Transgression?

Group exhibition of video works from DIVA Station archive
10 – 28 January 2020
Kino Šiška, Trg prekomorskih brigad 3, Ljubljana
Opening: Friday, 10 January 2020, 7 pm


Artists: Zemira Alajbegović / Neven Korda, Martina Bastarda / Mateja Ocepek / Nataša Skušek, Cym / Luka Dekleva / Luka Prinčič / Jodi Rose, Ana Čigon / Lea Jurišić / Teja Reba / Barbara Kapelj, Nika Ham, Neža Jurman (Nez Pez), Danilo Milovanović, Katarina Rešek (KUKLA), Sašo Sedlaček, Maja Slavec

Curators: Vesna Bukovec, Peter Cerovšek


Zemira Alajbegović, Neven Korda: A.R. (Borghesia), 1985

The group exhibition presents a selection of ten video works from the archive of the DIVA Station. They were made in different periods and within different contexts. The works, diverse in style and content, can be connected on three levels. They share the placement within the urban area of Ljubljana and her city edges. They share the specific usage of sound in dialogue with the visual, and above all, they share the questioning and violation of rules and restrictions. The selected works represent independence, mischief, rebellion.

Free entry.


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The group exhibition presents a selection of ten video works from the film, video and new media archive of the DIVA Station. The physical and online archive is based on gathering video material by artists that work in the Slovenian and international space. The exhibition at Kino Šiška includes works that are diverse in style and content, and that were created in various periods and in various contexts, but can nonetheless be placed in dialogue and connected on three levels. They are all placed within the urban area of Ljubljana and the city edges. They share the specific usage of sound in dialogue with the visual, and above all, they share the questioning and violation of rules and restrictions.

Two of the works are video documentations of the temporary occupation of a specific public space and the alteration of its purpose. Danilo Milovanović utilises video to document his interventions in public urban areas, commenting on the urbanistic and economic (ab)use of space in a simple and humorous manner. The video Roundabout Park (2017) shows the temporary appropriation of the public space inside the roundabout at Žale. Sašo Sedlaček is the author of several projects that discuss contemporary technology, consumerism and the related issue of waste. In one of his earlier works, created during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, he documents a public intervention titled Picnic on a Dump (2004). At the unexpected location and unbearable stench of the city landfill, he establishes a temporary common space as a challenge for the creative cooperation of a friendly group of artists.

Maja Slavec’s dance video Revaluation (2008) discusses the confrontation of the human body with spatial restrictions in a poetic manner. In the video, the author features a shot of a sidewalk from the top of a building through a virtual eyepiece that simultaneously restricts the area of movement of a dancer (Ajda Es). The intertwining of the bird’s eye view and the long shadows of the afternoon sun creates a complex display of the symbolic captivity within broader social frameworks and the attempt to overcome them. Transgressive movement, likewise defined by the space and a restricted view, is presented by Nika Ham in the work Video Spot (2019). It is composed of recordings of surveillance cameras at the Museum of Modern Art, where the artist works as a museum attendant. The recordings document her playful interaction with the spaces and the displayed art pieces when there are no visitors in the gallery.

Field recordings, intertwined with visual recordings, are essential to two works where architectural and mobile elements are wired and transformed into temporary music instruments. Neža Jurman (Nez Pez) explores the urban environment by pushing a skateboard through various places and creating audio-visual recordings in doing so. She turned the skateboard into an improvised music instrument, reminiscent of an electric guitar. In the video Pez Pushing (Ljubljana) (2017), she triggers the vibration of string by pushing the skateboard, creating an electric sound. Meanwhile, the wired metal construction of the bridge at Bizovik and its video images were the sample elements for an audio-visual performance by artists Jodi Rose, Cym, Luka Prinčič and Luka Dekleva, performed with live electronic sound and video manipulation at Kinodvor in 2008, organised by the CodeEp collective (later the MoTA Museum of Transitory Art). The version on display is a shorter edited version of the Singing Bridges Bizovik (2008) performance.

