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I don_t belong here

I don’t belong here

I DON’T BELONG HERE أنا لا أنتمي الى هنا

Artist: Hamja Ahsan

In 2019, the artist Hamja Ahsan was awarded the Grand Prize of the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts for his work Aspergistan Referendum. The artist invited visitors to the Biennial to vote in a referendum on whether they should join Aspergistan, an independent country of shy, introverted and autistic people. 72 per cent of the voters supported the artist’s proposal. With this call for autonomy, Hamja Ahsan breathed back into his art project Shy Radicals the rebellious character from which the project had sprung a few years earlier.

The project dates back to a few years before the publication of Ahsan’s book Shy Radicals: The Antisystemic Politics of the Militant Introvert (2017), a satirical work in which the author bases his critique of the hegemony of the dominant culture on the foundations of the anti-colonial theory in the context of a new world order that emerged with the so-called War on Terror as a result of the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. What was originally presented as an international campaign to destroy Al-Qaeda has led to a severe setback in democracy under the pretext of an untenable just war theory that places security above freedom and civil liberties and presupposes the existence of second-class citizens, racism and Islamophobia as defence strategies against the enemy allegedly hiding in our social network.

The exhibition toys with the positive outcome of the referendum at that time and shows the history of this activist movement against the dominance of the extroverts. It ironically addresses the repressive aspects of the state apparatus, the enforced polarisation of society and the relevance of individual initiative to bring about the necessary radical changes in the community.

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The 34th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Iskra Delta

Exhibition of the Grand Prize Recipient of the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana

ZVKDS Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

10 September – 21 November 2021

Artistic Director: Nevenka Šivavec
Production: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Support: The Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana
Photos: Klemen Ilovar.   MGLC Archive.

Watch these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_thz194FU0&t=175s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4WcQh6unmo

Švicarija_ Community, Art and Nature

Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature

Artists: Nika Autor, Stojan Batič, Dragica Čadež, Jure Detela, Meta Grgurevič, France Gruden, Sergej Kapus, Janez Lenassi, Karel Plemenitaš, Karel Putrih, Drago Tršar, Dušan Tršar, Lujo Vodopivec, Bilal Yilmaz

The project Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature, which initiated Švicarija as a residency centre into the cultural life of the capital, was born out of three basic elements that shaped its history: community, art and nature. The project consisted of an exhibition and a complementary exhibition programme inspired by the building, that actualised the history of Švicarija and in this way provided the guidelines for its activities in the future.

The multifaceted exhibition consisted of four sections: History, Stojan Batič Memorial Studio, Architecture and Art. The exhibition took us through the history and social life of the building, it presented us with activities of the artists in the building and shed light on its renovation. These sections were connected by the artworks arranged along the common spaces of the former hotel, which allowed reflection on the existence of the elements of nature as a social construct. A diverse education programme for children, youth, adults and families featured an inclusive, innovative and engaging approach to visitors. In the accompanying programme, the heritage of Švicarija was considered in greater depth and actualised through lectures, guided tours, talks and other events, in such a way becoming a part of its new life.

More information:  EXHIBITION BOOKLET (pdf)

MGLC Švicarija, International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia

8 February 2018 – 6 January 2019

Curator and author of the project: Yasmín Martín Vodopivec
Production: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Co-production: The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, the Museum and Galleries of the City of Ljubljana and the Arrea Architecture Bureau
Support: Municipality of Ljubljana City, Ministry of Culture of the RS
Photos: Jaka Babnik.  MGLC Archive.

The 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts_ Birth as Criterion

The 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion

Artists: Michelle Andrade, Stephanie Brooks, Erica Ferrari, Riley Harmon, Jelsen Lee Innocent, Jarrett Key, Jon Key, Eric Khoo, Gabriel Kuri, Leo Junsuk Bang, Carlos Monroy, Moon Kyungwon, Ebecho Muslimova, Christopher Myers, Asuka Ohsawa, Alejandro Paz, Josse Pyl, Kaitlynn Redell, Alberto Rodríguez Collía, Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer, Mario Santizo, Jennifer Schmidt, Slavs and Tatars, Jess X. Snow, Johanne Teigen, Nora Turato and Oli Watt

The driving force of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts is the question of how can exhibiting art be approached differently.

