Urša Vidic & Luka Uršič (KALU)
MMC Kibla, Maribor
The installation was devoted to the historical moment of art and philosophy of Romanticism and Modern art. It was designed as debris of an old apartment with fragments of walls and furniture elements. Inside a wardrobe, dresser, side bar or a picture frame there were incorporated video images that reflected fragments of romantic paintings. The installation served as a place of contemplation and re-thinking of the Kantian idea of sublime compered to its contemporary manifestations.
In her organic, often abstract everyday imagery Urša Vidic preserves a close bond with painting that is further enhanced with the layering of recordings and the references to sublime scenes, typical of Romanticist painting. The language of Luka Uršič, also known under the artistic alias KALU, is extremely urban and full of constant movement and pulsation. He is sometimes inclined to aesthetics of error, parallel to glitch music, which threaten to consume the entire pictorial field; while other instances reveal him toying with dematerialized images of nature, the play of light and reflections, and reminiscences of religious iconography.
The authors connect their individual expressions into an installation, which in its essence explores the manipulation of perception through a re-contextualization of everyday images and sounds, as well as references to past periods of art. It is, however, not a pure appropriation in the Warholean sense, but a formation of a comprehensive ambient installation that tries, above all else, to embrace the viewer and his auditory-visual apparatus. The videos are projected in imaginative ways, often included in furniture pieces, creating an atmosphere of a specific, nearly homelike intimacy. Once the authors separate the familiar scenes from their natural, obvious context, they begin to create a content and formal tension on the micro-level of the videos, which is further highlighted on the macro-level of the complete setting by the juxtaposition of the intimacy and the sublime or distinctively urban connotations.
The sound component, just like the visual, is based on everyday imagery. The sound serves as a means of video de-contextualization, and at the same time it underwent a similar process of de-contextualisation: the audio records of banal actions become rhythmicized, occasionally even close to melodic, and the natural source of sound is always more or less obscure. The interaction of a universal sound set and individual sound recordings belonging to each of the videos creates a dynamic sonic landscape, which changes according to the position inside the room, and at the same time assumes the role of the narrative element of the subtly present story of the whole.
Through the creative process of video and sound editing the authors objectivise the initially very subjective, nostalgic material; they create a distance towards it, thereby causing its metamorphosis into a malleable matter, which is then explored and played with. In doing so they distance themselves from the scientifically coloured approach of many (neo)conceptualist and intermedia practices, and shift their focus to the formal-aesthetic level. They create an audio-visual ambient that absorbs and directly addresses the viewer.
Urša Vidic and Luka Uršič (KALU) are representatives of the younger, exceptionally productive generation of Slovenian artists. Despite countless engagements in various artistic groups they possess clearly profiled personal styles, which they connect into a joint expression with the Iceberg project. Despite this they remain faithful to their personal aesthetics on the level of individual videos.
music by: Luka Uršič (KALU)
photography: Nada Žgang
exhibition curator: Žiga Dobnikar
production: MMC Kibla - Maribor