05 October 2020 > 22 October 2020 Kindly invited to visit exhibition "Post" by Maja Bojanić, on Monday, 5th October from 7:00 pm till Thursday, 22nd October, at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto.
A young sculpturer, Maja Bojanić, in 2019, participated in the group exhibition entitled Self-development, which presented the selection of The Academy of Fine Arts and Design's students' production. Thus, already the second time successively, at the close of the students' exhibition, Alkatraz Gallery chose a person for the realisation of individual projects in Alkatraz Gallery and The Night Window Gallery Display Pešaki. The curator team decided to choose Maja Bojanić on the basis of her recent, site specific installation You're A Little Late, I'm Already Torn, which represents a conceptual continuation of her previous artistic projects (from the series Holes). In her work, namely, the artist addresses a specific framework within the workings of Alkatraz Gallery – an exhibiting place, marked by its embedment into the wider space of ACC Metelkova mesto, which is characterised by tension and precarious work on the one hand and a 27-year continuation of activity on the other. Like in her aforementioned artwork, the artist frequently devotes herself to the spatial exploration of unnoticeable or absent in her artistic practice. The objects of her interest include everything that society usually hides, corrects, or covers. Her original view, communicated through architectural framework, exposes contemplations on the themes of borders, belonging, erasures, transience, identity, and home.
The concept for the exhibition in Alkatraz Gallery began emerging while she was an exchange student in the Netherlands. The process of organisation turned out to be chaotic, due to the occurrence of corona virus pandemic. Yet, the emergent situation enabled the artist more time to develop the key features of the concept. The exhibited artworks are an attempt to re-articulate the attitude towards home environment. Moving into a new, unknown space and establishing a dynamic relation between the new here and the old there, encouraged the artist to explore the processes that activate attachment, belonging, and nostalgia. The artist is interested in trying to preserve, archive, and transmit these contents by means of a material component.
The exhibition entitled Post, which includes the works Thislocation, Love Letters, and Out of a Bandbox, catches the uncatchable, looks for what is avoidant, and focuses on yearning for what is absent by trying to enact it through spatial interventions. The title of the exhibition, Post, searches for alternative possibilities of the transference of objects, and explores what, in fact, is that which is worth searching for.
Thislocation is a series of postcards made from dough. The front side of the postcard, which generally includes visual material, is here a direct print of a village road, whereas the other side gives an impression of a standardly designed postcard with space for an address and message to the recipient. The artist got an idea for the work during one of her returns home; her aim was to bring action that allows the passing of time and does not subordinate infrastructure into the urban social infrastructure, which is constantly feverishly fixing architectural 'mistakes.' In contrast to postcards, which are mostly produced with the purpose of conveying an idealised image of a place and its sights for touristic purposes, in her work, the artist transfers a direct, physical print of a road with flow, so as to transmit its contents and reproduce the actual, unadorned information it contains.
Love Letters is the artist's book or zin, composed of drawings and graphic demonstrations of how to build your own piece of what used to be – in this case, the fallen facade of a construction object. The zin adopts the supermarket Ikea's form of illustrated instructions for composing furniture and shows how to build approximately half a cubic metre big facade clip step-by-step. The zin tackles the reconstruction of an object of sentimental value, incorporating the feelings of transience, longing, memories, a kind of an instant, universal souvenir, therefore. Based on the other artworks, which thematised Sisyphean search for home or the fixing of it, the piece in question is minimizing her own alienation complex. The latter is confirmed by the title of the work, which emphasizes the opposite feeling – the feeling of belonging. However, the artist's piece of furniture cannot be composed, similarly as complex feelings of transience and nostalgia cannot be reconstructed into a new whole, even though we desperately (and hopelessly) want to recall them.
Both works can thematically be linked to the installation of the casts of Alkatraz Gallery's interior, made from paper and flour, entitled Out a Bandbox. The casts are inserted into packages and ready to be posted. The artist sees the placements of all three pieces in the same space as time and space in which all 'her' places and the way she experiences them meet, complement one another, mix, pile up, and decay. Maja Bojanić thus steps out of the material reality and realises that the objects do not possess value on their own; rather, they are valuable because of the stories that are important to the viewers who are involved in them. Her exhibition is an action of collecting souvenirs – objects she mentally appropriated. With her exhibition in Alkatraz Gallery, the artist stresses the connection between concrete spaces that left a mark on her. For all the places she therefore creates a common space in which they meet, connect, become accessible, and are simultaneously within one's grasp. Meanwhile, her exhibition emphasizes the universal element of human experience, which is associated with leaving, moving, or transiting between spaces, and the consequences of these processes.
Ana Grobler, Sebastian Krawczyk