9th Reciklart Festival | Re/min/ders – group exhibition
Kindly inviated to the opening of the group exhibition"Re/min/ders" as part of the 9th Reciklart Festival. It will take place in the Alkatraz Gallery (AKC Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana) on Wednesday, 9 August at 7 pm.
Participating artists at the group exhibition Re/min/ders: Lea Culetto, Dajana Didi Šišić, Žoel Kastelic, Goro Modic, Olga A. Senatorova Tisler, Ulla Žibert.
This year's group exhibition entitled Re/mind/ers
in the Alkatraz Gallery as part of the Reciklart Festival shall feature six artists. The theme of this year's festival and exhibition is textiles: textile industry, fast fashion, textile waste, textile recycling.
The exhibition Re/min/ders
warns and reminds us of the implications and deceptive appeal of fast fashion. Many people get caught in the all-embracing net of consumerism, its glare and illusory promise of happiness. The exhibited project deals with the responsibility and individual creative solutions to the problems of scrap and worn-out textiles and their recontextualisation.
In the process of consumption, textiles acquire meanings, whereas consumerism is both a material and symbolic activity. In the last two decades, individual consumerism started to be treated as a narcissistic, intimate, hedonistic form of satisfaction of needs that manifests itself as excessive materialism.
The work of art, after which we summarized the title of this year's exhibition Re/min/ders
, is work in progress by the author Ulla Žibert, which tackles reckless and irresponsible purchases and explores her own role as a consumer. In this work, Ulla questions the influence of media, textile industry and advertising mechanisms, and, by means of textual messages inserted into the works of art, she encourages us to reflect on our understanding and attitude towards material goods. The notes consist of her short statements and highlight the moment of reflection and self-reflection, whilst, simultaneously, they are reminiscent of the used marketing slogans, which frequently include such words as: want, need, must have, solution, new etc.
Thus, consumption, in the case of addiction, can be a necessity, it may be pure pleasure, relaxation, release of stress and negative emotions, although, ultimately, it is again about satisfying some non-urgent needs. Desires, meanwhile, arise without limits: when one is satisfied, another one appears, and then another one and so on.
The second work by the author Ulla Žibert entitled Dialogue; still/consume/life
addresses the issue of instantaneous pleasure and momentary satisfaction as a consequence of compulsive consumerism and individualism. The starting point of the work is a sentence that arose from the artist's inner impulse and, over the years, transformed into a subtle spatial installation that foregrounds our response to a period of changes when, in addition to global warming and decline of ecosystems, we are faced also with the consequences of mass production and, as a result, with trash. 'Through the introduction of subtle changes in the structure of the texts and their placements, an intimate atmosphere is created, which thematizes the confrontation with the implications of hyperproduction, where the posed "question" resembles conscious withdrawal, a search for ease and reassurance, which is fused with the indifference of the answer of materialistic logic.1 (U. Žibert)
By shifting responsibility and indifference, and without systemic measures, we produce enormous amounts of rubbish with our way of life, which is also a source of survival and inspiration for many people. The transition from things that have little or no value, that is, junk, to permanent value can be caused by a relatively small shift in the way we see or perceive something. How or in what way we reuse something is a matter of our own imagination, money and time. However, what is of greater importance is the distinction in the way of thinking and perceiving in relation to things we define as garbage. 'Find' is a central term in several consumer activities in the area of non-new, used, second-hand. Thus, a collector can be a kind of researcher. Gabriel and Lang call this hunt and search 'the secret to acquire something for free in the world where you have to pay for everything' and presume it is a kind of 'victory over the system'.
The project titled Forgotten
by the artist Goro Modic is about lost clothes found in various locations around Ljubljana. Their status is intact and they are preserved in the same conditions as they were found in most cases, so some of them still carry the smell of the owner. Each piece of clothing is marked with the location of the site where it was found and carries a story with it. It could be said that, in this case, the garment is wearing the person who was wearing it before. All items of clothing can be touched, smelled and studied by the viewer in their own way.
For a long time, clothes have not only had a practical meaning, but have also been a part of personal expression and presentation, and are therefore also somehow a part of our identity.
The Story of My Shirt
, a work by Žoel Kastelic, represents recycling by the principle of 'upcycling', which refers to giving new meaning, appearance and use to the old and useless. An old t-shirt becomes a carrier of a work of art, painting canvas or graphic paper. Concurrently, Žoel recycled her older work titled The Birth of a Whale
, a series of thirteen linocuts that she produced in 2021. The series of linocuts depicts the swimming of a whale in orbit, around which move and formulate various organic forms. When she puts it on, it is no longer an old t-shirt, but rather it becomes a moving graphic and, at the same time, a part of the animation. By means of this, it changes perception and resists the tendencies of consumerism.
Contrary to what today's consumer society dictates, there are also emerging trends that reject excessive consumption. This is manifested in various lifestyles, such as, for instance, minimalism and a zero-waste lifestyle.
Olga A. Senatorova Tisler presents a project entitled Zero Waste Nomad living room
, which reflects her migrant background, finding her own way and the experiences of rummaging through trash. Her work of art includes used and waste materials and textiles, which she assembles into some kind of personal symbols by colour that act as carriers of cultural meanings.
The aspect of the present exhibition that we cannot turn a blind eye to is also textile industry. The Bloody Work
by Dajana Didi Šišić tackles hard and often unpaid work performed in awful conditions, which is one of the foundations of fast fashion. The salary of textile workers in less developed countries is not enough for a decent living. The working conditions are disastrous, as people work in poorly ventilated rooms with dangerous chemicals, but they still do not earn enough for basic goods. For a decade, ever since the collapse of Rana Plaza, we have known about the bad, destructive, inhumane conditions into which mostly women and children are forced, and yet the demand for cotton is greater than ever. Although we are familiar with the background, the working conditions for most workers have not been improved, since the demand for mainstream brands is still high.
With her work of art
, Lea Culleto draws attention to the dark side of fashion industry and wonders how can you act as a consumer, so that you do not support poor conditions of textile workers; or rather, she wonders why we do not change anything, despite being familiar with all the consequences. >
(Translation: Hand wash, do not tumble dry, do not wring out the laundry; lay wet; on a flat surface and dry; in the shade, ironing is not allowed, bleaching is not allowed). In the production of her artwork, Lea used only used pieces and leftover materials from her previous projects. The clothing-dungarees combines a typical work shirt with more artful fashion pieces. It manifests itself as a dual object of practical nature (trousers with an adjustable belt and a bag), which combines workwear and fashion clothing. In this way, it interestingly connects the producer with the user, and, simultaneously, observes the viewer, as it has eyes (one blue and one brown eye).
In the spirit of change and harsh facts that plague the ever-increasing population of people, as well as animals, the textile industry is only a fragment in the mosaic of global capitalism. With the exhibition and other festival events we aim to draw attention to and question over and over again the issues of the time we live in and co-create.
Yannis GABRIEL, Tim LANG, ‘The unmanageable consumer’, London 2015, str. 67, accessible at <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283326882_The_Unmanageable_Consumer>.
Curated by: Doroteja Erhatič
Proof-reading (Slovene language): Sonja Benčina
Translation (to English language): Ana Makuc
Festival image: Doroteja Erhatič
Financial support: Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City Council Ljubljana - Department for Culture