Self-Portrait, precariously positioned between inside and outside, questions where art is at work, and, at the same time, announces its own position as something in-between: the installation being the inauguration of a larger project the chapters of which take place in locations other than the museum. Self-Portrait is displaced in space and time, and as such evades an immediate conclusion or goal, satisfaction or understanding. Nevertheless, in its concreteness, it invites us to see another exhibition, Art at Work, in order to get to know artists who, like us, think about work and thus recognize the collective to which we belong and which belongs to us.
The installation intervenes in the movement on the museum square. It is necessary to react to the new organization of movement in the public space, by making a different decision, by paying attention, or observing the situation. Some will step into/on the artwork, others will add to the work as they pass, possibly stopping or making deviations around it. Thus each reader/viewer/connoisseur/ consumer of art completes it, interprets it.
The intervention in the public space acts as both incision and invitation, exposing both the potentiality and the emptiness of the artistic gesture. It alludes to the absence of an audience and the wider problem of disinterest in (contemporary) art in Slovenia, which may be the result of misguided public policies or simply of the smallness and provinciality of the country.
So who then is depicted in this Self-Portrait?Let’s Work!
2023) deals with the problem of work. It invites us, through various artistic situations set in specific environments, to reflect on the meaning and value of work, the ways in which we experience work in everyday life, and how art is at work. In the first chapter (2022), artworks are contextualized in locations that play a constructive role in society in terms of the formulation of labor policies, and more specifically the formulation of strategies in the field of cultural labor, in public services that respond to labor problems, in institutions that educate the upcoming workforce, and in spaces that play a role in contemporary art practices. The spatial and temporal positioning of works for (re)viewing by both institutional staff and invited and casual visitors aims to widen the field of visibility of the artwork and its reception. In the second chapter (2023), the artworks will be presented in their entirety in exhibition and performance formats.