Thursday, 23 March 2023
Exhibition at Peti Štuk Gallery Ljubljana, 23. March 2023 with Eneja Urnaut
Exhibition title: The Unread
Authors: Aleš Horvat and Eneja Urnaut
Duration of the exhibition and opening: 16 March 2023 at 6 pm at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana - Peti Štuk Gallery; until 18 April 2023
The opening event will be moderated by Marko Mandič, actor
Special thanks to: Davorin Bokan, Bukvarna Ciproš Maribor, Peter Dragar, Jaša Gabrijan, Samo Granda, Matic Gselman, Priscila Gulič, Petra Pende, Primož Pirnat, Juš Pustoslemšek, Miran Pustoslemšek, Mojca Schlamberger Brezar, Aleksandra Urnaut
Curators: Ana Jazbec, Neža Lukančič, Tanja Marolt, Eva Stamboldžioski
Aleš Horvat and Eneja Urnaut present 17 large-format paintings - jigsaw puzzles from approximately 3,000 magazine spines and 1,000 book editions - in the exhibition Unread. The covers on the canvas become the content. They are an indication of a new hope hidden between the pages of the dismembered fragments. The unread and the silent, once only superficial, invite us to flip beyond the covers.
During the pandemic, my colleague Enea Urnaut and I found ourselves in the midst of an enormous work. Piece by piece and page by page, we tore up magazines, and Eneja came up with the idea that we could do the same with the books that we had at home for the sake of "prettiness", and that nobody had read anyway, and nobody would. We agreed that the best possible way, by a strange logic, was to keep these books alive and give them a whole new meaning. Our only working commitment was to work, at
least ostensibly, in the area of holy simplicity.
I myself am in the unenviable (tricky, thankless) role of curator, namely during the creation of the exhibition, Aleš offered me the job of co-author. At his insistence and the challenge I accepted, I am now in the role of both, I will write only about Aleš's work, and let others judge my work.
The idea of making works out of torn magazines and books came to me as an abstract interpretation of recycling, that it is possible to turn discarded objects into something useful; something completely new. It should be clarified that we are talking here about books and magazines that have passed their 'expiry date' and would have gone to waste anyway. Magazines, books, catalogues that probably nobody has ever even looked through. Hence the name of the exhibition Unread. It is a general fact that a book that is read is not usually thrown away. We leave it in the book collection, because we have spent time on it, some of our lives. The books that Aleš has used in his works will be presented by the actor as part of the opening part of the exhibition. In doing so, Aleš pays tribute to all the authors, writers, who have been responsible for "the newly created formal relationships".
Is this newness an abstract interpretation of the discarded and again manifest emergence of life, like the counterpoint of winter and spring?
What was once in a certain function has been given a new dimension of essence. It is true of words that you can delete them, shorten them, censor them. Is this a plucked essence? Yet it is not the essence of the essence that you pluck, but it is still a being in itself, an even more so essence ...
This peculiar internal reworking of the world made from the spines of publications offers a spectrum of structured visual narrative and offers a range of different mechanisms of the viewer's perception of a minimalist universe. The thoughtful assembling, dissecting and shaping of the relief surfaces is best exemplified by the viewer who, upon "gazing", closed his eyes, touched the work and declared, "If you have art for somebody, you have it for the blind."
I have deliberately put a question mark several times in the text, because I think that Aleš Horvat's works offer many more questions than answers. Because we live in a time of questioning, repositioning and re-finding values, don't we?