20 June 2019 - 8 September 2019
Opening on Thursday, 20 June at 08:00 PM
City Art Gallery of Ljubljana
Artists: Nika Autor, Boris Beja, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Nemanja Cvijanović, Lana Čmajčanin, Minna Henriksson, Sanela Jahić, Nikita Kadan, Mark Požlep, Lala Raščić, Kamen Stoyanov, Sašo Sedlaček, Katarina Zdjelar
Curated by Alenka Trebušak
Exhibit A brings together fourteen internationally acclaimed artists whose response to the complex problems plaguing modern society consists in the use of forensic aesthetics and scientific tools of physics, sociology, anthropology, biology or cartography to investigate the world. From this perspective, their artworks can be thought of as clues, since they contain traces of past activities, whether in material form, such as fragmented or fossilised remains, or in the form of human testimonies.
The works in this exhibition encourage a sceptical approach to formal truth: they probe the protocols and knowledge policies underlying official versions of history, carefully examining archival materials, or gathering data through interviews. The artists see themselves as being at odds with institutional authority, especially the imbalance of power that exists in any confrontation between individuals or groups and either the state and its bureaucratic machinery, or with the power and capital of corporations. The artworks on display cast a light on social, political and economic machinations and reveal the coercion, control and violence that underpin the dominant regime. In so doing, Exhibit A addresses various manifestations of power and the ways this power can be abused in the name of order and progress. All the same, the artists do not set themselves up as moral authorities detecting and exposing offences and demanding justice; rather, they create their own forms of poetic justice, a justice that serves as a sometimes subtle, sometimes ironic critique of modernity.
Exploring different points of departure and reference, the artists seek commonalities between temporally unrelated yet interdependent events. These can take a variety of forms, be they the complex, often covert connections between capitalism and the legitimisation of the territorial conquest of non-European countries; or the connections between former colonial borders and the entire universe (the new limit to modernity’s genocidal impulses); or the technological and scientific advances that have reinforced the concept of “the Other”. The artists are less interested in the who, what, where, how, why and when of history, than they are in the cause-and-effect relationship between past and present.