The starting point for changing the structure of the art manifestation is the rhizome. In its rhizomatic concept, the Biennial has crossed the framework of the themed and curated exhibition, setting off to an unpredictable field, thereby opening up the space to various possibilities of connections, breaks and exits. The process was set off with a letter addressed to the recipients of the Grand Prize from the last five Biennial editions in Ljubljana. These were Jeon Joonho (2007), Justseeds (2009), Regina José Galindo (2011), María Elena González (2013) and Ištvan Išt Huzjan (2015). They were all asked to choose an artist at their discretion, whose work they believed in, respected, got excited about … Each invited artist was then asked to propose the next participant. The process was repeated for five rounds. This is how a collection of twenty-seven artists formed, who are taking part in the Biennial’s main exhibition. Its title is borrowed from the poem by Jura Detela, which accompanied every invitation in the wish to act as a trigger. Nevertheless, the Biennial is not about poetry, and the poem Birth as Criterion also has no interpretive framework. Rather, it is an impulse to artistic narrative and statement.

Biennial Collective: Irena Borić, Miklavž Komelj, Yasmín Martín Vodopivec, Nevenka Šivavec, Breda Škrjanec, Lili Šturm, Vladimir Vidmar, Asta Vrečko, Božidar Zrinski

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The 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion
Main exhibition
International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC) and MGLC Švicarija, Ljubljana, Slovenia

16 June – 29 October 2017

Artistic Director: Nevenka Šivavec
Production: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Support: Municipality of Ljubljana City, Ministry of Culture of the RS
Photos: Jaka Babnik/ Archive MGLC, Urška Boljkovac/ Archive MGLC
See more: https://bienale.si/en/32

This is not a name

This is Not a Name

Artists: Viktor Bernik, Dragica Čadež, Karel Destovnik – Kajuh, Jure Detela, Athanasius Kircher, Anonymous Artist from the 1st Century AD, Marko Pogačnik, Marko Ristić & Koča Popović, Tomaž Šalamun

How to deal with visual art outside the protocols of contemporary art? What are the new ways of creating an exhibition that goes beyond the thematic framework and the central curatorial figure? How does the unpredictable condense into one whole and sense? The questions raised by this experimental format of the Biennial were also the starting points for the This is Not a Name exhibition. An eclectic set of artworks that cannot be completely embraced by any context, offers another different highlight of the main exhibition of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts. This is a condensed insight into its own self-origination, triggered by poetry and deepened by reflection on the possibilities of art. Or if we conclude with the words from this year’s letter that was sent out to the selected artists and with the accompanying invitation to continue with the selection: So how should one think about a biennial, which has been put together with unexpected strength, lightness and complexity in a single stroke?

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Curators: Miklavž Komelj, Yasmín Martín Vodopivec, Nevenka Šivavec and Vladimir Vidmar

Accompanying exhibition of the 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion

Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana

16 June  – 16 July 2017

Production: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Co-production: Škuc Gallery
Support: Municipality of Ljubljana City, Ministry of Culture of the RS
Acknowledgements: Božidar Jakac Art Museum, International Centre of Graphic Arts, City Museum of Ljubljana, National and University Library, UGM Maribor Art Gallery
Photos: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

The Most Beautiful Moments are the Shortest

The Most Beautiful Moments are the Shortest

Artist:  Leja Jurišić

Yesterday freedom was only one step away from extinction. Today we hold back, we keep silent, we wait. We wait for them to put their words into our mouths, they are building their new images of a plurality of votes out of us, only to re-pin them – onto themselves. We – are numb. We cling to the first branch, the lowest. New fixations on ourselves follow, aversions to ourselves. We do not kill ourselves aloud; we seek our nominal sense in silence, in darkness. The starting points for the installation Without Words are the poem by Jure Detela Birth as Criterion and Perfect Day, a performance by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. In her seven-hour performative installation, the dancer Leja Jurišić is a hanging body that has been forcibly deprived of subjectivation and is therefore fixed: “The most beautiful moments are the shortest; they appear just after the pain comes and just before the pain comes again. They are mine and I will not forsake them.”

