Once upon a time, in a small country at the foot of the Alps,
Yugoslav army lived in its big barracks. When the country gained
its independence, the army marched off to meet new defeats, leaving
behind an empty barracks in the middle of the new capitol city.
This was too good an opportunity for a large number of artists
and some other people to miss, so they turned it into a cultural
and social center.
This is where a gallery called Alkatraz came to be. The name itself refers to the solitude of the artist in search for Idea. The closure is necessary in order to be open to new ideas. This gives rise to dichotomy at which the open-type gallery named after a prison alludes. A circle of artists closely linked with the gallery emerged in the six-year period since. Aiming to break from the routine of having exhibitions only in the gallery, we used this opportunity to escape from Alkatraz. The exhibition in the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center is the outcome of the work by fourteen artists, members of the generation born around the year 1970. Their common point is adolescence in Yugoslav socialist paradise of the 70's, in the crisis of the 80's, in the time of the struggle for independence in the early 90's, and closeness to military conflicts which Slovenia was fortunate to avoid. And so that the new decade will not be too boring, we aim to join the European Union.
Artists react to the times in many ways, from creating new universal utopical worlds to playing with certain symbols of our region. This variety makes impossible any search for a common denominator or concept within the field of art. Instead of selecting artists on criteria of a concept we chose with regard to quality and variety.
Various media of modern art are represented: from electronic media to sculpture, painting and graphics. Because the artists selected cover various directions of art of present day, the concept of the exhibition is actually just to present the generation that is linked to the gallery Alkatraz.
We are all children of our time, but each spends it in different surroundings. This exhibition shows you an unknown space in a known time.
Ziga Kariz and his artistic exploration deals
with political and social topics. The topic of terrorism is well-known
and increasingly prominent in the present daily life. In the words
of the author, the project TERROR=DECOR both in its content and
its form oscillates between two conflicting artistic procedures.
The surface of the form achieves the effect of decoration which
is then strategically used to establish a total project. The surface
of objects used is only a glamorous pretext that enables various
objects to nest in their positions, in private apartments. The
projects examines relations between artistic and terrorist strategies.
Installations of Tobias Putrih are strongly linked to the concept which expects the observer to engage and actively participate in the work of art. The project Lost Cinema are photographies taken from scaled-down models, Putrih's subjective promenade through the history of cinema and many accompanying references.
Kristina Lazetic-Kiki draws The Diary in an attempt to, as in any other diary, mark events, situations, persons, thoughts, and not only document them. Each drawing is like a haiku, unpredictable and without rules, without a fixed formula for its creation. Her intimacy is made bare to observers, directly addressing them.
Damjan Kracina is a sculptor, video-artist, advocate of endangered animal species and the inventor of a new model of the evolution of humankind. His works show the amphibian proteus and the marble trout of the Soca river, two autochthonous species of certain regions of our country which are in peril. However, his work is not only an account on the issue of certain animal species becoming extinct. In a hidden and ironical way, the author attempts to expose the anthropomorphic point of view where weaker species become objects of manipulation.
Katarina K. Toman finds inspiration in her immediate intimate environment. On miniature canvasses, she colorfully and playfully shows us members of her family, the screen of her computer...
Andrej Brumen Cop uses the classical medium of painting with modern freshness. His approach to motifs is relaxed and unburdened. On the other hand, we can also see them as subtle symbols of an uneasy feeling in the modern world.
The paintings of Mojca Zlokarnik are an open declaration. Her composition of five sheets of paper freely hovers in space. On translucently light sheets, it carries us through landscapes of soft colors to its lyrical worlds.
Ursa Toman and her sculptures open new areas which are pertinent not only to the social and sociological problem of time but lie beyond everyday life. In her sculptural explorations, the artist roams ancient landscapes. In her own words, The Planet ZOOID is a small celestial body circling the Sun and basking in its light and warmth. Life on the planet is prolific and savage.
The topic of artificial lives is a prominent question of the modern world. The project The Dance of Neurons of sculptor Luka Drinovec uses robots in an attempt to expose such questions. Because of their simplicity, certain primitive forms of life hold a mirror to our complexity. Only understanding of the simple leads to comprehension of the complex.
Bostjan Plesnicar is a perpetual joker who uses painting as an instrument for playing with words. To him, the span between surrealistic and strictly realistic motifs is a tool with which to make an irony of art and of the world around him.
Bostjan Drinovec creates mobile dynamic sculptures. His mechanised creations are marked by the changing look of structures, caused by flexibility and movements of the material. They employ natural of technological phenomena to interpret the modern juncture of nature and technological civilisation.
Sculptures of Primoz Pugelj do not carry some metaphysical message. He is more interested in actual physical reality. In his earlier sculptural projects, Pugelj confronted us with subjectively experienced results of observation of self and of cosmos. This time, he will reveal himself as an observer of unknown people and will reach into previously unexplored fields of his activities.
By his own admition, Milan Golob in his paintings fights an open battle with the matter. In his journey towards it, he meets various characters, such as Kazimir, Velimir Hlebnikov, Boris Mihailov,....
In his painting/constructions, Grega Mastnak recycles images and materials found in his immediate surroundings. His projects is a composition of six drawings and paintings with the common topic of portrait and vegetation.
* Special guest is Emil Memon the Slovenian artist who lives in New York.