Retrospective exhibition of selected video works and video installations by Valerie Wolf Gang which were created in different artist residencies abroad in period between 2011-2016.
November 8 2016 at 19:00 in gallery “Stekleni atrij – Mestna hiša Ljubljana”
At the opening a poetry evening will also take place in collaboration with the House of Poetry (Poetikon), starting at 18:00.
Tuesday, November 15, 18:00
Saturday, November 19, 16:00
The exhibition will be guided by the artist Valerie Wolf Gang who will present each artwork in the context in which they were created.
Valerie Wolf Gang: I’m coming back
Curator: Dr. Petja Grafenauer
Video artist and director Valerie Wolf Gang is time and time again at the residence. In recent decades, Itinerant Artist became a professional term. Art historians and other researchers consider it to be an important factor in changes in the world of art, which also influence the artwork and the ways we understand it. The amount of artists traveling from residence to residence, museum to museum, artists that, like Wolf Gang, return to their local base (hers is Ljubljana) or even live without one, their work and projects however are created here and there, once in Singapore, another time in the neighbouring Austria, is immense.
The way of life and work of these artists is the result of changes in the methods of creating and presenting works of art that require the artists’ presence on the site. Amended way of life and creating art is for the artist so strong that it self-reflective became the starting point for the exhibition: I’m coming back.
The exhibition presents works of art – videos that were created in the context of diverse residential accommodations. You can see what happens to artwork, which was created in a different context and is bound to it, when presented in a different framework, as an independent work of art.
With the exhibition Wolf Gang is saving her work from abrupt repetition and eternal oblivion, which is typical for residential projects. They appear once, along with the artist, and then disappear. The local audience that continuously follows the artists’ work does not meet the artist, abroad they are usually present as a single event and all traces of the artist are lost. A particular problem arises in the case of a project that is materially extensive, as usually after the presentation – as was the case with the project Freedom II – the installation is not preserved and only parts of it are left behind, for example videos, which are then – as in the present exhibition – displayed independently.
Fortunately, the medium in which the artist works enables her to safely unload her artwork in her base in Ljubljana. Here the audience does not know the artwork created abroad because it was not publicly displayed and what is fortunately saving her artwork from disappearing from the consciousness is the World Wide Web. Yet the gallery experience is so different from browsing the internet that an exhibition is needed which combines the scattered and displays it as a unified opus.
This exposes the continuity that occurred ‘in spite of’ or precisely because of the diversity of contexts of creation that the artist experienced. It shows the base, the foundation. The artwork combines poetics and continuous encounters with video poetry on one side, on the other side interest in social and cultural life, in the crisis that is in subject caused by the same factors Wolf Gang itself operates in: precariousness, growing xenophobia, homophobia and other intolerance in all social strata and structures, loss of freedom in one’s daily life that one – how terrifying – shapes himself according to the instructions of the ruling systems. Opposite to the terrifying social everyday life the video artist Valerie Wolf Gang fights with beauty, editing, bracketing, word, sound and all permeating visual and substantial tenderness and humanity.
Valerie Wolf Gang – SHORT BIOGRAPHY
Filmmaker and visual artist Valerie Wolf Gang works in the field of independent film productions and contemporary art practices. During her studies at FAMU in Prague she got inspired for experimental film by professor Henry Hills who in then still inexperienced young filmmaker evoke a sense of research in the field of film and creative boundless creation with the moving image, which often go beyond the boundaries of the traditional state of a movie in cinemas and integration in modern gallery spaces. Valerie’s work reflects social conflicts arising from political regulations and restrictions, especially when traveling and working abroad. It seems as if in the haste of modern times she becomes quiet and static only when she moves. When she moves in space and time, her camera animates the dead surroundings, like suggested by the contemporary philosopher Paul Virilo when he wrote about speed. The atmosphere in her works often contains elements of searching for harmony, contradictions and contrasts between the city and nature, joy and sadness, authority and freedom.
She finished High school of design and photography in Ljubljana and then graduated from the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica in the field of film, then completed the master’s program Media arts and practices with specialization in video film and contemporary art practices. She also perfected her theoretical and practical knowledge at the film academy FAMU in Prague (in the field of directing and experimental film) and at the Academy of Arts ESAD in Portugal (in the field of art film and theatre). She regularly works with different media and creates multimedia installations which include her short films and videos which are exhibited in numerous international galleries and her work can also be seen at various film festivals and movie theatres. She received a number of nominations and awards for her work, such as the national award Vesna for best study film at the Festival of Slovenian Film, award ‘Top Pick Jury Award Cinemasports’ in Taiwan, award EFF Film Fest in Portugal, nominated twice for the award ESSL Art Award, etc. She has the status of a self-employed in culture and is a member of the Association of Slovenian directors, she is also a member of the international collective Spielraum Ensamble and Famul Video Lab. She is actively involved in various fields of contemporary art and production, video and film projects, international exhibition selections and artist residencies. Her motivation is also the integration of film education in the educational programs of primary schools and creative work with the youth.
Video from the opening
Photos from the opening by Nada Žgank