KOLEKTIVA (Vesna Bukovec, Metka Zupanič)
biography – http://and.nmartproject.net/?p=4011
Title of the video selection:
Pain with the Thousand Teeth
Presence of Pain and Inadequacy in Video Works of Young Slovenian Artists
It could be claimed that body entered a new millennium as something which is closest to us and yet not clear and inapprehensible. If art withdrew from personal stories related to artist’s body over past years, today we can witness and learn small intimist interventions in artists’ quotidian life. Addressing oneself in the broadest sense of the word, dealing with one’s own handicaps, weaknesses and most various human defects places an artist side by side to an ordinary man. It even seems that artists wilfully withdraw from their “heroism” – from an era when, in particular in body art, they pushed the lines by radical interventions. Today’s artist is socially unprivileged individual who needs to fight for his equal rights in the society.
At first sight, the video works by selected artists might seem rather ordinary until they are related and read as entity which allows us comprehend their communication. What artists communicate is a complete lack of power in today’s society, their inability to change systems we have been totally suppressed by… The artists no longer urge us to interpret their works as artworks because they are mere reflections of everyday life. We have selected the subject of pain due to its omnipresence in our lives, as well as because it is useful or even necessary in order to survive. Due to a variety of psychological factors, every single individual’s experience of pain is different. The pain has always been part of art therefore we wondered how this phenomenon is dealt by contemporary young artists.
Some of selected artists deal with exclusively physical pain. This notion is in particular close to Ana Grobler who in Migraine confronts the issue of disease, as well as Nataša Skušek with a video presenting pain experienced by women while breastfeeding. Ana Čigon, Špela Pavli, Maja Hodošček, Nika Autor and Tomaž Furlan illustrate the helplessness of an entrapped individual who ‘fights’ the sense of enervation day after day. These works address the psychological pain – the feelings of uselessness, inefficiency of individual and his/her wrong decisions made on a daily basis. Sašo Vrabič deals with a family tragedy which touched the whole world. Parents having to face a loss and resorting in their pain to any available modern communication channel to ‘reach’ their child and by doing so transmitting their emotional state to the four corners of the world and thereby triggering a collective global mourning. In her work, Maša Jazbec addresses specific female ‘bleeding’ and tests the limits of her perseverance though body art.
The way of shooting and the use of video by selected artists is of particular interest mainly due to intense ‘vivisection’ of reality which is free of any superfluous ‘ornaments’ and editing. The selection was focused on pain experienced by artists in the broadest sense of the word. We were in particular interested in experiences that artists want to share with the rest of us. Pain presented is both physical and psychological; it is strong and by way of video recording transmitted to the onlooker.
Text by Metka Zupanič (KOLEKTIVA)
Title of work: Migranie
Author: Ana Grobler
The video is some sort of a migrainic self-portrait. It was made in the time of a migraine attack, from shooting the scenes to the montage. The whole process of making the video is consequently permeated with those sensations.
Video effects are used not only to show, but to draw near and to assist the spectator to feel the condition of a person in the time of the migraine attack. Migraine headaches experiences 10-12% of the population, a major part of the patients are women. In childhood the number of boys and girls who suffer from migraine is similar. But in the adolescent period the number of women increases steadily. In the ages 35-40 the ratio is even 3 women to 1 man. At the end of the video the spectator is confronted with a question of the origin of this phenomenon. Is it biological condition or occurrence stimulated by society?
first name: Špela
Title of work: In My Head 2
Author: Špela Pavli
Video work is based on personal experience, through my illness. When you’re depressed, you may have feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time. These feelings are severe enough to interfere with my daily life, and can last for weeks or months, rather than days. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. Female depression is much more sensitive. Through tears I have a process of healing. Those tears are uncontrolled. I cannot stop them or challenge. I combine painting that is my therapy and meditation with video art which is much more on expression.
Meditation could be considered to be an act of replenishing the mind or spirit and during meditation, painting I focused on the thought of reality and my existence, my being.
first name: Furlan
Title of work: Wear V-VIII
Author: Tomaž Furlan
(!!! only in full version)
The Wear Project
The videos are only a part of The Wear Project. It is a kind of analytical reflection on the simple use of interactive pieces. The pieces, or should I say sculptures, proved to be extended functions of the body in some forced process. In Wear Project videos they are used as scene props in the form of clothes for the simple function of doing something. The name Wear comes from this, which suggests that these pieces are actually clothes, but they are also functional objects made for a certain production or ritual action. As I was alone when making them, I also tried on and used these pieces. It feels pretty silly to
wear these “hard-wears”, use them, and explore their purpose. So why not make it even sillier by recording it on camera? The recorded material is the payback for the effort.
