Long-term programme organized in collaboration with Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana

05.10.2015 - 21.04.2022

This multiyear programme focuses on art that is created for communal use, acceptance, experience, or rituals and that is usually displayed in the public space. Such work is often marked by a specific “collective authorship”, as not only the artist, but also the ones who commissioned or initiated the work play a significant role in its creation; they may be the politicians or citizens who erect a memorial or symbolically important building, or the curator who prepares an exhibition based on their own concept. Such artwork must, as a rule, encompass and promote the interests of the various people involved in its making, which means that it often originates through a complex and at times quite painful process. Its creation/existence can be a source of long-term contention for the community in which it is located and can have a profound effect on questions of personal or communal identity; its unveiling or destruction can be an event laden with important symbolism. Such artwork can also play an active role in the life practice of a community (sometimes for centuries); it may be included in the community’s everyday life or holidays, in the development of the collective memory or the collective forgetting, and in debates about values, about what is right and what is wrong.

Within the programme we deal mainly with Slovene secular art – in the Central European and wider international context – from the 19th century to today. We try to determine when, where, how and why such forms of visual address occurred: Who are the groups or individuals who encourage and commission such artworks and whom are they addressing through these works? What kind of visual art is created in such circumstances and what messages does it convey? How does it enter into various life practices? Do the reception and function of such artworks remain constant over time or do they change? We closely examine the effects of such works and whether they are in fact able to fulfil the demands of their initiators and creators.

Beti Žerovc, head of the programme