Dorotea Škrabo
Please Do Not Take Photographs


SOLO EXHIBITION

Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

22 March – 14 April 2017
Opening hours: TUE-FRI 12 pm – 6 pm

Exhibition opening: Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 7 pm
 

 

Today’s tools of image production have turned everyone into a producer, distributor and consumer of images. In the current condition of information overload, images are among the most transferred content: via instant messaging, social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, micro blogging tools like Tumblr, and services like Instagram and Snapchat. As art critic David Joselit noted, “The scale at which images proliferate and the speed with which they travel have never been greater.”[1]

The impact of this condition on professional visual production and visual art has yet to be recognized, but it has been discussed by many scholars and artists. As early as 2002, artist Seth Price discussed online “dispersion” as a powerful alternative to official art circulation systems.[2] Later on, artist and teacher Hito Steyerl wrote about the potential of “poor images”, the low quality version of an offline artifact that circulates for free on the internet, where it is shared, compressed, remixed, and often deprived of its links to the original author; [3] and artist Brad Troemel talked about “athletic aesthetics” to describe the fast and quantitative approach to art production that artists adopt to maintain an online presence, where they are confronted with compressed attention spans and with modes of fruition that are totally different from those of a dedicated art space. [4]

We can't forget this when considering the work of younger generations of artists, who happen to be “users” of digital devices and participants in the social networking economy, even before being “artists”. Trained in art and design, “digital native” artist Dorotea Škrabo has grown up in this kind of environment. Before existing as an artist, she existed as a computer and smartphone user. To her, online image production is a performative gesture in a way that artworks can’t be understood as autonomous artifacts, but as traces of the artist; and “viewers” are not consumers of a finished artifact, but are an active part of an ongoing process.

In her new installation Please Do Not Take Photographs designed for Aksioma Project Space, Škrabo draws upon these premises. The show consists of two main pieces. In Let Them Eat Cake, images are printed on cakes. These edible treats represent a “snap” published on “Snapchat ”, a phone app that allows a user to develop an intense dialogue with others through images. All posts are deleted from the user’s Snapchat story after 12 hours. The temporary nature of the pictures therefore encourages frivolity and emphasizes a more natural flow of interaction. The visitors of the exhibition are invited to take a piece of cake, offering a metaphorical, yet playful and engaging comment on the ephemeral nature of online images. The second piece, Musée du Lowres, is a replica of the part of the Louvre where the Mona Lisa is exhibited. The central piece is a screen in a baroque framing displaying the artist impersonating Leonardo's masterpiece. Mobile devices, loaded with several images, texts and emoji, are applied on the surface encouraging visitors to slightly mutate the artwork by swiping through their contents. Beside the centerpiece, a series of video snaps are displayed on mobile phones along with oversized golden-framed prints of their captions, ironically subverting the traditional relationship between visual artwork and contextual information.

[1] David Joselit, After Art, Princeton University Press 2012

[2] Seth Price, “Dispersion”, 2002 - ongoing. Online at www.distributedhistory.com/Disperzone.html.

[3] Hito Steyerl, “In Defence of the Poor Image”, in eflux journal, 11/2009, online at www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/.

[4] Brad Troemel, “Athletic Aesthetics”, in The New Inquiry, May 10, 2013. Online at http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/athletic-aesthetics/.





Production:

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017



Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Urša Purkart
Technician: Valter Udovičić
Documentation: Jure Goršič

Part of U30+ Aksioma Institute production programme for supporting young artists.


Mentors: Janez Janša (production), Domenico Quaranta (text editing)

Thanks to: Loški muzej, Petra Švajger

Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana




CONTACT
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

 

Dorotea Škrabo
 
 

Dorotea Škrabo (1992) is a visual artist born in Rijeka and currently living and working in Ljubljana, Slovenia, who primarily deals with the phenomenon of photography and video on the internet. Her research is focused on new media, popular culture and art, especially through the limitations of social networks. She regularly produces short online videos, where she develops critical relation towards popular trends. Since 2015 she has been a part of the FrešTreš Art Collective. Her work has been exhibited in various group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad and in 2014 Kino Šiška hosted Skrabzi: A šalim se, her first solo show. In 2014 she obtained a B.A. in Graphic and Interactive Communication from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering and has continued to study graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

 
 
 

 
 

 
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