New Spaces, New Images
The 1980s through the Prism of Events, Exhibitions, and Discourses – Part 1
14 October 2016 – 1 January 2017
Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana
Opening: Friday, 14 October 2016, at 8 p.m. [PDF invitation]
Curators: Asta Vrečko, Martina Malešič
The exhibition is based on a selection of events that shaped developments in Slovene art in the final decade of Yugoslavia. Social changes, the political crisis following the death of the Yugoslav President Josip Broz - Tito, and the economic crisis inevitably impacted art and culture. And early in the decade, a wave of new art swept over Yugoslavia just as it did over the rest of Europe.
The new ideas in philosophy and art theory broached also ontological questions about art. Faced with a host of new challenges, artists sought alternative ways of working. They gathered around various spaces that became catalysts of new artistic and social phenomena and nodes of cultural and political activities. Artists and curators collaborated on the local, republican level as well as on the federal level. International connections intensified and study trips abroad became more frequent. At the same time, relations between the center and the periphery grew looser. In addition to established institutions, new art spaces and institutions influenced the art discourse. New themes and approaches in artistic production, previously considered marginal, took center stage.
In the 1980s, culture and art permeated all levels of society, from radio and television, through newspapers and popular magazines, to bar and restaurant interiors, banks, hotels, industry and business. Companies played an important part on the art scene by financing a range of actions and developing their own art collections. Similarly, discussions and polemics in the numerous art journals contributed to the variety and vigor of the art scene.
Presenting a cross-section of the major exhibitions, events, and art spaces of the time, the New Spaces, New Images exhibition offers us insight into the vivacious 1980s art scene in Slovenia, placing special focus on exhibitions and art spaces like Forma Viva; the Mura sculpture park; the Yugoslav Biennial of Small-Scale Sculpture; the Carinthian Art Biennial; the Coastal Galleries Piran; ŠKUC; the Permanent Labor Communities of Freelance Cultural Workers Equrna and DESSA; EKO – the Yugoslav Triennial Ecology and Art; BIO – the Biennial of Industrial Design; and the International Biennial of Tapestry.
This exhibition forms part of an extensive project entitled THE EIGHTIES, which constitutes part of the five-year programThe Uses of Art – the Legacy of 1848 and 1989, organized by the museum confederation L’Internationale. It is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Culture Programme of the European Union.
Equrna Gallery, Slika je ruševina, ki se gradi (A Painting is a Ruin under Construction), exhibition selected by Ješa Denegri, 1985, the Equrna Gallery archives
Dessa Gallery, exhibition celebrating the 100th issue of AB journal, 1989, Damjan Gale archive. Photo: Damjan Gale