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Goran Medjugorac & Art Larson: The Country Gentlemen

09 May 2017 > 03 June 2017 Kindly invited you to the opening of exhibition "The Country Gentlemen" by Goran Medjugorac & Art Larson, on Tuesday, 9th May 2017 at 8 pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto.

During the era of the Neolithic revolution when the feeling of the mastering of nature had prevailed, the humankind gradually began to smash the partnership balance between nature and oneself. All of a sudden the sisterly fox became the thief of hens, and the brotherly wolf the slaughter of sheep. Industrial revolution further intensified this pattern by establishing the belief that, by the reason, scientific behaviour, and the application of technological achievements at the level of industrial development, we can more effectively exploit natural sources and in this way improve human living as well as ensure a constant social progress. The development of science set a new paradigm of how to perceive nature and distanced itself from the perception of nature as a field of mysterious spiritual phenomena as it had been perceived by traditional societies. Nature became merely the field offering material resources.

The Country Gentlemen exhibition toys with diverse perception of nature while trying to warn of the dichotomy. On the one hand we have a rational view on nature, always in search of how to master it, on the other hand, however, there are traditional societies who do not know of gentlemen and are building their life in co-existence with nature. Scientific control over nature had promised to overcome shortage, poverty, as well as arbitrariness of natural catastrophes, which has not been entirely fulfilled. The development of rational forms of social organization and rational methods of thinking had promised liberation from the bondage of irrationality, the myth of religion, or superstition, but they have remained with us.

In The Country Gentlemen exhibition in the Alkatraz Gallery, Goran Medjugorac and Art Larson toy by their several approaches with the idea of how to capture nature in a medium. In their research, both artists worship nature and their inspiration draws on romantic ideas of discovery and contemplation on the petiteness of a human before nature, as is characteristic of Romantic painting in the first half of the 19th century, which opened novel views in philosophy and art in the view of the relation between nature and the human. Its most prominent representative is a German painter, Caspar David Friedrich, who, in his paintings radicalised this very relation. In his most famous monumental landscapes from his mature period we find a human depicted as a miniature figure among the mighty and infinite nature. It’s about a total idealization of nature, which stands almighty above a human. All these questions and dilemmas about the nature-human relation are captured in the work of the two artists; yet they are more interested in the limits of their own abilities than in the stray of a small human in the colossal machinery of nature.

The painter Goran Medjugorac within the monumental drawing – as an autonomous medium – by mathematical patterns attempts to synthesize a direct reflection of nature. Preciseness, vitality and discipline are detected in his strokes. The medium of drawing enables him liveliness, inconclusiveness, openness and construction of an art form that in the process of creation stumbles upon limitation and the awareness of the imperfection of the human in relation to nature. The artist utilizes the technique of pointillism; hence by his interconnecting of dots a monumental drawing of nature comes about.

Art Larson makes a video recording of tree life, which in comparison to a human life, appears slow and infinite. During the observation, he keeps facing his own physical weakness and limitation, so immanent to our existence.

The exhibition title can be understood as a synonym for limitedness and narrow-mindedness, alike in Butalci of Fran Milčinski. Butalci had a fight with the brain, yet Butalci won. We are living in an era in which we have a constant feeling that the humankind is out of its tree, for we behave as if nature were not part of us.

Jadranka Plut

Goran Medjugorac - born in 1972 in Ljubljana. He finished studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (1996) and graduated in painting (2002) under the supervision of Prof. Gustav Gnamuš. He completed a Masters degree in Art Production and research at the Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona (2011). Since 1994 he has been omnipresent at home and abroad in the field of culture: he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, performances and theatrical performances.

Art Larson – born in 1962 in San Diego, United States. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in San Francisco, later at the University in the same city and at The San Francisco Art Institute. In the following years he taught at Winchester School of Art / University of South Hampton in Barcelona, on Strykejernet Kunstskole's (Oslo), at the residential program in Catalunya as well as at Deia Escola d'Art i Superior de DISSENY in Barcelona. Since 1988 he lives and works in Spain, since 1992 in Barcelona.

Translation form Slovene: Lili Anamarija No.

Special thanks for technical support to Zavod Projekt Atol.