Damijan Kracina & Vladimir Leben & Julij Borštnik

08 Dec 07 19:00 > 10 Jan 08 24:00 Damijan Kracina & Vladimir Leben / GALAPAGOS
Julij Borštnik / THE STORY OF A MANDARIN

The Galapagos is one of those archipelagos that stimulate specific associations. The first one relates to Darwin, who developed his theory of evolution precisely on the basis of animal species from these islands. The second association relates to the indigenous species with their remarkable adaptations, which frequently seem to be rather bizarre. This is also evident in a certain grotesque character of the animal world created by the artists in their Galapagos island.
The artists have added new dimensions to Darwin's theory. Darwin tried to confirm his theory by comparing the past and the present, while the artists have used their vision of evolution – which does not end with homo sapiens – to point to an obscure derivation of Darwin's theory and thus to question the absolutist and domineering relationship of humans towards animals.
Galapagos is a multi-media project, a complete work of art presenting an invented world. The artists have planned their imaginary world and its biosphere on the basis of democratic agreement. They have
created it spontaneously and according to aesthetic resolutions. Galapagos is a place of freedom, a world in perpetual creation, one reserved for present and future animal species. No one can indisputably foresee the evolution of animals, and therefore it offers a vast space to the human imagination. In the world to come, in which the inhospitable environment will leave no room for the human species, evolution will give free reign to the development of sophisticated animal species.
Damijan Kracina and Vladimir Leben have changed the gallery space into a zoo, and they endeavour in an unassertive and humorous way to make the visitor aware of the fact that the world is endangered. Art – just like most issues in the quickly changing present world – has become distanced from man. People no longer have time for reflection on "great stories". Nowadays, we are witnesses to a development that can lead us with the speed of light into new dimensions. The institution of art – no less than science and technology – has been captured in a logic of perpetual improvement. Today it is allowed, therefore, that artists move like nomads and search for their ways in the pluralism of expression. Damijan Kracina and Vladimir Leben are well aware of the needs of the contemporary viewer, which do not include becoming engrossed in deep reflection.
A profoundly deliberated message has been mediated through play and humour, which are immanent elements of art and which nowadays are increasingly vanishing. The artists endeavour to make us laugh and, at the same time, to awaken in us a sense of guilt and unease at the view of animals turned into mere tools in human hands. Besides, in their reflections about the future they place us in the position of weak and helpless beings.
The Galapagos exhibition is both simple and complex. It opens a playground for everyone, enabling us to enter into the artists' imaginary world, as well as into our own.

Accompaning instalation:
JULIJ BORŠTNIK
The story of a mandarin
Instalation The story of a mandarin, consists of a comic hanged on the wall, explaining the story of a mandarin. The comic explains the connections between the way the mandarins for european market are produced, the Shengen immigration policy and the food distributing/retailing system
On the way to the scheme, there is a cannon that shoots mandarins with a precise motion sensor, shooting the viewer when she/he walks toward the scheme.
The idea in the mandarin-installation is capitalistic social order. Its form is in strong correspondence with the idea.
The concept is to show how much is a common everyday in space of well developed capitalism integrated in global capitalistic order.
The working method is to literalize the concept. To make this concept through the piece as evident as possible.
This is the reason I took the mandarin cannon. On one hand, a mandarin is a commodity of a common everyday. On the other hand its production and distribution is interweaved in the global capitalistic order. A mandarin shot into the viewer makes evident the fact, that these are two natures of the same thing. A shot with a common commodity surprises the viewer and shakes her/his thought system for a moment out of the illusive everyday calmness. This is a good moment to present the other nature of the good -as a mean to tie seemingly free individual into the global net of capitalistic production/capitalistic society order.

www.galapagos.si
www.kracina.com
www.premoderno.com/leben
Stanica_Lab, Žilina, Slovaska http://www.stanica.sk