The 32nd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts

Headquarter of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

16 June 2017

Performed by Leja Jurišić
Created by Leja Jurišić in collaboration with Petra Veber
Production: Leja Jurišič, Pekinpah Association, International Centre of Graphic Arts
Support: Municipality of Ljubljana City, Ministry of Culture of the RS
Photos: Urška Boljkovac / Archive MGLC

If

If

Artist: Miguel Ángel Férnandez

Before science and religion were clearly delineated, it was believed that the movement of celestial bodies is governed by divine laws. In 1596, after having abandoned the study of theology, astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler published a book titled The Secret of the World or Mysterium Cosmographicum, hoping it would be read as a precursor to cosmological essays for discovering the secrets of the universe. Years later, Kepler was forced to discard his original model of regular polyhedra and the harmony of spheres. Despite his initial conviction, he realised that God did not create planets moving along perfect geometrical paths, but rather planets moving in elliptical orbits. It was on the basis of this realisation that he could write the three laws of planetary motion that redefined human understanding of the universe.

Miguel Ángel Férnandez’ artistic trajectory could be described as a constant search for a harmonious conjunction of two planets that are obviously diametrically opposed in many ways: art and life. In this experimental research exercise, the work itself is transformed into a new element of our personal constellation, which is subject to the laws and principles of our existence. The artist creates plastic performative situations in which different everyday objects and ordinary materials are subject to the causality of chance with unpredictable results creating a new reality, which is completely different from the previous one, but still as perfect as it is original.

At the time when astrologers were considered the new philosophers, the discussion about the impact of planetary movement on human behaviour foregrounded, again, the debates about historical astrology as a means of interpreting our existence and its most important events under the forces ruling the universe. Under the influence of this idea, the artist connects with the humanist spirit in order to show the implicit acceptance of causality and the determinist perception of reality as something inevitable for mankind, and to highlight the potential of art to counter the inherent fatalism of our existential doubts.

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GalerijaGallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

16 May – 6 June 2017

Supported by the Embassy of Spain in Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Photos: Bojan Salaj. GalerijaGallery Archive.

The Fight Club

The Fight Club

Artists: Veli & Amos, Small but dangers, Iva Tratnik vs. Matej Stupica, Nina Koželj, Dan Adlešič and Pri zlatem stegnu (Nataša & Katja Skušek)

The Fight Club exhibition was conceived as a reflex response to the invitation to participate in a curatorial duel. Presented to the public in a playful and populist manner, its polemical duality of the format and purpose of an experimental event broaches unpleasant questions provocatively from the perspectives of sociology and cultural studies and it problematizes the denigrated value of art in the present context.

A cluster of fleeting associations and assumption, which bring about performances and an open kind of toying with art and the equation between the exhibition and spectacle, leads to a naïve and awkward sense of powerlessness, followed by disappointment due to the awareness of one’s own limitations and the inevitable need to accept responsibility.

The Fight Club exhibition draws a parallel between society and the art system and it questions the perception of the role of art in the present social context. The title of the exhibition refers to the presented social context in the eponymous novel (unbridled consumption, alienation from work, the sense of the meaninglessness of life, and the utter exhaustion of the resources of the Western system’s paternalistic power) and it alludes to the need to keep creating emergency exists that make survival within the system possible.

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MATCH: YASMIN MARTÍN VODOPIVEC VS. MATJAŽ BRULC

Two curators, two artist teams, two exhibitions, two opening addresses, two receptions. Whose exhibition will be better? The decision will be in the hands of visitors casting their votes.

Rules: each curator picks an artwork made by artists in their own team that best matches the exhibition design in terms of quality and concept. Then they also choose one work each from the other artist team. The premises and conditions of exhibition-making and the means available to each team are as equal as possible. Margin decisions are made by tossing a coin. An adequate course of the match is to be ensured by Jani Pirnat, curator of the Match Gallery, who has devised the exhibition concept and adapted the rules based on the curator battle between Aaron Moulton, Carson Chan and Despina Stokou, which took place in Grimmuseum, Berlin in 2011. — Jani Pirnat

Match results: 437 ballots, 19 invalids, YASMIN MARTÍN VODOPIVEC 270 ballots, MATJAŽ BRULC 148 ballots.

Read More:  https://mgml.si/en/match-gallery/exhibitions/362/match-yasmin-martin-vodopivec-vs-matjaz-brulc/

Curatorial match: Yasmin Martín Vodopivec vs. Matjaž Brulc 

Match Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

16 November 2016 – 17 January 2017

Concept and selection of curators: Jani Pirnat
Support: The Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana
Photos: Matevž Paternoster. MGML Archive.

