12 September – 5 October 2018
WED, 12 September at 7 pm
Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana
Part of U30+ production programme for supporting young artists
For a young artist like Sara Bezovšek a large part of social life takes place online, and developing a personal etiquette for her online behaviour is as important as understanding how to behave at official events; wasting time on the Internet, browsing various articles and YouTube channels, or random Instagram profiles, creates a space where boredom often nurtures artistic research. In her visual work, which takes the form of videos, Bezovšek manifests her interest in the graphic portrayal of online and physical violence, but at the same time also cute and funny topics.
In the trilogy comprising Revenge Porn, Sextortion, and Cyber Stalking, she explores Internet-based sexual habits by creating a visual narrative out of the elements shared by young users to communicate on social networking platforms like Facebook, as well as less controlled platforms like the imageboard 4chan, where users can post anonymously. GIFs, memes, YouTube videos, pirated TV shows and movies, explicit video clips, Snapchat videos, comments, and chats are recorded and remixed to portray the atmosphere in which younger generations live their sexual apprenticeship in the public sphere of the Internet, often subject to stalking and harassment. Revenge Porn, for example, focuses on the widespread practice of sharing pictures and videos taken during sex as a form of revenge against one’s ex-partner, turning images that were meant to be private into a form of pornography. While sharing nude photos with one’s partner, or recording one’s sexual intercourses, can open up new ways of living one’s sexuality, the inherent shareability of these bits and pieces raise new concerns about surveillance and privacy. Furthermore, by comparing mainstream media culture and amateur content, Bezovšek reflects on the interdependence between these two imageries.
While in these recent videos the emotional poles of this iconography are often intertwined and mixed with more nuanced content, in the older video RL, they are displayed on two parallel channels. RL is an acronym that stands for “real life”, as well as for “right and left”. In this video collage made out of footage found on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the screen is split into two parts, played simultaneously, respectively collecting the two visual extremes of the popular online visual content: the gore and violence of car accidents and murders, and the cuteness and fun of animal videos. As the two channels are very small and close to each other, it’s really impossible for the audience to see the cute image forgetting about violence, or vice-versa: an effective portrait of how we often experience content online, where good and evil are often at the distance of a tab.
Sara Bezovšek (1993) is a Slovenian visual artist. Primarily studying and working as a graphic designer, her other interests include photography, new media and video art. She graduated in Visual Communications at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana, where she is currently finishing her master’s degree. Her main focus is on the impact that the Internet culture, online social media and the desktop interface have on the visual culture today. Her current research aims to portray the internet as a living space, using its bits and pieces and thus embracing, with the visual awareness of an artist, a remix culture that has become a genuine, generational means of expression and communication. She has participated in various group exhibitions, including Razumeti fotografijo, Mikado Gallery, Ljubljana (2013), 100 years of Leica, Dubrovnik (2014), Bodi črka – postani beseda!, Vodnikova domačija, Ljubljana (2015), ALUO LXX. Preteklost, sedanjost, prihodnost, Jakopič Gallery, Ljubljana (2016), AAVV All That Happens Must Be Known, Vn Gallery, Zagreb (2018). In 2018 she was awarded The Prešeren Award from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, for the Mobile Application ZNAM.
Author: Sara Bezovšek
Mentors: Peter Rauch, Emil Kozole, Sašo Sedlaček (Academy of Fine Arts and Design – University of Ljubljana) and Janez Janša (Aksioma)
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2018
Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Aksioma’s programme is additionally supported by the Ministry of Public Administration as part of the public call for co-financing projects for the development and professionalisation of NGOs and volunteerism as well as by JSKD