Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wednesday evening



Litija. On stage. (The playwright and theatre director won't let me show the photos yet, but this one is surely legit, or have I managed to reveal the entire plot and spoilt it all?)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Sunday window




shopping for my new room.  Looking for that special new somewhere to lay my head.  What is that? You don’t get it? Ok, ok, I will spin the time back a few days and take a closer look at a certain conversation.

‘Roughly two months’, accountant me said. ‘Maybe less.’
‘What do you mean two months or less?’ the me me asked, as I gasped for air, trying to somehow soften the fall of the 16 ton weight that was hurtling from somewhere in outer space straight towards the centre of my chest. I often wondered if I have a bull’s eye drawn bang slap in the middle of my chest, as these heavy weights seem to be continuously appearing from nowhere and smacking me just below my face. I mean how many times do you hear about a 16 ton steel weight hurtling from out of space? And how many times do you hear it actually hit somebody? Well, so far it has hit me 7.794 times. And I have an inkling of a feeling that is has not given up on me yet. 
‘Well, what did you think? You thought you were clever enough to dodge the Recession?’ started accountant me. I could hear him pronounce the capital R in Recession. He had great respect for it. For him it was on par with God. Or Earth. He knew it would set him up for a lifetime. If it continued for a few more years, it would even provide for his grandchildren. And their neighbours. Well, as long as they stay away from ‘...culture? And arts. And social science.’ continued his voice. It seemed I missed a chunk of his monologue, so I thought I should concentrate on the words erupting from his mouth. After all he might have a suggestion as to how I could get out of this, err, how should I put it, err, crap. No, wait, cancel that. Crap. With a capital C. ‘You do realise you don’t actually produce anything, don’t you? It is not as if you make computers or grow food, or design something useful, something like weapons of mass destruction, you know, or clever stuff like that. You merely provide a service. And what good is a service? I mean really? During recession? The only service sector to remain afloat is the banking sector, and this is only because they are close to the money and they just help themselves, and when they run out all they have to do is blackmail the government into a top-up. It is quite a clever scheme really. A win-win situation one might say. When you have profit, you divvy it out amongst your mates, and when you have a loss you ask the government to give you it and then divvy it out between your mates.’
‘But wait, ...uh,... (gasping for air)... what... uffff, does this mean (pant)?’ Was pushed out of me me’s chest by the pressing weight (have I told you how much it weighs?)
‘Well like most, you wrongfully assumed you can afford to have somewhere to live, pay for health insurance (which will in reality merely count towards (but will not cover all expenses) an abortion in a back alley), social security (which in reality won’t bring you anything, but on the plus side it does give the government some extra dosh to play with), eat (mainly cheap and unhealthy food, which will probably kill you the day you retire and become a burden for the state), have an occasional drink, and go to the movies every now and then, hoping that a bottle of cheap plonk and a Hollywood flick seen from the back row will lead to a few moments of pleasure or, Recession forbid (see told you), even reproduction.’
‘Well, yes, I was somehow going for all of this. And it didn’t seem too much to ask really. It seems like a bog standard, middle of the road life to me.’ me me managed to squeeze into the accountant me monologue.
‘Well you might think you are entitled to all of this, but let’s see, what have you done to deserve all these wonderful benefits reserved for the chosen few? Since I have known you, you have been earning money as a translator, but you only translate crap things that nobody reads, stuff like hard core scientific books, art books, children books and similar nonsense (1). You see, that is where you went wrong. If you have to work as a translator you should really be translating annual reports for the Bank of Slovenia, stuff for Microsoft, contracts between Mercedes Benz and Chrysler, you know sensible things like that.’
‘Yeah, but where is the pleasure in that. I mean...’ me me broke accountant me’s line of thought.
‘Pleasure? I’ll tell you where the pleasure in that is. You get to know important people. People with money. People with connections.  You become one of them. You buy yourself a nice Jag convertible. You buy your mistress an apartment. Buy people to look after your kids. Oh yes, I forgot, you don’t have any... Well, anyway, where was I? Oh yes, you have also been working as a photographer. And shall I tell you what you did wrong, or do you want to figure it out for yourself? No? You decided to go out and photograph so-called cultural and art events. (2) You will never make any money like that, I tell you. You should be out there taking a snap shot of the new Bentley and then tweaking the photo in Photoshop, making it look all shiny, and spanking new, irresistible.  You know popping a few young good looking people around it, possibly in a cheerful, playful snowball fight. Happy, shiny people. Just like gold...  ... ooops, sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Thinking about shiny things always makes my eyes and mouth water. And to make things worse, you then spend the meagre takings from photography on equipment and what you like to call your own art exhibitions (3). I mean, really. As if you can make money there. Or you could take wedding photographs. You know the lovely bride, the handsome groom, the drunken best man, the horny bridesmaids... That’s a nice little earner. Or that other art stuff that you did. (4) Let’s see, what else have you been up to? Ah, yes, writing. Now that’s a laugh. Poetry. Ha! Nobody reads that no more. What were you thinking? You still live in the middle ages or somethin’? Short stories, that is a bit better. At least somebody reads them, but trust me nobody is willing to pay to read them. Especially not during Recession.  And the play. Or the children’s book. Who is going to publish that when the world is sinking? The only sensible thing you wrote were the economy ramblings you wrote for the Ljubljana Trade Centre, the time you were the editor of their magazine... Now that was a job....
At this point I just cut off the accountant me voice, as he only continued to ramble about the stupidity of me me the DJ, the foolishness of me me as the performer, the time me me wasted as an editor of a student literary magazine, the attempts to write and direct silly short videos and so on. By this time I have had enough. I knew there was something I needed to do. As it was Sunday I decided to go window shopping for a new place to stay, if things get really bad. And tomorrow... Well tomorrow is a new day apparently. And the start of a new week. Tomorrow I will write my CV and try to do something with it. Who knows, I might even get a job?

