I have been thinking about the meaning of everything. It seems to me that the important things are 1) to climb the highest mountain, 2) to penetrate a wild uncharted jungle to rescue a gentleman in distress, and 3) to stand under the midnight sun on the south pole.
My solo exhibition in Uauu gallery in Ljubljana, December 2015. As this was my first solo show, I thought it would make sense to do a kind of retrospective. I have been doing art related things for a long time already, but always as a member of a collective or a team. As a result there was a substantial amount of all kinds of things that can be considered as art pieces where I have had a role, but that have never been exhibited with my name on them. So, being a bit lazy, I thought that the easy way out was to collect these things together and some new pieces as well.
Of course a room full of things is just a room full of things: not very interesting. So I needed a story. Maybe it is a bit backwards to first have the pieces and then make the story, but that’s how I did it. I had been reading a lot about three accomplished explorers: Henry Morton Stanley, Robert Scott and Aleister Crowley, known respectively for expeditions in Africa, Antarctica and Himalayan peaks. The stories of them going where no man had gone before are real tales of high adventure. They have had a huge impact on me, so I decided to dedicate the exhibition to these three men.
In addition to mountain climbing, Crowley is famous in the field of occult sciences and magick. I also felt tempted to emphasize such ideas. The piece Invocation of Asta, first presented in this show, lies in intersection of physics, engineering and the occult, so I decided to present everything from this angle. The name Fortean Phenomena felt right. The Paranormal Guide entry says:
Fortean phenomena is strange, naturally occurring phenomena that science is yet to explain. [–] It is quite a large umbrella term and many things fall under it – ghosts and hauntings, lights in the sky, anomalous creatures, psychic abilities, extreme archaeology, magic, strange natural weather phenomena and much, much more besides, including missing/disappearing people.
So there we go. A cavalcade of machines from my history as an artist and an artists’ assistant, dedicated to humanity’s endeavours of going to where no one has gone before, presented as something extraordinary and inexplicable. It feels very clear now, but when I was still working on it… Let’s just say that I sometimes surprise myself with my ideas and how I implement them.
I like do-it-yourself attitude and here was the perfect possibility to engage in it. I have a kilju making project called Château di Rog with Proper Sk8parks, so I got a barrel of our own produce for the opening. It was colored green to make everything more unreal, and there was also a red colored batch that was laced with taste tripping pills.
Continuing with the unreal, to make the paranormal more tangible during the opening night, I also arrange for theatrical appearance of Asta the ghost. Just a tiny little trick; otherwise I could not be sure if the invocation works on that specific night.
Special thanks go to Uauu people for support and great attitude, Uroš for kilju making, and Tatiana for the performance.
An article was written about it in RTV Slovenija’s culture news about the show.
Catalogue of Fortean phenomena
Phenomenon 1: Self destructive thinkers
Phenomenon 2: Three post-spatial emblems