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Živa Drvarič & Gašper Kunšič: Endless Return

30. 6.–9. 9. 2023
Ravnikar Gallery Space, Ljubljana, Slovenia

All photos by Marijo Zupanov / Ravnikar Gallery Space
Through the prism of being trapped in conventions and the magic of reading between the lines suggested by the title Endless Return, Živa Drvarič and Gašper Kunšič are presenting their third joint exhibition. Their individual artistic poetics remain visually and conceptually distinctive, clear and address the experience of a world characterised by entrapment in the established, the conventional and the mundane, and the evocation of meanings hidden behind symbols, social phenomena and seemingly ordinary objects.

Živa Drvarič's objects and images question the function of useful objects, abstract them and invite us to contemplate established ideas and what we expect from the material world. The result is a play of objects and their interaction with the exhibition space. Like the repetition of a word to the point where it loses its meaning, the objects on display encourage us to consider the taken-for-granted use of everyday and ubiquitous tools, such as nails, switches and windows, which already inhabit every space we enter. The artist frees these objects from their primary functions and, thus relieved, they can enter into a play of the visible and the invisible, suggesting an alternation of real and mental spaces between which we exist on a daily basis. The mental space, as an extension of the real, allows us an individual interpretation of reality and everyday life in which things exist not only to be activated by us, but also for us to be activated by them. The gallery installation opens a witty glimpse into the background of the refined installations of art exhibitions, where nails manage to outgrow their basic purpose and freely wind on the other side of the walls, while switches underline the constant flow of switching and constant change within the everyday.

Through a series of drawings charged with pathos, Gašper Kunšič also approaches a different vision and understanding of the texts of emotional songs and the symbols associated with them. In his characteristic palette of colours, he depicts motifs that are at once simple in their narrative and confessional power, and at the same time full of meanings brought to the surface by blue, red, pink and purple coloured pencils. By adapting the meaning of the lyrics of pop songs and turbo-folk tunes, he creates a space of his own poetics and new interpretations that can arise when we try to step out of the seemingly unchangeable. An important characteristic of the songs that appeal to him is their popularity and, along with it, the mainstream understanding, which is most often heteronormative. The artist's visual and semantic reinterpretation allows for a different reading of familiar songs, identification and domestication of emotional verses for someone who is looking for home in the split between nostalgia, the idea of home as a shelter, its images, colours and sounds, and the reality in which home becomes a point to which there can be no return.
In this materialisation, Endless Return is an image of a world subject to the endless return of the same, which, in the visual expression of Živa Drvarič and Gašper Kunšič, escapes black and white existence, constant binary choice and the repetition of the same events and concepts over and over again. The exhibited artworks subtly move us out of the established tracks and direct our gaze towards what remains hidden in plain sight.
Project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana, Department of Culture and Triglav Insurance Company.

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