The Rijeka-based art collective Focus Grupa is presenting itself to Ljubljana’s audience with an exhibition that wraps up its two-month residency at the Cultural Centre Tobacco 001. In the recent years, Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović, the two members of the collective founded in 2012, have been looking into power relations within the contemporary art field, which is firmly embedded in economic, social and, not least, political reality.
Their findings on art institutions are shown in the form of analytical graphs that, combined with texts, documentary material, photographs and videos, provide the basis for spatial installations and interventions. Questions regarding systemic workings, visible and invisible interactions as well as work methodologies and internal structures are addressed not only in relation to the organisations that are the subject of their analysis, but also in relation to an overall situation within a given geopolitical milieu.
Through their participation in artist residencies, workshops and collaborative exhibitions, Fokus Grupa have consistently aimed towards creating a synergy with the gallery space. Their current show is conceived in the same vein, whereby they augmented their ongoing project "Invisible Matter" with "East Art Map", a research project by the Slovenian art collective Irwin. The data from "East Art Map", which focuses on the eastern European geopolitical region, were integrated with those from the global art publishing platform e-flux. More specifically, the art collective integrated the two internationally recognised art platforms in order to achieve at least a partial distancing from the selected information to be processed. By aggregating names of artists whose inclusion in "East Art Map" is based on their listing on e-flux, their computer software renders a general picture regarding the presence and exhibition activity of artists from a certain geographical area within the global institutional art field.
In parallel with the graphic presentation of what is generally invisible information, Focus Grupa is also showing works created by other artists who were invited to participate according to the selection factor determined by the current research. The gallery installation thus consists of the main show whose central visual exhibit is a folder of links generated through computer data processing, whereas the parallel show serves to illustrate standard exhibition forms. With this twist, the artistic duo directs its critique at the otherwise undetectable operational codes within both the art and social milieus.
The exhibition features works by
Neue Slowenische Kunst
Production: Museum and Galleries of LjubljanaExhibition curator: Alenka GregoričArtists: Fokus Grupa – Iva Kovač & Elvis Krstulović Text: Alenka GregoričDesign: Ajdin BašićPhotography: Andrej Peunik/MGMLRealisation of the exibition: Technical Service MGMLThe exhibition was made possible by: City of Ljubljana
Monday, Saturday, Sunday: Closed
"The two-month residency of the Croatian art collective Fokus Grupa at the Tobacco 001 Cultural Centre has facilitated the implementation of the project, entitled “Invisible Matter” and curated by Alenka Gregorič. In their creative production, the authors Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović employ various archives as well as visual materials which they use as sources for their collages and appropriations. Owing to their investigations into the workings of visual art institutions and relations in the art world within a wider region, their opus may be ranked among the latest works of institutional critique.”
Through their participation in artist residencies, workshops and collaborative exhibitions, Fokus Grupa have consistently aimed towards creating a synergy with the gallery space. Their current show is conceived in the same vein, whereby they augmented their ongoing project "Invisible Matter" with "East Art Map", a research project by the Slovenian art collective Irwin.
Fokus grupa has been active since 2012. In its work, it tries to establish a critical framework for reading the artistic, economic and political surroundings in which it operates. It lends and learns from design, architecture, curatorship and writing, while often broadening its working team with collaborators from other fields.