P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute

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Contact info

Zavod P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E.
Hruševska 66, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 40 370 199
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Tadej Pogačar, Director
Phone386 (0) 1 542 5685
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Past Events

The P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute is the umbrella organisation for the activities of the internationally renowned Slovene artist Tadej Pogačar and those of two independent gallery spaces in Ljubljana: the P74 Centre and Gallery and the Kapsula Gallery bookshop/project space. P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute is also the founder and organiser of the OHO Group Award.

Having turned its focus to artists' books with the aim not only to produce, present, distribute, and sell them (at international art fairs, in both gallery spaces, and on the Internet), the organisation has also created the the Artist's Book Collection of the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute. Since 2010 it runs a biennial Blind Date Convention, Festival of the Artist’s Book.

Last but not least, the institute is the basis for the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art (PMCA) – Pogačar's variegated and rich art production, known internationally for its methodology called the "new parasitism".



The historical base for the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute was Tadej Pogačar's series of art projects entitled the Museum of Contemporary Art realised in the beginning of the 1990s, which in 1993 was established as an official institution and renamed the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art (PMCA). Since then many projects have been accomplished and further branches of the institute have been formed: in 1999 the P74 Center and Gallery was opened at Prušnikova 74 in Ljubljana's peripheral Šentvid neighbourhood; to bring the gallery activities in many senses closer to the public and with the intention to be present on the (international) art market the Kapsula Gallery bookshop/project space was opened in 2008 in the underground shopping arcade Podhod Ajdovščina in the Ljubljana centre. In February 2012 both galleries and the seat of the institute moved in the Šiška Cultural Quarter.


The P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art (PMCA) became renowned for the reworking of the logotype of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the theft of the introductory speech of the director of the Guggenheim from its homepage.

PMCA functions as a virtual institution which exists without its own space and employees, but rather merely settles into territories, locations, and networks and feeds off the juices of institutions, operating according to the principles of new parasitism. Its operation is thus oriented into the analysis and deconstruction of the symbolic centres of power and the search for parallel models of cultural, economic, and social operation. The PCMA establishes inter-specific relations with institutions and social groups in order to enforce changes in the operation with the analysis of relations and actions within the systems. In recent collaborative projects PMCA has dealt with the research and analysis of alternative urban strategies, parallel economies, and human trafficking in selected urban areas.

Projects and exhibitions

in the past two decades are numerous interventions into the collections of other museums followed, including the collection of Ljubljana's Museum of Modern Art; Tretjak’s African Collection at Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts; the collection of the National Museum of Contemporary History Ljubljana; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Naturmeuseum, Rotterdam; Műcsarnok, Budapest; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin; the Limerick City Gallery, Limerick; and the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig.

One of the most widely echoed projects of the PMCA was Kings of the Street (1995), also one of the first artistic street actions with Ljubljana's homeless people, as well the on-going collaborative trans-disciplinary project CODE:RED (1999–2010), for which Pogačar was awarded the Rihard Jakopič Award in 2009 and about which a book was published in 2010.

The PMCA received wide media attention and fame with its 1st World Congress of Sex Workers at the 49th Venice Biennale and New Parasitism at the Padiglione dei Sex Worker in Giardini. It also cooperated on a number of international manifestations including the Manifesta 1 in Rotterdam (1996) and at the biennials in São Paulo, Venice, Istanbul, Prague, and Tirana. Tadej Pogačar had exhibitions at the MUMOK in Vienna, the San Francisco Art Institute, the NGBK in Berlin, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Central House of Artists in Moscow, and the Museo de Arte Carillo Gil in Mexico City.

In 2014 a retrospective exhibition Tadej Pogačar & the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art: Hills and Valleys and Mineral Resources was featured at the Moderna galerija (MG) in Ljubljana. In late 2015 it travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.

PMCA publications

Besides 6 thematic editions of the Journal for Anthropology and New Parasitism, 2 editions of the thematic newspaper Sex Worker, in 2007 P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute published the most comprehensive survey to date about the work of PMCA entitled The Best is Yet to Come. It includes essays by Zdenka Badovinac, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Miško Šuvaković, and Igor Zabel that discuss the beginning of the PMCA, strategies of parasitism and its historical and cultural significance, and situate the practice within the local and international context. The book is distinguished by opulent image documentation, divided into chapters by early actions, the major projects carried out between 1994 and 2005, and concluding with a look at the PMCA's then recent projects, some of which had not yet been presented to the public.

Open calls for artists

Beside the open call for applications for the OHO Group Award awarded to a young Slovene artist under the age of 35, which the institute organises in cooperation with the Foundation for a Civil Society from New York, P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute also annually invites local and international artists to express themselves in artist's book and video formats.

Short videos

Since 2008 P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute makes a public call for entries to artists creating 5-minute videos. Since 2010 the call for proposals addresses local and international artists/video makers. Another novelty is its thematic focus. The first thematic-focused edition exposing the notion of Simple Living with the aim of reaching the notion of simpleness. Twelve art works selected by a jury featured in the Jakopič Gallery in October 2010 within the first Blind Date Convention, Festival of the Artist’s Book.

Artists' books

Since 2004 the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute systematically supports and popularises the production of artists' books and artist editions of national and international authors. The call for entries is usually published annually in the second part of the year, out of which the jury (consisting each year of new members) chooses an artist on the basis of the most interesting proposal/concept to publish her/his book with the assistance of the institute.

Within this programme the institute has published the artists' books of Slovene authors Andrejka Čufer, Matej Stupica, Jure Engelsberger, Zora Stančić, Dejan Habicht, Tadej Pogačar, Boštjan Pucelj, Jaka Železnikar, Andreja Džakušič, Mina Fina, Tanja Lažetič, Zora Stančić, Mladen Stropnik, Petra Varl, and Leon Zuodar as well as internationally acclaimed conceptual artists such as Mladen Stilinović, Dalibor Martinis, Sanja Iveković, Vlado Martek, Lala Raščić, Balint Szombathy and Dan Perjovschi.

Since 2009 P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute presents and sells artists' books also at international art fairs such as the Miss Read in the Kunstwerke Berlin, NY Art Book Fair in P.S.1, Centre of Contemporary Arts, in Los Angeles, Paris and Brussels. Some of the books have been included in theartists' books collections of the eminent institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA in New York, the Museum of Modern Art Weserburg, the South End University in London and the CNEAI Paris. They can also be purchased in specialised bookshops such as Boekie.Woekie (Amsterdam), Pro-qm and Motto (Berlin), Printed Matter (New York), Castilo-Coralles and Florence Loewy (Paris).

The aforementioned artists' books constitute the core of the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute collection. Since 2005 P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute has acquired (by exchange or purchase) more than 170 artists' books of national and international authors. The books are occasionally featured within events prepared at P74 and Kapsula.

Since 2007 the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute prepared several seminars about artists' books, where many (inter)national authors had offered their theoretical or practical views on the topic, usually followed by open discussions. In 2007 the Croatian artist Vlado Martek gave a workshop entitled The Artist's Book as an Aspect of Activism. In the same year two further seminars were held by the British artist, author, and publisher Anthony Auerbach; and the Slovene artist Marko Pogačnik a member of the avant-garde group OHO who talked about the books as creative tools, where he presented also the concept of the OHO editions (1965–1968).

Sound Explicit

In 2003 the institute introduced a new series of music events, first held in the P74 Centre and Gallery premises on the Prušnikova street. Since 2011 the Sound Explicit Festival has taken place at the Jakopič Gallery in September. The festival is dedicated to research, experimental and improvised music by Slovene artists, featuring also some international guests.

See also

External links

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