Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures

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Contact info
Zavod za sodobne umetnosti in kulture Gulag
http://gulag.si/
info@gulag.si
Ul. Janeza Pavla II. 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 232 3502
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RegionSI-1
Zoran Srdić Janežić, Director and Producer
zoran.srdic@gmail.com
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Online accounts:
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Past Events
  • 26 June 2017
    Ich bin ein B̶e̶r̶l̶i̶n̶e̶r̶F̶r̶a̶n̶k̶f̶u̶r̶t̶e̶r̶Münchner, sculptor's walks by Zoran Srdić Janežič, produced by Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures and Gemelos 2000, Performing Arts Festival Berin, at Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Berlin in Berlin, Germany
    programme
  • 17 June 2017
    Ich bin ein B̶e̶r̶l̶i̶n̶e̶r̶F̶r̶a̶n̶k̶f̶u̶r̶t̶e̶r̶Münchner, sculptor's walks by Zoran Srdić Janežič, produced by Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures and Gemelos 2000, Performing Arts Festival Berin, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Berlin at Projektraum Ventilator 24 and the streets of Berlin in Berlin, Germany
    programme
  • 28 August 2013
    A walk with artist Zoran Srdić Janežič (Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures) and his performance in honour of sculptor Franc Berneker from the Academy of Fine Arts to Berneker's former studio near the Meidling train station, supported by the Slovenian Culture and Information Centre, Vienna (SKICA), Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Vienna, in Vienna, Austria
    programme


The Gulag Institute is a production vehicle for various art and art-related projects by a loosely connected collective of artists, among them Zoran Srdić Janežič, Gorazd Krnc, Jana Putrle Srdić, Ida Hiršenfelder, Neža Mrevlje and Aleksandra Saška Gruden. All of them are interested in various artistic mediums yet primarily work within the fields of visual and performance art, sometimes augmented with poetry, puppetry and music.

Gulag is not an art group as such, and its project feature a number other artists who thus form the periphery of this enterprise. The institute puts great store in reflecting the questions of art and art systems and has consequently organised several programmes to address them one way or another.

Background

In 1999 Zoran Srdić Janežić and some of his fellow visual artists founded Modri krog (Blue Circle), an organisational framework for setting up exhibitions, street art interventions and festivals for presenting their visual and multimedia artworks.

In 2007 this was succeeded by the establishment of The Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures, which set its horizons of activity somewhat more ambitiously and broadly. Gulag's founders were the curator and writer on contemporary art Petja Grafenauer, the poet and visual arts producer Jana Putrle Srdić, the painter and video artist Gorazd Krnc and the aforementioned Zoran, a sculptor, visual artist, puppeteer and performer.

Projects

As a rule Gulag's projects merge various artistic genres like sculpture, poetry, body-art, sound art, video, public interventions, performance art and so on. Among their basic underlying themes one can find the issues of social control, the underlying violence and intercultural repression.

Public interventions are possibly Gulag's most often used media of communicating their art. For example, in collaboration with MKC Maribor Youth Culture Centre, the Performa Festival and Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012 Gulag co-produced the innovative street performance 'Intellectual Whores', which engaged 17 educated thinkers tho "whore" their knowledge on the streets of Maribor by discussing with their "tricks" poetry, sculpture, art films, psychoanalysis and other topics. A similar project was later enacted during the Lighting Guerrilla Festival, when female intellectuals and artists offered their knowledge to passers-by in toilets-art objects designed by sculptors.

The exhibitions organised by Gulag focus on emerging art with a special focus on sculpturing and new media. They feature artists such as Maja Smrekar, Mito Gegič, Urša Vidic, Otto Urpelainen, Sanela Jahić, Borut Savski, Gorazd Krnc and Zoran Srdić Janežič.

A prominent place in Gulag's production is taken by poetry combined with various other media of expression – video, visual and sound art, artist's books. They thus search for new ways to expose and radicalise poetry, an art form which they also address via workshops and public performances. An interesting project was Ej bejba, kaj maš s to poezijo? / Hey baby, what’s with this poetry? – an experimental poetry and dance performance, which dealt with research on the act of writing and the social role of poetry.

Staged works by Gulag also include the theatre performance Little red Riding Hood, a dance performance with shadow puppets for adults and children, produced at Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station.

Contemporary Art Tea Parties

These "parties" were first organised from 2006 to 2009 (in co-production with KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association and Alkatraz Gallery, in 2009 they accompanied the Biennial of Graphic Arts) and then re-launched in 2013. These monthly meetings aim to promote discussion and constructive dialogue about contemporary art and take place at various venues. Topics such as writing about art, activism, comic books, street art, presentations of young artists, artist's books and so on addressed via round table discussions, lectures and seminars.

Theatre design

An part of the Gulag Institute is also its workshop for the planning and realisation of stage scenery and design; paintings, various mechanisms, three-dimensional objects, prototypes, etc. It manufactures puppets, masks, mascots, props, scenic and costume elements for SNG Drama Ljubljana (Scenes from an Execution), SNG Maribor (7 Stories), SNG Nova Gorica (Skurt), SLG Celje (The Flags), Mladinsko Theatre (King Lear), and other smaller theatres.

Publications

Gulag Institute publishes catalogues and artist's books. The latter are often a part of a wider art project that includes different media. Such was the Proteus anguinus Carnium, presented at the exhibition Prints and Impressions (April 2012) at the International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana. To name another example, the institute published an artist's book of 40 drawings of cat-like creatures by Zoran Srdić Janežič titled Tomislav Vrečar: I'm watching a friend in the morning, how he is playing with a cat (2008) after a poem by Tomislav Vrečar.

Gulag also runs a web magazine called G-Zine, a blog for reflections on modern art.

Partnerships and collaborations

Besides the ones already mentioned Gulag's occasional partners include the literary journal Poiesis, the Alkatraz Gallery, Strip Core (and its Lighting Guerrilla Festival), Škuc Gallery, Theremidi Orchestra, Young Rhymes, Layer House, the International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns and quite some others.

See also

External links

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