Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature
Author, curator and head of the project Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature
Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature is a long-term project that expands the activities of the International Centre for Graphic Arts by adding a beautifully restored historical building in the heart of Tivoli Park in Ljubljana, popularly known as Švicarija, to its administration. After the renovation, the challenge was to fill the building with content and transform it into a creative and residential centre with a defined and distinctive profile.
The opening of the new cultural venue was carried out experimentally as a dialogue between a multifaceted exhibition and a year-long programme of events. The project drew on three fundamental elements that had shaped the building’s history: community, art and nature. The exhibition and accompanying programme was inspired by the building’s historical shifts and the vision for its future.
The curatorial approach was based on the principles of creativity, accessibility and experiential learning, and envisaged the current activities of the centre. MGLC Švicarija has evolved into a referential creative centre that, in addition to sixteen long-term residencies for Slovenian artists, three residencies for international artists, an artist’s memorial studio, temporary exhibitions, a summer festival and an inclusive programme, aims to bring contemporary art practices closer to audiences, invite visitors to appreciate the natural and cultural heritage, and partake in creating community through art in the natural environment.
In search of a more fluid, far-reaching and proactive dialogue with visitors to Švicarija and Tivoli Park, I conceptualised the Art in Tivoli Park collection. It includes three publications that, in collaboration with various artists and through an innovative and practical approach, bring cultural heritage closer to our daily lives.
As part of the presentation of the third publication Art in Tivoli Park – The Secret Life of Švicarija, Ištvan Išt Huzjan was invited to reveal the process of his artistic intervention for the publication also in an exhibition format entitled The Cankarian Wedge.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the renovation of Švicarija in May 2022, the permanent exhibition on its history and art tradition was opened entitled The Shadow Is Seen by My Eyes, the Light Is Seen Only by My Heart.
A monographic publication is currently being prepared, which will encompass the specific aspects of the past that configure its unique relevance in the present.