Politicization of Friendship
01 July 2014 — 05 October 2014

Roberto Barandalla & Darío Schvarzstein, Jože Barši, The Beehive Design Collective, Ivan Cardoso, Juan Downey, La Escuela de Valparaíso, Galeria Chilena, Group Material, Group of Six Artists, Minna Henriksson, Roberto Jacoby, KURS (Miloš Miletić & Mirjana Radovanović), Madness in the Eighties: Anti-Psychiatry Movement in Slovenia, Manga Rosa, Roberto Mardones, Tina Modotti: Farewell to Photography, Andrei Monastirsky (Collective Actions), Museo de la Solidaridad / Museum of Solidarity, Santiago, Chile, The OHO Group, THE PLAY, Zoran Popović, The Real Estate Show, Benet Rossell, Škart, Josip Vaništa (Gorgona), Yugoslav Surrealists: Politics of the Impossible


Curator: Bojana Piškur

Co-curators: Isabel García Pérez de Arce, André Mesquita

Special projects curated by: Miklavž Komelj, Branka Stipančić


In the history of philosophy as well as theory of art there exists a variety of works based on the idea of friendship. The core of present interest in friendship goes beyond friendship as mere closeness, affinity, affection or some consensus of opinion. It implies a broader political dimension and consequently a certain tension and malaise. The exhibition itself evolved from the premises of so-called participatory art of Eastern Europe and Latin America, which are here brought to a significantly different level.


The exhibition Politicization of Friendship therefore attempts to encompass certain aspects of "participation", for instance collective artistic production, solidarity, interaction and collaboration between artists in different parts of the world where the art system was not only underdeveloped, but also completely indifferent towards alternative artistic practices. Some of the typical characteristics of Eastern European and Latin American spaces and their understanding of collectivity and collaboration include informal alternative art spaces, apart-art, art collectives, collective creativity, self-organizing, "self-historicization," etc.


However, our point of departure is not the history of theater or performance art, where theoreticians typically tend to locate the beginnings of participatory art, but primarily ruptures in various areas of knowledge, or "the new politics of knowledge", that have occurred since the 1960s. Such ruptures produced different discourses - not only the discourse on madness, sexuality, history and a variety of scientific discourses, but also the discourse on art. They all derive from an attempt to dispense with the conventional habits of mind and received ideas in each established area, or in other words, from the need to uncover the relations between knowledge and power.


The exhibition presents works by artists, art collectives and movements that stem from the following questions: What can friendship achieve? What shifts can occur, in both artistic-formal and political terms, if friendship begins to create new ways of interpersonal relating and new structures of being? What is at issue is not just the political potential of an artwork or its emancipation from the representational regime, but politicization as desire, which "deploy[s] its forces within the political domain and grow[s] more intense in the process of overturning the established order." In short, desire as the driving force of exploration, which surfaces at some fundamental encounter at the junction of politics, art, philosophy, etc.


Friendship can't simply be equated with collective spirit and collective work; it is a form of emancipation, not in the sense of political correctness, consensus or search for some universal truth, but as a constant discovering of what we are and what we become in the processes of friendship. These questions are both essentially political, calling for a decision that does not come easily, hence demanding a significantly different engagement in the here and now.


Accompanying the exhibition there is a program of lectures and talks, workshops, and screening of buddy film at the Slovenska Kinoteka.

An exhibition catalogue is designed by Škart.

The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.


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4 September at 6 p.m. Felipe Mujica, "Galería Chilena Says: Everything is Going to Be Alright!", a talk in English, +MSUM conference room


6 September at 4:30 p.m. "Surrealism", a free workshop of dreams and fantasies for children, part of the FORUM program

7 September at 11 a.m. Bojana Piškur, guided tour of the exhibition, part of the FORUM program

9 September at 6 p.m. Anej Korsika (Institute for Labor Studies), "Chilean Path to Socialism: Politics, Culture, and International Relations", a talk in Slovenian

13 September at 11 a.m. "Pen Pals", a Minimalists? Club workshop, in collaboration with the Museum of Solidarity, Santiago, Chile

16 September at 6 p.m. Viktor Misiano, "A Talk Focusing on Friendship from the Perspective of Post-Soviet Experience", a talk in English, +MSUM conference room

17 September at 6 p.m. Miklavž Komelj, "Yugoslav Surrealists Here and Now", a talk in Slovenian, +MSUM conference room

19 September at 6 p.m. Branka Stipančić, "Group of Six Artists", a talk in Croatian, +MSUM conference room

27 and 28 September Škart (Dragan Protić & Djordje Balmazović), a workshop with pupils at the Livada primary school

30 September at 6 p.m. A discussion accompanying the formal declaration of deinstitutionalization of total institutions, part of the Madness in the Eighties project


→   Program of buddy films at the Kinoteka