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In Memory of the Victims of Šouvinism in Slovenia

25 April 2019 > 17 May You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition with many titles at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto on Thursday, 25th April at 8 p.m. Curated by Miha Turk.

The Alkatraz Gallery is inviting you to attend the exhibition:

When Students Still Had a Newspaper (Tribuna 2009–2015)

or:

Exhibition of Production of the Student Newspaper Tribuna.

or:

Still Jerking off to Our Myths.[1]

The aim of the exhibition is to put together a selection of works representing the collective and individual work of the members of the student newspaper Tribuna in the years 2009–2015. Although formally under the auspices of the Student Organisation, the newspaper was independent and autonomous in this period, bringing together dozens of artists and writers, from fine artists, critics, theoreticians and journalists to designers. In its best years, Tribuna could be seen on every step. Copies of the newspaper were stacked in every corner of Ljubljana’s faculties in the middle of every month of the academic year (but never on the 15th!). If you didn’t read Tribuna, you could still just admire it. A copy of Tribuna was a proper “piece”; a complete work of art and theory. The newspaper might have been colourful but, unlike in the times of Yugoslavia, the Tribuna of this period did not really contribute to overthrowing the socialist order, much less to independence. The Tribuna in question is excluded from official historisations of this “most censored medium in Eastern Europe”, according to the official, if not the national myth of this newspaper. This period is therefore excluded from the tradition celebrating its exclusion.

That’s fine. The problem is not so much its exclusion, but the fact that the alternative needs such myths in order to establish its existence in retrospect and to justify its memory and social role in the present.

The premise of the exhibition is therefore modest. It is an attempt at preserving the memory of a particular period and portraying a small part of a particular production, but without mythologisation and preferably without appropriation. If something like that is even possible. Alternative movements seem to be doomed to oblivion, and memory, given the lack of formal tools, is preserved in the form of particular stories, most often at the bar. As a rule, the official historisation of “the alternative” is based on the over-glorification of otherwise interesting practices. Thus, glorification does not contribute to the understanding of a particular period, much less to the associated contemporary practices that have to function and compete with the ever-unattainable imaginary shadow of their alternative predecessors. Despite its noble intentions, this text also gives the impression that Tribuna was a homogenous collective, which is yet another trap of retrospection. The history of collective alternative practices can thus either be individual and particular or it doesn’t exist.

One thing that can be said beyond “history” is that the case of Tribuna is an interesting one from a purely logistic perspective. During this period, Tribuna brought together and gave a voice to so many people that a list of all the names would be several pages long. Tribuna really was a big deal, not in a symbolic but an operative sense, in terms of the number of people involved, the tons of paper and the litres of spilled ink. Its creation often crossed the boundaries of the newspaper medium, experimenting with editorial policies, the presentation of articles and various performative actions outside the newspaper.

This year marks exactly ten years since the reboot of the student Tribuna and four years since the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) ignored the will of the staff in choosing the editor. The staff left the newspaper in protest. For a while, they worked together under the name of 3buna and published a special issue entitled Šouvinizem.

A few fragments from the creation of Tribuna will be on exhibition; the opening will be held on 25 April at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto, where the visitors will have the chance to get a copy of Tribuna. That’s about all that we can promise.

The exhibition is part of a long-term research project dedicated to exhibitions, talks, analyses and interviews on collectives in production and symbolic networks in the Slovenian cultural and artistic space.

Admission free of charge, but not free of taste.

Miha Turk


 

Tribuna 2009–2015, 3buna (2015)
Tribuna is a student newspaper that has been running since 1951 with longer or shorter pauses. In 2009, after eleven years of silence, the newspaper was revived under managing editor Anej Korsika. During this time, the editorial board consisted of the following people: Robert Bobnič, Aleš Guid, Tanja Peček, Jurij Smrke, Aljaž Vindiš, Nejc Prah, Aljaž Košir, Miha Erjavec, Klemen Ilovar, Alen Kirn, Jasmina Šepetavc, Lana Durjava, Biba Košmerl, Izidor Barši, Simon Belak, Kaja Kraner, Dorijan Šiško, Simon Smole, Aleš Mendiževec, etc. Tribuna was a free newspaper, published under the licence of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.5. Its publication intervals varied; in recent years, the releases were more infrequent and sporadic, and the production moved from print to online publishing. After their conflict with the publisher, “the editorial board in exile” under the name of 3buna prepared a special issue entitled Šouvinizem.

Tribuna received the Brumen Award for achievements in design (2011), and its work was presented in many public interventions and on exhibitions. Exhibitions: Podoba besede, beseda podob (The Image of the Word, the Word of Images; 2011, Trubarjeva hiša literature), Novine su mrtve, živele novine! (Newspapers Are Dead, Long Live Newspapers!; 2013, 12HUB Gallery, Belgrade), Tribuna: Lep časopis (Tribuna: A Beautiful Newspaper; 2009–2015) (2015, Modern Gallery, Ljubljana).

[1]          The title of the exhibition is the result of a collective decision-making process. Plurality in practice is puzzling; one idea or memory can only be affirmed at the expense of another idea, and an indecisive curator is also a symptom of the times. Indecisive historisation thus became the concept of the exhibition, which should be reflected in the variety of titles or different concepts.

Thanks to: RTV Slovenija, Moderna galerija.
Coproduction: Radio Študent.

Setting up the exhibition by: Dorijan Šiško, Miha Erjavec, Kaja Kraner, Adrijan Praznik, Simon Smole, Izidor Barši, Jernej Kaluža, Aleš Mendiževec.





Photo by Aleš Mendiževec, personal archive