The two music videos, between which 30 years had passed, each represent the visually specific aesthetics of their time, each addressing experimentation with sexuality in the confining urban social reality that young people strive to overcome in their own way. In the 1980s, social norms were demolished by the multimedia group Borghesia. The music video A.R. (1985, authors: Zemira Alajbegović, Neven Korda) is part of a compilation of music videos titled Tako mladi (So Young), which was published as the first videotape in the broader region of Yugoslavia by FV Records. The title are the initials of poet Arthur Rimbaud, a youthful rebel against bourgeois society and moral norms. The video intertwines archival footage of the elated atmosphere of the liberation and the construction of the new homeland in counterpoint with the then-contemporary recordings of city streets and Borghesia’s club shows. The newer video Among the Lull (2015), directed by Katarina Rešek (KUKLA) for the electronic music group Your Gay Thoughts, depicts young urban girls spending their free time in a residential part of Ljubljana. The stereotypical gender roles are mixed up, the empowered girls are acting in a typical boyish manner and taking the initiative both on the playground and the dancefloor.

The feminist works in the exhibition break the binds of the patriarchal society through digital manipulation and a transgressive performative gesture. In the video Ljubljana, City of Women (2013, the video is part of the broader I’m Walking Behind You and Watching You project) authors Barbara Kapelj, Teja Reba, Leja Jurišić and Ana Čigon ask random people on the street a simple question: which woman would you erect a monument to? Their answers reflect the actual state of society, where emancipation is merely virtual, as there (still) is not much space for women and their achievements in the public space and memory. Through the digital manipulation of recordings of a few monuments, the video at least symbolically repairs the historic injustice. The video Pissing (2002) by authors Martina Bastarda, Nataša Skušek and Mateja Ocepek depicts a seemingly vulgar, but primarily humorous performative gesture of urinating standing up at the snowy edges of the city, questioning the acceptable behaviour in public ascribed to specific gender.

The characteristics of transgressive art are shocking, breaking the rules and violating taboos, both aesthetic and social ones. Regarding the works on display, we could state that some are more and others less transgressive, keeping in mind both the year and the context of their creation. Through their placement in the exhibition and through the exhibition itself, which reaches outside the area of the Kamera Gallery (itself not a classic gallery space) and spreads through the upper and lower lobby of the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, the curatorial approach also plays with overcoming borders and breaking the rules of exhibition making. The essence of transgression is that it breaks, overcomes and emancipates, at least temporarily, and sometimes at the cost of the subsequent consolidation of existing rules. The selected works represent independence, mischief and rebellion. We leave the question of whether our transgression is successful open.

Vesna Bukovec


Exhibition leaflet (pdf)

Exhibition plan (pdf)


WORKS AT THE EXHIBITION

Danilo Milovanović: Roundabout Park
Production: D.M., 2017. 7’45”
Sašo Sedlaček: Picnic on a Dump
Production: S.S., 2004, 9′ 6”
Maja Slavec: Revaluation
Production: Partizanka, 2008, 42’19”
Dance: Ajda Es, Music: Jukeen
Nika Ham, Video Spot
Production: N.H., 2019, 3’17”
Music: Alicia Enstrom
Neža Jurman aka Nez Pez: Pez Pushing (Ljubljana)
Production: Nez Pez, 2017, 10’28”
Cym, Luka Dekleva, Luka Prinčič, Jodi Rose: Singing Bridges Bizovik
Production: Kapelica, CodeEp, Kinodvor, 2008, 4′ 7”
Zemira Alajbegović, Neven Korda: A.R. (Borghesia)
Part of the So Young Borghesia’s music video clips compilation.
Production: FV Video, ŠKUC Forum, 1985, 4′ 44”
Borghesia was in the eighties (1983-1989) a multimedia group (concert performances, video works, music videos, videocassettes, music records and cassettes). The members were Zemira Alajbegović, Goran Devide (†), Aldo Ivančić, Neven Korda and Dario Seraval.
Katarina Rešek (KUKLA): Among the Lull (Your Gay Thoughts)
Production: J. Senčur, K. Rešek, P. Perunović, K. Jamnik, 2015, 3’49”
Music video clip of Your Gay Thoughts band.
Ana Čigon, Lea Jurišić, Teja Reba, Barbara Kapelj: Ljubljana City of Women
Production: International Festival of Contemporary Arts – City of Women, 2013, 9’2”
Coproduction: Zavod Generator, Društvo Pekinpah
Martina Bastarda, Mateja Ocepek, Nataša Skušek: Pissing
Production: M.B., M.O., N.S., 2002, 4’28”

 

ARTISTS’ CVs

Zemira Alajbegović Pečovnik was the lead member of the multimedia and theatre group FV 112/15 and FV Disko in the 1980s, as well as a cofounder of the FV Video video production company and of FV Records. From 1983 to 1989, she was a member of the cult electronic music group Borghesia. In collaboration with Neven Korda, she is the author of numerous video films, music videos and dance videos. In recent years, she has directed documentary films and television shows about art and culture.
More at DIVA Station.

