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Kaja Mihajlović: Life Could Be A Dream

06 June 2012 We would like to invite you to the one night event ”Life Could Be A Dream” by Kaja Mihajlović on Wednesday 6th June at 8.p.m. at the Alkatraz Gallery. The event starts at 20:00 with a performance and is followed by The V.I.P. party at 20:20
dress code: superstar

In order not to be surprised and better prepared to step into the art world as artists, students should be informed about how the art system works. The nature of the art world is the main topic of Daniel Kehlmanns’ book Me and Kaminski. The main character of the novel, a former consultant for public relations in a large corporation, is working as an art critic. He decides to write a biography of the last master of modern painting, today already blind and sick. Given that the book would be released shortly after the anticipated death of the painter, it would presumably trigger further interest and provide greater sales, popularity and fame for the writer. Art world, described by Kehlmann shows that networking and clever self-promotion are equally or even more important as creativity.

Unfortunately Psychology, Advertising, Communication and Economics of Cultural production are not a part of the curriculum at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. A deep gap between education and the reality of the art system can be easily spotted. Kaja Mihajlović quickly finds that besides the aesthetic categories of art she has to consider the realities of economics and politics.

The project of Kaja Mihajlović highlights a very important fact, which is largely overlooked. The power of an art work is too often measured by appearances of the work in the media. Which big-shots from the art world showed up at the opening, how was the banquet - are also the key factors of success, while the art work itself on the photo is covered by a crowd of people. These photographs supposedly emphasize the artist's greatest attributes. These are mainly: integration into the international art scene, working with successful curators and only rarely the attributes of artist’s projects. The projects themselves have their place only in the pages of catalogs, monographs, technical publications and artist's books, which do not carry much interest to the general public. Kaja Mihajlović points out that a consistent strategy, a so called brand, is a factor that significantly contributes to building a distinctive artistic personality.

Art system operates under the rules of society of the spectacle, which promotes strong representations. Guy Debord, author of the concept, believes that the development of modern societies has focused its attention on visual images, therefore the meaning and the content have lost its importance. The focus is on idols, whose existence is mostly brief. The one who produces monologue, instead of the one, who promotes dialogue, is thought to be holding a position of authority. Debord has repeatedly attempted to resist those changes, but subsequently admitted that the anti-spectacle can not be achieved. Hal Foster has sharpened Debord’s definition of the spectacle ”An image accumulated to the point that becomes capital” to ”Capital accumulated to the point where it becomes an image” in his book Design and Crime. The spectacle does not reject criticism; it prefers to change it into one more hologram image of the world, hence the critical approach of the project by Kaja Mihajlović is a modest research that talks about the inevitability of the spectacle in the art world. Glitter and gloss that will await the visitor in the gallery are a mirror offered by the artist. Through cleverly changed logos of Slovenian and international art institutions, artist creates mischievous variations in the logic of the spectacle, which converts logos into capital.

Kaja Mihajlovićs' project will include sharing of a "newspaper", which contains images and unreadable text. The artist points out that a serious discourse in this field is not present, because out the unreadable text alone one can not figure out anything. The media criticism is virtually unnoticeable; media nowadays tends to advertising and building brands, instead of serving a constructive criticism or a serious discourse.

Kaja Mihajlović at the end gives us a question in the spirit of Gerard Wajcman: "What all the apparent success hides? What does it want us to forget? "And above all:" Who am I as an artist? Are works of art only logos? Is a next exhibition only one more mere franchise? "

The Alkatraz Gallery is supported by: the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, and City Council Ljubljana, Department for Culture. KUD Mreža/Galerija Alkatraz is a member of Asociacija, the association of non-government organisations and independent creators in the field of culture and art in Slovenia and a partner of Artyč project.

The event is sponsored also by Zlatarna Celje d.d. and Radgonske gorice d.d.

Photos of the event by: Jana Kena Zarja Mihajlović, Melita Košak Mihajlović and Luka Omahen

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