Rear Window

Rear Window

Artists: Maja Burja, Anja Jelovšek, Milan Ketiš, Dalea Kovačec, Tomo Stanič and Sebastjan Zupančič

The third exhibition of work by students at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO) features a novelty, as a guest curator was invited to curate the show. This proposal concluded a series of meetings, presentations, discussions and exchanges of opinion, and all other efforts were complemented by a wish to widen the horizon by including a different perspective. 

The title Rear Window is not only a reference to the Hitchcock film, but also to the experience of observing and watching, being observed and watched, and how we scan, see, define, look at, gaze, focus on, contemplate and admire, all of which are actions typical of artistic and curatorial practice. It also concerns the image of the window as an artistic element defining the unclear or obscure limit between interior and exterior.

Through repetitive acts and the arrangement of images the works remind us of the sensation of constant movement felt when accepting the exterior as part of the interior. Despite preserving former parameters, the repetitive process of transfer inevitably leads us to assume the immanence of the unfamiliar within the intimate and compels us to accept this as an essential part of our identity.

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Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia 

11 May – 20 May 2016< Support: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana Photos: Dejan Habicht. ŠKUC Archive.

LES ONZE MILLE VERGES

Les onze mille verges

Artist: Zora Stančič

The project Les onze mille verges (Eleven Thousand Rods) that artist Zora Stančič is presenting in KAPSULA, shares with Guillaume Apollinaire’s fantastic novel not only the title but also its wordplay as well as its boldness, humour and, above all, its intention. Books, catalogues and art publications of all sorts, which usually gaze at us from the shelves of the exhibition space, are now wrapped in an ordinary brown paper, which we associate with the common, the trivial and the mundane. However, regardless of its initial discrete appearance, the multifaceted confluence of dualities that characterizes the work of this restless and unique artist is echoed in this project yet again. We can consider the artist’s intervention from two perspectives – the parapornographic and the paraliteral. Their common denominator is the art form of pornographic literature as a starting point for reflection on the passionate relationship between man and art.

Reproductions of pages of coincidentally found edition of Apollinaire’s work, drawn on wrapping paper, mark the first, parapornographic perspective of the project. Like its surreal and hilarious original, the reproductions include, besides all the motives of the pornographic literature itself, the main characteristics of pornographic consumerism: obscenity as a virtue, the ever-present random exchange between people and things, emotional apathy and absolutism. This intervention of books in the exhibition space transmits the perception of pornographic literature and its consumption as a symptom of severe crisis, as a dehumanized and mechanical activity with a sole goal – to arouse sexual excitement of the reader – into the artistic field. As an ironic gesture, the artist uses this metaphor to mock the uncontrollable nature of the current cultural scene and, same as the original, restores the value of imagination in art as an expression of an individual’s freedom.

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P74 Gallery, Kapsula, Ljubljana, Slovenia

17 March  – 7 April 2015

Production: P74 Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Support: Municipality of Ljubljana City, Department for Culture, Ministry of Culture of the RS
Alkatraz Gallery
Photos: Dejan Habicht. P74 Archive.

Everything and Nothing

Everything and Nothing

Artists: Sanela Jahić, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Vladimir Logutov, Timofey Radya and Mark Požlep

The perception of the fourth dimension explored by the exhibition Everything and Nothing is not a transcendental, analogue-spatial or temporal dimension, but is rather determined by current social, political and cultural dimensions and uses the avant-garde tradition as a meta-language that progresses from everything to nothing, which equals everything by purifying artistic activity until it becomes a clear, engaged statement, still determined by the restrictive parameters of our actions. Although it is unlikely real change will occur, the fact that we can engage with the idea brings us closer.

When Ilya Kabakov created The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment(1988), he was not concerned with utopia. Individual re-appropriation freed the cosmic dream from being closed within the system and re-established its primary essence – an essence which is not fixed, has no definite form and is not institutionalized, and whose genuineness can only be collective. Based on these parameters, the exhibition presents a collective urge for change, or a possibility of change, in all its vitality, independent of image transfer and original context, which goes beyond imitation and appropriation.

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Guest curator in the annual cycle Local Talk

Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

31 July – 24 August 2014

In collaboration with: Galleria Continua, Garage gallery
Support: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana
Photos: Dejan Habicht. ŠKUC Archive. Courtesy of the artists Timofey Radya and Vladimir Logutov.

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