Gregor Podnar


11 Nov - 05 Dec 2014

Gyula Várnai
Dead Sea, 1991
Tensions, exhibition view, Galerija Gregor Podnar, Ljubljana, 2014. Photo: Jaka Babnik
Caroline Duchatelet, Sophie Giraux, Jorge Oteiza, Miha Štrukelj, Gyula Várnai
11 November – 5 December 2014

Curator: Tevž Logar

Sometimes it seems that our everyday life is permeated with tension between opposing moments, feelings and decisions, which we try to balance as best we can. Above all, it means an endless search for the limits, questioning what governs one or the other extreme. It is no different in the field of art, where researching the tensions between the elements of the wider field of art has been a focus and essence of artistic examination since the 1960s. This is also the subject of the exhibition Tensions. While it is impossible to reduce the exhibition to a common denominator due to the diversity of the artists, some specific aspects and characteristics that experiment with the relationships that emerge between the spectator, the work of art and the exhibition space can nevertheless be highlighted.

The works stem from rational and sensual impulses that directly address the spectator and examine the relationship between what the spectators experience at the visual level and pure ideas. The spectator thus navigates between different aspects of the works, draws the limits of their perception and questions material reality. The dynamic between the works in the venue, which re-interpret objects and establish new relationships between them and space, examines the experience of the spectator’s material reality and subtly connects the object with notions of the ephemeral, the fleeting and the short term. Tension is not only established by the exhibition as a whole. To paraphrase Igor Zabel, in this situation individual works themselves express a condition, a tension that emerges within them, a tension between the material and something at the fringes of their materiality, between the visual and non-visual, which translates into a complex and often multi-layered unity.

As always, a dynamic between several elements emerges in the context of the exhibition medium whose mutual ‘choreography’ makes them seem complementary. Nevertheless, an open structure for reflection is enabled by the poetics of individual artists, enabling the spectator to make a transition through different fields of art, different periods, concepts, poetics and media, never really stopping, but only touching them and trying to connect them into a logical whole.

It seems that this involves an intimate, individual story of discovery of the elements that make an art work contemporary and current, and an attempt to experience the work here and now. In this way, the individual is drawn into a choreography of unknown conceptual gestures, geo-political stories and subtle formal interventions that directly seek to create a tension between historical ideas and contemporaneity, between experience and non-experience, between the material and what lies at the edge of materiality, between the visual and the non-visual. Therefore, Tensions is a compendium of small intimate confessions which reveal a global society marked by an obsessive quest for possessions, while drowning in the infinity of their complete devaluation. Intimacy becomes something with which we no longer have any relation.

The project is s supported by The Municipality of Ljubljana and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
Acknowledgements: Orsolya Hegedus, Elena Martin, Galerija Škuc, acb Gallery, Museo Oteiza

Tags: Jorge Oteiza, Miha Strukelj