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.
While the exhibition has a pre-defined format, typical of student shows, which are marked by variation and often lack a common starting point, it offers an opportunity to re-read and contextualise art works in an exhibition venue and to find common areas in the latest output of Academy students from different years and courses.
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.
The pieces presented at the exhibition analyse different aspects of what is usually defined as the interior in order to invoke a necessary doubt about what constitutes the exterior. The interior is intimate and recognisable, and is reflected in the works as a paradigm whose boundaries can be continuously defined when shaping our identity.
The apparent formal similarities between the works of Anja Jelovšek and Sebastjan Zupančič, exhibited in the same room, both based on repetitions of the same stroke, instantly invoke a moment of insecurity in the spectator, so any questions regarding quantity disappear to give way to reflection on the artists’ constant introspection. While the existential work of Anja Jelovšek seeks to reach the unreachable (or “to measure the immeasurable”, as Miha Turk writes in his text supporting the June exhibition) and is always open to the possibility of continuation, where only the limitations of space can provide a limit, the work of Sebastjan Zupančič is very much analytical. The artist creates his own system in which a photographic image is transformed into a large-format drawing in order to de-construct the latter in a new drawing of the same format executed in a different system in which only the rules and the number of strokes are the same.
The continuous process of re-positioning in our social environment in the works of Tom Stanič and Maja Burja conveys not only what surrounds us, but what is inside. In this respect, it could be said that while identities emerge from the outside, as they are the way in which others recognise or know us, they also come from within, as our self-perception is based on our internalised perception of how others perceive us. In his Still Life, Tomo Stanič presents the footage he captured at dusk in front of rear windows, which points to the paradox of our interest in the intimacy of others, which is probably no different from our own, and hints at the need to create a social identity, including a virtual one, as a vital tool of survival. Maja Burja documents the setting up of her working space from the perspective of others, defined by the coincidental position of the empty chairs of her colleagues, as if it were a choreography of non-living elements.
Past experience plays a major role in preserving and changing one’s identity, and would be lost without memory. A feeling that memory is not a consistent point of reference led Dalea Kovačec to create a new, personal imagery by merging memories on canvas. Through emotions such as happiness, fear and pain she brings to life memories linked to different moments of her childhood, outlines them and tests the veracity of her feelings by finding photographs that show these moments in her family album.
The installation using natural elements by Milan Ketiš invites us to stop the endless process of “personal re-positioning” by creating a cosmogonic space in which creation and destruction co-exist and enable the evaluation of the human need to create physical and meta-physical order.
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.