12 January – 2 February 2022
We are pleased to announce the solo exhibition of the 2021 OHO Winner Lene lekše Serendipitously in the P74 Gallery. The exhibition will be on view till 2 February 2022 at the usual opening hours of the Gallery (monday to friday, 12.00 to 18.00, extra viewings upon individual arrangement).
Lene Lekše’s solo exhibition is part of the award that belongs to the winner of the OHO Group Award. At the nominees’ exhibition, she presented the sound work Whistling strategies_zoom debate (2021), based on a one-off event (Alkatraz Gallery was closed during the exhibition due to corona measures) on the Zoom online platform where she organized a whistle-blowers’ meeting. From the recorded material, a minimalist work was created in which the author discussed the specific circumstances of work in the pandemic era while also opening wider social issues. The piece shows the characteristics of her artistic practice. The projects are characterized by openness, inventiveness, and processuality, while thematically dealing with elements and gestures of everyday life. Lene Lekše mostly creates in the medium of installation, video, performance and sound, and is one of the few artists of her generation who regularly includes elements of participatority in her work.
The exhibition at the P74 Gallery will feature a new piece, for which her stay at the New York residence was crucial. During that time, she regularly monitored the Craigslist website, which is dedicated to advertisements and announcements, and focused on the lost and found section. She monitored advertisements for lost items on a daily basis and set herself the task of trying to find them and return them to their owners. She chose ads that she found credible (there was also a lot of spam) and items that were unusual or interesting. Searching for lost objects and tracking the strangers’ paths provided an excellent way to explore a new city and meet people and dictated an unusual space-mapping methodology. The goal was not (necessarily) to find the lost object, but the openness, the potentiality of what might happen along the way. The whole process, advertisements, sought-after objects, observations and new acquaintances were the starting points for the new interactive installation. Based on the acquired material, she designed a computer game in the style of interactive fiction, a type of game that was designed and popular in the 1990s. With the answers to the questions asked, the viewer moves around a simplified map and in this way relives the author’s detective search for lost objects. The visual image of the game with its specific aesthetics and font, which were quite common in the early internet era, today evokes associations to programming and hacking. In addition to the computer game, which will be available to the viewer, the exhibition will also present selected material and documentary content.
Lene Lekše maintains a sense of playfulness, which is not accidental, because the game is a serious matter. Different rules apply during the game than in everyday life, and even everyday objects change their purpose and value. It stimulates the viewer’s curiosity, which proves to be a successful strategy for his or her response and involvement. At the same time, the author claims that the streets are the places where you see and experience the real New York. In a historical perspective, many artists have often collected physical material for their work on the streets of New York. She created a community around her through this project, similarly as in the Whistling strategy project, but the key element was coincidence. This is how we can understand the title of the exhibition: serendipity means an unplanned happy discovery.
Lene Lekše (1995, Ljubljana) received her master’s degree in 2021 from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, majoring in sculpture, mentored by prof. Jože Barši. She studied for a year at the Minerva Academy in Groningen (The Netherlands) as part of the Erasmus exchange. She is the recipient of two recognition awards from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Since 2018, she has been organizing student exhibitions in Slovenia as part of the pop-up project Gallery 7:069 together with Lara Reichmann, Mihael Novak, Nina Goropečnik and Maša Knapič. She is the recipient of the OHO Group Award 2021. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, including: Whistling strategies, Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana, I hope it rains, Vent space Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia, 9th Triennial of Contemporary Art U3, Dead and Alive, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2020), A time of concurrence, a time of boredom, a time beyond temporality, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2019/20), Expedition Atlantida, Simulaker Gallery, Novo mesto, Under the Eagles Gaze, Dobra Vaga, Ljubljana (2019), Collaboration, Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana (2018), Error, Osijek, Croatia, When the Camp is in the dining room, Groningen, The Netherlands, Minerva’s Next – Storage Wizard, Corridor Project Space and Kunst huis SYB, Groningen, The Netherlands (2017).