Nevena Aleksovski, Maja Babič Košir, Ivana Bajec, Meta Drčar, Neža Knez, Janja Kosi, Helena Tahir
Call me is a series of portraits of younger-generation female artists engaged in contemporary visual art. Seven video interviews, conducted in the intimate atmosphere of art studios, shed light on the artistic practices of seven creators active in Slovenia and internationally. Nevena Aleksovski, Maja Babič Košir, Ivana Bajec, Meta Drčar, Neža Knez, Janja Kosi and Helena Tahir talk about their artistic mediums of choice and their creative approaches, about what drives them and how they have developed their own unique practices, as well as about a multitude of goals that they pursue. Featured in a weekly sequence, their portraits will also be placed in a dialogue with the group exhibition Returning the Gaze by incorporating each respective artist’s selected artwork.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00–19.00
Adults: 6 €
Students, retirees, visitors with disabilities: 4 €
Family ticket: 14 €
Admission free: children 7 and under, ICOM, PRESS
CALL ME JANJA KOSI
3.–8. 5. 2022
Janja Kosi presents her project Serving Suggestion, which is based on the idea of the postcard as the bearer of the image of the most brilliant architectural and other sights a place has to offer. Here, however, the illustrations of Ikea chain shopping centres from 11 different cities beam at us. These are now admired "like a tourist studying a mediaeval cathedral" and treated as a superior experience that such consumer spaces always promise. In the installation, Kosi continues her exploration of architecture as the process and site of an event, experience, story. She combines her memories of family trips to Ikea with the idea that we make sense of our own (home)life through architecture, without which we cannot even imagine living. A particular space (a built structure) only becomes architecture when a living story of people becomes entangled in it, when it absorbs an experience that merges with it to such an extent that the characteristic design of a space can become a sign of the experience itself – in this sense, for the artist, shopping in Ikea centres will forever be linked to its architectural form and the childhood memories associated with it. We can conclude that architecture is not only a physical, "real" space, but also and above all a space of human experience of what happens in a given space.
Janja Kosi (1994) graduated in painting in 2016 at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana (ALUO), where she obtained her Master’s degree in 2020 with the thesis Everyday Life of Heterotopic Space X°Y’Z’’ N–A°B’C’’ E, earning her the ALUO Award for Exceptional Student Achievements. She pursued part of her studies as an exchange student at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. She works in visual art, painting, illustration, and animation. She has presented herself with independent shows at R SPACE, DobraVaga and the Gallery of the Ljubljana Fine Artists Society, as well as at group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, including the Art Stays Festival, Maribor Art Gallery, Fotopub Ljubljana, the Triennial EKO8 in Maribor, and the galleries Academia Moderna in Zagreb and Improper Walls in Vienna. Her creative practice encompasses spatial installations and combining various mediums. Kosi often explores the concepts of (non)space, home and homeliness, and the relationship between man and architecture.
CALL ME NEŽA KNEZ
10.–15. 5. 2022
The project 8230 milliseconds in 1613 millimetres (16mm film loop) is an attempt to communicate with the work by Milena Usenik (Olive Tree, 2017; Illusion, 2021). Neža Knez recorded it on film tape and cut the latter into 1613-millimetre strips, translating into 8230 milliseconds. By using close-ups and double exposure, and by changing the speed of 16mm film in camera, the artist examined what structures can tell us, what a copy is, as well as how time is shown and measured.
"Colours, textures, layers, interpretations. Light, volumes, rhythms, formations. Sudden moves, slow moves, protracted moves. Time, dictated by my body’s shadow, the sharpness of which melts into the dispersity of pixels, which are now free to roam across the table and the floor, all the way to the closet, leaving behind a gentle hint of the flesh. I ponder. Who is alive here?"
Neža Knez (1990) graduated and obtained her Master’s degree in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO) in Ljubljana. In recent years, she has largely dealt with (motion) picture and space beyond it. Seeing film as an incomplete whole, she focuses on creating situations with sculptural cinematographic elements, sounds, text/voice, and participants in these choreographies. She probes the materiality of light, pixels, sound, volume, skin, and bodies, which she also explores in cohabitation with her long standing (canine) teacher Niki. She has participated in a number of independent and group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, and received several awards, including the award of the Ministry of Culture, the ALUO Recognition, and the ALUO Award for Exceptional Student Achievements, the Golden Press Award for Innovative Approach to Graphic Art, the Prešeren Prize for Students conferred by the University of Ljubljana, and the OHO Group Award. Since 2020, Neža Knez has lived and worked between Ljubljana and Zagreb, where she moved, among others, to attend the WHW Academy. In 2021, she pursued further education in experimental film at RESTART (Zagreb).
