Nina Goropečnik: The Objects Must Meet Certain Conditions.
Kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition "The Objects Must Meet Certain Conditions, by Nina Goropečnik on Monday, 14 November at 7 p.m. at Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto. The exhibition is curated by Anita Wach.
Exhibition event schedule:
17. 11. 2022 11.00 - 19.00 Open studio with Nina Goropečnik and Anita Wach.
17. 11. 2022 18.30 Performative event Let's Talk about Nina (Anita Wach and Nina Goropečnik, production Via Negativa)
Strategy to sculpt in relations between all agents involved in structures cultivated by the art system is very characteristic to Nina Goropečnik artistic practice. She works with those aspects of art which are on the radar of ‘taxpayers’: putting conceptual accuracy above aesthetics, avoiding the requirement to create a product, using weak points of system, elusiveness - everything that seems impractical from the point of view of the free market model. Artistic practice developed by Goropečnik aims to undermine rigid, institutionalized relations between agents involved in preservation of the art system. One of strategies to achieve this might be to use the time and space offered by art galleries to perform parallel works, build programs, assimilate existing roles, and modify existing state of affairs.
Nina Goropečnik uses the exhibition Predmeti morajo izpolnjevati določene pogoje. to focus on the process itself and to display a form of an ‘x-ray’ of creative procedures: a skeleton of references, thoughts, notes, and pictures from her own archive. She allows viewers to see what cannot be seen with the bare eye - an invisible, never-ending, time-consuming creation process that is more important than all possible outcomes. And it is based mostly on thinking. The idea of reconstructing her personal "wall of reference points", which physically exists in the room, is the result of the re-working of a timeless sphere in which ideas, influences, and inspirations accumulate - the sphere of the mind. Searching for the right ‘item’ as a replacement for the original is like hunting for the essential meaning associated with each specific object. It’s like hunting for one's own ideas and breaking free from a net of influences. Reconstruction is never bare repetition or replica, it is always transformed and filtered by present circumstances and context in which the artist's work takes place. It’s not about objects and documents from the archive, it’s about thought, experience, and actual relation to the content provided by referential objects.
The leitmotif of Goropečnik’s practice is absence, invisibility, and reluctance to - ubiquitous in neoliberal society - requirements to produce Something. The artistic goal is to find a form for the Emptiness - the space of potentiality. The tools she sculpts in it are taken from precisely those models that require "productivity" and visibility to sustain existence, including the art system itself. Goropečnik’s strategy proves that even to create Nothing: nothing else, nothing to sell, nothing to steal, nothing to add...takes a lot of effort and a lot of work needs to be invested to guide the audience through the process of materializing the Concept. To exhibit a thought or intimate experience requires a lot of self-reflection, dialog, reduction of collected material, tryouts, and selection of information. In the end, decisions have to be made. Then the exhibition is done. Which does not mean that the artist's work is finished and that decision is final.
In this text, there is also an added report on cooperation. As a curator involved in this process, I can conclude that everything notified in the report (with all invisible content) has led to the exhibition concept, but there are no direct links with the final decisions taken by the artist. The mystery of the ‘birth of idea’ moment remains unresolved.
Nina Goropečnik (1993) works in the field of visual and performance art. She is interested in processuality and questions the relationship between visibility and the viewer. In 2022, she completed her master's studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, under the mentorship of prof. MA Jože Barši and prof. dr. Uršula Berlot Pompe. In the same year, she did an internship at WHW Zagreb, and even earlier (2018/19) as part of the Erasmus+ program at Iceland University of the Arts.
Since 2019, she and Rea Vogrinčič have been co-creating the Pita Project platform, for which they received an award from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in the academic year 2019/20. Nina Goropečnik is part of the student pop-up Gallery 7:069 and the visual-musical collective MATERE.
She has participated in several group exhibitions, among others in the Centre for Contemporary Arts (Celje, 2022), the Škuc Gallery (Ljubljana, 2021), Verksmiðjan á Hjalteyri(Hjalteyri, Iceland, 2018) and Layer House (Kranj, 2018). Her solo exhibitions were held in the Simulaker Gallery (Novo mesto, 2021), DobraVaga Gallery (Ljubljana, 2020) and DLUL Gallery (Ljubljana, 2020).
The course of events:
2/4/2022 — In an email, Nina Goropečnik invites Anita Wach to participate in the project. Goropečnik offers Wach the role of a curator for her solo exhibition entitled Objects Must Meet Certain Conditions.
, which will take place in November in the Alkatraz Gallery. She offers her 200 Euro curator's fee.
3/4/2022 — Wach confirms the participation via e-mail.
7/4/2022 — The first meeting, on Zoom. Goropečnik presents to Wach the activities of the Pita Project
as part of which three exhibitions will be hosted in the Alkatraz Gallery in November. They agree on a tentative schedule of cooperation.
