15 February 2011 > 04 March 2011 You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 at 9pm at The Alkatraz Gallery
Ana Sluga will, in her independent exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery put on display photographs and edited video shots of her daily life. Her artworks contain strongly articulated poetics whilst their narrativity slips away. At the first sight her starting point does not seem to be soaked with political statements and precisely this compound of poetics and the daily life is what will catch the attention of the viewers from different walks of life and not only of the expert public. The daily routine that we all know so well, and getting tired of it is what we all – at least superficially - think about. Here, it is dealt with profoundly; in the exhibited works we can find much more than just the poetics of no purpose, for the author is inviting us to reflect upon it and leading us to a different way of thinking.
In the video works and photographs under one title, namely Familiar, the author plays with the archetype of the notion of the family; she is interested in the pressures this socially recognized notion can put on each of its members. She is interested in the consequences the newly created community has on the life of an individual; in her own case she deals with the coexistence of the three family members. Through the exhibition she gradually brings about the awareness of the fact that what is supposed to be closest and most familiar to us, what we have wanted most of all, could lead us into our own discordance and alienation. There are three photographs on plexiglas showing one shot of her family. The author has intervened into each of them with some minor changes. There are a couple of coloured circles inhabiting the photo, covering the two faces of the portrayed ones. The identity of each person is disclosed only on one photograph, whilst the other two are concealed. Each of them is - separated from the other two – exposed as an independent person with her or his own needs and personality only once. This is not a typical family portrait with fake smiles, but an reflection of the real life; with just washed, still wet hair and serious expressions on their faces the mother, father and the child look out into the world.
The author continues the above theme with four full-figure photographs of her extended family. Here the each person stands on her or his own, in an environment that determines her or his personality and interests most. With the help of the photographs the author explores and searches for the origins of their deeds, while the viewers can – with the help of her insight explore the relationships and subtle similarities among her closest ones.
Video Somewhere else is composed of a double projection; on the left side there is the author sitting on the roof, and on the right side there are exchanging images of nature with a sound scenery of tranquil authorial music of Jože Baša, interwoven with recordings of radio stations’ broadcasts in different languages. Soon, we extract the sounds of radio stations as a hiss resembling the tense and wild rhythm of life the author has turned away from, if only for a moment. The video The Way To The Cinema shows a diametrically different position, softening the statements given by the rest of the exhibited works with a bouncy rhythm of the musical background, thus pointing to the positive qualities of life.
The exhibition talks about the quest for balance between one’s own needs and the expectations of the most immediate environment and society. It talks about the quest for the meaning that does not end with a happy ending, but at its best only with a moment of calmness when you „egotistically“ turn your back to everyone and everything. The artworks of Ana Sluga are a complete opposition to hysterical hyperactive happiness, the contemporary western society dictates to an individual. The author does not talk about boredom caused by ever new and never fulfilled hunt for the next sensation, but re-evaluates the life in neutral gear, stressing the positivity within it, and mental productivity of the time intended only for reflection, that has become an under valuated and completely overlooked good in the crazy rhythm of consumer life.
Ana Sluga (1981) lives and works in Ljubljana. She has graduated and obtained her M.A. in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, a part of her master’s studies has been carried out at Kunstiakadeemiji in Tallinn, Estonia. She has exhibited in Slovenia, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Estonia and Iran. For her work she has received several prizes and awards. As a nominee for the Essl Award in 2007 she has exhibited in the National Gallery in Ljubljana and as the winner of the second prize participated at the exhibition of all award-winners of the Essl Award in the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg in Austria and in Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie in Regensburg in Germany.
Photos of the exhibition opening: Sunčan Stone