Slovenian Pavilion ‘Heaters for Hot Feelings’

Artist: Mirko Bratuša 

Venue: Galleria A+A, Slovene Central for Visual Art, San Marco 3073

Curator: Nadja Zgonik

Sculptor Mirko Bratuša will present his project Heaters for Hot Feelings. It will be an installation of sculpture composed of eight free-standing anthropo- and biomorphic bodies linked together in a network. Hidden electrical fittings will heat, humidify and cool the fired clay sculptures. The heat generated by the cooling of the first sculptures will be used to heat the others. A network of

connections will be set up as a system of artificial bodies which indicate their mutual dependence.

The metaphorics of an artistic system constructed in this manner are universally applicable to modern society, in which everything happens in mutual relation: amassing wealth on one side of the planet leads to poverty on the other, we are worried about the vulnerability of the ecosystem, where exploiting nature is causing increasingly severe natural disasters, and connections through social

networks trigger social unrest, which changes political systems. Mirko Bratuša’s sculptures are captured in various states of emotion. They are tactile and warm, through which they awaken our senses. At the same time the conflicted mental states which they depict indicate the psychotic aspect of our everyday lives, fears and troubles. They speak of our sense of being lost in modern culture, where it seems that we can no longer affect politics and social power relations and that it is no longer possible to halt the processes of destruction of nature. Therefore, Bratuša suggests, we have to return to elementary perceptions. This is an escape, but not in the romantic sense, to remote worlds, but to the self, to the realm of lost sensibility, as if in the apparent reality of three-dimensional film projection we were to encounter a physical, tactile and warm object. Mirko Bratuša believes that sculpture with its physical presence enables us to have an inner connection with modern technology and to personalise it. He thinks that what we have lost in the process of technological development and the ascendance of globalism and capitalist progress, in which a sense of mutual alienation has prevailed everywhere, can return to culture via individual agitation through art. From: www.galerija-bj.s

Interview with Mirko Bratuša & Nadja Zgonik

Line Magazine: How long have you known each other?

Mirko & Nadja: From the time when we were many years ago both students at the University of Ljubljana, I [Nadja] at the Faculty of Arts, studying history of art and Mirko at the Academy of Fine Arts studying sculpture.

LM: What made you select Mirko?

Nadja: Last year I was fascinated with his sculpture installation in the gallery of the former Cistercian Monastery in Kostanjevica na Krki. His way of enterining into the relation with the specific, historical and religious ambiance, connected with technological approach with heated sculptures, made me enthusiastic to think about, how to promote his work widely.

LM: What aspect does religion play in your work?

Mirko: Working for the Cistercian Church, I wasn’t accessing to space through its religious identity and didn’t consider ideological aspects at the first place. Although in the final project occured many resonances with various contexts of the church space: voyeurism of the monks, blindness for everyday problems of the church as a institution, history of religious sculpture, sexual exploration. All arrived spontaneously, without intending to stress those contextual problems too much.

What I wanted to access was the spatial sensibility for the church as the space which could represent cosmic dimensions, as well as the abstract, ideological connotations of history and tradition. 

LM: Do you see technology as damnation or salvation?

 Mirko: I use technology as thing through which we can get back in touch with our sensory corporeal condition. Technology has alienated us from our feeling and now with warming and cooling of sculpture I want to use it to bring us back to our elemetary sensations. Sculptures are warm and as such alive, with a help of a technological “heart”. It’s the tool to bring us back to ourselves. In a practical sense, there is a reliance on technology and tricks/mechanisms to make the inanimate animated. It can make art alive and it can make us alive.

 LM: You mention a mastery over materials that you wish to achive, that you do not wish to be enslaved by it. Brancusi emphasised cooperation and collaboration – why is total mastery necessary?

 Mirko: I’m choosing different materials because of their various properties and I like to respect and use them in a positive way. If I can’t express certain idea in a specific material, I move onto another one. This suggests that materials have specific qualities and abilities that one cannot work beyond to their own will – they can only work with and to the materials limits.

[LM In this case, mastery is not a form of domination but a state knowledge the ‘mastery’ being in knowing what a material will and will not do for you.]

LM: A lot of the sculptures have closed eyes, why is this? 

Mirko: Closed eyes focus on the senses and the sensory. There are five ways of being present, not just one – sight can blind you to your other senses.

LM: You said that your favourite sculpture is Honigpumpe am Arbeitsplatz by Beuys. Beuys was a great performer as well as a sculptor, but it seems the performative aspect is absent in your work which is very static and ‘finished’. 

Mirko: The performative aspect is present in a specific way, in the process of making, which is kind of “performance”, with physical presence of artists - players, sculpture and material. Also the research practices, I’m using in my work, are a form of performance, the scientific experimentation that emerges through my sculptural practice.

Slovenian Pavilion ‘Heaters for Hot Feelings’

Artist: Mirko Bratuša 

Venue: Galleria A+A, Slovene Central for Visual Art, San Marco 3073

Curator: Nadja Zgonik

Sculptor Mirko Bratuša will present his project Heaters for Hot Feelings. It will be an installation of sculpture composed of eight free-standing anthropo- and biomorphic bodies linked together in a network. Hidden electrical fittings will heat, humidify and cool the fired clay sculptures. The heat generated by the cooling of the first sculptures will be used to heat the others. A network of

connections will be set up as a system of artificial bodies which indicate their mutual dependence.

