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Deej Fabyc / Daddy was a spy for the Soviet Union

16 June 2011 > 01 July 2011 Cordially invited to the exhibition opening on Thursday, 16th June at 9pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery.
The exhibition will open Nataša Budna Kodrič, vicegerent director of the Historical Archives Ljubljana.
Performative walk around Ljubljana will take place on Saturday, 18th June, at 1pm, starting in front of the Alkatraz Gallery.
Curators: Jadranka Ljubicic and Ana Grobler

Newspaper for the exhibition by Deej Fabyc

Interview with Deej Fabyc

In the sole exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery,a recognized British-Australian artist will present herself with a project that she was developing while in residence at the Artist’s Asylum at Metelkova City last April. Her project is based on the fact, that she was living in Ljubljana for a few months as a child. Around 1970 her father, Paul Duncan Jones, was employed as a statistical consultant in Ljubljana. In the late 60s and the early 70s his business led him to several east European countries, but Ljubljana was the only one of all the cities where he also brought along his family. Over here, they were living in the Bellevue Hotel in Tivoli for a few months. Due to the nature of her father’s work, his constant travelling, and permanent absence, Deej Fabyc believed he was a spy.

Important elements of the artist’s engaged performative/video representations consist of process and research. Upon her arrival to Ljubljana, her research began in the collapsing Bellevue Hotel, and continued at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. The Historical Archives Ljubljana, Museum for Architecture and Design, Ministry for the Interior, and has gradually developed. Despite the servile employees at the archives, ministries and offices she has yet not managed to discover the data about her father. At the Ministry of the Interior they replied that even a direct heir to the deceased cannot be forwarded the data concerning temporary and permanent permits unless there is some legal interest, as the data is safeguarded by the Personal Data Protection Act. The data can be obtained by a researcher on the basis of scientific or historical research. As a direct heir she has addressed the Ministry, where she has, upon her artistic-research project received a reply that in the official records of the temporary and permanent permits, kept upon article 85 of the Alien Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 64/09), the data about the mentioned person is not kept. She was advised to turn to the PR Office at the Ministry of the Interior. We have received a similar answer from the HR office at the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, where they made assertion that in the late 60s and early 70s there were no foreigners employed there. Amongst the materials kept by the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia within the fund AS 1931 at the Republic Secretary for Internal Affairs, there was no personal dossier of her father. However, her search was successful at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, who supplied the data and copies of the plans of the Bellevue Hotel and the Historical Archives Ljubljana, where we received the data of the documents of the status of foreigners in the Socialist Republic of Slovenia valid in 1969. We were less successful contacting the Mawared company, the owner of the premises who has an office in Ljubljana. The stated contacts are obviously not valid any more, it seems they have moved their headquarters..

The plan of the artist was to disclose the concealed traces of public and personal histories through which the inhabitants settle and see the city. She has followed her childhood memories and potentially made up details in her journey and exploration of Ljubljana as a cartographer and placing layers of alternative history onto the city in the process of research. Like her father’s sociological-statistical work, her project is also engaged in the question of migration, at the same time questioning the borderline between imagination and truth, when the truth is only a construct and not a product of facts. With regards to the fact that there are no traces about her stay in Ljubljana – is it at all possible to claim that she has spent a short spell of her childhood in Slovenia? Was her father really a spy of whom there is no data in any publically accessible documents?

This, half fictive, half real story that reads like an exciting espionage drama, will be represented with an installation, photographs and a video, an artistic-research journey about Ljubljana, and conclude it with a performative walk around the city on Saturday, 18th June, following the landmarks that marked the time of her artistic residence that she will connect with the secret places, memories of the hotel and the stories from her childhood. The culmination of her walk, where random passers-by will also be invited, will be the Bellevue Hotel, where she will, together with the members of the Mixed Choir of Glasbena matica Ljubljana, the oldest Slovenian mixed choir, celebrating their 120th anniversary this year, sing a song “Daddy was a spy for the Soviet Union”.

Ana Grobler

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The British-Australian artist Deej Fabyc already exhibited in Ljubljana in 2009 within the International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns. When talking to her then, we discovered that she had stayed in Ljubljana for a few months during her childhood. Therefore we invited her to an artistic residence at Artist’s Asylum at Metelkova City from 9th – 29th April 2011. A frequent topic of Deej Fabyc works is psihological dimension of personal and political experience of trauma. She is an artist that is fascinated by the concord of personal histories in the context of wider public as well as engagement related to social systems. Her work according to the principal “personal and political”, does not distinguish between art and life. While she was engaged in projects of wide performative installations and videos in the 90s, she has, in the last decade focused on film and “live” performance. Since the 90s, the author has exhibited all over the world. The selected exhibitions include Dialogue curated by Theo Tegalaars in the W139 Gallery in Amsterdam, Contempora in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourn, Australia, and a touring exhibition entitled Don’t Call it Performance, curated by Paco Barragan, premiered at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, and concluded at the El Museo Del Barrio in New York. She co-operates and exhibits with other artists, and has realised it through her directorship activities at Elastic Residence in London since 2004 as well as through her membership of KISSS, a group of artists engaged in the issues of surveillance. She has curated several exhibitions in London and Australia. She lives in London and is currently a visiting lecture at the subject of Time Based Media at the London Metropolitan University.

http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/companyinfo

http://www.fabyc.co.uk

http://www.elastic.org.uk

http://fabycr.blogspot.com

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In co-operation with :

-Art Center, Institution for Development and Art, Dunajska 196, 1000 Ljubljana, http://www.artcenter-slovenia.org/

-Center for Contemporary Arts SCCA - Ljubljana, Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana, http://www.scca-ljubljana.si/

-Historical Archives Ljubljana, Mestni trg 27, 1001 Ljubljana pp 1614, http://www.zal-lj.si/

-Mixed choir Glasbena matica Ljubljana, Glasbena matica Ljubljana, Vegova 5, 1000 Ljubljana, http://www.glasbenamatica.si/, http://www.glasbenamatica.si/pevski_zbori/mesani_pevski_zbor

-MODIANA, d.o.o., Dunajska 110, 1000 Ljubljana, www.modiana.si

-Sunčan P. Stone

Thanks to:

Tanja Lesjak, Mateja Kobal, Danijela Zajc, Peter Fazarinc, Stanislav Papež, Tomaž Rus, Jasmina Antonič Babnik, Danica Štajer, Rok Platinovšek, Martin Osredkar, Australian Embassy in Austria, Richard Holzer-Remondi, Iztok Štajermark, Historical Archives, Ljubljana (ZAL), Janez Bregar, Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, Tadej Cankar, Museum of Architecture and Design, Neli Grafenauer, British Council Slovenia, James Hampson, Ministry of the Interior, Home Office (UK), Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Jure Hribar, Modiana, Jolanda Ugrin, Matjaž Potrebuješ



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