Music and accelerated movement are very important. Together they should create a new old space in which the action happens in its own environment on the introverted level of the protagonist as an emotional level of the public. It was interesting to close myself in the studio and install a camera and record myself carrying out some basic and simple kind of work and process. Not only from the artist’s point of view, but also as a common person (a civilian), caught in a sphere of democratic work – rights, suppressed freedom of choice, and the individual need for physical activity. The intention, however, is to produce and use these pointless “hard-wears” to try and experiment with a simple need to create an individual action without any pragmatic or production reasons. The Wear Project is an attempt to fight against banality with stupidity. Naturally it is unsuccessful, but it is also absolutely necessary in order to remain as human as possible.
Title of work: Wear VII
Author: Tomaž Furlan
(!!! only in shorter version)
As a single video is a part of installation called Wear V-IIV. Together the videos represent whole cycle of one pointless day. Alone it suggests a portion of a self torture so called “free time”. The device used is made for this purpose and it only works when one uses it. It suggests unnatural state of pressure towards maintaining focus on the issue and the time is passing by. It also suggests ability to choose but to choose among two identical choices.
first name: Čigon
Title of work: One More Kick
Author: Ana Čigon
“One more kick” is a short video with a meaningful ironic message that is slowly revealed while watching the video. Tension is created by the unfinished sentence and even more by the performance. The repetition of kicks which at times look painful, at times full of energy and at times even funny is creating a suspense which is continuously building up until the very end of the video. Then finally the whole purpose and meaning of the performance and all letters are revealed.
The struggle of the individual is presented through the performance and elaborated editing where even the title plays its important part in the creation of content of the video.
first name: Jazbec
Title of work: First Blood
Author: Maša Jazbec
Video performance “First Blood” problematizes generally accepted social syntagm of speed, of playfulness and of simplicity of existence in postmodern world. At first sight innocent play, coordinations, escalations and speed leads to a mistake which reaches into intimacy, discredited envelopes to the blood. This symbolizes pain, determination, premonition of falls apart and decadence that with condescending hand that covers principle of life which has a questionable future.
Title of work: Ekstaza
Author: Nataša Skušek in cooperation with Mladen Stropnik
Video is structured: 10 close-ups of my face while I am wet-nursing my daughter. At first this was very painful work. Close ups are mixed with dissolve effects.
first name: Vrabič
Title of work: Missing (Screens)
Author: Sašo Vrabič
“Project Missing (Screens) was solo project in Gallery Ganes Pratt. Layered site specific installation inside and outside gallery space, explores fascination with childhood and children and points toward too unstable meanings of images.”
first name: Hodošček
Title of work: Raw Material
Author: Maja Hodošček
RAW material is a project that was elaborated in New York together with Black Veterans for Social Justice Organization. It deals with the mentality of war and it’s by products. The essence of the work presents a recorded interview with 21 year old American war veteran who served in Iraq. Transition from war zone back to civilian life is extremely difficult for war veterans because they use survival strategies – that were very useful during war time- in their urban environment. Urban environment becomes a space for potential danger and therefore a constant alert is necessary. The pressure is hard, control is impossible, as a result of that typical psychological symptoms appear among war veterans such as; drinking problems, post traumatic stress disorder, fear of people, anxiety… It seems that the real war zone for war veterans is civilian life.
Because imperialistic wars are a global problem that effects us all it was extremely important that this raw documentary material would be transmitted inside my local environment with the use of re-enactment.
I was interested in the idea of what happens when you ask a young boy (he is about the same age as the new recruits) who has no reference to this disturbing issue to read the text edited from the interview? Is it even possible to think that he could identify with this story?
The boy explains one part of the veterans story in Slovenian language, in the form of a text animation the authentic part of the interview – a constant dialogue between them is established.
first name: Autor
Title of work: Postcards
Author: Nika Autor
The film pair Report on the state of the asylum policy in the Republic of Slovenia from January 2008 to August 2009 and Postcards by Nika Autor critically deconstructs the dominant discourse of the asylum and migration policy, lucidly pointing to the principles of exclusion behind it. The films are a reflection upon discourses that legitimise the modus of the disciplining practices which regulate the social situation of asylum seekers, constructing their subjectivity and identities. Further, they point to marginalization and discrimination. From a completely different perspective, Nika Autor legitimises exactly what the dominant regime of representation has hidden and supplanted, revealing that what has been concealed from us is the practice of segregation. Her breaking down of how the social hegemony is inscribed into the regime of representation allows her to crucially transform the existing discourse of the asylum policy. This of course meaning that what is taken apart is the stereotypical representation since a stereotype is regarded as a crucial point of legitimating subjection and preclusion. And this is where the point of resistance comes into play, pointing to mechanisms of power and control and unveiling the ruptures in the dominant construction of reality. By unearthing the hegemonic paradigm, Nika Author seeks to show what failed to be represented and what remained unseen and omitted. Representation therefore is not a politically neutral event, for it legitimises distinctively its object of vision, functioning simultaneously as a social practice the narrative of which is clearly connected to the territory of power, interests and politics.
Text by Sergej Kapus