The Ninth Coromandel
Exhibition, Public tour, Presentation, Discussion
Project Room SCCA, Metelkova 6, Ljubljana
Exhibition: 28 October-9 December 2009
Guided tour: 3 December 2009 at 17.00 (with Petra Kapš)
Presentation: 8 December 2009 at 19.30 (first public presentation of the publication The Ultimate Word)
Discussion: 8 December 2009 at 20.00 (a panel discussion with experts on the work of Alenka Pirman)
In 2009, Studio 6 invited curators Petra Kapš and Božidar Zrinski, who sought out to find non-commissioned works of art, ideas, concepts and projects. Artist Alenka Pirman responded to the invitation by submitting works which meet the curators' criteria.
The exhibition The Ninth Coromandel was inspired by the contact between two utopian places, the encounter of The Ninth Land (Deveta dežela; 1878) written by Josip Stritar and The India Coromandel (Indija Komandija; 1884) by Anton Mahnič, which was further developed by other visions of different, good and evil, positive and negative fictitious places and descriptions. The Ninth Coromandel of Alenka Pirman is "Where the artists are anonymous / where there is no notion of curricula vitae / where no-one seeks authorities for protection / where there is no need for the myth production / where airports and streets have no names / where no-one digs through the hard disks of the deceased / where no awards or prizes are bestowed / let alone named.
(Alenka Pirman, The Ninth Coromandel, in: Slovenes Upraised by Slovenes, theatre programme of SNG Drama Ljubljana, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 15, season 2007/08, pp. 16-17).
The exhibition is the result of artistic work interested in the borderline, where an artistic intervention makes seemingly everyday things act as engines of different visions, readings and uses. By revealing her artistic procedures, the underlying motives and the final product the artist establishes an active stance toward the media reality, relevant forms of persuasion and communication of content, the art system and the identifying layers of nationality. She offers models enabling critical examination of society with simple, yet carefully conceived methods and tools, which activates us as self-critical inhabitants of our local environment.
Alenka Pirman graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1989. Between 1991 and 1992 she was the editor-in-chief of the magazines Likovne besede / Artwords and M'zin, then the artistic director of the Škuc Gallery (1990-96), the assistant director of the Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts Ljubljana (1997-99), the vice-president of the Management Board of the International Contemporary Art Network (ICAN, 1998-99) and the co-founder and mentor of the Svet umetnosti / World of Art educational programme for contemporary art curators (1996-98). She was the editor and the head of the Artservis, on-line media between 2001 and 2004, and a taxi driver in 2003, 2007 and 2008. In the 1990s, her work was predominantly related to three fictitious institutions: the SK8 Museum (1991-93), the RIGUSRS - Research Institute for Geo Art Statistics of the Republic of Slovenia (1997, with Vuk Ćosić and Irena Woelle), and the Domestic Research Institute (1994-98). She then collaborated with several artistic collectives/platforms, including Luther Blissett/01.org (1998) and Bughouse (2002-03). She has carried out several methodological exhibition projects, including working on a German loanword collection (Arcticae horulae, 1991-98) and on a deposited collection of the Police Museum (The Case. Art and Criminality, 2005, with Biserka Debeljak). She is a founding member of the Domestic Research Society (2004), where she develops collaborative exhibition and web projects (The Cabinet, 2005-; Unleashed Tongue, 2004-; Indija.si, 2007-). The artwork Ideal (2001-) was presented at the exhibitions Men, Celje Gallery of Contemporary Art (2001), Clementine Deliss, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Alenka Pirman, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2002) and Territories, Identities, Nets: Slovene Art 1995-2005, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana (2005), while Shut Your Eyes and Watch (2006) was exhibited in the Cabinet of the Domestic Research Society and Kibela Gallery (2006) and Untitled (2007) was featured in the Cultural Hero, 2nd Biennial of the Quadrilateral in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka (2007). Works Untitled (2008), Untitled (2005) and The Ultimate Word have not been exhibited yet.
Studio 6 in 2009
The work The Ultimate Word was produced by the Domestic Research Society with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City of Ljubljana.
The lace for the work Untitled (2008) was made by Ivica Pirman.
The discussion was developed and produced in collaboration with Studio6 in 'O' - reflections on art /2009.
Guided tour was prepared and produced in collaboration with Studio 6 and 'O' - reflections on art - the Lady with the Unicorn and the Lion.
Studio 6 programme is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and Municipality of Ljubljana. Curatorial work of Petra Kapš is supported by the City of Maribor.