group exhibition

Nova Gorica City Gallery

inhale exhale

Boštjan Kavčič
Lučka Koščak
Tejka Pezdirc
Luka Širok
Iva Tratnik
Jaka Vatovec
Sonja Vulpes
Leon Zuodar

10. – 31. 1. 2023

Mojca Grmek
The exhibition entitled inhale exhale was conceived by curator Mojca Grmek, who invited the selected artists to interpret the term ‘inhale exhale’. She wanted to know: Could it be understood as a metaphor for the brevity and transience of life? As a simple notation of its beginning and end? Or as everything that happens in between?

Even though the term is interpreted differently by the participating artists, certain connections between them can be discerned. The work of Boštjan Kavčič springs from the awareness that the universe is a whole in which everything is in dynamic balance with each other. Accordingly, he understands his sculptures as ORGanisms that are created by releasing energies from stone and, once completed, harmonise the energies in the space in which they are located. The work presented in the exhibition consists of two ORGanisms, Core as spirit and Roll as matter, which together form Unity – a new life.

Similarly, sculptor Lučka Koščak (1957–2022) always believed that her human-angel figures create balance, not in the universe as a whole, but in ourselves. The work in the exhibition – a posthumous book composed of original materials from the artist’s 2013 solo exhibition at Hiša kulture entitled Breath – stands out starkly at first glance in the artist’s oeuvre, but also seeks to encourage one of the most natural yet almost forgotten forms of communication – connecting with oneself through breath.

The relationship to oneself and to others is also a theme that Luka Širok deals with in the work Faceless in Smoke. The series of three paintings shows “portraits” that appear and disappear from seemingly random strokes of colour on a predominantly grey background, looking different each time, depending on the mood, will and imagination of the viewer. On a basic level, then, the paintings speak of the fluidity of identity, of the creation of identity through the eyes of the other, of anonymity, impersonality, but we can also see in them an artistic metaphor for the randomness of (non-)existence – something that is here this moment and gone the next.

Sculptor Tejka Pezdirc is also interested in the theme of simultaneous presence and absence. Her work entitled No small talk is the largest and at the same time the last in the series, in which she uses bones as a central motif. Bones have a kind of ambivalence, on the one hand, they bear witness to the decay and disappearance of the body; on the other hand, they are the only part that has survived this process, so paradoxically they are also a sign of the obstinacy of existence as such. The artist tries to emphasise this moment even more in her works in order to allow the viewer to see in the inevitability of decay the beauty of the emergence of something new.

The connection between Eros and Thanatos is expressed in its own way in Leon Zuodar’s painting entitled Red LP. The painting, similar to the artist’s recent works, was created by recycling remnants of old (painted) canvases, which the artist assembled using a sewing machine into new backgrounds and hand-embroidered motifs to create new stories. However, it is not only the process of creation that embodies the interaction between the aforementioned forces, but also the central motif of the open mouth that appears both attractive and threatening, which is further emphasised by the ambiguous symbolism of the colour red.

The reciprocity between Eros and Thanatos, albeit on a more subtle level, also characterises the diptych Butterfleyes by printmaker Sonja Vulpes. Although her works usually show the dark side, this time it is the other way round. If the positive atmosphere, the playful body of the woman and the butterflies in her eyes have not yet convinced us, we are finally seduced by the inscription Must be love. It is about love, about falling in love, about total surrender and immersion in the Eros that takes hold of us and carries us away – even at the cost of losing ourselves.

Jaka Vatovec also reflects on the connection between the mortality of a single organism and the indestructible power of life in the painter’s diptych entitled Seedless Apple. The diptych shows in both parts a more or less abstracted form of an apple with a chain surrounding it, whereby the apple appears stronger and more distinct in the first part, the chain in the second. The artist is thus trying to depict a process that, through its association with genetic engineering, makes us think about the meaning of death in the context of evolution.

The meaningful arc of the exhibition closes with the work Like Tears by Iva Tratnik. The painting, like most others from her oeuvre, shows a vision of a posthuman world inhabited by insects and plants, while man is only present through his remains – the objects he once produced and used – as a thing among things. One of these remnants is also artificial intelligence, which has long forgotten its creator and, unlike him, has come to life as a “creature” of this world.

It is quite fitting to end the exhibition with the message that even without man, life in the world remains and continues to evolve. Regardless of how the participating artists interpret the term 'inhale exhale’, the main aim of the curator of the exhibition is to remind all participants, including the viewers, of what it simply means – to be.

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.