slo | eng

P74 Gallery

Small but dangers: Untitled

11 – 31 January 2018
P74 Gallery, Trg Prekomorskih brigad 1, Ljubljana

You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition by Small but dangers, “Untitled” at P74 Gallery, on Thursday, 11 January 2017 at 7 p.m.

Curator: Nina Skumavc

The current exhibition Untitled by Simon Hudolin and Small but danger (SBD) is the exhibition prepared by the OHO Group Award winner after returning from the artistic residency. In 2017, he convinced the expert jury with the (for many controversial) work Frnikola [Marble], a tiny ball of beetle dung exhibited on a gallery pedestal.

While group members Mateja Rojc and Simon Hudolin were living apart during his stay at Residency Unlimited, they created a correspondence project. Postcards arrived in Cerkno from New York from which Simon Hudolin had torn off the front image thus retaining only the name and address of the recipient, the postcard’s motif and the date and stamp “SBD”. Over time, the posted blank postcards comprised not only American motifs but also (torn off) motifs from the entire world.

Throughout history, postcards have experienced several waves of popularity, since they were a handy and cheap form of communication, cheaper than a letter. In the 1950s, color photography reigned on postcards. It became an important source of information about what was popular or accepted as important in a given time and place. With their aerial views postcards speak about urbanization and the transformation of urban landscapes, they show the changes in cultural habits and fashion trends, modes of transport, construction style, etc. Postcards represent an early form of social networks in the time before the digital revolution.

The relationship of SBD to photography is complex, often ambiguous and purposefully contradictory. In their works, they intervene into the photo, they use found photos or photos as ready mades, they expose a photo’s specific context and use, etc. In her book, The Tourist Image: Myths and Myth Making in Tourism, Elizabeth Edwards emphasizes that from images, postcards create reality. What is thus the reality of the American project? Do postcards still serve their social function, if we remove from them the promotional image?

Just as in other neo-conceptual works and projects by SBD, the duo exposes the viewer to disorientation, disparities and the paradoxical relationship between knowing and seeing. Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the Museum of Modern Art, etc., are – emptiness. We can understand the elimination of their representations as a critical gesture of the society of the spectacle. (Of the society that Guy Debord would remark defends the logic: “What appears is good, what is good appears.”) With empty postcards, SBD communicates something similar as their colleague decades earlier: “I’m still alive.” In the middle of the void. But also in the middle of new possibilities.

Small But Dangers (SBD) are Simon Hudolin-Salči and Mateja Rojc (both born 1977, live and work in Cerkno, Slovenia). In 2004, they graduated from Arthouse – College of Visual Arts in Ljbuljana, Simon Hudolin received his master’s degree from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana in 2015. In 2008, they were nominated for the OHO Group Award. In 2013 with Matija Brumen they received the second prize on Emzin’s competition Photography of the Year. They received the VIG Special Invitation award as part of the Essl Art Award CEE 2015; in 2017 Simon Hudolin received the OHO Group Award. SBD has presented its work on many solo exhibitions in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Celje, Novi Sad, Ribnica and Ravne na Koroškem as well as on numerous international contemporary art fairs in New York, Madrid, Basel, Vienna and Budapest. They have also participated in group exhibitions at home and abroad, among them, Economy of Nature, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2017); The Centres of Printmaking, MGLC, Ljubljana (2016); Simple, Fun and Dangerous, Faculty of Fine Arts, Centre for graphic and visual research AKADEMIJA, Belgrade, Serbia (2016); VIG Special Invitation, Ringturm, Vienna, Austria (2016); Crises and New Beginnings: Art in Slovenia 2005–2015, +MSUM, Ljubljana (2015/16); NATuRSTRuKTuR, Europäisches Künstlerhaus Oberbayern – Schafhof, Freising, Germany (2015); Visible Invisible: Contemporary sources of the sublime in photography, Celje Gallery of Contemporary Arts, Celje (2014); The Differences 2014, Student Cultural Center – Fabrika, Novi Sad, Serbia (2014); U3 – 7h Triennial of Contemporary Arts in Slovenia: Resilience, MSUM, Ljubljana (2014); 20 for 15, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2012); 255.804 km2, Brot Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria (2011); Postvirtual, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2011); U3 – 6th Triennial of Contemporary Arts in Slovenia: Idea for Living. Realism and reality in contemporary arts in Slovenia, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (2010).