ArtReview sent a questionnaire to artists and curators exhibiting in and curating the various national pavilions of the 2015 Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published daily in the lead-up to the Venice Biennale opening.
JAŠA is representing Slovenia, with 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 pavilion is in the Arsenale.
What can you tell us about your exhibition plans for Venice?
To do something everlasting.
Are you approaching this show in a different way as to how you would a ‘normal’ exhibition?
Every show is a new chapter. Venice Biennale is for sure an honour and challenge at the same time, and I am sure that every artist who is given this chance sees it as something very special. There’s a saying in the music world that defines ‘the true artist’; playing on stage for a public of 50 people or 50,000, does not change your relation to what you are playing and why, and I strongly believe that.
What does it mean to ‘represent’ your country? Do you find it an honour or problematic?
I believe art can become political when it inspires, it can become a tool for change in it’s most optimistic and constructive way
I believe art can become political when it inspires, it can become a tool for change in it’s most optimistic and constructive way. Being a citizen of the world, linked to the global cultural drive, but at the same time conscious of your own roots and context. Slovenia is a young country with very old problems, and I’m hopeful and convinced that much will be done in the future to turn it into a green place. If you ask me a about the world’s futures, let’s turn to art for seven months, and see the consequences.
How are you approaching the different audiences who come to Venice – the masses of artist peers, gallerists, curators and critics concentrated around the opening and the general public who come through over the following months?
The mere fact that I intend to take part in the project’s installation with my dear collaborators all seven months, or precisely 28 weeks, 6 days in a week…should answer you meaningful equation.
What are your earliest or best memories of the biennale?
Gelato di fragile, my mother holding my head, my father walking close, a group of their friends, a trip…seagulls, water, sun…and a lot of things that felt right.
You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?
This time, the backstage, seeing other artists working is always inspiring, to see all the different yet so similar approaches to what we call art.
How does a having a pavilion in Venice affect the art-scene in your home country?
Every artist that I remember who were chosen to represent Slovenia in my lifetime, after Ziga Kariz, has left a mark. It is an act of responsibility towards those that will look up to you, simply another reason why things have to be done mindfully.
Online exclusive published on 1 May 2015.