(1)     This is a thing I have been doing professionally since 1994. I am good at it, but I really need to learn something new from the book. Or I need to enjoy it in some other way. At this stage I will mention just a few books I translated over the years, just so you get the picture as to the kind of things I do:
When I Cry, I don’t Hear Voices, Ljubljana, Društvo za Razvijanje Prostovoljnega in Preventivnega Dela, 1992 (A collection of children refuge stories)
Stopar, Ivan: Kunike’s suite; Ljubljana, Arterika, 1994;
Stanič, Stane: Slovenia; London, Flint River Press, 1994;
Stopar, Ivan: Ljubljanske vedute; Ljubljana, Arterika, 1996;
Glavan, Saša (ed.): World of Art 1999, 2001, Ljubljana, Sorosov center za sodobne umetnosti, Ljubljana, 1999
Šumi, Nace: Signs, Znanstveni Inštitut Filozofske Fakultete, Ljubljana, 2000
Šumi, Nace: The villas of Marko Mušič, Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, Ljubljana, 2001
Glavan, Saša (ed.): World of Art 2001, Ljubljana, Sorosov center za sodobne umetnosti, Ljubljana, 2001Nabergoj, Saša (ed.): World of Art, Strategies of Presentation III., Zavod SCCA, Ljubljana, 2004.
Kovačič, Jani: Bulevar Bankrot.
Miličinski, Fran - Ježek: Twinkle Sleepyhead, Sanje, Ljubljana 2004
Dahl, Roald: Danny, Prvak Sveta, Sanje, Ljubljana, 2006
Stele, France in Paternoster, Marjan: Ljubljana the Beloved, Mladinska Knjiga, 2006.
Štular Benjamin: Mali grad, High Medieval castle in Kamnik, Inštitut za arheologijo ZRC-SAZU, Ljubljana, 2009
Josip Jurčič: The famous goat trial, JSKD, 2009
Horvat, Jana & Alma: Ocra, inštitut za arheologijo ZRC-SAZU, Ljubljana, 2010
Košir, fedja: From human to trans-human, SAZU, Ljubljana, 2010

(2)     This is where I relax the most and find the most enjoyment. A few institutions have managed to track me down and pay me to work as a photographer of cultural events or art. These include Galerija Alkatraz, Kino Šiška, Mladina, Cankarjev dom, Napovednik and a few dance festivals.
(3)     True, mea culpa, I have had a few exhibitions. I think they are fun and I like to share. My solo photographic exhibitions so far were:
I. Café 't fiasco, Genk, Belgija. 14.5.2003 – 5.6.2003
Walkabout, ISH, Ljubljana. 4.11.2003 – 12.2.2004.
Walkabout II, Bikofe, Ljubljana. 4.3. 2004 – 1.4. 2004
The ruins of Ljubljana, Galerija Kljub Vsemu, Ljubljana, 11.3.2009 - 25.3.2009
A week with Petra B. (with Irena Kazazic), Galerija Kljub Vsemu, Ljubljana, 25.3.2009 – 24.6.2009
Take a piece of me home with you, Culture bar Conestoga, Ljubljana, 9.7.2009 - 23.7.2009
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone (with Irena Kazazic), Bikofe, Ljubljana, 17.9 – 15.10.2009
I've got something I need to tell you (with Irena Kazazic), Pilon, Ljubljana, 7.12.2009 – 20.1.2010
Šiškaton, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, 28.6 – 31.7 2011
Ne.Za.Vedno., Knižnjica Kolodvor, 19.9.2011 – 21.11.2011
Since you've been gone, Kresnicka, Ljubljana, 8.12.2011 – 5.1.2012

I also participated (with my photos) at a few group exhibitions
Okno v svet, Univerza v Ljubljani, Deželni dvorec v Ljubljani, 18.2.2008 – 7.3.2008.
              Okno v svet, Galerija Laterna, Črnomelj, 19.4. 2008 – 3.5.2008
Efekt Radia Študent, Exhibition at the 40th anniversary of RŠ. MGLC, Ljubljana, 24.4.2009 - 15.5.2009
365 dni, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana 17.9. – 1.10. 2010
1000 Rož, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana 15.10. – 28.10.2010
Lost souls' society proudly presents 'Oh no, is it New Year already?', Tukad Munga, Ljubljana, 31.12.2010 –24.1.2011
II, Exhibition to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Kino Šiška, Kino Šiška, 16.9.2011 – 15.9.2012
Lomonada, Inkognito, 20.9.2011 -  31.9.2011
Slovenian Art on a date with Sigmund Freud, Sigmund Freud Privat Universität, Vienna, 24.9.2011 – 13.11.2011