2/5/2022 — Goropečnik sends Wach a portfolio and an unofficial version of her master's thesis. Wach familiarises herself with the content of the master's thesis and reviews the portfolio.
19/6/2022 — The second meeting in person. They talk about the master's thesis, Goropečnik's past works and look for potential starting points for the exhibition.
22/8/2022 — The third meeting in person. They devise the strategy for work in September and October.
1/9/2022 – 30/9/2022 — The first series of a dialogue/conversation. Due to the fact that Goropečnik intends to spend September on an art residency in Bologna and Izola, they both commit themselves to daily correspondence via email.
1/10/2022 – 23/10/2022 — The second series of a dialogue/conversation. As the correspondence in September was successful, Wach and Goropečnik agree to continue a dialogue/conversation in October.
9/10/2022 — The fourth meeting in person. They decide to change the nature of dialogue and redirect it to a practice-based exchange model: 'attempt–feedback'.
18/10/2022 — The fifth meeting in person. They discuss the approach to develop work strategies and concepts related to the exhibition Objects Must Meet Certain Conditions.
at the Alkatraz Gallery. Goropečnik presents a concrete concept for the implementation of the exhibition. They also discuss suggestions regarding a possible performative event. They decide on the form of the exhibition event and discuss the preparation of the text for the exhibition.
23/10/2022 — The last meeting before submitting this text on Zoom. At the meeting, they finish this text and prepare it to be sent for proofreading.
Scope of obligations:
Nina Goropečnik agreed to send Anita Wach at least one email a day during the period 1 –30 September 2022 with information about her creative process and the circumstances in which the work is created. She will inform her about her productivity and share personal information about her psychophysical conditions and possible events that influence her work, as well as any thoughts and self-reflection related to her artistic practice and possible reference authors or works of art. She will share all her ideas and suggestions, even if they are stupid. Occasionally, she will include a photo and/or video documentation in her writing. She agreed to keep the dialogue/conversation interesting and productive.
In October, she committed, as agreed for the second series of the dialogue/conversation based on the practice of ‘attempt-feedback’, to do at least one action a day based on physicality and to e-send video documentation.
Anita Wach understood the role of a curator as someone who is attentive and closely watches over the creative process. She committed herself to encourage work, give feedback, help to maintain a creative approach, share references, offer suggestions, maintain discipline and apply pressure. Wach also undertook to respond to every email and to address all questions, issues, and concepts raised. She agreed to keep the dialogue/conversation interesting and productive. As a person from a different artistic field, she accepted the role of a curator, as she saw an opportunity to expand the artistic practice of both.
Evaluation of the course of collaboration:
During the collaboration, Wach and Goropečnik exchanged 140 emails. The number of shared visual documents: 36 photographs and 6 videos. Goropečnik made 4 attempts at physical actions in space. Between 2/4/2022 and 22/8/2022, 21 email messages were sent: Goropečnik sent 12, and Wach 9.
In the first series of a dialogue/conversation, i. e. in September, 55 e-mails were sent (72203 characters without spaces): 29 by Goropečnik and 26 by Wach.
In the second series of the dialogue/conversation, i. e. in October, 64 e-mails were sent (40986 characters without spaces): both Wach and Goropečnik sent 32 messages.
Goropečnik did not take into account the agreed start date of the first correspondence. She sent the first email on 2/9/2022/. She also did not take into account the agreed end date: she concluded the dialogue/conversation two days earlier, on 28/9/2022/. During the second series of correspondence, she did not insist on the 'attempt–feedback' task. She made and sent only 3 attempts. She also failed to warn Wach in time that she had to write the curatorial text.
Wach answered every email. She also formulated an answer to every question, although she was not always satisfied with the content. During the conversation, she raised her concerns and transparently shared opinions and references, as well as experiences related to her own working process. She used the collaboration, especially the two dialogue/conversation series, to develop her own practice and to invite Goropečnik to join her 30 movements
project, as well as for the Slovenian language lessons.
Wach is still not sure if she is performing the role of the curator correctly and wonders what the role and responsibilities of the curator are. She admits lack of determination in guidance and proposing more concrete solutions.
Wach and Goropečnik created a small artistic network, based on the exchange of services, practices, experiences, knowledge, giving references, suggestions, encouraging performative experiments, and exchanging roles.
The collaboration can be described as successful in terms of engagement and responsiveness, but in economic terms, although the collaboration includes financial gains, the nature of it is closer to the practice of 'gift exchange'. This system of interaction is based on the exchange, donations, and tightening of bonds by imposing obligations.
Curated by: Anita Wach.
Support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of slovenia, City Council Ljubljana and
Mladi zmaji (Mestni inkubator) for pre-exhibition workshops
Proof-reading: Inge Pangos
Translation: Ana Makuc
Plaster casts made by: Tajda Novšak
Stands and bases made by: Maj Vogrinčič
Computer photo processing and editing: Lene Lekše
Thanks to: Library under the Treetops, KUD France Rotar