15 June 2015 > 10 July 2015 You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition "White Ice Cream - 10 Years" by the art group Beli sladoled (White Ice Cream). The opening will take place at the Alkatraz Gallery on Monday, 15th June at 8 pm.
Beli sladoled (White Ice-Cream) like a world famous artistic group is marking its first decade. This is the period in which much has changed: a lot of artworks have been created; paintings, drawings, fanzines, artistic interventions, even an award has dropped by…the two artists have physically changed as years have taken their toll. They have matured in their creative sense, a pinch of contemplativeness has slipped into it, yet they have not stepped out of their creative goofiness, and keep nurturing it. The exhibition has been conceived as a mini overviewing dissection of the ten years, in which those creative milestones, or cherries on the cupcake of joint effort are going to stick out, which have significantly marked their already recognizable style. They are going to build according to the “work in progress” principle, and once again prepare for all the lovers of their art the enjoyment in uncovering of a surprise. Surprise is the main leitmotif of the tandem, who, in their own words, operates on the “Kinder Egg” principle, meaning that in life as well as in artistic creation – that are outstandingly entangled in their case – their “work in progress” projects are led in a manner of a research, experimentation, search, and testing of new ideas; therefore every-time a surprise for their authors as well as for the viewer.
The outset for their joint activity is all the time oriented into development of the drawing as an autonomous artistic medium. Drawing is a basic medium, but its presence may reach beyond the domain of visual art, so we can find it in most varied spheres of daily life. It represents a basic record of visual art, an outline, a draft, a sketch, a study, or a well-considered plan, and is a very direct medium. Its stroke reflects energy, vitality, discipline, as well as the power of the stroke. Here it is that the two artists came together, as the medium of the drawing enables them the liveliness, inconclusiveness, openness and upgrading of an artistic form, that they – in their own creative world - do not comprehend as a closed space, but as a space of infinite ways and possibilities.
The passion for drawing is nicely reflected in the statement of a contemporary British artist Tracey Emin, who stated the following in one of her interviews: »It took me years to understand the magic of drawing. For years I tried to make things look how they are – instead of being what they are. Drawing is an alchemic language. Some of my favourite drawings I have done with my eyes closed – or so drunk I do not remember making them.«
The artists undertook the exhibition entitled White Ice-Cream – 10 Years. / Beli sladoled-10 let at the Alkatraz Gallery as an occupational therapy of no final form of its own, but given over to spontaneity. Only at the exhibition itself we shall be able to see what it will result in. During the talks with the Alkatraz Gallery team thought arose, of course, of certain guidelines; that they are going to lead a viewer into the very core of collective artistic brain; exhibited will be their joint works such as drawings, a series of fanzines, paintings, a living room with curiosities of Beli sladoled, while at the same time, they will present themselves individually with the works from the time before the tandem’s existence, already indicating their later, joint path. Already at the very beginning of their creative path there were numerous telepathic or collective forces that were uniting them e.g. they graduated on the very same day, in 2004. Then they met a year later as co-workers, breaking the monotony of the daily repetition of drawing of the Bizgec animated series with their spontaneous comics and jokes. The foundation stone was laid by the book Antišalce, which outlined their joint path. Then came their fruitful collective years, when joint projects were created, as their exhibition in Domžale in 2009 with a meaningful title Pictures to be Put on the Wall (Slike za na zid). The gallery walls, on which they hung their paintings, had been painted into a brick pattern. This was primarily their answer to a ceaseless linking of their work with brick wall, graffiti and street art. Later they used the very same motif of brick wall in the Ship of Fools (Ladja norcev) project, which was followed by an idea of bricks as the brand of the tandem. They clad themselves into a brick wall for a group exhibition entitled This Is No Political Exhibition, curated by Petja Grafenauer, at the Alkatraz gallery, by making a suit and painting it with screen printing dyes in a brick pattern. Meanwhile they were painting, so new volumes of fanzines were created, where they were in the role of their authors as well as the publishers, also publishing “doodles” of other authors, with drawing as its base or the fil rouge. That’s why the key medium that is joining them together will be most emphasised at the exhibition.
Leon Zuodar and Miha Perne, as a tandem, do not paint together, but each in their own respective studio, anywhere in different towns, one in Ljubljana, the other one in Postojna. It often happens that they are not aware of what the other one is doing, and it is only at the exhibition that their works meet and link into a unity.
They have both developed their own individual language of visual art. The drawings and paintings of Miha Perne are packed with iconographic motifs, undoubtedly sourcing from the rich treasury of art, from its beginnings until now. There is no direct mimesis involved, but a transfer and transformation of a certain motif that the author modifies, places it into his own imaginary world and imposes a new meaning onto it. A drawing is always the basis, to which he adds colour and space. The images, so squeezed into the space that they can hardly take a breath, reflect the tightness of a living habitat at a micro- as well as macro level. The visual artistic world of Miha Perne is distinctively intimist, as it begins with images and “troubles” of the quotidian, that grow into an authentic experiencing of the wider world. Of course it does not lack humour, which softens the serenity of the looks, questions, and dilemmas of a contemporary human being. Miha is telling us stories of abundant fantasy, immanent to artistic world.
With Leon Zuodar we also find drawing as the basis, however, not so talkative in the sense of piling of the images. Beside human figures, Leon also applies letter signs, lines, various symbols or even details of images that resemble impressions of cardboard stencils. We can sense the connection with urban artistic practices linked with image-making, which he draws from popular culture. These are echoes, recorded in a personal memory that he/we encounter/s in everyday life. It’s about re-transformation of images, motifs that are part of the author’s quotidian.
In spite of their different outsets the synergy of their joint creativity remains present. At a formal level, we are able to trace points of juncture like saturation, multi-layeredness, richness in colour, variation and repetition of motifs. In the case of iconography there is collage-ing of images and their meanings; the motifs that the authors source from reality, and by transforming and merging them adding authenticity to them.
When it comes to Beli sladoled we get a feeling that we are watching film takes of various genres – from futurism to film noir, dramas, popular TV series, comedies fully packed with details and stories from our daily life, spiced with humour, (self)-irony, sarcasm as a way/method of critique of the “madding crowd” beyond moralization and preaching.