I can make another turn

Year: 2012
Technique: series of 7 drawings, ink on paper, 40 x 30 cm

I was selected as one of 4 nominees for the OHO Award 2012.

The nature of this award is that nominees need to present a new or unpublished work for the exhibition. The jury then chooses the winner on the basis of this work. I made a new series of drawings dealing with the pressure of the competition.

The drawings were accompanied by the following text addressed to the jury:

Dear members of the jury,

Thank you for another opportunity that you have given me with this year’s nomination. The fact that as a nominee I need to produce a new artwork to be presented at the exhibition (and upon which you will decide on the winner) has presented me with a great challenge.

Usually when I start to work on a new project I respond to the context of a gallery or a topic of group exhibition and sometimes I start from personal issues which occupy me at a given moment. When I was thinking about the new project for the OHO Award 2012 exhibition I couldn’t ignore the pressure that such an exhibition puts upon participating artists. I can compare this kind of a competition and power struggle between the competing artists to a competition in sports. I feel like an athlete who needs to make one’s best performance in order to win (which is the only thing that matters here). That is why I’ve become interested in how professional athletes deal with the psychological pressure of competition.

Sport psychology involves the study of how psychological factors and personality affect performance. The most common areas of sport psychology studies are mental toughness, self-efficacy, arousal and motivation. They all affect an athlete’s success or failure. The athlete’s self-confidence is (beside good physical form) an important issue that can affect these qualities. High self-esteem is a rare hereditary characteristic, but it can be gained with practice. The following techniques are the most common skills sport psychologists teach to athletes for improving their performance: arousal regulation, goal setting, imagery, pre-performance routines and self-talk.

These techniques can be easily transferred to various other life and career challenges. One could also use them in the field of contemporary art where competition and rivalry are common factors. Artists compete not only for awards, but also for grants, residencies and curators’ and gallerists’ affection. Nevertheless the competition in art is not the same as in sports, where judges decide with the help of the stopwatch and the photo finish. In my new series of drawings I deal with the absurdity and the unpredictability of the competition forced upon artists by the contemporary art system.

Vesna Bukovec
April 2012

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

I can make another turn

Slovensko | English
Contact

Vesna Bukovec is a contemporary visual artist based in Slovenia.

She is a member of the art group KOLEKTIVA

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