Quarter to Two
Artist: Tadej Pogačar
In 1994, the Museum of Modern Art invited Tadej Pogačar and his institution P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. museum to intervene at the exhibition of works that had been recently included into the gallery’s collection. With his work, entitled Fifteen to Two, Pogačar intervened in the exhibition by changing the gallery space into a waiting room. Above the main entrance into the room he hung a non-operating clock, set to fifteen minutes to two – the time when employees were already getting ready to leave their work posts for home. The exits leading into other exhibition spaces were marked with signs of the four directions, but not in the right order, and there were two rows of chairs in the middle of the space.
With minimal means and the formal gap between this work that has never found its way into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and the exhibited ones that had become part of this collection, the artistic intervention appealed to the idea of waiting of the artist and the artworks for the competent institutions who have the authority to recognise, historicize, elevate or dump works of art.
Reformulation of the artwork Fifteen to Two in 2011 does not mean the trendy re-enactment, but stripping, radicalization of the position of production of knowledge. Pogačar enters the institution as a place of exposure, a space where classification and allocation are carried out, where there are mechanisms of the institution at work: its order, its filters, codes and collections, enabling the construction of the history. That’s why Pogačar’s intention is not to pull down the institution, but – by showing the space that determines the methods and logic of selection – to show his position of entering and displaying at the same time. This is, however, an auto-productive discourse as the institution is not the one that produces the rules, but the rules themselves establish a certain phenomenon as an institution. In other words – it is the act of placing some structural point under a magnifying glass. If Pogačar has, with his original work within the pseudo-institution of P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E., entered into a specific, content-filled space, whose purpose was to lure from the invisibility into visibility, from ignorance into the system of knowing (the system of art), then today the intervention itself is all that’s left. There is no positive content needed to be historicised or granted a status through the mechanisms of institution. This does not, however, affect the mechanisms operating at a certain space permeated with institutional codes. The desire of the institutional apparatus after the production of value is resistant to any shortfall, as the mechanism operates universally, regardless of the accompanying changing parameters. The clock says “fifteen to two”, the work time is slowly ticking out, and the employees will soon leave for home, but the wheels of the mechanism still go on unobstructed …
Pogačar’s language infiltrates itself into the language of the museum. In such a way it compels the museum to reproduce and represent with its already conceived language simultaneously also a part of the speech and visual code of the artist. So, even though this intervention will also pass through the very same mechanisms that it has problematized and will thus enter into Knowledge, it will at the same time – with each reproduction of itself within this system – repeat its own basic critical gesture.