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Marija Mojca Pungerčar: Socialdress – Small Retrospective Exhibition

21 October 2015 > 13 November 2015 Kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition "Socialdress - Small Retrospective Exhibition" on Wednesday, 21st October at 8pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova.

Marija Mojca Pungerčar is a visual artist who is, in her practices, looking for new spaces and ways of expression. At the beginning of the nineties she, a painter, moved from the painterly space into a search of public space and carried out a few series of site-specific projects. In the period between 2002 and 2008 she developed an important project, Singer, in order to point to the downfall of Slovene textile industry and tradition in Slovenia. She was interested in the artistic practices with the ability to directly reveal the questions of evaluation of labour, hence of the artistic practice. In her artistic practices she is also looking for new forms and possibilities of development of new means of production. Here we need to stress that Mojca Marija Pungerčar has been, as a fashion designer in the Slovene textile industry, always linked with the process of sewing. There is no coincidence that in 2006 a new, still on-going art space sprang up - the Socialdress project. The project is not a classical exhibition-type project as it includes workshops for an explicitly group project that is interactive and builds on connection between life and art. We could say that the project is experiential, as it involves a personal implementation of the ideas the artist herself believes in, i.e. recycling and sustainability concepts, while she is, at the same time, building up the awareness of the consequences of globalization for textile industry as well as of the disappearance of handcraft/artisanal knowledge and skills. This is an artistic alternative oriented to development and creation of one’s own tools for a creative use, based on the Do-it-Yourself model of thinking, which approaches the needs of the daily reality.

The Socialdress workshops are designed as social experiments with the emphasis on socializing and exchanging of ideas and knowledge. Loads have accumulated over years. Each workshop had its topical outset; the attendants were male and female of different level of sewing skills, or got acquainted with the sewing machine, the main workshop tool, for the first time at these workshops. The so-created products were majorly kept by the workshops’ participants, and the artist found herself in the role of idea-generator and the workshop moderator, while the workshop attendants were the authors of their creations. The Sociadress project can be looked at also as a never-finished product, for its essence lies primarily in the moments when a collective idea and the desire for different professions and stories meet.

That’s why we have at the 10th anniversary of the Alkatraz Gallery decided to prepare a small overview of the Socialdress project, conceived in the absence of the original works from the workshops – as they are majorly owned by the workshop participants – while the works of the Socialdress - Moč ljudem (Power to the People), in 2013, were carried off from the Alkatraz Gallery.

The core of the Socialdress project is a processual and participatory nature, not linked to artistic objects, but primarily to the moments in which collective ideas and desires meet. It builds on the interpretation and concrete collaboration between the artist and the public; the relationship is therefore not established at the level of an object, but at the level of a subject.

If we are acquainted with the practice of the visual artist Marija Mojca Pungerčar, we can notice that there is another important emphasis, namely, that the over-several-years-stretched project of Socialdress stems out of the urge to find new, such artistic practices to offer possible strategies of survival outside the artistic precariat, and not merely new artistic spaces. By the principles of recycling, sustainability forms, handcraft skills and practices, she also includes a reflection and directive in search for economic self-sustainability.

Socialdress as a project tries the limits among concepts that are of permeable nature, and steps away from a rigid categorization, for it is conceived as a fluid and a hybrid project, and distinctively inter-medial in the very sense of the word as it links various fields. The production of a new (temporary) space of Marija Mojca Pungerčar is headed in the direction of addressing the visitor as an active participant, which is crucial for a transformative gesture of an artistic practice in heterogeneous, hybrid spaces which motivate the creative participants to activate themselves with regards to public and communal spaces.

Accompanying events:

Tuesday 27th October Tuesday, 3rd November at 6pm: Guided tour of the exhibition by Jadranka Plut and Marija Mojca Pungerčar.

Tuesday 10th November at 6 pm: Guided tour of the exhibition by Marija Mojca Pungerčar.

Thursday 29th October
Friday, 13th November, at 6pm:
Presentation of the research Constructed Image by Ana Grobler, Sebastian Krawczyk and Jadranka Plut.

Marija Mojca Pungerčar was born in Novo mesto. She lives in Ljubljana. A former fashion designer in Slovene textile industry and a member of the Linije sile (Lines of Power), she graduated in 1989 in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and in 2001 attained her M.F.A. in new genres at the San Francisco Art Institute in California. In the winter term of 1992-93 she was a visiting student at the Academy for Applied Arts in Vienna. Since 1991 she has been self-employed in the domain of culture. Among her awards and acknowledgements there are the Rihard Jakopič Recognition, an award at the Festival of Independent Film, Austrian Academic Exchange scholarship, ArtsLink scholarship, and Fulbright scholarship. She is actively engaged in the field of contemporary visual art (installations, video, performance) as well as theatre costume design. Her works are characterized by socially engaged content, critique of consumerism, and emphasis of locality and community.

Author: Marija Mojca Pungerčar
Curator: Jadranka Plut
Research team: Ana Grobler, Sebastian Krawczyk in Jadranka Plut
Idea, texts, transtations, object-making: Marija Mojca Pungerčar
Design: Mojca J. Tomažič / Kontrastika
English proof-reading: Katarina Grabnar

Photographs from archive of Socialdress are included. Authors of photographs: Kristina Berčič, Reinhard Brečko, Tomo Jeseničnik, Jasmina Klančar, Damijan Kracina,Emmanuelle Nizou, Marija Mojca Pungerčar, Špela Škulj, Bojan Velikonja in Nada Žgank.

Photos from the opening: Sunčan P. Stone.

Production: KUD Mreža/ Galerija Alkatraz.
Co-production: KUD Trivia.
Special thanks to the Meavista company.

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