Type: public project / research, installation
Material: cardboard boxes, paper, photographs, newspaper, video; dimensions variable
Curator: Jani Pirnat
Location: P74 Center and Gallery, Šentvid, Ljubljana
For my first solo exhibition project I wanted to work with the local community from the immediate surroundings of the gallery. The P74 Center and Gallery is based in a suburb of Ljubljana in the district called Šentvid. It is a rather small and closed Catholic community. The residents are actually not aware of the presence of a contemporary art gallery in their neighborhood. I was interested in bringing contemporary art closer to the non-art public by inviting them to participate.
I organized a public “referendum” called Local issues. Cardboard boxes were placed in different public spaces in the area such as the high school, the hospital, the vicarage, a store, the library, a restaurant, a bar, the local town-hall and the military campus for two weeks. People were invited to write about issues regarding their community and put their opinions in the collecting box. I also published a project website (in Slovenian only).
One hundred forty-one statements were collected in the boxes. A lot of them were either very personal or jokes, especially from the boxes placed in high school and the bar. The rest of the statements were mainly about three repeating problems: chaotic traffic (35%), the neglected park and green areas (21%) and disturbing noise (traffic and the church bell) (11%).
The most common wish of the residents was to install speed bumps on the main street. I wanted to start the procedure for the installation of the speed bumps, but I realized that as a single person I cannot make any change. That is a matter of local politicians, urbanism and the police. So I informed the local politician about the project and the problems. I also wrote a letter to the city mayor. I received a reply that they will consider my research when planning new urbanistic strategies for the area.
A newspaper with the results of the research was published and distributed free of charge to every household in the area. After the paper was distributed the number of people participating in the web forum increased.
At the exhibition I presented all the statements collected in the boxes regarding to their placements on the public spaces. Each box was presented in the gallery together with a photo of the box in the actual collecting place. I also made a video showing the area.
Project’s website (Slovene only)
Photos from the exhibition Komunikacijske mreže / Communication Networks; Art institutions and New Publics, MGML, Mestna galerija Ljubljana, SI, 2010