(IN)VISIBLE TRACES II/ KOLEKTIVA (Vesna Bukovec, Lada Cerar, Metka Zupanič)
You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition (In)Visible Traces II by KOLEKTIVA. The opening will take place in Alkatraz Gallery on Wednesday 10th October at 8 pm. KOLEKTIVA collects suggestions and photographies of those objects that you think are are important to preserve for the next generations at firstname.lastname@example.org during the exhibition.
Recently art seems to be engaged, and taking on the role of the civil society and politics. With every step it takes it warns us, reminds us, and highlights social phenomena. Has art taken on the role of the civil society? It is a daring question that can only be answered by: No. Nowadays, art and civil society are closely intertwined; both, in their own way, holding up the mirror to the society. They both offer reflections on the systems and sub-systems in social spheres, trying to critically reflect the contemporary society and warn and remind us about the bare consuming of those who ’soulless’ live in their own, alternative world.
Provocations in the contemporary art are nicely illustrated by the example often quoted by Slavoj Žižek – the ban of utopian fantasy fiction in China. This violation of the freedom of speech is at the same time also a sign that authoritarian regimes still perceive the speech – either writing or art – as potentially dangerous, as opposed to the so-called liberal societies. For the very reason that everything can be said or shown it may seem that none of the said and shown can shake the system.
The art group KOLEKTIVA, consisting of Vesna Bukovec, Lada Cerar and Metka Zupanič, touches the engaged social topics with its artistic creation. These are the works eluding the world of art, slipping into the world of life, opening a possibility of a relation of the subject (the observer) to the matter (the object). The object is based on the building of human relations and their social context. As Nicolas Bourriaud has described it, it is about the emphasis of communication/correlation between the subject and the object.
The KOLEKTIVA group does not produce an artwork for the sake of its aesthetic value, instead it is trying – with its help - to form inter-human experiences or participate in them and establish a social interface.
Marx’s term that Nicolas Bourriaud has incorporated into the field of contemporary art, is the space of human relations, offering different possibilities of exchange from those, valid, operating in the system
The KOLEKTIVA should encourage free sociability outside the routine communication channels. With their artistic creativity the female artists are trying to create an environment within which redefined communication can take place – an environment outside old frames, not solely intended for sociability. The KOLEKTIVA are inviting the visitor to become an equal subject of art that is being created, and not being merely a witness to the projection of the artist’s personality. His or her participation is the key part of the artwork.
The authors of the KOLEKTIVA group continue with site-specific
practice of the inclusion of the local space and people within the frame of the exhibition project. They continue with the exploration of the extended idea of archaeology they started with in their project (In)Visible Traces
from 2009 in Ptuj, however, at the same time picking up the topic of a city, its inhabitants, and the alternative mapping of cities (e.g. the projects Special Place in the City
, Secret Heart
, Talk to the Other Side, Hiteti ali biti temeljit? (Hurry or be Thorough?)
). The exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery will be composed of black and white boards, on which the visitors will be answering the question, which object they would like to leave to the future generations. Placed in the middle of the gallery space there will be an object, by its shape resembling a geological well. The concrete sculpture consists of several smallish elements – profiles, concealing in them various objects from everyday life. The symbolic geological well represents a non-coincidental fossilization of the objects from our era, waiting to be discovered by the archaeologists from the distant future.
The project represents an attempt to view the contemporaneity from the view of the future generations. The KOLEKTIVA shall try to persuade the viewer to look at the present with the eyes of the human of the future. We are living in a civilization that is materialistic – consumptively oriented, and in the abundance of the everyday life the artists are asking themselves directly: what are the traces our civilization will leave behind. Which objects would you preserve for the future generations?
The KOLEKTIVA choses art as a platform of a new inter-human connection and dialogue, opposing the individualization as the prevailing neoliberal principle of the existence in the world. The very connecting on the basis of common creation represents a confrontation with the system. Singularity is what enables and preserves the the condition of apathy, preserves and fortifies ideological fictions, and increases the possibility of social control.2
This is, by no means, an art, imprisoned in an ivory tower, but an attempt of a dialogue about the contemporary world, often with the audience having no interest in art. And this is exactly the point where it assumes the role of a critical civil society.
Sebastian Krawczyk, Jadranka Plut
Translated by Lili Anamarija No
KOLEKTIVA’s work is based on research of various aspects of communication, inter-personal relationships, and everyday life. In their projects they search for all kinds of personal stories and are interested in both storytelling and voyeurism at the same time. As a group they create projects in response to given situations. They frequently collaborate with the public. They invite different individuals, passersby or specially targeted groups to collaborate and they include them in their projects as a source or co-authors of the work. The artists understand the process of art making as a mixture of imagination, negotiation, exchange and cooperation.
In ten years of collaboration Vesna Bukovec, Lada Cerar and Metka Zupanič presented their group works in several solo exhibitions and participated in significant international group shows in Slovenia and Europe. Besides working in KOLEKTIVA all three authors work as successful solo artists. Metka Zupanič and Vesna Bukovec also curate video screenings and exhibitions of international contemporary video art in collaboration with the Photon Gallery.
Thanks to: Rok Mohar
Photos by: Sunčan P. Stone
Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics and Postproduction. Culture as screenplay: how the art re-programmes the contemporary world, Ljubljana 2007, p.18.
Jasmina Založnik, Podhranjenost Slovencev z znanji in institucijami sodobnih umetniških praks, v: Reartikulacija št. 2/2007, dostopno preko: http://www.reartikulacija.org/?p=324&langswitch_lang=si