Space invaders


Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana

11 January until 9 February 2007

Opening of the exhibition on Thursday, January 11th at 8 p.m.

The idea for the Space Invaders exhibition is based on the illustration of the "story" about gallery space in connection with its activities and programme. The main idea of the project was that gallery space is not a white cube where art works are 'hung' or 'put'. The gallery walls should constitute an active part of the art piece. This exhibition aims to move away from the premise that the wall is (only) a functional part of the gallery, thereby approaching the concept that walls and space are a priori a functional part of an exhibition and exhibited work. In this context the created works become unique, as they cannot be physically moved to a new exhibition space after the end of the exhibition or, if this is possible, one cannot avoid having second thoughts about how and how much their context changes. Mostly, only photographic material and sketches remain.

The first artist we invited was the Romanian Dan Perjovschi, who intervenes into gallery and museum space with socially and politically engaged drawings. If the latter are not included in the collections, he records them in digital form in a documentary context, thus making them accessible to the contemporary art market. In the Space invaders exhibition, the walls are the secondary supports of his work – the artist created the drawings from October to the exhibition opening and sporadically sent them to the gallery fax number. This is a site specific installation created in the period of three months, in which the physical setting of the work does not need the artist, as the pieces are set in space according to curator's concept.

The Irish artist Garrett Phelan tackles the idea even more radically – he sends the idea for a drawing, together with a fully graphical presentation of content, via email. The material on the basis of which he creates the drawing is a short text, which provides the rationale of or guidelines for the project, and pictures of the gallery space. The final product, a drawing on the gallery floor, will be made by a third person following the artist's instructions.

In addition to the physical dimensions of gallery space, the exhibition also focuses on the gallery's programme, which takes place in space as such. In a dialogue with the Russian artist Valery Koshlyakov we deal with commercialisation of contemporary art, which is mostly limited to the West, but is ruthlessly entering Eastern Europe. In most cases the capital prevails over the content and quality of the production and mainly touches upon aesthetic and quantitative criteria. In this context, the activity of the Škuc Gallery proved an important starting point for Koshlyakov, as it is a non-commercial gallery, which is also commercially active.

In the context of the exhibition, the work of the Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov somewhat stands out. He presents four prints, where, upon closer look, the observer can notice tiny details. With minor interventions – drawings – the artist interferes with a work and enriches the "immediately" visible content. Thus Solakov usually directly intervenes in the exhibition space, revives it with his unique art and shares his imaginary world with the visitor. In Škuc Gallery, this approach was not feasible, so the artist decided to exhibit his Vitiligo People series.

Curated by Alenka Gregorič. Participating artists Valery Koshlyakov (Russia), Dan Perjovschi (Romania), Garrett Phelan (Ireland), Nedko Solakov (Bulgaria).

This exhibition is organized in co-operation with

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