Janez Janša & Janez Janša & Janez Janša: Mt. Triglav on Mt. Triglav, 2007
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Janez Janša & Janez Janša & Janez Janša​

1964, Matulji, Yugoslavia, now Croatia; lives in Ljubljana

1970, Bergamo, Italy; lives in Ljubljana

1973, Ljubljana

 

Mount Triglav on Mount Triglav, 2007

digital prints

 

Soon after changing their names to that of a former Slovenian prime minister, the three Janez Janšas staged their first show entitled Triglav at the Mala galerija (2007), dedicating it to the local tradition of collective practices. They presented the 1968 performance Mt Triglav by the group OHO and its two reenactments: the one by the group Irwin in 2004 and their own in 2007. Crucial to all three groups of artists was the significance of Mt Triglav (meaning the “three-headed” mountain) as a Slovene national symbol. Three members of the OHO group “enacted” Mt Triglav by draping

 

black fabric over their bodies so that only their heads jutted out. Just as is the case with the three peaks of the mountain, the middle head was higher up than the lateral two, which were more or less level. The action was carried out in the center of Ljubljana, and affected the passersby primarily with its absurdity in comparison to ordinary day-to-day socialist life. The group Irwin chose the same location for their reenactment of the performance, but intended it primarily for the lens of the camera: crucial in their case was the artifact – a good-quality, nicely framed photograph.

 

The material dimension of the work underscored the underrated status of the neo-avant-garde line in the history of Slovene art, and the absence of a developed art market and related interest in a professional and standardized presentation of art. The three Janezes had their photograph taken similarly draped in black fabric, but on the mountain itself, and subsequently had the photo printed on paper that had newspaper sheets from the three leading Slovenian dailies on the back; they were interested in the newspapers as chroniclers of various state anniversaries and events important on state level.