prizoriščih, denimo v ameriškem paviljonu je razne oblike udejstvovanja obravnavala Joan Jonas v prostorski performativni medijski namestitvi Prihajajo k nam brez besede (They Come to Us without a Word), kar v celoti pa je bil s performansi sestavljen program Skok v neznano (Jump into the Unknown), ki z deli 40 mednarodnih umetnikov obeležuje 20. obletnico Mednarodnega simpozija o okoljski umetnosti – Devet zmajevih glav (International Environmental Art Symposium – Nine Dragon Heads). V Koreji osnovana interdisciplinarna platforma povezuje prostorsko posebna dela, instalacije, video, skulpture, fotografije in performanse umetnikov s petih kontinentov. Umetnost kot zrcalo se sooči s časom in prostorom, ko se osredotoča na vsebine, ki koreninijo v človeški eksistenci, od posameznika in družine do širše skupnosti ter odnosih, ki nas tvorijo, na prvem mestu seveda Eros in Tanatos, ljubezen in vojna oziroma konflikt, ki lahko prinese tudi konec sveta, v gospodarskih danostih globalne ekonomije in izkoriščanja delovne sile, tudi otroške, v izobraževanju in vzpostavljanju ustvarjalnih platform, v arhitekturi in urbanizmu urbanega in ruralnega, ki se odražata neposredno v življenjskih procesih ljudi, v ekologiji in seveda v nečem, čemur bi lahko rekli medkontinentalni, če ne kar poenostavljeno medkulturni dialog na globalni ravni skozi razne prizme in perspektive: medčloveški odnosi, ki jih narekuje kapital (denar), orožje ali zgolj neka ustaljena hierarhija v povezanosti in razslojevanju; narava je tukaj zgolj priročno sredstvo, ki služi interesom. Photo / Fotografije: Dejan Pestotnik, Peter Tomaž Dobrila in Aleksandra Kostič

Russian Pavillion, Irina Nakhova: The Green Pavilion, Pilot’s Head / Ruski paviljon, Irina Nakhova: Zeleni paviljon, Pilotova glava (photo / foto Dejan Pestotnik)


Martial Raysse

folio / / 2014–2015 / / 130

Martial Raysse

Rashad Alakbarov at the exhibition The Union of Fire and Water/ na razstavi zdruĹževanje Ognja in vode

Martial Raysse From the exhibition Slip of the Tongue at the Punta Della Dogana/ z razstave Zdrs z jezika

Martial Raysse


Henri Rousseau

AdriĂĄn Villar Rojas, Argentina

folio / / 2014–2015 / / 131

Brian Eno

From the exhibition Slip of the Tongue at the Punta Della Dogana/ z razstave Zdrs z jezika

Martial Raysse


The Korean artistic duo / korejski duo Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho

Angola artists by Antonio Ole at the exhibition On Ways of Travelling / Angolski umetn

Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Sierra Leone

Georg Baselitz: Untitled / Brez naslova

From the exhibition Slip of the Tongue at the Punta Della Dogana/ z razstave Zdrs z jezika


niki na razstavi Po poteh potovanj

Adrian Ghenie, Romanian pavillion / romunski paviljon

The artistic performance High Visibility Burqa / umetniški performans Zelo vidna burka Xu Bing at the Arsenale

Opera Halka/Haiti 18°48’05’N 72°23’01’W’, a panoramic film projection by C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska in the Polish pavillion / panoramska filmska projekcija

From the exhibition The Union of Fire and Water/ Z razstave združevanje Ognja in vode


Jaša Mrevlje-Pollak, UTTER – The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope / IZREČI – nasilna nuja za utelešeno prisotnost upanja Photo / foto: Damjan Švarc


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 135


folio / / 2014–2015 / / 136

Maya the Bee:

I eat crap and shit honey Čebelica Maja:

jedem govno, serem med

Copyleft Marko Jakše

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