solo exhibition

Boris Beja
He Never Comes Alone

7. – 28. 10. 2022

7. 10. at 7pm

Mojca Grmek
Boris Beja has been appearing as an artist on the Slovenian art scene for ten years. His work is about the exploration of everyday life, the interweaving of personal experiences and intimate feelings with (current) social phenomena. This transition from the intimate to the social manifests itself formally in the use of different media that he often combines in one and the same work, which is why the installation as a spatial “formulation” of these relationships occupies a central place in his art practice.

The starting point of the current exhibition at Hiša kulture is a print by France Mihelič (1907–1998), which is located in the flat where the artist lives and works. The interior of the flat has not changed for 50 years, and three of Mihelič’s prints in the linocut technique are also part of the interior: Memory of Father (1954), Army in the Snow (1950–60) and Dead Kurent (1953). The latter is the starting point of the exhibition at Hiša kulture.

In conceiving the works presented in the exhibition, the artist takes the figures on the prints as his point of departure. In doing so, he plays with the transformation of a two-dimensional image into an object (and back) and in this way subverts the traditional idea of the Kurent as a figure that drives away winter and awakens spring, thus symbolising fertility and also life. Inspired by the graphic figures, he creates several sculptures that he places on graceful, dematerialised stands and arranges in the gallery space. The one that stands alone is a fairly realistic representation of the figure seen from behind in the print. The three that stand in the group are fantastical derivations of all the other figures. It is no coincidence that the derivations are exactly three since this is the most important number in Slovenian tradition. Essentially, it stands for perfection and wholeness, which refers to various contexts: past, present and future as the trinity of time, the subterranean, earthly and heavenly spheres as the trinity of space, the concept of the triad, three sons, three Fates, three trials, Mount Triglav … to name a few of the best-known references. In this context, the sculptures take on the meaning of almost totemic-like figures, warding off not winter but all evils or evil in general. The figures are accompanied by graphic prints on textiles, hung as curtains in the gallery space, on which the image of one of the figures is repeated in one hundred variations. In this way, the artist refers to the well-known Slovenian proverb “When the devil has his brood, he has a hundred”, which vividly expresses the everyday experience that misfortune or the devil never comes alone, as the saying goes in English. In this context, the images on the curtains represent the antipode of the three totemic figures, i.e. the multiplied evil against which the figures struggle, but since they are essentially descended from one of them, as they multiply, one could also say propagate, simultaneously increases their power to overcome evil.

The exhibition as a whole combines and interweaves various elements of Slovenian tradition – the figure of the Kurent, the symbolism of the number three, a saying as a verbalised everyday experience – into a new whole in which the artist creates new ways of understanding tradition and the possibilities of its use in the present with the help of various twists and derivations. Similar to France Mihelič, who used tradition for his inner expression, he also tries to rethink his own life experience in this way.

Boris Beja (1986) first graduated in Graphic Arts Technology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana and continued his studies in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana Year, graduating in 2013. He has held solo shows in all major galleries in Slovenia and has participated in numerous group exhibitions, such as the 8th Triennial of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2016), Views of Slovenian Sculpture 1975–2015, Piran City Gallery (2016), Expanding Sculptural Structures, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana (2014). He has received many accolades for his work. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

Exhibition programme

Sonja Vulpes

solo exhibition

4. – 25.10.2024

Education programme

Creativity programme

Poems in Prints / Maksa Samsa

printmaking workshop and exhibition

3. – 7. 6. 2024

Društvo Hiša kulture v Pivki
Snežniška cesta 2
6257 Pivka
Opening hours during the course of the exhibitions:

Tuesday–Thursday 10.00—14.00
Friday 14.00–18.00
Saturday 9.00–13.00

The Hiša kulture gallery in Pivka programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipality of Pivka and everyone who makes a donation of any amount.