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25th Anniversary of ACC Metelkova: Uroš Weinberger – XI

10 September 2018 > 28 September 2018 Kindly invited to the opening of "XI" retrospective exhibition by Uroš Weinberger, on Monday, 10th September, at 8 pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The exhibition is a part of 25th Anniversary of ACC Metelkova.

additional programme of the 25th Anniversary of ACC  Metelkova:

10.9. 4pm - 6pm - Open Studios, Infantry, Garages, Stables buildings. Participating artists: Rok Barborič, Julij Borštnik & Katja Oblak & Goran Medjugorac, Boštjan Drinovec, Borut Korošec, Marko A. Kovačič, Vladimir Leben & Iskra Beličanska & Matej Bizovičar, Miroslav Matek, Jaka Mihelič, Boštjan Novak, Miha Perne,  Miran Pešič, Maja Pučl.

10. 9.: 6pm - 8pm - Art Bazaar, in fornt of Menza pri koritu. A chance to buy artworks form artists who have their studios on Metelkova.

10. 9.: 9pm - Stella Ivšek, Video Mapping VJ 5237, in front of Alkatraz Gallery. Video mapping event organised by: SCCA - Ljubljana.

10. 9.: 9.30pm - Uroš Weinberger, XI, Channel Zero Gallery, Infantry building. The exhibition is a part of the retrospective exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery.

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Roman Numeral Eleven XI. is the title of the retrospective exhibition of Uroš Weinberger in the Alkatraz Gallery. The exhibition represents his activity spanning over 11 years within ACC Metelkova (Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova), and a selection of works that were being created there during that time. With the purpose of exploring individual processes inside studio work at ACC Metelkova, the Alkatraz Galley has been developing a presentation module of artistic creation of so-called home artists for a few years. Around 30 artists have established their working spaces at ACC Metelkova, and Uroš Weinberger is one of them. The spaces have been seized or acquired through public calls by artists of different generations, who are developing heterogeneous artistic practices. By reviewing the artistic production of this palette of diversity, we wonder whether we can speak of Metelkova art, and if we can, what is it that defines it: Is it the space, which dictates specific working conditions, or could it be an aesthetic category?

For Uroš Weinberger it all began with the acquisition of a studio space in the Garage building through a public call in 2006. The space needed to be completely renovated due to wear and tear and damage of the building, which required a lot of physical work and persistence. His fight for a space meant facing construction knowledge and social skills, which were not foreign to him. In a relatively short period of time, in one of the smallest studio spaces, he constructed and furnished his own corner – ‘the other world’ – which has been enabling him the development and exploration of an individual painting view of reality since 2007.

Uroš Weinberger began his painting path with the exploration of abstract painting, which soon turned into figural art. His paintings are composed stories, which draw on numerous sources; with the principle of collage, they form new associative puzzles of images, building lucid narrative wholes. He is interested in the phenomenon of contemporary media culture, which he reflects in his work; with his painting technique, he mirrors the reality.

His associative foundation, meanwhile, includes images from newspapers, old paintings, posters, the Internet etc. By means of composing or patching these images from the past, present and future, he creates deconstructed ideal of the past as anti-utopian forecast of the future. In eleven years, he created a number of paintings with dystopian projections, which follow painting exploration of historic memory, which is the base for the construction of painting narration. The allegories of the past are basic cornerstones of a futuristic dystopian world, where they reflect the perversions of contemporary society: from social inequality, ecological catastrophes and control to ideological and political manipulations, capitalistic exploitation etc. The paintings are composed of one or a number of figures set in the spaces that remind us of anti-utopian worlds from futuristic imaginary.

For Uroš Weinberger, the painting is a medium through which (despite spatial limitations) a narrative unfolds, which indirectly expresses a construction of his own social scripts. The figures are reminiscent of images which draw on the history of heroic painting. Most of the time, they are set in a cold, technicist architectural landscape or lost in a crowd of perpetuated images, where we get a sense of the acceleration of the entrapment in a manipulative ideological machine. Spatial overcrowding, which can be perceived in various paintings, alludes to the entrapment of the subject inside the system, who is subjected to incessant control and fear. Big capital, which benefits from the results of progressive technologies, is a colonizer of subjectivities, culture and our lives. Technology and capital are entering our intimate spaces; under pretence that they are the only ones that can transmit the truth of life, they are directing us or manipulating our lives. Uroš Weinberger’s paintings are realistic narratives of the future into which the deepest social fears are projected.

