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P74 Gallery

The End of the New

26 January – 16 February 2017

P74 Gallery, Trg Prekomorskih brigad 1, Ljubljana

Artists: Stefano Giuri, Matias Guerra, Filippo Manzini, Davide Skerlj, Goran Trbuljak
Curator: Paolo Toffolutti

You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition The End of the New at P74 Gallery, on Thursday, 26 January 2017 at 7 p.m.

Davide Skerlj, Il Testimone, 2016, video still
Davide Skerlj, Il Testimone, 2016, video still

The project The End of the New is an international contemporary art exhibition that takes on a new shape with each new installation. Each of the participating partners in the project suggests a selection of five artists with five artworks. The project takes the form of a snowball, changing and growing along its way. The title of the exhibition is broad and opens a number of questions and at the same time that it attempts to thematize the current situation. The reception of the work takes on the central role as well as a new attitude toward the artworks, criticism and the audience.

Approximately 80 artists are participating in the exhibitions that are part of this project put together by a number of cities, municipalities and cultural institutions (HDLU, Zagreb; ISK Institute for Slovenian Culture San Pietro al Natisone, Neo Associazione Culturale, Udine; Villa Manin Passariano; P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute, Ljubljana; Avoncampolin, non-profit art center, Pordenone; Palazzo Lantieri, Gorica; etc.)

Matias Guerra Watt (0) Knott ... waiting for it to end the war, 2012, izsek iz videa
Matias Guerra Watt (0) Knott … waiting for it to end the war, 2012, video still

Already since as early as the 1960s a lot has been said and written about different deaths and endings: the death of the artist, of philosophy, of history. We must connect this type of discourse with the beginnings of the critical reflection of the period known as modernism and attempt to break with it and enter into the next era, which is most often called postmodernism. Postmodernism as a reaction to the highly modernistic absorption into oneself, in the media, institutionalism and autonomy based on the social-political theories that were established by new critical discourses in the previously separate academic disciplines. The tendency toward the new has always shown itself above all as an opposition to the already existing, that is, to the old, but the concept of the new itself was a driving force of the “growth” of modernity. But where are we today, when time has actually stopped, since we are living in the never-ending contemporaneity? How do we step into the “new” today or is this “new” even necessary?

In this sense, many previous signs have prepared us for today’s happening – conceptual and processual art in the 1970s, net art, new public art and the relational art of the 1990s. What remains from the dialectic is nothing other than a weak trail of information, which because of mistakes or excesses, either deliberately or indifferently, because of interests or oppositions is dissolving. Through this process the original data are being manipulated, they are changing, expanding and becoming recycled material. No change occurs overnight, it is always a process. Thus we must observe carefully, since in this process what is happening is at a time when the relationship between cultural production and general cultural life are completely different. In its form and in its contents, contemporary art contains just a few elements that contemporary society will not be able to tolerate. The speed of movement and the transfer of information have practically reached their limit. Everything is happening in a moment, even the transfer of power.

Goran Trbuljak Sketches for a Sculpture, 1993-2015, 3 photos cm. 30x40, courtesy of the artist
Goran Trbuljak Sketches for a Sculpture, 1993-2015,
3 photos cm. 30×40, courtesy of the artist

Paolo Toffolutti (1962, lives and works in Udine) is an established Italian curator, artist and writer on contemporary art. He graduated from the department of painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. He has curated numerous exhibitions, among them Visibli/Invisibli (1996), Passi nel Giardino (1998), Luciano Fabro (1999), Maria Nordman (2001), Pasaggi (2005), Work/Lavoro/Vore (2012), Motivi di Famiglia (2014). In 1996 he founded the institute for contemporary art Neo associazione culturale. Since 2007 he is the artistic director of the contemporary art center SPAC Spazio Pubblico Arte Contemporanea in Buttrio (Udine), where he has prepared several highly-regarded international exhibition projects.