It was the first time I took a thorough look at it, it was lying on the river bank and shimmering unusually, it was a sunny day and the clear sky was above us, a blue sky spread over the stone and me, the air was clear, sharp and cool and I, the sculptor, I gazed at it for a long time, not wanting to look away, I did not move, not for a millimetre did l move my feet, I stood upright, stood still in the place and kept my eyes down, on it, on the stone I was looking, the stone which was lying quietly there on the shore and waiting.
Someone is watching me, I feel his determined gaze, I feel shiver on my stone surface, I feel his then still hidden passion, a kind of untamed energy to look inside me, to start carving me, slowly disassembling and assembling me anew, finding in me all that which I carry hidden inside, so, me, a stone on that river bank one sunny day, and who knows how many similar days I have waited for him, expecting a sculptor who wants to see me, and now he is tirelessly scrutinizing me, piercing me with his eyes, although he has not touched nor approached me yet, and I can already feel how he is slowly and steadily shaping me, creeping into me and feeling me in every minute element of my interior, and our gazes meet, at one moment they merge into sameness, in the unconquerable desire to touch each other, then finally get to know each other and start reshaping so that I, the stone, will become him, and he, the sculptor, will become me. And then it happened, I still remember vividly how the sculptor swiftly stepped up to me, approached me so l could feel the warmth of his body, then he touched me with his toes on his bare feet and the stone in me trembled, I was aroused and more than that, I came to life and finally felt myself and said to myself, see, sculptor, it was precisely these toes I had been waiting for and now here they are, they happened just for me, only for me your toes were born and now I exist in anticipation, and I, the sculptor, at the same moment realize that I feel you, of the many rocks I have focused just on you, you who are laid before my toes, and the stone, how come you are not cold, I ask myself aloud on the river bank, not at all did l feel you would be so warm, I mean, pleasantly hard yet warm at the same time, and as I touch you, when I recognize this warmth as your inner force, I have to grab you, an irresistible urge drives me, and l want to lift you fiercely and forcefully from the ground, weigh your petrified body, I have to hug you, squeeze you to feel your calm inside so that my restless inside tunes in to your body, that you, the stone, get used to me and that I, the sculptor, get used to you.
Production: Museum and Galleries of LjubljanaExhibition curator: dr. Sarival SosičArtist: Jiři BezlajText: dr. Sarival SosičDesign: Ajdin BašićInstallation photos: 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
"Marking the seventieth anniversary of the sculptor Jiři Bezlaj (1949), the City Art Gallery set up a survey exhibition presenting one of the most eminent Slovenian stone sculptors. Having worked in stone for more than forty years, Bezlaj has a track record of over 120 solo and group exhibitions organized both in Slovenia and internationally.”
"Stone has a particular charm. It is very old, millions of years, and emanates its age-old wisdom. Handling it, one absorbs the stone’s knowledge. Sculpting is also a kind of meditation. According to oriental schools of alchemy, on reaching their final evolutionary stage, all minerals turn to gold.”