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Živa Drvarič


According to Maurice Blanchot, the everyday is an unattainable thing to which we nonetheless always have access; an elusive, escaping thing. It might be that the space in which Živa Drvarič’s project Aparthotel (2022) takes place tries to capture the everyday by taking ordinary things, duplicating and dividing them, making them non-functional, illogical. Or maybe different-logical. While the everyday is predominantly defined by the routine of passing time, the parallel world of Aparthotel is characterised by the fact that time has stopped there – or that two different times, the past and the future, have merged into one.

Živa Drvarič, Soft Foundations (In, Out), 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Živa Drvarič, Balance (Daily Reminder), 2020. Photo: Nada Žgank / Arhiv KUD Mreža.
An alienated space is neither an apartment nor a hotel, which by definition tries to embody homeliness, but always falls a bit short. In Aparthotel, we are separated from easily definable space. The hotel is not only metaphorical in its inherently unsuccessful attempts to emulate homeliness, but is also considered a slightly foreign environment, where everyday life is always just a little different than at home. According to Bachelard, it makes sense to use the house as an analytical tool for the human soul and vice versa: our soul is a dwelling. When we inhabit “houses” and “rooms”, we learn to “dwell” within ourselves. But it is not only about our memories, he adds, we are also inhabited by everything we have forgotten. Therefore, to interpret Bachelard in a slightly liberal way, memories, thoughts, convictions and feelings have distorted the everyday housed in the Aparthotel.

Our visit is defined by time standing still, somewhere between the past and the future, while corresponding existential questions leave their mark on everyday items. Shoes and insoles are covered with thoughts and dilemmas, symbolic windows guide our gaze towards the mind and prolong views that would in reality be fleeting, bottles hint at existing in two places simultaneously, buckets allude to co-dependence, just like the cable, that serves not to exhaust but to exchange the energy. Everyday items convey present issues and thoughts that concurrently stem from past experiences and are situated at the threshold of an uncertain future. Aparthotel is a (metaphor for a) space, where familiar items are inhabited by scattered thoughts which are directed towards the unknown and the unpredictable. Aparthotel is not quite a parallel world where everything is as it is in our everyday life – its essence is more about the elusive everyday states of things.

Text by: Iza Pevec

The project was produced by KUD Mreža / Alkatraz Gallery.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and by the City of Ljubljana.
Živa Drvarič, Aparthotel, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

Živa Drvarič, Casually Impacting One Another, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

Živa Drvarič, Balance (Daily Reminder), 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

Živa Drvarič (1988) has an MFA degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She also studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and finished the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main under the mentorship of Judith Hopf. Her work is inspired by observations related to everyday objects, gestures, language, thoughts and processes – it revolves around looking for similarities between things, transforming ordinary objects, repurposing motifs from her own archive of photographs and looking for new possibilities within the constraints of existing techniques. She has exhibited her work in various group and solo exhibitions at venues such as Galerija Alkatraz, GalerijaGallery, MGLC and Ulay Foundation in Ljubljana, UGM Studio in Maribor, Kunsthalle Bratislava in Bratislava, Laurenz Space and Parallel Vienna in Vienna, Galerie 35m2 in Prague, Spoiler in Berlin, Lovaas Projects in München and Studio Jochem Hendricks and Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.

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