Strasbourg, January 2018 – Ljubljana #3: From art in the urban context to fiction and dystopia

Sašo Sedlaček, The Big Switch Off (2011)

From: January 26th until February 25th,
at Apollonia, 23 Rue Boecklin, 67000 Strasbourg
 The exhibition consists of nineteen videos/films, related to the theme of urban and public space in their everyday dimension but also in their utopic and dystopic aspects. During the last twenty years, Slovenian artists have tackled this topic from both a technological and an aesthetic point of view. The main concept of the exhibition, is “art in the urban context”. We then move on to video projects, and see how they had an important role in the establishment of a city, as a historical event or aesthetic phenomenon. Also, some videos highlight the experience of a “technologically equipped” urban walker. A special emphasis is given to video works dealing with everyday life, taking place at the intersection of public and private space. The selection from the DIVA Station Video Archive a project by SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts concludes with the works of futuristic anti-utopian fiction and dystopia of the unstable world of conflicts and discomfort.

 The question of urban identity, and therefore identity itself, is questioned several times through historical stories, fictions and projected scenarios in a far future. Several videos, even though funny, relate to abnormalities and contradictions in the social context, such as begging and poverty on one side and overconsumption on the other, including mass media.Others emphasize the somewhat sexist aspect of the city, condemn the under-representation of women in the urban symbolism. Finally, some videos refer to performances and artistic implications in public spaces and buildings of Ljubljana, and in other cities. These projected visions of Slovenian artists reveal significant aspects of the plural culture of this society.

 Barbara Borčić, curator of the exhibition, is the founder and director of the video archive of SCCA-Ljubljana, center for contemporary art.