(Sub)conscious: Exhibition opening in Gallery Kibla

Welcome to the exhibition opening in Gallery Kibla KiBela on 6th of May 2016! New fresh production of Valerie Wolf Gang’s work, video installation (Sub)conscious.

valerie-wolf-gang

Detail of the installation

 

Opening on Friday, 6 May 2016 (showing until 21 May 2016)
Valerie Wolf Gang: (Pod)zavest / (Sub)conscious

The artist uses the video installation to bring the attention to some of the most topical issues in present-day society. The content of her work is shaped by global political, economic and social trends, which evoke a variety of emotions and join individuals in an archetypal think-alike perspective: fear, hatred, conspiracy theories, prejudice, preoccupation, and so on. The artist confronts the public with combinations of provocative messages, used as a response to the currently topical social issues, which often have a drastic and dramatic impact on the progress of culture and society as a whole. Moral judgment is a matter of the individual, says Wolf Gang, referring to Saint-Exupéry’s words: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

giphyGif animation of video installation detail

 

Details of the installation

 

 

Curatorial text by Nina Jeza, curator of the exhibition :

ENGLISH

Life is good, especially when we realize how precious it is precisely because it is transient. This is the fundamental message behind the work of artist Valerie Wolf Gang, who is presented to us in this exhibition with a video installation titled (Sub)Conscious. The spatial installation comprises seven documentary video clips, which demonstrate the visual facet of our inhumaneness towards the world in which we live, and in which we entirely neglect the very same values that are supposed to be essential to our own existence. The conditionality of this statement reflects the artist’s questioning about whether such a thing, i.e. a positive shift in the awareness of humanistic values, is even possible anymore.

The artist invites us into her original creative sphere by means of cut-out visual messages that cover the screen where she plays her installation video. In this way we are forced to see the recordings only “through the prism of” her own positive attitude; in a meta-static way, she thus attempts to imprint messages that are more than “just” words, into the subconscious part of our brain. Valerie Wolf Gang artfully guides us through her intimate view of the world, which is affirmative, and positive; the videos are accompanied by original poetry through which she reveals certain facts that are crucial for all who exist: to be born and to live, to learn and thereby unfold the essence of life.

It was thus that the cut-out slogans were created: Life is good, through which we observe natural disaster videos, floods and fires, all of which are an everyday part of our lives; Enjoy the little things, and behind it a video on poverty and precarious work, i.e. work carried out in impossible conditions. Dream imagine believe is a visualization testifying to the violence that goes on in the streets, to the burglaries, fights, and protests pointing to global violence. The theme behind Make your dreams happen is Black Friday, when huge masses of people raid shopping malls for special price offers and discounts, it is concerned with consumerist hysteria in general. Relax is about industrial food production and factory farming, where animals are being massively raised and then slaughtered one after the other – to become food for all of us. Do more of what makes you happy is a documentary on human trafficking and illegal prostitution, while Worry less live more tells the story of our “hospitality” towards immigrants, which is only temporary or seeming, or is not there at all, pointing to our total lack of compassion and understanding of what “being different” stands for.  

The artist uses these positive signs to call attention to the mundaneness that we come across every day in mass media – on television, in the newspapers, on the radio and the internet. She unveils how the media blows thing out of proportion, which is an obvious consequence of capitalism and the information era; warns about the media war, which we have witnessed only a short time ago during the Balkan maelstrom. Inevitably, of course, she touches upon the subject of the present-day migrant explosion, which is causing fear and alarm among people, most of whom have never seen a single migrant person in their life, except on television, yet somehow they believe these people are malicious…

The overload of negative information on social networks, the hostile hate speech inciting hatred, dissolving humanism and manipulating human emotions, therefore causes a negative propaganda, or, paraphrasing the words of the upcoming American presidential candidate: “Some bad PR going on here.” This propaganda creates a negative and unrealistic image in our subconscious. And the subconscious (or, in Freud’s terms, the unconscious) is a mental activity that strongly, if not crucially, affects a person’s behavior, whereby the trauma finally comes full circle.

This time Valerie Wolf Gang, thank God, reverses the picture.

