Dominik Mahnič
© Dominik Mahnič's painting Outdoor Painter, courtesy of the artist

Dominik Mahnič

Steering the Brush

19. 9. 2023–5. 11. 2023

Dominik Mahnič, an emblematic figure nestled between the realms of academic painting, video mastery, technology, and street art insurgency, raises questions about the perpetual dialectics between classical artistry and the onslaught of contemporary technological modalities. Within this discourse emerges the Brushograph - a complex symbol not merely of art but also of the intersections between past, present, and anticipated futures.

In an era where the lines between man and machine have become increasingly blurred, Mahnič's collaborations with technicians like Vid Vidmar and Peter Veselinović herald a transformative shift in the domain of art production. The evolution from Markergraphy to Aerography and Acrylography is not just a technological journey but a historiographical commentary, using the tools and symbols of modernity such as 2D scanning, CNC, and 3D printing. The latest incarnation of Brushograph, however, adds another layer to this narrative - the artist does not control but converses, marking a turn towards a more decentralized, perhaps even democratized, art-making process.

The deliberate juxtaposition of Brushograph's mechanical articulation with the age-old technique of egg tempera, on display at the Match Gallery, serves as a meditation on the nature of art production and reception in the modern world. Yet, even amidst this matrix of technology and tradition, the underlying sentiment resonates clearly: that the essence of painting, the raw, emotive spirit of the artform, should remain unencumbered and pure, transcending its mechanized or manual genesis.

In the artistic odyssey of Dominik Mahnič, one observes the profound intersection of traditional art forms and contemporary technological apparatuses. Mahnič, straddling the world of academic painting, video, and the vibrant street art scene, offers an aura of authenticity, even in an age increasingly dominated by mechanical reproduction.

The emergence of the Brushograph is not merely an instrument but a signifier, capturing the dialectical tension between art's tactile historicity and the alienation brought forth by technology's rapid encroachment. Through collaborations with programmers Vid Vidmar and Peter Veselinović the narrative is enriched, signaling the transformation of artistic production in the age of mechanical reproducibility.

Tracing the lineage from Markergraphy to Aerography and Acrylography, each progression unfolds not just as a testament to the artist's innovative spirit, but as a chronicle of the shifting terrain of artistic expression in an ever-modernizing world. At the Match Gallery, the Brushograph becomes more than a machine; it is an artifact, mirroring the complexities of a society in flux. Yet, even amidst the specter of technology, Mahnič's insistence on the innate value of the art piece - divorced from its process of creation - serves as a poignant reminder of art's timeless aura, even in an era that threatens to eclipse it.*

*Text by Jani Pirnat, restructured by OpenAI ChatGPT4, based on the entered data and instructions, in an attempt to channel the analytical and philosophical style of Boris Groys (1947), a german theorist known for his insightful perspectives on art, politics, and media.

Dominik Mahnić's Brushograph at work:
Jure Vuga, professor of art history and doctor of sociology, Eszter M Polonyi, researcher in cultural history at the University of Nova Gorica, and Jurij Bon, a specialist in psychiatry, have also contributed texts on the work of Dominik Mahnić, which are expected to be presented in the form of an online catalogue during the course of the exhibition:
Eszter M Polonyi: The Return of the Painter Mechanicity and Its Operator
Jurij Bon: Hallucinations in Generative Intelligent Systems (GPT)
Jure Vuga: Mahnič's Brushography as a New Antropogenic Product

The exhibition is part of the pre-festival programme of the Adela Festival (Kino Šiška, 18 November 2023), organised by Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory.


Production: Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljane
Artist: Dominik Mahnič
Brushograph's programmers: Peter Veselinović, Vid Vidmar
Curator: Jani Pirnat
Texts: Jani Pirnat, OpenAI ChatGPT4
Language and content supervision on OpenAI ChatGPT4Urban Belina
This project has been made possible by: Mestna občina Ljubljana, Ministrstvo za kulturo RS, KUD Mreža, Galerija Alkatraz, Društvo Ljudmila, Cirkulacija 2
Special thanks: Borut Savski, Radharani Pernarčič, Jure Vuga, Eszter M Polonyi, Jurij Bon

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