VideoGarden.14: Modus operandi

Ljubljana Art Weekend

Screening and talk
Saturday, 25 May 2024, 9 pm
Inner courtyard of Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana


Cover image design: Brina Vidic

Modus operandi

Participating: Nika Autor, Sara Bezovšek, Lenka Đorojević & Matej Stupica, Tomaž Furlan, Neža Knez, Danilo Milovanović, Nika Oblak & Primož Novak
DIVA Station curatorial team: Vesna Bukovec, Peter Cerovšek, Robert Kuret
Duration: 65′

What are the modus operandi for survival in today’s neoliberal world? Every day, we strain and rush to do many unnecessary tasks that cause us stress and pain and require physical and mental effort from us. All this to earn enough to pay the bills. We are trapped in our daily routine, locked in digital boxes, obsessed with scrolling through endless digital landscapes, horrified and simultaneously fascinated by the many disasters and the world’s imminent end. Wouldn’t we instead spend our time collectively building alternative paths that aren’t necessarily shortcuts and doing work that has a beneficial impact on both ourselves and the community? The actual modus operandi should be solidarity.

Tomaž Furlan, Wear VI
2005, 4′ 50″
The video is part of Wear, a series of eight studio video performances. The artist becomes the cyborg – the human becomes the sculpture. He is dressed in massive concrete sculptural elements that make it difficult for him to move. By clumsily staging everyday tasks, he humorously addresses the paradox of the routine of life with devices that are supposed to make living easier and mentally and ideologically determine freedom of movement and thought.
Lenka Đorojević & Matej Stupica, Free Fall
2016, 21′ 30″
The video performance was first presented as part of the spatial installation Free Fall, conceived as an empty office space with a window niche for the video. Humorously and imaginatively, the video visualises the strain of stress and constant psychological pressures, even in physically undemanding forms of work, but in the upside-down world of the contemporary reality of precarious work. Overcoming gravity becomes an extraordinary physical effort, visible in the prominent veins on the face of the performer, who, in a twisted perspective, is merely waiting for an event that never happens.
Lada Cerar, Blow my bills away
2012, 2′ 51″
The video is part of the Blow My Bills Away project, in which the artist humorously tackles the annoyance of paying monthly bills. In the video, she uses a large calculator to add up the bills over several years.
Nika Oblak & Primož Novak, The Box
2005, 1′ 2″
The kinetic video installation The Box shows Nika Oblak and Primož Novak trapped in a box or trying to escape. The box was created under the influence of constant exposure to the media and the inability to escape from its influence. It evokes a sense of detachment, the possibility of existing outside the dominant systems.
Sara Bezovšek, www.s-n-d.si
2021, 13′ 39″
Sara Bezovšek was drawn to various apocalyptic scenarios that could lead to the end of the world as we know it. She collaged visual material found online in the form of short videos, memes, photos, gifs, emoticons and various external links with her work to create a complex and visually saturated narrative that follows typical Hollywood film premises and takes the viewer from an idyllic situation through scenes of natural disasters, global pandemics, alien invasions, nuclear explosions, meteorite crashes, and other horrific situations.
Danilo Milovanović, Longcut
2017, 2′ 19″
The idea of the intervention stems from the question of time discourse in contemporary society. On a mental level, it has “shrunk”, and it seems as if 24 hours a day is no longer enough to perform all the tasks that the pace of modern life demands. As a metaphor for the economy of time in public space, the author summarises shortcuts – human footprints across grassy areas created to cross more quickly. The intervention is carried out directly next to the shortcuts, creating “long lines”. Technically, it is a relocation of Richard Long’s land art intervention to an urban space with a changed context. The passer-by can decide which path to take. If he chooses the “long way”, he finds himself in the absurd situation of following a curve on a grassy surface that no longer has anything to do with the function of a shortcut.
Neža Knez, Square
2019, 13′
The video documents a public action that the artist carried out during her artist residency in New York. She cleaned the same concrete square every day on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to her apartment. The first part of the video is shot in a car on arrival in the city, where a taxi driver enthusiastically explains about Brooklyn. The second part of the video consists of shots of the daily square cleaning on the pavement from different perspectives. They alternate with shots of roommates (artists in residence) and passers-by commenting on the artist’s action and reflecting on its symbolic meaning.
Nika Autor, Solidarity
2012, 5′ 4″
The film is a re-edit of Joyce Wieland’s 1973 film Solidarity and documents a protest by workers in Ljubljana. It raises questions such as: What is solidarity today, who is in solidarity, and with whom and when are we in solidarity? The idea of re-enacting the film came at a time when we are faced with the horrific exploitation of workers, mass redundancies, impossible working conditions and the restructuring of the labour market, and when the authorities are manipulatively raising the question of solidarity.

 


VideoGarden (VideoDvorišče) is a programme of curated screenings and talks on art, video, and film. In the spring-summer period we step out of the dark cinema and the cold gallery space into the open air. In collaboration with Škuc Gallery we organize screening events in its inner courtyard.

DIVA Station is an online and physical archive that SCCA-Ljubljana has been developing since 2005 with the aim of researching, documenting, archiving and presenting art film, video and new media art.


In case of rain, the screening will be held in the gallery.
The talk with the present artists will be held in English.
Free admission.

Organization: SCCA-Ljubljana/DIVA Station, Škuc Gallery
Supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City Municipality of Ljubljana – Department of Culture