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P74 Gallery

P74 KINO: OM Production

6 – 25 February 2018
P74 Gallery, Trg Prekomorskih brigad 1, Ljubljana

You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition P74 KINO: OM Production on Tuesday, 6 February 2018 at 19.00 at the P74 Gallery in Ljubljana.

OM Production, Kumbum, video still

Kumbum 1 (1975–1987), by Floryan Goryan, final work of the film section of OM Production, 1975/87, 16 mm, 24 f/s, 106 min., digital version

Kumbum 1 + 1 (1975–1987), by Floryan Goryan, 1975/87-2011, 53 min., digital version

Kumbum 1 = 1 (1975–1987), by Floryan Goryan, 1975/87-2011, 53 min., digital version

A legend of experimental film returns to a familiar local stage. Showing in our galley is the mysterious collective OM Production, which formed in 1975 in Ljubljana and has worked for the last two decades in Koper. Its artistic production is experimental and escapes classic categories and definitions, combining experimental photography, avant-garde theatre, radiophony, electrography, collage, fanzine, drawings and film. For this exhibition, we are focusing on its film production.

In the mid-1970s, the experimental scene in Yugoslavia was very lively. Films were distributed and presented through a network of fifteen, official amateur, alternative and avant-garde film festivals. This was also a transitional period marked by the waning of conceptual models and the emergence of production that opened new expressive forms, with video, photography and performance playing an important role. Between 1977 and 1987 in the frame of OM Production, more than 40 impressive experimental films were created, signed by more than a dozen (fictional) authors. These films became an important part of the local experimental history. They have in common several related elements, such as playing with the possibilities of human perception, the tendencies of the psychedelic and magical rituals, technically challenging presentations (in many cases they demanded, double, triple or quadruple projection, which along with it contained elements of performance art), etc.

The film Kumbum (19751987), created over 12 years and signed by the author Floryan Goryan, is the first Slovenian experimental full-length film and the only long film in the opus of OM Production. Its conceptual design stems from the assumptions and perceptions of empirical science on the human perception of visual material. Because of the speed at which individual images change on the screen, the viewer runs into an obstacle: from among the 24 frames per second, the human brain can only read two to three, even if the eye can theoretically and practically recognize all 24 images. In the overview Zgodovina filma na Slovenskem 18962011 [The History of Slovenian Film 18962011], Zdenko Vrdolec marked the film as “uncomparable with everything that has come previously in Slovenian film, hence it approaches the ‘structural abstraction’ of Peter Kubelka and Kurt Kren” (…) In Kumbum, a word meaning ‘one thousand images’, in Tibetan language, there exists a certain limited mass of very similar images that were filmed either on various real locations (…) or filmed from the television screen. (…) These images follow one another in a completely random sequence that does not attempt to shape them into something other than what they are, that’s to say, for example, some small story or tale, moreover with them it forms just a series or pattern. Those same images repeat several times in the film, but always in a different combination.” Kumbum bombards and drowns the viewer in the visual, since before the brain can process certain information, the next one is already forced upon it.

Since the late 1970s, OM Production has participated in many of the most important international festivals, manifestations and exhibitions of contemporary art, such as: IV. recontre d’art contemporain, Les arbres sont points de contacts, Nancy (1979), Contemporary Slovenian Visual Arts 1945–1978, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana (1979); 11th Youth Biennale (1980); Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, MGLC, Ljubljana (1981), Mammoth Hunt, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (1983); The Other New Music, Belgrade (1984); Interaction for Projectors and a Dancer, KPGT, Belgrade (1984); Culturama ’87, Klagenfurt (1987); Eurokaz – New Europe Theatre, Zagreb (1987); Videozonija – 30 years Later; Film Festival Rotterdam (2007); Jakopič Gallery, Ljubljana (2009); SALT Galata, Istanbul (2014); OM Production. 40 years, Bežigrad Gallery 2, Ljubljana (2015); 45th International Rotterdam Film Festival (2016).

OM Production is the recipient of numerous international awards: MAFAF, Pula (1979); MAFAF, 1st Jury Prize, Pula; MAFAF, The Birth of a Bird – Only for Eyes, 3rd Jury Prize, Pula (1980); Alternative Film–video, Aura/in Aurovision, Top 10, Belgrade; Aura, Award for the Best Camera, Niš (1982); 11th OSFAF, Award for Experimental Film, Skopje (1983); MAFAF, 3rd prize, Pula (1985); Maitreya, Special Mention of the Critics, Titograd (1986); Alternative film-video, Kumbum (1975-1987), Special Recognition of the Jury, Belgrade (1986); Parliament of Alternative Film: Kumbum (1975-1987), Special Diploma of the Jury, Split (1987).