Tadej Pogačar & P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art
From its inception in 1999 and its first public manifestation at the 2001 Venice Biennale, Tadej Pogačar’s "CODE:RED" has seen numerous presentations, interpretations, and analyses.
Individual segments of the project were featured at solo and group exhibitions and biennials – after Venice, also in Prague, Tirana, São Paulo, and Istanbul – and in 2011, a book of the same title was published, comprising theoretical essays and previously unpublished documents. The "CODE:RED" exhibition at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana provides a complete overview of all of the realized “stages” of the project to date, with a special emphasis on critical information concerning the issue of the consolidation of sex workers’ rights. This is the first comprehensive presentation of "CODE:RED", including documentary material, texts, interviews, videos, photographs, and newspapers, and also the first time that certain of its constituent stages and activities are being presented in the artwork format.
Pogačar’s approach to the subject of parallel economies – human trafficking and the related sex industry being an inherent part of them – is based on trust and open communication between the artist and the other participants. The project regularly involves the artist initiating close collaboration between participating art institutions and organizations advocating sex workers’ human rights. The artist serves as a mediator in the relations between the various art institutions and the activist organizations that he connects them with for the duration of each of the project editions. He is interested in the attitude the community has toward marginal groups, especially regarding their rights, their social and economic status, and their methods of survival and tactics of work in the neoliberal economic and social structures, rather than the final visual manifestation of the exhibits or precise controlling of the random relations with visitors to the exhibition. The most important aspect of the project, and, indeed, its measure of success, is thus the quality of collaboration on both sides and the constructive dialogue between the participants, regardless of the form of presentation, be it an action, a performance, a conference, a workshop, a discussion, or an intervention. In the process, Pogačar acts successively as a researcher, observer, mediator, and finally translator of a certain social reality into the context of art. Given a final form only for the presentation in a gallery or museum, "CODE:RED" is, above all else, a vehicle for conveying the artist’s statement concerning the issue of sex work, with a central focus on the social inequalities we are faced with but are nonetheless, shamelessly, willing to live with.
Production: Museum and Galleries of LjubljanaCoproduction: P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art & P74 GalleryExhibition curator: Alenka GregoričArtist: Tadej PogačarText: Alenka GregorovičDesign: Ajdin BašičPhotography: Andrej Peunik / MGMLRealisation of the exhibition: Technical services of MGMLThe exhibition was made possible by: City of Ljubljana, Department for Culture
1 January, 1 November, 25 December: Closed
24 and 31 December: 11:00–14:00
Following successful shows at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana in 2018, curated by Alenka Gregorič, and the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg, CODE:RED, a retrospective exhibition by Tadej Pogačar, is now moving to the Mali Salon of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (MMSU Rijeka), where it will be displayed in a new layout including photographs, video works, collages and documentary material. The opening will take place on Friday, 23 August, at 7 pm.
Established in 1999, CODE:RED is a complex participatory project researching various aspect of sex work as a specific parallel economy and as a form of economic “disobedience”. It encourages discussions and works as an ongoing participatory interdisciplinary platform, which in a series of projects studies the possibilities of analogue economic models of various isolated groups and minorities.