Martina Bastarda received a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She is the author of the projects TV Auction, auction of artworks (2003) and Art Project (2006–2007), which were broadcast on TV Pika, a former private Ljubljana television programme.
More at DIVA Station.

Cym studied Interactive Design and Unstable Media in Amsterdam. She received a Master’s Degree in Education in Arts in Rotterdam. She established an art centre at an old farm in Austria. She lives and works in Austria and the Netherlands.
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Ana Čigon

received a B.A. in Painting and a Master’s Degree in Video at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She also received a M.A. in Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design Linz. She is a recipient of the OHO Group Award (2009). She works primarily in video, performance art and new media.
More at DIVA Station.

Luka Dekleva

is a photographer, performer and video artist. He graduated and received his Master’s Degree at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has participated in several important exhibitions and festivals, including Ars Electronica. He teaches Photography and Creative Media at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica.
More at DIVA Station.

Nika Ham received an M.A. in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She has also studied at the Winchester School of Art. She has participated in several group and solo exhibitions.
More at DIVA Station.

Leja Jurišić is a dancer and choreographer. She works as a solo author, in creative tandems, and as a choreographer. Alongside Teja Reba, she received the Ksenija Hribar Award in 2013 for Most Promising Choreographer. She works within the framework of Pekinpah/Kink Kong.
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Neža Jurman – Nez Pez graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She also works in the fields of illustration, graphics, drawing and scenography. Her artistic work has been featured in Slovenia, Italy, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
More at DIVA Station.

Barbara Kapelj is a director, scenographer and costume designer. She is the idea author behind the group project I’m Walking Behind You and Watching You, which problematizes the absence of women and their representations in the public space. The project was carried out at the City of Women festival in 2013.
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Neven Korda is a sociologist, director, video artist and multimedia artist. He was a cofounder and the head of the FV 112/15 theatre group and the head of the FV Video independent video production that carried out several artistic, music and documentary video projects. From 1983 to 1989, he was a member of the group Borghesia, where he was responsible for the direction of performances and videos, as well as for the visuals during performances and shows.
More at DIVA Station.

Danilo Milovanović is concluding his M.A. studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He is interested in art in the public space. In addition to Slovenia and his native Bosnia and Herzegovina, his work has been displayed in the Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland.
More at DIVA Station.

Mateja Ocepek graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. During her studies, she created a series of projects in the public space along with Nataša Skušek and Martina Bastarda.

Luka Prinčič is a musician, performer and intermedia artist. He graduated at the SAE Technology Institute in London. He makes electronic and experimental music and music for the stage and video, and carries out artistic research in the field of digital media. He is the head of Kamizdat Records, an online label for exploratory electronic music within the framework of the Emanat institute.
More at DIVA Station.

Teja Reba works in the field of contemporary performance arts. Along with Leja Jurišić, she is the co-author of many duets, interventions, installations and performances. She also collaborates with Bara Kolenc and Loup Abramovici. As of 2016, she is the Artistic Head of the City of Women association and international festival of contemporary art.
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Katarina Rešek – KUKLA graduated in Film and Television Direction at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. In addition to film and music videos, she makes music with her solo project КУКЛА.
More at DIVA Station.

Jodi Rose is an Australian intermedia artist and the author of an international project, the urban audio sculpture Singing Bridges. Through field recordings, location-based interventions, and creative collaborations, she explores the resonances of physical and metaphorical bridges.
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Sašo Sedlaček graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, where he is now a Professor of Video and New Media. In his work, he focuses on new technologies and connected social phenomena, which he links with environmental issues in the broadest sense.
More at DIVA Station.

Nataša Skušek studied Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, continuing her studies in Trondheim, Norway. She works in sculpture, video, photography, performance art and new media. She focuses on exploring the cultural paradigm of the Western man, especially topics such as gender relations, eroticism, sexuality,the body, motherhood, family, and eating.
More at DIVA Station.

Maja Slavec graduated in Fine Arts at the Faculty of Education in Maribor, and received a Master’s Degree in Photography under Prof. Milan Pajk at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. In recent years, she has worked in commercial photography. She lives and works in the Netherlands.
More at DIVA Station.


PHOTOGALLERY

Exhibition opening, 10 January 2020
Photo: Kaja Brezočnik / Kino Šiška Archive


Organisation: SCCA-Ljubljana/DIVA Station and Kino Šiška.

         

Thanks: Tomaž Kučer (Moderna galerija), Joško Pajer (Škuc Gallery).