ALUO LXX. Past, Present, Future
The exhibition "ALUO LXX. Past, Present, Future" is dedicated to the anniversary of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, at the time known as the Academy of Representational Art, introducing its regular academic programmes. It was seventy years ago, on 14 January 1946, that lessons were initiated by the subsequent chancellor Božidar Jakac and six full professors who had set the fundamental guidelines of the art education process.
The Academy has since grown into the central educational institution for the field of fine and visual arts, and design, and has helped create a specific national art sphere with the artists formed in its schooling process.
Not only do anniversaries serve as an opportunity to look back, they are particularly convenient to shape the vision for future development. It is the present that makes us face our responsibility towards the Academy's future role and development – are we going to keep fostering and nurturing a formative stance, such as the Academy has preserved until now, or are we going to focus on receptive communication systems within visual practices? This exhibition might answer the question whether both approaches could coexist creatively at the Academy.
The exhibition features works made by Academy students. When the Academy was founded, departments of painting and sculpture were formed, whereas now the educational process is conducted in five study programmes divided into nine courses of study. By showing the exhibited works and creative processes, the Academy is also letting the visitors assess the nature of its educational process, its conceptual basis, its openness towards various media and last but not least, its position in the context of contemporary art.
The Academy has maintained and continued to foster reflectively its connection with the educational practices that had asserted themselves in the schooling tradition, while also facing constructively its educational challenges. The complex programme basis for studying all current genres of fine art, design and conservation-restoration, as well as optionality supported and encouraged throughout the programme enable students to acquire thorough education in the field of art. The range is inscribed in the very nature of the available courses, from the most open and avant-garde programmes, such as painting and sculpture, focusing on exploring new contents; through video, supported with state-of-the-art technology and the possibilities provided by film and animation; as well as illustration, graphic and industrial design, seeking to maintain their practical value; to restoration and conservation, which are even expected to possess certain conservativism in the interest of preserving our own cultural heritage.
What the exhibition seeks to emphasise particularly, is the plurality of pedagogical practices and the hybridity of the current art production ranging from an individual item to a spatial installation, the inclusion of performativity and the relation between the exhibited, the exhibitor and the visitor, in which the latter two both participate actively. The exhibition has been designed as a hybrid spatial installation of the past, present and future, combining the traditional gallery setting with spatial installations and sites intended for live performances of creative/educational activities. In the gallery, teachers and students will be able to switch their roles in front of the audience, with the observer also actively integrated in the process.
It is a major opportunity for the Academy to present its programmes in the gallery, as it still lacks its own exhibition space despite its growing outward focus and cooperation with other institutions. This exhibition is the result of inter-institutional collaboration between the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana.
—Vesna Krmelj, Petra Jager
Producers: Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, represented by Boštjan Botas Kenda, Dean; Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, represented by Blaž Peršin, Director
Expert committee: ALUO UL: Boštjan Botas Kenda, Daša Bračko, Žiga Kariž, Gregor Kokalj, Peter Koštrun, Sašo Sedlaček, Jurij Smole, Mateja Vidrajz; MGML: Barbara Savenc, Marija Skočir
Artworks selected by: Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana: Department of Painting, Department of Sculpture, Department of Restoration, Department of Industrial Design and Unique Design, and Department of Visual Communication Design
Photographs selected by: Barbara Savenc, dr. Nadja Zgonik
Exhibition set-up design: Žiga Kariž, Peter Koštrun, Barbara Savenc, Sašo Sedlaček, Marija Skočir, Jurij Smole
Exhibition design: Dorijan Šiško
Exhibition texts: ALUO UL, Barbara Savenc
Photographs: National Museum of Contemporary History, Prepared by: Jožica Šparovec, Sašo Kovačič; Archive ALUO UL: Miha Benedičič
Realisation of the exhibition: Igor Jeraj, Bogdan Renko, Marko Vižin, Roman Štrovs, Gregor Kokalj, Technical Service MGML (Franci Lozinšek, Mitja Marc, Andrej Mesarič, Zvone Sečnik, Jernej Volk)