Nina Jeza

SLOVENIAN

Življenje je lepo, predvsem takrat, ko se zavemo, da je neprecenljivo, in to prav zato, ker je minljivo. To je osnovno sporočilo umetnice Valerie Wolf Gang, ki nam na razstavi predstavlja video instalacijo, naslovljeno (Pod)Zavest. Prostorska video instalacija je sestavljena iz sedmih dokumentarnih izrezov, ki kažejo vizualno podobo naše nehumanosti do sveta, v katerem živimo, ob čemer docela zanemarjamo vrednote, ki naj bi bile bistvene za naš obstoj. Pogojnik zato, ker se tudi avtorica sama sprašuje, ali je kaj takega – torej dvig kulture humanističnih vrednot – v resnici sploh še mogoče.

Umetnica nas v lastno kreativno polje vabi z izrezljanimi vizualnimi sporočili, ki prekrivajo ekran, na katerem predvaja instalacijski video. Tako smo primorani, da posnetek gledamo le „skozi“ avtoričino pozitivno naravnanost; na meta-statičen način nam skuša torej v nezavedni del možganske hemisfere vtisniti sporočila, ki niso „le“ besede. Umetnica Valerie Wolf Gang nas spretno vodi skozi svoj intimni pogled na svet, ki je afirmativen, pozitiven; videom so dodane zvočne spremljave z avtorsko poezijo, v kateri umetnica razkriva dejstva, ključna za vse bivajoče: da se rodi in da živi, da se uči in pri tem razpira lamelo življenja.

Tako so nastali izrezljani slogani Life is good – Življenje je lepo, preko katerega gledamo posnetke naravnih katastrof, poplav in požarov, ki so del vsakdanjika; Enjoy the little thingsUživaj v majhnih stvareh, za katerim se vrti video o revščini in prekerskem delu, delu v nemogočih razmerah. Za napisom Dream imagine believeSanjaj, predstavljaj si, verjemi je vizualizacija, ki priča o nasilju na ulicah, o krajah, pretepih, protestih, ki ponazarjajo globalno agresivnost. Video z napisom Make your dreams happen – Uresniči svoje sanje je na temo črnega petka (Black Friday), ko se v nakupovalnih centrih preriva množica kupcev v trgovinah zaradi popustov in histerije potrošništva nasploh. Video Relax – Sprosti se prikazuje industrijsko prehranjevanje, masovno proizvodnjo živali, ki jih pobijamo na in kot po tekočem traku – za hrano. Dokumentarec z naslovom Do more of what makes you happy – Delaj več tistega, kar te osrečuje pripoveduje o trgovini z belim blagom, o nelegalni prostituciji. Še napis Worry less live more – Skrbi manj, živi več nam pripoveduje o „gostoljubnosti“ do migrantov, ki je le začasna ali navidezna ali pa je sploh ni, s popolnim umanjkanjem razumevanja drugačnosti in bistva sočutja.

S pozitivnimi napisi umetnica opozarja na medijsko vsakdanjost, ki jo vsakodnevno spremljamo na televizijskih ekranih, časopisih, radiu, spletu. Razkriva medijsko napihovanje, ki je očitna posledica kapitalizma in informacijske dobe, opozarja na medijsko vojno, ki smo je bili nedolgo tega deležni ob primeru balkanske vojne vihre. Dotakne se seveda današnje migrantske eksplozije, ki povzroča preplah med ljudmi, ki migranta razen na ekranu v živo niso niti videli, a so prepričani, da jim je škodoželjen.

Poplava negativnih informacij na socialnih omrežjih, negativni in sovražni govor, ki razpihuje sovraštvo, tali humanizem in manipulira s čustvi ljudi, povzroča zatorej negativno propagando, ali, če parafraziramo bodočega kramp-predsedniškega kandidata:“Some bad PR going on here.“ Ta povzročaja negativno ter nerealno sliko v naši podzavesti. Podzavest (freudovsko nezavedno) je pa duševna aktivnost, ki močno ali celo odločilno vpliva na človekovo ravnanje, s čimer je travmatizirajoči krogotok sklenjen.

