Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka
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Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša
Solo Exhibition

Curated by Sabina Salamon and Ksenija Orelj

MSUM / Mali salon, Rijeka (Cro)
14 Nov - 4 Dec, 2013

Exhibition opening: 14 November 2013 at 7pm

The exhibition provides an insight into the “Janša case”, from 2007 until the present day, through several intertwined segments: personal documents, collaborative works and media responses. The “case” acquires the characteristics of skilfully planned smuggling, with life at stake and the aim of challenging the boundaries of politics, art and everyday life. The activities of “neo-Janšas” become a means to examine the symbolic power of name in the art system, as well as in broader social and political fields. They point to the factors that participate in creating identities of artists, i.e. work of art, while redefining the notion of authorship and property enters the zone of repression between the individual and the collective, citizen and state, art gesture and national symbol.

The Janša project is primarily performative, based on the idea of a living and tripled ready-made – the artists use their own duration, body and character as the medium. Three men, formerly known as Davide Grassi, Emil Hrvatin and Žiga Kariž in 2007 appropriated the name of the then prime minister and head of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS). As they changed their names, they simultaneously became party members, symbolically taking over the party slogan: The more we are, the faster we will reach the goal. By using excessive identification, they underline less noticeable fatalist moments instilled in the background of nationally representative patterns. At the same time, appropriation acquires a potentially subversive effect – an increase in the number of Janez Janšas becomes a tactic of causing a stir in the political circuits and expansion of contemporary art’s presence. The questions arising are: to what extent can today’s art practices infiltrate in the political sphere and provoke a self-understanding idea of national identity? Can inflation of names weaken or at least disturb the power position of “the real Janša”? What are effects of a name change to the artists’ activities and biographies?

Production of the exhibition:

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2013
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka

Producer: Marcela Okretič

The programme of Aksioma Institute is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.
Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

The exhibition is part of Smuggling Anthologies an international project lead by MMSU and supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union