Arjan Pregl / Flat Slovenia
The project is a sequel and an upgrade to the exhibition Flat Slovenia (Sploščena Slovenija) (the works of art can be seen on the webpage: http://razstava.blogspot.com/).
All artefacts from the Sploščena Slovenija ehbition will be presented, as well as 4 new works of art. And one work is made specially for the Alcatraz Gallery concrete room as a mural painting.
The purpose of the exhibition is to point out, through visual art, some problematic aspects of today's social and, most of all, political conditions in Slovenia. Several current subjects are included and presented through different artistic procedures. On one hand, the exhibition will be socially engaged, and on the other I intend to reinterpret some of the ''classical'' manners in art (monochrome painting, series of images, mimicry …) The exhibition is founded on a thesis, that Slovenia is rather flat, than relaxed. Subjects of the exhibition: casualness, equilibrium, intolerant speech of polititians, revision of history, creation of tension …
Dual possibility of reading (current political and artistic) is already indicated in the title.
Works of art :
- The hunt for communists,
2006, acrylics on canvas, 30 cm x 30 cm
- The hunt for communists (next generation),
2007, acrylics on fabric (clothes - jeans), series of 5 paintings of different dimensions
I found the inspiration for the painting after seeing the SDS internet forum and how the debate was constantly appealing to communists, the party, Tito (even if the subject was about culture, economics … ) I began to count all these words. In the past year the words communist, communistic, Tito, party appear for 5348 times. Which astonished me, for this forum is probably not used by the II WW fighters, but younger, if not a lot younger people. The painting describes an image, which could in a really relaxed society be understood as a logo for footwear or clothes. But in Slovenia it gains a totally different meaning.
- Sproščena Slovenija/Sploščena Slovenija (Relaxed Slovenia/Flat Slovenia),
2007, pencil on wall, variable dimension
The work of art deals with the nowadays often used term sproščenost, regarding to the political and social state in Slovenia. Despite of the fact that many institutions, media and individuals are pointing out that the conditions are different, some polititians and political commentators are persuading and persisting everything is alright.
It is a mural painting: several times one after another written words Relaxed, that from a distance seem like a grey (flat) rectangle on a wall.
- Suggestion for Slovenia logo I. in II.,
2006, plot, 65 cm x 50 cm
From the National Assembly completely inappropriate and unacceptable vocabulary is being spread unpunished. It contains rasistic, xenophobic and chauvinistic statements. The speakers are delegates, the president and vice-president of the National Assembly, the presidents of the parties … And out of their words, I constructed two different images, that I designed as Suggestion for Slovenia logo.
One is a lighthouse, therefore an image, which is supposed to, as in opinion of the governing politics, represent Slovenia in the 21st century. The second image is referring to love and slogan (I feel Slovenia), which was chosen by commission, in which as well the polititians had the majority vote. The chosen slogan is in even greater contrariety with the statements, that are constructing the sign.
- Monochrome Slovenian abstraction - Urh 2006,
2006, glitter on pleksi glass, series of 4 paintings, each 40 cm x 40 cm
The work of art considers the interpretation of history. The entirely monochrome (yellow) paintings represent the façade of a church on Urh. In 2006 they began to renovate the façade, despite the fact that it is protected by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. The renewed façade (bright yellow) will cover up the holes in the wall from 1943. It was then, that the partisans conquered the church, which was used as a military post by members of home guard. In the rooms beside, they were interrogating and tormentig partisans, their cooperators and also civilians.
I believe that this is the first authentic slovenian monochrome painting. (Minimalistic) repetition, in this case, gains a new meaning. It represents a repetition of a thesis, aiming for that very same thesis to become the only true.
- State television, 2006,
2006, video cca. 5 minutes
The video is an imitation of a living room, on televison is an informative show. In the background you can hear the music from the film Underground (it is about artificial enlongment of state of emergency in a country).
Background: In september 2006 programme director of TVS stated, that a television oughts to show a specific measure of državotvornosti. In that time the very same television was broadcasting editorial unworked shots of the TV-broadcast Dnevnik from 1991. These were shots, that showed state of political emergency and fight for Slovenia. These shots had powerful emotional charge (of discomfort and fear), that exceeds historical informing.
- Instrument for relaxed discreditation,
2006, oil on canvas, (2x) 25 cm x 20 cm
Dyptich, on each painting are quotation marks. Some of today's politititans and journalists use quotation marks and with that they are reducing the value of people or events, of which they speak. Between the quotation marks can often be found the civil society, experts, ombudsman ...
In artistic sense are considered minimalistic abstract strokes, which illuminate within the context of today's political culture in Slovenia.
- Self Censorship,
2007, computer print, series, variable dimension The work of art is referring to a very popular subject – freedom of media. There have been many appeals, discussions and critiques on this subject (State Department - report 2006, statement of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) – 19. 4. 2006, statement of Syndicate of journalist of Slovenia – 13. 4. 2006, Freedom House – report 2006…)
. The reports on violations of journalists' autonomy were very insufficient or misleading. For the work Self Censorship
I decided to go with the same strategies. I took texts from different journalists' associations, that discuss mentioned subject, and then I crossed off, deleted some words. The text on one side corresponds the original, and on the other, it's meaning is relativised or completely turned upside down.