Valerie Wolf Gang nam je tokrat, hvala Bogu, obrnila sliko.

Nina Jeza

 

Artist’s statement:

ENGLISH

“As an artist working, apart from my own art projects, in television production, I am very much aware of the power of manipulation possessed by the television medium. I know that television reality is a different kind of reality than what imagine, and at the same time it exploits people’s misery to increase the ratings and produce sensational headlines, which bring profit. One of my observations regarding both the industry and the users is that people react less and less to all kinds of tragic news, precisely because they perceive the world shown on television screens as another kind of reality. News about hungry or thirsty people does not even move people anymore, they prefer to stay safely in their comfortable armchairs, and open a bar of chocolate, or change the station and find something more entertaining and cheerful to watch. The work (Sub)Conscious is a recent production, dedicated to all those who have lost their lives over the past few months due to one of the many unfortunate events we have seen in the media – all in the hope of focusing our attention to the present reality, where, with the help of past experiences, we can take better steps that will ultimately help to create a different kind of future. Life (can be) good.” (Valerie Wolf Gang)   

The work of visual artist Valerie Wolf Gang (1990) focuses on video and contemporary artistic practices. The esthetically demanding production practice which comprises her work focuses mostly on current topical issues in present-day society. She treats the medium of video as a mixture of social signs, by means of which she addresses the social contrasts using a highly articulated visual language. She graduated from the Ljubljana School of Design and Photography, then obtained her BA in Digital Art and Practices from the School of Arts at the University of Nova Gorica, and continued her studies on the MA Media Art and Practice Master‘s Program in Video and Contemporary Art. She improved her theoretical and practical knowledge at the FAMU Film Academy in Prague and at the Art Academy ESAD in Portugal. She is actively involved in different forms of artistic production, video and film projects, international exhibition selections and artistic residencies.

SLOVENIAN

Kot umetnica, ki poleg umetniških projektov za svoje preživetje delujem tudi v televizijski produkciji, se zavedam močne manipulacije, ki jo ima televizijski medij. Vem, da ima televizijska realnost drugačno realnost, kot si jo predstavljamo, hkrati pa izkorišča nesrečo ljudi za večjo gledanost in senzacionalne novice, ki polnijo denarnice. V svojem opazovanju industrije in uporabnikov opažam, da ljudje čedalje manj reagirajo na različne tragične novice, saj dojemajo svet s televizijskih ekranov kot drugo realnost. Novice o lačnih ali žejnih ljudeh jih ne ganejo, rajši ostanejo v svojih udobnih foteljih in si odprejo čokolado, prestavijo TV program in poiščejo drugo oddajo, ki jih nasmeji. Delo (Pod)zavest je novejše produkcije in ga posvečam vsem, ki so v zadnjih mesecih izgubili življenja zaradi takšnih in drugačnih dogodkov, ki smo jih spremljali v medijih – v upanju, da se zavestno osredotočimo na sedanjost in s pomočjo preteklih izkušenj znamo delati boljše korake, ki bodo vplivali na drugačno prihodnost. Življenje je (lahko) lepo.

 

Valerie Wolf Gang (1990) se pri ustvarjanju posveča videu in sodobnim umetniškim praksam.  Estetsko zahtevna videastka v svojih delih največ pozornosti posveča aktualnemu družbenemu dogajanju. Video obravnava kot skupek družbenih znakov, s pomočjo katerega prikazuje protislovja z izostrenim vizualnim jezikom. V Ljubljani je dokončala Srednjo šolo za oblikovanje in fotografijo ter diplomirala na Visoki šoli za umetnost Univerze v Novi Gorici na področju umetniškega videa in digitalnih umetniških praks. Študij je nadaljevala na magisteriju Medijske umetnosti in prakse s specializacijo iz video filma in sodobne umetnosti. Svoje teoretično in praktično znanje je izpopolnjevala tudi na filmski akademiji FAMU v Pragi in na umetniški akademiji ESAD na Portugalskem. Aktivno je vključena v različna področja sodobne umetnosti in produkcije, video in filmske projekte, mednarodne razstavne selekcije ter umetniške rezidence.

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