The Collectivization of Everything
P74 Gallery, Ljubljana. 2015
“Among the periphery of modernity belongs the phenomenon of socialist modernism, which has remained long decades on the margin of expert analysis. With the cycle “Modernity” that we began at P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute several years ago, we contemplate the ambivalences, limitations and consequences of modernity and simultaneously encourage new, critical readings. This year we have begun a new programme of artistic residencies. Our first guest is the acclaimed visual artist from Barcelona, Domènec.
The current exhibition presents two interconnected, and even complementary, projects: the project Voyage en Icarie (Journey to Icaria) (2012) and the new installation Kolektivizacija vsega (The Collectivisation of Everything) (2015). The latter came into being based on Domènec’s research of sculptor Zdenko Kalin’s monument to one of the founders of the Communist Party of Slovenia and the Anti-Imperialist Front and leader of the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People, Boris Kidric.
In 2012 Domènec was invited to the Museum of Contemporary Arts Metelkova (MSUM) in Ljubljana to lead a workshop. While walking through the city, he came across some street graffiti with the text “Kolektivizacija vsega!” (Collectivisation of everything!) and took a photo of it. An interesting discussion followed with the participants of the workshop about the heritage of the socialistic period and of the ambiguous relationship to that past. Twenty-four years after the declaration of Slovenian independence and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the understanding of recent history is still problematic. In such a context, how do we position the memorial statue of Boris Kidric We can understand the statue of Boris Kidri? in a packing case as an unpleasant presence of the spirit of the past, reminding us of the mistakes that we made or demanding that we once again consider and attempt utopian alternatives to global capitalism.
In the middle of the 19th century, the French utopian socialist Étienne Cabet developed in his novel Voyage en Icarie the idea of the future as a just society in which there was no property and no money. In 1848, a group of adventurers followed Cabet’s call and left for Texas, with the goal of building their own Icaria. The journey ended in tragedy. The video work poetically restores and illuminates the memory of the event and its protagonists, who in the 19th century, in the time of the rise of wild capitalism, dared to imagine an alternative society and even tried to live it.”
(P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute, Ljubljana, setembre 2015)
Packing case, 430 x 200 x 130 cm
Four black and white photos, 40 x 60 cm c / u. Documentation of the creation process monument to Boris Kidric found in the archives of the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia.
Color photos found on the Internet, unknown authors.
Produced by P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute / P74 Gallery