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Deej Fabyc: Daddy was a Spy for the Soviet union

06 Junij 2011 00:00

In the sole exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery, a recognized British-Australian artist presented 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. 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.

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”.

Name of the event:
Daddy was a Spy for the Soviet Union (exhibition)

When it took place:
The opening: 16th June 2011 at 9pm
The performative walk: 18th June 2011
Exhibition was open since 16th June until 1st July 2011

Location of the exhibition: Alkatraz Gallery
City: Ljubljana
Websites: Alkatraz Galleryhttp://www.fabyc.co.ukhttp://www.elastic.org.ukhttp://fabycr.blogspot.com

Authors of event:
Organisation/Production: KUD Mreža/Alkatraz Gallery, Masarykova 24, 1000 Ljubljana
In collaboration with:
-Art Center, Institution for Development and Art
-Center for Contemporary Arts SCCA - Ljubljana
-Historical Archives Ljubljana
-Mixed choir Glasbena matica Ljubljana,
-MODIANA, d.o.o.
-Sunčan P. Stone

Ana Grobler and Jadranka Ljubičič

Artist: Deej Fabyc

Camera: Leigh San Jujan
Editing: Leigh San Juan
Language: English