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Sara Bezovšek: Life is like the ocean, it goes up and down

17. 3.–20. 5. 2023
Ravnikar Gallery Space, Ljubljana Slovenia

All photos by Marijo Zupanov / Ljubljana Art Weekend
In her artistic practice, visual artist Sara Bezovšek creates visually saturated images by appropriating online material and examining what people look at and share on social media, how visuals are transmitted around the internet, how these visuals are influenced by different contexts and how they impact people. In doing so, she highlights the fact that online content and online references have become a consistent and indispensable part of the world we live in.

In the exhibition Life is like the ocean, it goes up and down the artist presents new works in the form of collages, which are the result of a long process of collecting and editing photographs and emoticons that she came across while browsing the web. By collaging found photographs, creating natural and urban landscapes and incorporating emoticons, she is graphically recording a variety of events, at once familiar and alien to the viewer in their proportions and unusual combinations. In the images of the sea, plants and the urban environment, as well as in the uplift into the mountain and even outer space world, it is possible to search for and pay attention to details and to unravel narratives hidden in the bigger picture.

In addition to the collages, the exhibition also includes an interactive website named SND (Introduction to Nature and Society – a common subject in Slovenian elementary schools) and screen recordings of its subpages, which plucks its visitors from their idyllic starting position and leads them through possible futures of our planet – natural catastrophes such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, fires and tsunamis, overpopulation, ice ages, worldwide pandemics, alien invasions, nuclear explosions, meteor strikes, and other potential apocalyptic scenarios. The content that the artist has found online, e.g. short videos, clips from popular films and TV series, memes, photographs, GIFs, pop culture references, emojis and hyperlinks to various articles, forms a complex and visually saturated narrative which follows the premise of a typical Hollywood film.
In the nooks and crannies of her online project, there are numerous additional links and other content that visitors to the site can use for their own exploration of given topics and for choosing their own paths that can lead them to a variety of different futures for humankind. SND is an ongoing project and currently encompasses multiple subsites/videos with titles such as You Are Here, Human Extinction, False Utopia, Overpopulation, Evacuate Earth, Nuclear Winter and Through the Wormhole. In an era marked by doomscrolling, conspiracy theories, climate change-related anxiety and political tensions, in which we often question our way of life and wonder about our existence in the future, SND uses the medium of the website to depict the general feeling of unease and helplessness that we experience whenever we see what is going on in the world.

The exhibition cycle ETC.: Fever Dream is supported by the City of Ljubljana and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Etc. is an annual magazine, dedicated to showcasing current artistic production from the Baltic to the Balkans.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, each issue is dedicated to a relevant topic in art and life. Founded to promote emerging artists, its goal is to initiate a dialogue, inspire collaborations, and challenge set views.