UTTER: The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope, Slovenian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015

“UTTER / The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope”, a new project by JAŠA, representing Slovenia at the 56th Venice Biennial International Art Exhibition.

The project’s title embraces the very core of JAŠA’s aim to create an artwork as both a poetic stance and a dynamic, politicized presence. The work is conceived as a spatial installation and on-site performance that will bind the artist, his collaborators and the public together for the duration of the Biennale. The project consists of an installation, an architectural drawing activated to become a reflection of thoughts, and a durational performance that expresses the necessity to (re)act as an embodied form. These elements coexist and entwine to form the integral experience of the artwork.

The project “Utter / The Violent Necessity for the Embodied Presence of Hope” focuses on three major themes: resistance, collaboration and hope. The energetic stance of each theme will be resolved, in part, via a long-term coexistence of a performative body within an architectural shell, the co-creation of repetitive performative actions, and the production of harmonic moments. A polyphonic situation of visual, sound and performance will be submitted to a rigorous weekly script, which will be repeated 28 times, from May 9 the till the November 22nd. Occupying such a substantial span of time, JAŠA’s project will use the platform of the Venice Biennale not as a segment or as a temporary display of parallel realities, but as a stand against prevailing reality.

It is JAŠA’s belief that an artwork can become politicized only when the ideology that drives it is inspiring and not dictating. Considering the demands and ecstasies of repetitive durational performance, the project is a structured act of discipline. It is a call toward collective sensibility. Through continuous repetitive actions, knowledge, gestures and the transfor- mation of these gestures into rituals, the group of performers will summon a rebellious force, which by the power of poetry calls upon a pandemic realization of the idea of community and unification.

The goal is to use the Slovenian pavilion as a platform to confront an international audience with the overall project ex- perience as a living functional mechanism driven by the solidarity of all elements involved: installation, visual elements, lighting, projections, sound, and performance. Thus, I intend to create and enable an overall experience of solidarity as an efficient way of operation. In continuous and sustainable collaboration as a basis for the development and commu- nicative value of the project.

In his previous work, JAŠA’s prevailing concern has always been communication. His urge to break through rigid/dehumanized conventional forms of communication (between people) has been seen as an aggressive or almost vio- lent act. Poetry as a stance, as his understanding of artist’s position in contemporary society, is the fundament of his voice. “UTTER / The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope” is a conscious progression of his work. In his creation, a site-specific installation, durational performance based on the ideology of togetherness complements his urge to react and formulate a vision of communal experience of art as reality.

JAŠA (Mrevlje-Pollak) was born in Ljubljana in 1978. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice and has since been a unique presence in Europe’s artistic landscape. One of Slovenia’s most prolific and critically recognized contemporary artists, JAŠA is driven by his rhapsodic interpretations of situation, narrative, sculpture and performance. Through his alchemistic connection with material and content, JAŠA transforms spaces into experiences, driving them toward their poetic and ecstatic potentials.

Pushing artistic boundaries through uncompromising vision for almost two decades, JAŠA has created a rich and remarkable body of work that includes multiple critically acclaimed solo shows and projects in Europe and the US. In his two active studios in New York and Ljubljana, Slovenia, JAŠA has created a unique environment, one which allows him to cultivate contextual and visual eventuality that is integral to his work.

Venice Biennale 2015
The 2015 Art Biennale closes a sort of trilogy that began with the exhibition curated by Bice Curiger in 2011, Illuminations, and continued with the Encyclopedic Palace of Massimiliano Gioni (2013). With All The World’s Futures, La Biennale continues its research on useful references for making aesthetic judgments on contemporary art, a “critical” issue after the end of the avant-garde and “non-art” art.

Through the exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor, La Biennale returns to observe the relationship between art and the development of human, social and political reality, in the pressing of external forces and phenomena: the ways in which, that is, the tensions of the external world solicit the sensitivities, the vital and expressive energies of the artists, their desires, the motions of the soul (their inner song ).

La Biennale di Venezia was founded in 1895. Paolo Baratta has been its President since 2008, and before that from 1998 to 2001. La Biennale, who stands at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends, organizes exhibitions, festivals and researches in all its specific sectors: Arts (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934). Its activities are documented at the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) that recently has been completely renovated.

The relationship with the local community has been strengthened through Educational activities and guided visits, with the participation of a growing number of schools from the Veneto region and beyond. This spreads the creativity on the new generation (3,000 teachers and 30,000 pupils involved in 2014). These activities have been supported by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. A cooperation with Universities and research institutes making special tours and stays at the exhibitions has also been established. In the three years from 2012-2014, 227 universities (79 Italian and 148 international) have joined the Biennale Sessions project.

In all sectors there have been more research and production opportunities addressed to the younger generation of artists, directly in contact with renowned teachers; this has become more systematic and continuous through the international project Biennale College, now running in the Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema sections.