The futuristic vision of social fears, realized in a dystopian world, was described in detail already by George Orwell in his novel 1984, which – as Uroš Weinberger's paintings – tries to 'build a plausible quasi-reality of the world and, at the same time, persuasively develop an internal life of the protagonists living in this world, whilst it compares this quasi-reality to the real reality and tries to figure out whether it is suitable for it or not.’ (Slavoj Žižek, ed. 1984. Filozofija skozi psihoanalizo. (Philosophy through Psychoanalysis) Ljubljana: DD Univerzum, p.131)

For Orwell in 1984, historical memory is a transition of knowledge, expressed in the sentence: 'Those who don’t know the past, don’t know the present, and those who don’t know the present, can’t predict the future.’ This is the matrix for the view into the future. The matrix of Uroš’s painting images similarly builds on the historical memory of the known past of totalitarian regimes, the awareness of the present and the synthesis of both into a dystopian future. An illustration of the latter is the painting entitled Empowered by Power (2014), which is a synthesis of totalitarian iconography, in this case, of images of monumental female figures, marching together to the same rhythm.

We live in the time of increasing limitation of freedom and manipulation of truth, so the need to control is still the motto of the future society. Big ideologies were using the history of humanity as a tool for the manipulation of the individual. This thought is illustrated with the painting entitled A Camp Jesus Documentary (2016), where children perform in the role of prisoners and transmitters of ideological truths. Natural catastrophes have become a part of our daily lives as consequences of human shameless exploitation of natural resources. The painting Tsunami (2018) is a direct forecast of the blow the nature can return. In the painting, a crowd of people on a beach gazes at the coming wave of terrifying future in a carefree way. The future of the society which continues to build its capital and technological progress on such dirty technology as oil is depicted in the paintings Esso (2013) and ExxonMobil (2014).

Weinberger's painting memory is a visual recontextualisation of views, a recycling of the past. Its actualisation presented through stories from a fresh perspective establishes the bridge between the present and the past. Weinberger’s exhibited paintings and drawings shall not leave the viewer indifferent: in the imaginary of fears regarding future societies, in which the individual got caught up in the shamelessness of conformist and controlled society, there is no space for comfort!

Jadranka Plut


Uroš Weinberger (b. 1975) finished his studies in painting in 2003 and in 2005 completed his Master's degree in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Between 1982–1984 he lived in GDR. In 2002 he perfected his studies at the National Academy of Art Sofia, Bulgaria. He received several awards, such as Prešeren Student's Award by University of Ljubljana in 2001 and in 2011 he was the winner of the Biennial Exhibition – A Look at Visual Arts in Slovenia 6: I, Here, Now. He has also participated at Artist-in-residence programs: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia in Berlin, Germany (2009), European House of Art, Upper Bavaria-Schafhof in Freising, Germany (2013).
His works bring out social awareness, dealing with local and global problems that influence our daily lives. He exhibited in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, USA. He has artworks in public and private collections. Weinberger lives and works as an independent visual artist in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Uroš Weinberger, Silicon Boy, 2009, oil on canvas, 191 x 301 cm Uroš Weinberger, Tsunami, 2018, olje na platnu - oil on canvas, 191 x 262 cm Uroš Weinberger, Candymen, 2017, oil on canvas, 111 x 180 cm Uroš Weinberger, The March, 2016, oil on canvas, 200,5 x 141 cm Uroš Weinberger, See, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm Uroš Weinberger, Empowered by Power., 2014, oil on canvas, 105,5 x 156 cm Uroš Weinberger, Esso, 2013, oil on canvas, 105,5 x 156 cm Uroš Weinberger, This World Needs No Cripples, 2012, oil on canvas, 196 x 303 cm