Opening: 28 May at 7 pm
28 May – 30 June 2014
National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
WHERE: Prešernova 24, Ljubljana
In 1991, Slovenia became an independent and sovereign state and through new associations and integration established itself within the international community. The principal motif of the exhibition and event Interiors-Correspondences, is the ambivalent relation between an individual and their inner intimate space and the physical architectural space of some institutions essential to both state and society. These are the parliament of the Republic in Slovenia in Ljubljana, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the United Nations congress hall in Geneva and the NATO Congress hall in Brussels. These spaces are important bearers of social structures and meanings because they embody a symbolic power manifesting as either as a cut or a link, i.e. as a constitutive element of a common civilisation and cultural-political history.
Through a specific spatial arrangement, Bojan Salaj seeks to evoke an active response to these topics fundamentally affecting citizens of every EU member country. The installation comprises four objects set in an orthogonal arrangement with a slight dynamic shift created by the architecture of the National Gallery. The empty space among the objects is the entry into the central point of the installation that is dominated by four monumental photographs of the previously listed ‘spaces of power,’ created on the principles of a central perspective view.
The artist’s work is focused on issues of an individual’s relation to an institution, whilst simultaneously rethinking the role of such an institution as a means of power distribution, both on a micro as well as macro (social) level. How do fraternity, equality and liberty feel when confronted with the discourse of (today’s) democracy? How is an individual today supposed to practice and surpass the liberties acquired through Enlightenment and the French Revolution? Aren’t these very words now historically outdated categories; archaic monuments that everyday are subject to excessive inflation in their use? Aren’t they merely unachieved ideals, only finding room in media spectacles? These three essential terms for democratic activity are now obsolete, prevented from being restored to their original meaning and without the slightest chance for a word (or image) to be made flesh. Can evolution and revolution still be understood as a slip in the field beyond the established and enforced order, which normally defies changes, i.e. in the field beyond a structured social reality of everyday life and an individual’s dispersed subjectivity?
Miha Colner & Bojan Salaj