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Živa Drvarič – Aparthotel

06 May 2022 > 29 May 2022 Kindly invited to the opening of the "Aparthotel"exhibition by Živa Drvarič, on Friday, 6th May at Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. Kindly invited also to the guided tour with the curator on Friday, 27th May at 6 pm a part of Ljubljana Art Weekend.

ŽIVA DRVARIČ – Aparthotel

' Since yesterday the flat where I live has been one floor lower down. I don’t want to say it out loud, but my flat’s lower down. The reason I don’t want to say it out loud is that I haven’t moved.'  Ilse Aichinger

It seems that the easiest way to approach Živa Drvarič's unusual space might be through literature — fictional narration and poetic images. I imagine a story about a parallel world, almost like our everyday, but only almost. Somewhere between dreaminess and discomfort we discover small differences — windows do not open the view to the outside, footsteps do not lead anywhere, but reveal dualities and/or dilemmas, everyday objects are distorted. Has someone just been in the room? Did they forget their shoes? Were we supposed to be afraid? Time has stopped.

At least since the 1990s, the everyday has been a common and popular theme of visual art, even before that French Situationists wanted to bring poetry and surprise to the streets of Paris, avant-garde wanted to bring art closer to everyday life. What is happening when nothing is happening, wondered Georges Perec in the 1970s, who is said to have been friends with Henry Lefebvre, the first name of the everyday theories. French authors at the time emphasized predominantly the political and social aspect of the everyday, but I cannot help but hear a hint of suspicion in Perec's instruction to question our teaspoons and wonder what is under the wallpaper. As if on closer inspection it will turn out that teaspoons live a double life and a new world unfolds under the wallpaper. A world that is mostly difficult to notice, since the definition of the everyday is that we are immersed in it or that, according to Perec, it is under the threshold of visibility. Everyday is the unreachable to which we always already have access, said Maurice Blanchot, who emphasized that the everyday escapes. Maybe  Živa Drvarič’s space is trying to capture the view on the everday by transforming it —  everyday things in it are doubled, separated, torn between two poles, inactive and illogical. Or —differently logical.

If everyday is determined primarily by a routine of passing time, in the parallel world of Aparthotel, time has stopped — or, perhaps, two different times, the past and the future, have joined hands? An alienated space is neither a home apartment nor a hotel, which by definition wants to get closer to home, but it never really succeeds in doing that.  In Aparthotel we are separated from easily identifiable space. The hotel is not metaphorical only in its necessarily failed proximity to the home, but we also mostly associate it with a foreign environment, where the everyday is always slightly different than at home. According to Bachelard, it makes sense to take house as an analytical tool for the human soul, and vice versa, our soul is a dwelling place. When we remember 'houses' and 'rooms', we learn to 'dwell' within ourselves. But not only our memories, he says, also what we forget is accommodated. And according to free interpretation of Bachelard's thought, memories, thoughts, beliefs and emotions have distorted the everyday housed in the Aparthotel. Our visit determines the time standing still that is caught between the past and the future,  and the related existential questions transform everyday objects. Thoughts and dilemmas layed down on shoes and insoles, symbolic windows redirect the gaze to thoughts or prolong the fleeting gaze in reality. Bottles hint at the existence in two spaces, buckets indicate interdependence, similarly perhaps also a cable that serves not to exhaust but to exchange the energy. Everyday objects express current problems and thoughts that stem from past experiences, while standing on the threshold of an uncertain future. Aparthotel is (a metaphor for) a place where scattered thoughts travelling into the unknown and unpredictable settle into familiar objects. If the image of a house according to Bachelard is the topography of our intimate being, the topography of what is the space that Živa Drvarič creates in the gallery? I started with the thought of fiction, but still — isn't the everyday also some kind of fiction? Therefore, the Aparthotel is not really a parallel world, where everything is almost as it is in everyday life, but simply an elusive everyday state of the affairs.

Iza Pevec

Živa Drvarič (1988) received her master’s degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana under the mentorship of Žiga Kariž and Uršula Berlot Pompe. She continued studying at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna under the mentorship of Brigitte Kowanz and completed her studies at Hochschule für bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main under the mentorship of Judith Hopf. Her work is based on the poetic exploration of objects, systems of thoughts, gestures, language and everyday processes. Discovering and playing with the connections and similarities between things, reviving motifs from her own photographic archive and researching new possibilities within existing artistic techniques are the foundations for her practice. Živa Drvarič has exhibited at UGM Studio in Maribor, at GalerijaGallery and Ulay Foundation in Ljubljana, at Kunstraum Niederösterreich and the Vienna Krinzinger Projekte, at Portikus in Frankfurt am Main, Lovaas Projects in Munich, and elsewhere. In 2020, she was nominated for the OHO Group award, and was awarded the Sammlung Pohl Stipend for Young Artists that same year. Since 2021 she has been receiving the four-year HAP scholarship (Hessisches Atelierprogramm) in Frankfurt am Main, where she currently lives.

Photographies by: Nada Žgank.


Programme of Alkatraz Gallery is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and City Council Ljubljana - Department for Culture.