coloured mail boxes were placed at specific locations in Ljubljana upon
which the artist wrote a statement in four world languages to alert passers-by
of the social context of an artist and art as such. The statement I Need
Money to Be an Artist was not meant to be mere begging for money or a
trite provocation which would want to evolve from the paradigm of a poor
artist who gives himself away for the benefit of others.It was meant as
a gesture which launches art production in the surroundings and is, as
any other production, closely attached to money.
mail boxes were fastened onto street lights, street signs or pillars at
We intended to carry out this action in the summer (July - August) so as to involve tourists who would, aside from the multilingual inscriptions on the white mail boxes, ensure the potential internationality of the project. Despite the fact that the action started very late in September, the internationality did not fail to close in. Numerous messages in various languages (even the exotic ones) were found in the mail boxes, as well as almost all the European currencies, even though money was not what the artist was aiming for with his project.
problem, which unexpectedly appeared in the urban surroundings, was in
serious dilemma arose: were we to leave the broken mail boxes as they
were and venture the possibility that nobody would throw anything in them,
or should we empty them regularly and thus keep the project alive?
We finally decided that the surprise was more important. The amount of disharmony, or better, what was left from the project in a tense dichotomy between economic and art production, was presented after a month and a half when the mail boxes were brought to the gallery at 4 Kersnikova street and unsealed again at the opening.
the least expected item was money and despite the numerous thefts, over
forty thousand slovene Tolars had been collected
items, which constituted the majority, matched the typical groups of pedestrians
in their quantity and contents (see the list of items in the catalogue).
It is important to emphasise that the project is characterised as an urban action and is, in a way, the continuation of a positive experience gained in the city of Ljubljana through the project "Urbanarija" (1995) in the redaction of the Soros Institute for Contemporary Art.
Such projects are not meant to be installations of artefacts and monuments in a given surrounding, nor are they aesthetic actions or decorations of the urban surroundings. Their primary function is to draw attention to the urban space as it is, point at it and thus establish a theme in which a socio-cultural concept can evolve. Their artistic value lies in their ability to cut into the space, and where it seems that nothing else can be added, to open a discourse where the illusion that we perceive only non-dialectical facts reigns. On the whole, it widens our horizons to such an extent that our knowledge and values are greatly expanded.