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24th Red Dawns | Iris Pokovec: “They Came to be the Crowd”

06 March 2023 > 31 March 2023 You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition "They Came to be the Crowd" by Iris Pokovec on Monday, 6 March, at 7 p.m., and to the tea party with the artist on Thursday 16 March, at 6 p.m., in the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto. The exhibition is a part of 24. International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns.

 Kindly invited to other events of the International and Feminist Queer Festival Red Dawns as well!

Iris Pokovec: They Came to be the Crowd
curated by: Eva Jus
6.3. – 31.3.2023
Exhibition opening, 6.3.2023 at 7 pm
Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova Mesto

You are kindly invited to the tea party with the artist on Thursday 16 March, at 6 p.m., in the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto as well. 

As every year, also this year’s, 24th edition of the International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns shall hold an exhibition. Iris Pokovec's exhibition entitled They Came to Be the Crowd addresses the question of the subject in late capitalism through the prism of free time, more precisely, the self-actualisation through the crowd and understanding of (evening) entertainment.

Instead of wooing the intellectually enlightened gallery visitor entering the gallery space to contemplate from a distance the position of the abstract individual and their involvement in the exploitative grip of late capitalism, revealing the mechanisms of oppression that organize out daily lives according to the principle home-work, or exposing how the levers of power dictate the organisation of the private life through what we eat, how we dress, how we enter into interpersonal (romantic or platonic) relationships, the exhibition simply invites us to drop our work for a moment and relax in the gallery, which conjures up a club atmosphere. Just like nightclubs with neon light and relaxed slogans that promise disconnection persuade us to 'reset' at the end of the week, indulge in music, debauchery and pure escape, the artist also lures us into the gallery with the opening happening and welcome drinks.

Unfortunately, the promised utopia of oblivion does not await us there, but rather a mixture of feelings. Something is not quite right. The walls are decorated with playful inscriptions among neon lights, which with their shameless semantic emptiness act as intrusive thoughts of generalized anxiety, which does not let us forget that we cannot self-actualise or escape ourselves through the rituals of a club night, that we are not a part of some cool progressive urban community, but rather only a part of the crowd, which, like us, yearns for oblivion, although it, in fact, needs self-actualisation. And there is something that this space lacks – the possibility of a different world, better working conditions, a fairer society and relationships that are not based solely on image.

The artist playfully tackles the subject through painting and graphic media, using slogans and contrasting colours that attract the eye. In her works, she exposes the quasi-intellectualism and emptiness of semantically bare marketing slogans, which, in an attempt to address comfort on the one hand and seeming engagement on the other, lull the individual into the status quo. She bases her work on the tradition of pop art, but adapts it to modern communication trends and forms. Her work is no longer about the 'glorification' of the everyday, but rather a kind of 'downgrade' of art that allows itself to descend to the level of popular culture.

Iris Pokovec's work is phenomenological in its core and in the description of the zeitgest makes use of solely the language and form of the very zeitgest, which creates additional tension and underlines the existential nonsense that governs us. It is an experiment of what happens if meme is interpreted with a meme, form only with a form; and, of course, everything in the English language. With the subtle and playful notch into the veil of the work hard, play hard ideology, Iris Pokovec allows us to make the first step into the unknown through the experience of discomfort. Perhaps towards a different world, perhaps just into another Monday ...

Eva Jus


Iris Pokovec (1992) is a visual artist, based in Ljubljana. She received her master’s degree with the thesis entitled Likeability and Buyability from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2017. Her practice is primarily grounded in text-based art in classic painting and graphic media, by means of which she explores communication tools of contemporary consumerism. In terms of content, she mainly deals with the relations between present-day consumer plastic, marketing slogans of the 21-st century and modern pop nihilism. She leads a more commercial and entertaining part of her production through her art brand Menažerija.


Event on Facebook



Organization: 24th International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns

Coproduction/co-organisation: Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana Pride Association

Design of the poster and graphic design: Hanna Juta Kozar

Contacts for media and press: Saša Nemec,

Curated by: Eva Jus; Translation (to English): Ana Makuc; Proof-reading (in Slovene): Neja Berlič

Financial support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City of Ljubljana.

Photographies by: Nada Žgank.