(4)     At this point I think that the accountant me had in mind mainly the Mojca Pelcar Šarf project I did with Jaka Železnikar and which was exhibited at the following venues (amongst others)
Avtorska knjiga v nastajanju, 7.12 2004, Galerija P 74, Ljubljana
Avtorska knjiga 19.4. – 7.5. 2005, Galerija P 74, Ljubljana
Prva Linija 23.6. – 2.10. 2005, 26. Graphic bianunal, MGLC, Ljubljana
Isola Virtuale 12.6. – 6.11. 2005, 51. Venitian Biannual, Venice, Italy
5 Minut 11.5. – 13.5. 2006, Galerija P 74, Ljubljana
Literarni algoritmi 28.2. – 31.3. 2007, Bežigrajska galerija Ljubljana,
The Art Happens Here, 15.6. – 17.6. 2007, iCommons Summit, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Vsak je lahko kurator, 16.6. – 30.9. 2007, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana
Knjiga umetnika 1.9. – 20. 9. 2007, Knjigarna Konzorcij, Ljubljana
Knjiga umetnika 3.9. – 20.9. 2007, Galerija P 74, Ljubljana
Zbirka knjig umetnika Zavoda P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. 2. 6. 2009 - , Galerija Meduza, Koper.
Razstava Knjiga umetnika v Sloveniji, Galerija Kresija, Ljubljana. 7.9 – 1.10. 2010



  





Saturday, 25 February 2012

Playtime

in the sun (and the first paper boat I ever made - this should stop the can't teach an old dog new tricks malarkey).

Friday, 24 February 2012

Birthday party


After the three photographers (yes, that is us) managed to send everybody running home (with our dancing) we decided to have a photo session (is there a better way to end a birthday party?), with a few good results (this is one of them).

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Emzin 2012


I have no idea how many years this competition has been taking place, but it has certainly been a few. And even though I know that their attention has been drawn to this, they are still persistantly in search of a photographic opus (which is in Slovenian used to denote the life work of somebody) that has been created over the past two years (which is fine if your life work does not span for more than 2 years) . And to really baffle the viewer their new (at least I think it is new) trick is that they demand an opus consisting of between 3 and 10 photos, but in numerous cases they fail to exhibit the entire series (which makes me think that they are not really interested in a series). To me that seems similar to setting out to buy a car, but settling for an airbag, because it looks fun and useful. I think they should stick to it: If you are looking for a series and a series does not work, than you can not exhibit a fragment of it. Or - and I know this is a novel (and revolutionary) idea - rewrite the competition rules.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

And so you won't

think that I am following the Slovenian government and neglecting culture, here is one from an opening.

Monday, 20 February 2012

My dad

always likes to protest, as long as it is for a good cause.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Photo Rasica

Getting together with friends for the weekend and walking up a high, high hill (you don't get hills like that in England). All worth it once you are on top though.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

When life gives


you lemons, make lemonade. When you find yourself in the back row, use the monitors connected to the TV cameras.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

Free falling


The moments that make life worth living. I know we can be daft at times, but that is just us having a good time.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Where

are my ice skates? And why aren't they on my feet? And why have I forgot to ice skate?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

It's cold


and I have nowhere to go.
This photo reminds me of the photos they used to show us in newspapers and on television when they were trying to say: 'Look how poorly people are treated in other countries.' And they would show you a picture of somebody freezing on a pavement in New York, or somebody covered in snow in the centre of Moscow. Those were the winter images of course. In summer they would show us pictures of starving Africans, with their bloated bellies. But always showing them together with the subtext: this is how it is elsewhere, but you are lucky enough to live in our wonderful country where the state will take care of you, so there is no need to fear. Well guess what? This is a common sight here now.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

1984

We all knew it would come. But we let the thought rattle somewhere deep down in the small hidden storage room just off centre of the labyrinth at the back of our mind. We hoped against hope that it would come some time later. That it will not affect us. Or our children (I know that was stretching it a bit). Slowly they poisoned our minds. Throwing us a bone (usually made in China) every now and then, just to keep us happy. Making us focus on what we thought was making us happy, and forget about the things that matter. The real things. Like having rights. Equal rights. Being able to express our thoughts. Or feelings (if we still had any left). Exchange ideas. And make them count. Inspire each other. Support each other.

We all knew the time would come. That we would be controlled and stripped of our rights. But how many of us realised we were living the nightmare already?
(Hats off to George Orwell)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Wait here



Behind the barbed wire fence. And wait. For the dogs. For the guards. For the men with guns. For the shouting. To be deported. For the end. Of it all.
Before you go, look up. Into the windows. You might see a face. Wondering. Half smiling. A person standing in the warm room. Looking down on you.
Establish eye contact. Do not look down. Maybe you get a cup of hot tea. Or just the recognition you are still human.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012