We are pleased to announce that Jasmina Cibic is participating in group exhibition at MG+MSUM in Ljubljana.
In the age of globalization we have learned that we are dependent on everything that happens around the world – politically, economically, and ecologically. But the Earth is not isolated in the Cosmos. It depends on the processes that take place in the cosmic space – on black matter, waves and particles, star explosions and galactic collapses. And the fate of mankind also depends on these cosmic processes, because all these waves and particles go through human bodies. This dependence of mankind on cosmic events that are uncontrollable and even unknown is the source of a specifically modern anxiety. One could say a cosmic anxiety. The anxiety of being a part of the Cosmos – and not able to control it. Not accidentally, our mass culture is obsessed with visions of asteroids destroying the Earth, or of aliens coming out of the cosmic blackness with the goal of destroying the human race.
But this anxiety also takes more subtle forms. As an example one can cite the theory of the “accursed share” that was developed by Georges Bataille. According to this, the Sun sends more energy to the Earth than the planet, including the organisms living on its surface, can absorb. After all the efforts to use this solar energy for the production of goods and to raise the standard of living of the population, there remains a non-absorbed, non-used portion. This energy is necessarily destructive, and can be spent only through violence and war, or through ecstatic festivals and sexual orgies. Human culture and politics thus become determined by such cosmic energies, forever shifting between order and chaos.
However, the cosmic space presents itself at the same time as the last frontier, the last chance for genuine human endeavor. The exploration of the Cosmos does not have any immediate utilitarian function (except, perhaps a military one), and thus is similar to the Romantic ideal of art and poetry. Before and after the Russian Revolution the artists of the Russian avant-garde saw the Cosmos as the true place for a Communist society to be realized, beyond all the borders that divide men on Earth. The hope that contact with cosmic space would make all cultural and ethnic divisions irrelevant can also be found in many sci-fi novels and films. In our time of identity politics the Cosmos thus functions as the last remaining horizon of universalism – and not religious or ideological, but a materialist universalism. The Cosmos unites not our souls but our bodies, integrating them into universal material processes. But the technology used to explore space is at the same time used as a tool for surveillance, and would also be central to any future nuclear war.
Therefore, as a topic for an exhibition, the Cosmos offers many possibilities for artistic exploration. While the connection between the artistic and scientific imagination is the most obvious of these, it is also possible to carry out an analysis of sci-fi culture, examine various perspectives on corporeal immortality, present critiques of contemporary technology, and so on.
Already the architecture of Plečnik signals a desire to make contact not only with world history, but also with the mystical and mythical components of cosmic life – while doing so in an absolutely modern way. Next, one cannot overlook the work of Dragan Živadinov in relation to the project for the cosmic spaceship developed by Noordung (Herman Potočnik); or the work of Marko Pogačnik, whose approach towards the materiality of the Earth and Cosmos has a more individualistic and intuitive dimension. One also cannot ignore the attachment of many Slovene artists, including those of the younger generation, to the utopian vision of Malevich and, in general, the early Russian avant-garde. This vision still informs many of the Slovene art practices – especially when referred to in a critical, ironic or absurdist way.
3 June 2016 at 8 p.m., Moderna Galerija
Moderna galerija (MG+), Museum of Contemporary Art (+MSUM) Ground Floor, Reactor Center Podgorica (Podgorica pri Ljubljani)
LIST OF ARTISTS
Jože Barši, Marko Batista, Boris Beja, Goran Bertok, BridA/Tom Kerševan, Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica, Johnson Chang, Keti Chukhrov, Jasmina Cibic, Lenka Đorojević and Matej Stupica, Femkanje (Katarina Petrović and Bojana Knežević), Vadim Fishkin, Maja Hodošček, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, IRWIN, Sergej Kapus, Staš Kleindienst, Nina Koželj, Tanja Lažetić, Gregor Mobius, Marko and Marika Pogačnik, Uroš Potočnik, Marjetica Potrč, Lina Rica and Boštjan Čadež, Frank Scheffer, Sašo Sedlaček, Anton Vidokle, Arseny Zhilyaev, Dragan Živadinov::Miha Turšič::Dunja Zupančič
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Gazprombank Collection Moscow, Goethe-Institut Slovenia