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2015 » Slovenia » Section of Countries and Regions

Curator:Barbara Novakovič Kolenc
Authors of Theme:Meta Grgurevič, Ana Savić Gecan
Designer / Architect of exhibition:Meta Grgurevič
Institution:Slovenian Theatre Institute

Compressed Space vs. Extended Space

Storm Still / Compressed Space

In a dark, negative exhibition space there are two objects in apposition. They appear to be remnants of a primal theatre event / space, the records of which are projected onto a wall.

While transposing a space from the theatre to its manifestation in the exhibition, the object becomes the focus of space. On the one hand, the theatre space of Storm Still is compressed into a cubical form, within which there are layered costumes, while on the otherhand a symbolic object (a vial containing a love potion) suggests the reasons for the creation of the space of love between Tristan and Isolde. In Storm Still we are observing the oscillations of space and time captured in the storm of the omnipresent past. With her conceptual stroke, costume designer Ana Savić Gecan compresses the protagonists’ items of clothing into a tiny piece of the bygone. The fabric absorbs the memory (blood, sweat and tears) and saturates the entire space of the object.

An item of clothing, with its innumerable and invisible layers, represents a boundary between the body and its surroundings. Now it is reduced so that it exists without any in-between spaces, distances, or encounters. A pause or a distance is the very void which is lacking (manqué) in the compressed space of the exhibited object. There is no time. The past presents have become an object. There is a bench on which we can sit in front of our very eyes, or else it can simply exist in space as the supressed, the subconscious. On stage, the geography of emotions, as well as the distances between the past and the present, are pinned inside a singularly framed space of a double hayrack. Unlike the stage space, the gallery exhibit is compressed to signify the lack of space of the Other.

Tristan and Isolde / Extended Space

The stage space is inhabited by a kinetic sculpture. Its dimensions are so large that it functions as parallel surroundings. A multitude of repetitive elements made of aluminium and plastic nets create translucency, while curves evoke the soft contours of petals with brightly glittering edges. The metamorphoses of dancing forms and movements create a materialized illusion which extends into the horizon. Occasionally, this sublime setting comes to a standstill only to gain powerful momentum “creating situations such as a garden, a haven, a threat, a nearness, a distance, a night-and-day” (Meta Grgurevič). Once this kinetic object is lowered onto the stage surface it creates a segmented palimpsest of a void. This is the moment when the space of love is transposed into the realm of the invisible – the beyond.

Within the exhibition space, the crux of the ballet performance is represented by a box containing a suspended vial, surrounded by mirrors. The mirrored object generates multiplied gazes of the object on one plane, functioning as a simultaneous intersection of present and past, which is so typical of cubism. Cubism makes the medium a message (M.McLuhan). In the Tristan and Isolde myth, the love potion mirrors a variety of signifiers that trigger projections: Isolde sees the potion as death, Tristan as reconciliation, Brangæna as truth. For Tristan and Isolde the message of the potion is hidden and invisible. Although the magic potion extends the space of love, their love is too big for this world. In the exhibit itself, translucency is simultaneously put on display, similar to Tristan’s “crystal chamber compact of roses and the morning” into which he invites Isolde.

The installation is based on the set design in the ballet "Tristan and Isolde" (Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, 2014) and the costume design in the theatre performance "Storm Still" (Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 2013).

Exhibiting artists / ateliers

[show all | hide all]
  • Ana Savić Gecan
  • Meta Grgurevic
  • Jaša Mrevlje Pollak (JAŠA Mrevlje Pollak)
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