CALL ME NEVENA ALEKSOVSKI
17.–22. 5. 2022
Nevena Aleksovski intervenes in the setup of the group exhibition Returning the Gaze with her work The Fall II (2020, acrylic on canvas). Within the framework of her minimalist, refined visual artistic expression, the artist explores how to express as much as possible using the fewest possible means and thus rendering individual elements into units storing strong emotions and diversified meanings. Through the lens of personal and intimate experiences, she provides insight into social phenomena and a wide range of relations co-shaping human experience – between individual and society, intimate and public, between irrational and rational, personal and political. She is also interested in disparities and conflicts that punctuate such relations as well as in the feelings of melancholy, alienation, and absurd.
Nevena Aleksovski (1984) graduated in painting in 2008 at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Novi Sad and obtained her Master’s degree in Cultural Studies in 2014 at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. The main focus of her art production is on the mediums of painting and drawing, through which she establishes a direct and immediate process of creating without a crystalized, pre-determined image. In her work, she frequently questions and subtly comments on the universal human experience, emotional states resulting from the feeling of alienation as well as discordances and absurdities of modern times. She has presented herself at numerous shows in Slovenia and internationally, including the group exhibitions Zines! Contemporary Zine Production at the International Centre of Graphic Arts and Somethin’s Written at the Vodnik Homestead within the framework of the Institute SCCA Ljubljana. She has also held independent exhibitions at the art fairs Vienna Contemporary (2020) and Art Rotterdam (2021). In 2022, she is preparing her first joint exhibition with the fellow artist Maja Babič Košir at RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE. Nevena Aleksovski teaches and collaborates with the galleries ŠKUC and Alkatraz in Ljubljana as well as with the feminist and queer festival Red Dawns.
CALL ME META DRČAR
24.–29. 5. 2022
Meta Drčar presents her Study Pieces series, which in subtle and minimal language builds at the intersection of three interconnected directions of thought, sculpture, architecture and performativity, which converge in the question of space, a paradoxical and dynamic entity in constant movement. Meta Drčar perceives this movement primarily through the choice of material, which for her is always a tactical choice; be it metal, glass, stone or paper, the material for Drčar is the conductor that can articulate, and also amplify and problematise, the invisible but crucial features that define space.
Meta Drčar (1985) is a Slovenian artist based in Paris. She graduated in art in 2009 at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and obtained her Master’s degree in dancing and performance in 2012 at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. In her minimalist spatial installations, she frequently explores connections between the viewer’s moving body, sculpture, and architecture, as well as performative impacts emerging from the process. Drčar has presented herself at numerous independent and group exhibitions across Europe, in particular at Galerie Stadtpark, Krems an der Donau, Austria (2022), Delfi, Malmö, Sweden (2021), RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2021), Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, USA (2020), Performance Affair, Brussels, Belgium (2019), Reaktor, Vienna, Austria (2019), Palazzo Monti, Brescia, Italy (2017), and Nuit Blanche, Paris, France (2017). She has received several work grants and residencies, such as Art and Architecture Residency (Woning Van Wassenhove), Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium (2021), ADP, European Investment Bank Institute Luxemburg (2020), and WWA Fabrikken, Copenhagen, Denmark (2020).
