27th ACC Metelkova anniversary: Tomaž Furlan: Until Morning! | Meta Kastelic: Woman | Rok Mohar: Chernobilians
Kindly invited to the opening of the of the retrospective exhibition "Until Morning!"by Tomaž Furlan, on Tuesday, 8th September, at 8pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery. The exhibition is a part of 27th anniversary of the ACC Metelkova mesto and is curated by Miha Turk.
Tomaž Furlan: Until Morning!
‘Here I am again. I’m running out of time; the sketch book is full of ideas I don’t remember. The studio is full of trash, I’ve got coffee and milk, the evening is approaching. There’s another long night in front of me. Until morning, the next Wear
has to be finished! Until morning!
Tomaž Furlan’s retrospective exhibition entitled Until Morning!
presents a selection of the artist’s work of the past decade. Primarily, it is composed of two series, namely: Wear (VII-XXII)
, a series of absurd performative devices, predominatly welded together from parts of iron found by chance; and Morning
, a more recent, formally more sculptural series. Tomaž Furlan, otherwise, is an academic sculpturer and a renowned artist, a recepient of The OHO Young Visual Artist Award and The Jakopič Recognition Award. In addition to his artistic work, in the past decade, and alongside his physical work including restoration, he also worked as a director of a youth centre and as a youth worker. He currently works part-time as an assistant at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana (ALUO), and as an occasional caretaker and postman there. Furlan grew up in a stonemason family from Škofja Loka, and it is precisely his craftsmanship background that essentially determined his decision to professionally choose art: ‘I was searching for a profession, where I would not be able to find its absolute knowledge. As Einstein said that an expert is someone who has made all mistakes in a certain area, I was searching for a profession where this would not be possible, and art is this kind of a profession, for sure. Art today has no climax.’ 
Furlan emphasizes the fact that he is both a caretaker and a professor at The Academy with a pround whine. A similar duality can be identified in his works from the series Wear
. It is composed clumsily (and hysterically). Its artpieces appear rough and sophisticated at the same time. They are grotesquely realistic, with a certain comic component – one can either contemplate them or laught at them, although mostly one does both. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Furlan’s influences include both Marina Abramović and Charlie Chaplin, as well as Lars von Trier.
The series Wear
was being produced at the last minute, mostly during the night, a day or two before the exhibition. On the contrary, the series Morning
is more deliberate, less impulsive, and conceived more long-term. Wear
were created during the night and in early morning hours before Furlan starts work at The Academy, respectively.
In terms of form and style, the two series in question are diametrically opposite. The past decade of Furlan’s life and work can be seen as a move from the night to the day – from being one of thousands to be cheated out of pay during construction industry crisis, to the present day being an established artist on the way of becoming a professor at the university. Nonetheless, the crisis has been accompanying him throughout, it made him stronger, and he internalised it: ‘Nothing can be so bad that it can’t be worse, the worst case scenarios have been realising all the time; which is not completely true, but the feeling never goes away.’ It is characteristic of Furlan that his works are created for exhibitions, just before their openings. After he receives an invitation, he waits for an inspiration, which is born just before the exhibition, out of agony. The works in Wear
were thus created in a zealous way. Their ‘use’, too, requires zeal, but here is the catch; Furlan’s works are interactive in the most primary sense of the word: both in the way of production and consumption (usage), they lack distance.
Thus, the paradox reveals itself: Furlan’s works are impersonal precisely in that they lack distance. What we see is what we do. Something similar can be said about Tomaž Furlan. We all know that his art is ingeniuos, but no one can say why precisely – his genius is visible at first glance, but it is also impossible to overlook. His artistic works possess not only freshness, humour, and abusurdity, but also incite a moment of wonder and vulgar sublimity. It is similary painful to interpret his works, as the interpretations vary from art history to useless theory in the sense of ‘he is interested in the material’ or ‘postfordism’. The artist himself best defines his works, when he talks about Wear XVII
: ‘It is an attempt at fighting banality with stupidity.’
(1978) graduated from the Sculpture Department at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He creates in the media of video, video-performance, spatial installation, sculpture – object. He is the recipient of the OHO Group Award (2012) and the Rihard Jakopič Recognition Award (2017). He presented himself at solo exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad and participated in numerous group exhibitions.
All quotes are taken from my conversations with Furlan as a preparation for the exhibition, unless stated otherwise.
Translation from Slovene by: Ana Makuc.
Thanks to: Nina Skumavc
Programme of Alkatraz Gallery is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and City Council Ljubljana - Department for Culture.
Meta Kastelic: Ženska
To mark the 27th anniversary of ACC Metelkova City and the 12th year of her artistic activity at the ACC Metelkova City, Meta Kastelic again presents herself in The Smallest Gallery, Channel Zero. Her sculpture, a transparent skull revealing its contents – blue-purple brain – on a garish bloody red background, in a similarly straightforward way, reflects a feminist statement. The piece is an overt critique of the present (political) situation, in which infringement upon, and violation of, human rights, hate speech, condescension, and calls for the re-traditionalization (of gender roles) are becoming a daily occurrence. Although the title emphasizes the position of women, as a metaphor, it also represents the others who, today, with the support of the government, acquired even more secondary
meaning and value than at the beginning of this year. These are artists, cultural workers, those working in a non-governmental sectors, self-employed, grass roots communities, persons with non-binary genders, sexual expressions and sexual orientations, refugees, elderly people, health workers; all who were financially and existentially hurt by what is presently going on, and which is deliberately taking away our human dignity. With her work, Meta Kastelic warns us that our present everyday lives should not become a norm. This is done in a way that gives us legitimacy, affirms our intellect, knowledge, and experiences – and in which the colour of brain is not an unimportant triviality.
A Master of Art, Meta Kastelic,
graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana. She received the Prešeren Student Award for her BA dissertation. In 2012, she performed the statue of a dancing master Adolf Jenko, which is situated on the Congress Square. She won the 16th sculptural exhibition of the Sculpture Association’s main award. She works in Ljubljana, in her studio at ACC Metelkova City. Moreover, she received numerous international awards. She used to conduct art courses for youth and adults in the Pioneer Home, while nowadays, she conducts preparational courses for enrolling into The Academy of Fine Arts and Design and the Faculty of Pedagogy, UL.
Organization: KUD Mreža/ Alkatraz Gallery, KUD Channel Zero
/ Najmanjša galerija Channel Zero
The exhibition will be open until do 20 October 2020
The rest of the visual arts programme of the 27th ACC Metelkova mesto Anniversary:
Wednesday, 9 September, 17.00: Open studio: Marko A. Kovačič and presentation of the Gibatorij project
/ Infantry building (until 20.00),
Wednesday, 9 September 21.00 Opening of the exhibition Chernobylians by Rok Mohar /
Night Window Display Gallery (curator: Anabel Černohorski)
Thursday, 10 September, 17.00: Open studios of ACC Metelkova mesto artists
/ in buildings: Garages, Barns, Infantry, Hunters (until 20.00).
Programme of 27. ACC MM Anniversary.
Photographies from the exhibitions of T. Furlan & M. Kastelic by Nada Žgank.