Robertina Šebjanič

17 Apr 08 21:00 > 11 May 08 24:00 Bubble
Curator: Vasja Nagy

When Bubble was presented to the public for the first time, the audience kept asking what was actually shown on film. What thing from the real world could take such bizarre forms and behave so unusually? Although the video shown at the joint exhibition was a curatorial intervention of mine, I didn't know the answer. I later asked the author about it, though I personally wasn't really interested. Her answer explained little, but ultimately convinced me that the material background had little relevance for the whole story.
The Bubble video, although filmed by video camera, has no intention of presenting the real world. It uses the referential object only as a building block of a visual language, further transforming it through animation logic. There it lives on in a newly constructed world of its own. But it remains a world of reality that doesn't take the viewer away to a land of nothing but fantasy. Bubble is actually a pet name of the unusual being that appears on screen. Its presence is always uncertain. It's moving, pulsating, appearing and disappearing, always unstable, just like the lives of creatures that we are familiar with from earthly experience. Its body is firm and reminiscent more of the tissues of aquatic organisms than of a soap bubble. It manifests itself as a stranger, a gentle and peaceful stranger, although we know nothing of its intentions. It remains unknown. It tells us about the depths of either the ocean or the universe, never revealing much about itself. With its regular and relaxed movements it gently enters the viewer's intimate emotional world and slowly, slowly, crawls under their skin. It might even be a virus or a body snatcher but it pulls you into its soft and infinite world.
So far, the video had always been shown as a simple projection. Utilising technology and the specific qualities of exhibition spaces where it appeared, it created a concrete relationship with the viewer and their body. In Alkatraz gallery, Bubble crosses the boundaries of video projection. The author uses video and technology to experience and shape the exhibition space itself, transforming it like an ambient. The strange creatures from the depths populate the space through projections of light while simultaneously hiding behind glass where they had been placed by the author. Old TV sets placed around the gallery can be interpreted as glass jars that house these creatures and in which they appear or disappear at will. We can imagine they are our prisoners, kept in an aquarium or stored in formaldehyde. But on the other hand, the glass barriers can also be thought of as windows into an indeterminate space that we can observe but not disturb. The Bubbles appear and disappear, connect with others of their kind and thus put us in an uncertain position where we don't really know who is the observer and who is the observed.

Vasja Nagy

Robertina Šebjanič
is finishing her studies at the Department of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and at Famul Stuart – a Ljubljana-based school of applied art. She is actively engaged in video art and new media practices. She had already presented some solo projects as well as successfully taken part in international exhibitions and festivals. In academic year 2005/2006, she had taken expert classes at the Valand School of Fine Arts in Gothenburg, Sweden (Department of Multimedia).
Thanks for technical support: Adam Hyde, Moderna galerija, City of Women – Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture, Luka Frelih, Miha Ciglerj and Nika Autor.
Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday 17.00 - 20.00 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 21.00 - 24.00 Saturday, Sunday, holidays – closed.