CALL ME HELENA TAHIR
31. 5.–5. 6. 2022
Helena Tahir presents her Words Fail Me series, a rich visual narrative in which each drawing has its protagonist, surrounded by accompanying figures, undefined objects and other indefinable details. Tahir often returns to certain themes and symbols that are not just a technical exercise but already have an extensive iconographic history, manifested in the metaphor of colours, the question of light in relation to darkness, the significance of water, animals and flowers. These offer alternative, ambiguous references in a new context. The figures depicted are often members of various marginalised groups, victims of imperialist and colonialist violence, and the artist also recognises the echoes of their stories in her own experience. The fragmentary scenes seem like momentary insights and impressions from her life that she reproduces on paper, where they serve as an almost liberating method of self-knowledge. Nevertheless, knowledge of the artist's personal iconography is not a prerequisite for the viewer as Tahir understands the artwork as a totality of images, experiences and emotions that can be recognised solely through perception, visual experience and only then on the intellectual level. Essential to the overall experience of the artwork is the synthesis between artistic intention, the work as such and the viewer, who comes before the work with his or her own expectations and perceptions. The artist places great emphasis on the emotional experience, on the insight that the viewer can gain through the "conversation" with her.
Helena Tahir (1992) primarily creates in graphic art and drawing. She completed her undergraduate studies in graphic art and her graduate studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO) in Ljubljana. As a student, she received further training at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Porto and at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. Her monumental, rich, and detail-saturated visual narratives require slow and rigorous reading. Thanks to her consistent and thorough examination of the medium, every painting represents a new technical challenge. Helena Tahir has presented herself with several independent exhibitions, for example, at Lamut Visual Art Salon in Kostanjevica na Krki (2018), International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana (2020), Gallery Ravne KGLU (2021), and RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE (2022), as well as many group shows in Slovenia and abroad. In 2022, she will also premiere at the international art fair Art Rotterdam. She currently lives and works between Jesenice and Ljubljana.
CALL ME MAJA BABIČ KOŠIR
7.–12. 6. 2022
Maja Babič Košir intervenes in the setup of the group exhibition Returning the Gaze with a work from her Courage Mon Amour series. As always, the artist's intuitive creative process is anchored in a meditative, introspective principle. She draws material from her surroundings and her personal history, especially from her rich family archive of various materials, thus translating her intimate stories into the visual world through intuitive artistic interventions. It is a constant, continuous process of searching for beauty and balance in the world, which the artist does not understand as binary, as she wants to transcend relationships such as external and internal, personal and collective.
Maja Babič Košir (1978) graduated and obtained her Master’s degree in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She completed her postgraduate studies in creative illustration and visual communication techniques at the EINA University School of Design and Art in Barcelona. Her creative process is based on the principle of meditative introspection. She draws subject matter from her environment and personal history, especially from her rich family archives holding a wide array of materials; this enables her to use intuitive artistic interventions in translating her intimate stories into a visual form. She has participated in numerous independent and group exhibitions, especially in Portugal and Spain, where she lived and worked for almost ten years. She takes regular part in international contemporary art fairs, for example, SWAB Barcelona Art Fair in 2020 and Vienna Contemporary in 2019, 2020, and 2021. In 2021, she also debuted at VOLTA Art Fair in Basel. In 2022, she participates in the new Vienna art fair SPARK and is preparing her first joint exhibition with the fellow artist Nevena Aleksovski at RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE. She currently lives and works in Ljubljana.
CALL ME IVANA BAJEC
14.–19. 6. 2022
Ivana Bajec presents herself with the series of drawings, titled Tourettes by Proxy, in which she explores Tourette’s Syndrome and its symptoms – that is, physical and especially vocal tics. She studied contents created by artists suffering from the disorder on the internet. Their uncontrollable and often unexpected utterances, which tend to have a comical effect precisely due to the element of surprise on the one hand and are often politically incorrect on the other, served as her starting point. After spending a long time compiling their statements in her sketchbook, she ultimately translated them into the visual art language with a series of drawings.
Ivana Bajec (1990) engages in drawing, graphic art, and painting. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. She has participated in many group and independent shows in Slovenia, Croatia, Rumania, and Germany. Special mention ought to be made of her presentation at RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE (2021) and SWAB Barcelona Art Fair, the exhibition Tourettes by Proxy at the House of Culture Pivka (2021), and her part in the group exhibition Art Has no Sex (Ptuj City Gallery, 2022). In her artistic creativity, she prioritizes improvisation, experimentation, and exploration, with her canvases often acting as painted diaries combining abstractions and elusive humorous depictions, sequencing daily impressions, feelings, and fragments. This renders her artistic expression a rather spontaneous and playful one, permeated with witty and sometimes also provocative confessional style.
Curator: Piera Ravnikar, Executive producer: Eva Simonič, Video production: David Lotrič Banović