The metaphorics of an artistic system constructed in this manner are universally applicable to modern society, in which everything happens in mutual relation: amassing wealth on one side of the planet leads to poverty on the other, we are worried about the vulnerability of the ecosystem, where exploiting nature is causing increasingly severe natural disasters, and connections through social

networks trigger social unrest, which changes political systems. Mirko Bratuša’s sculptures are captured in various states of emotion. They are tactile and warm, through which they awaken our senses. At the same time the conflicted mental states which they depict indicate the psychotic aspect of our everyday lives, fears and troubles. They speak of our sense of being lost in modern culture, where it seems that we can no longer affect politics and social power relations and that it is no longer possible to halt the processes of destruction of nature. Therefore, Bratuša suggests, we have to return to elementary perceptions. This is an escape, but not in the romantic sense, to remote worlds, but to the self, to the realm of lost sensibility, as if in the apparent reality of three-dimensional film projection we were to encounter a physical, tactile and warm object. Mirko Bratuša believes that sculpture with its physical presence enables us to have an inner connection with modern technology and to personalise it. He thinks that what we have lost in the process of technological development and the ascendance of globalism and capitalist progress, in which a sense of mutual alienation has prevailed everywhere, can return to culture via individual agitation through art. From: www.galerija-bj.s

Interview with Mirko Bratuša & Nadja Zgonik

Line Magazine: How long have you known each other?

Mirko & Nadja: From the time when we were many years ago both students at the University of Ljubljana, I [Nadja] at the Faculty of Arts, studying history of art and Mirko at the Academy of Fine Arts studying sculpture.

LM: What made you select Mirko?

Nadja: Last year I was fascinated with his sculpture installation in the gallery of the former Cistercian Monastery in Kostanjevica na Krki. His way of enterining into the relation with the specific, historical and religious ambiance, connected with technological approach with heated sculptures, made me enthusiastic to think about, how to promote his work widely.

LM: What aspect does religion play in your work?

Mirko: Working for the Cistercian Church, I wasn’t accessing to space through its religious identity and didn’t consider ideological aspects at the first place. Although in the final project occured many resonances with various contexts of the church space: voyeurism of the monks, blindness for everyday problems of the church as a institution, history of religious sculpture, sexual exploration. All arrived spontaneously, without intending to stress those contextual problems too much.

What I wanted to access was the spatial sensibility for the church as the space which could represent cosmic dimensions, as well as the abstract, ideological connotations of history and tradition. 

LM: Do you see technology as damnation or salvation?

 Mirko: I use technology as thing through which we can get back in touch with our sensory corporeal condition. Technology has alienated us from our feeling and now with warming and cooling of sculpture I want to use it to bring us back to our elemetary sensations. Sculptures are warm and as such alive, with a help of a technological “heart”. It’s the tool to bring us back to ourselves. In a practical sense, there is a reliance on technology and tricks/mechanisms to make the inanimate animated. It can make art alive and it can make us alive.

 LM: You mention a mastery over materials that you wish to achive, that you do not wish to be enslaved by it. Brancusi emphasised cooperation and collaboration – why is total mastery necessary?

 Mirko: I’m choosing different materials because of their various properties and I like to respect and use them in a positive way. If I can’t express certain idea in a specific material, I move onto another one. This suggests that materials have specific qualities and abilities that one cannot work beyond to their own will – they can only work with and to the materials limits.

[LM In this case, mastery is not a form of domination but a state knowledge the ‘mastery’ being in knowing what a material will and will not do for you.]

LM: A lot of the sculptures have closed eyes, why is this? 

Mirko: Closed eyes focus on the senses and the sensory. There are five ways of being present, not just one – sight can blind you to your other senses.

LM: You said that your favourite sculpture is Honigpumpe am Arbeitsplatz by Beuys. Beuys was a great performer as well as a sculptor, but it seems the performative aspect is absent in your work which is very static and ‘finished’. 

Mirko: The performative aspect is present in a specific way, in the process of making, which is kind of “performance”, with physical presence of artists - players, sculpture and material. Also the research practices, I’m using in my work, are a form of performance, the scientific experimentation that emerges through my sculptural practice.

Notes:

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About:

A Virtual Biennale is a project produced by the LINE Magazine collective.

It seeks to document the Biennale through a coherent online format, where hierarchies are significantly flattened and the work exists purely in images. By transferring the physical to the virtual, the online Biennale emphasises the Fair's existence as a spectacle, which much like Venice, exists primarily in our imaginations and through the frame of the lens.

2011's Venice Biennale is titled 'Illuminations' and is curated by Bice Curriger. It seeks to 'unveil hidden truths.' Taking this idea as our lead, we hope to elucidate the truths that remain implicit within the Biennale and shed light on them through this webpage and a forthcoming edition of Line Magazine titled 'The Illuminated Artist'.

Over the next few weeks a series of interviews, reviews and critical essays will be added alongside these images. The texts will question the function and purpose of the Biennale in the age of globalisation, the social and political nature of some art showcased and the responsibility of its makers, curators and audience. It will also expose and question the corruption of funding, prizes and sponsorships at the Fair.

Members of the LINE collective:
Rachael Cloughton, Emily Burke, Kathryn Lloyd, Joao Abbott-Gribben, Jemma Craig, Jennifer Owen, Laura Stocks, Matthew Macaulay

Line Magazine was founded in 2010 by Rachael Cloughton and Thomas Carlile: linemagazine.tumblr.com / www.linemagazine.co.uk

© Rachael Cloughton 2011

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