KiBela, space for art

Exhibition of award winners of the IV. International Fine Arts' Forma Viva Maribor 2011


Opening on Wednesday, 19 June 2013, at 8pm. The exhibition will be showing until 7 July 2013.

“How to think the forest” by means of visual language; how to evoke esthetic and ethical stands towards nature, while at the same time being able to foster a dialogue with the social tendency for the urban – these were the principle thoughts behind home-based and foreign artists creating the IV International Fine Arts’ Forma Viva in Maribor in 2011. Out of all the works created in the city park, based on the power of their ideas, the manner in which the artwork fits into the located space, its execution and interactivity with the viewer, we have chosen four authors as winners of the 1st prize, which opens the doors to KiBela gallery in 2013: Martin Bražina (Czech Republic), Ivan Petkov (Bulgaria/Austria), Silvia Pintilie (Romania) and Viktor Vejvod (Czech Republic).

The exhibition is entitled (Dis)harmony. In terms of content, the bases for the artworks refer to the individual inside modern society; their sensory vibrations towards nature on one side, and to psycho-social environments inside the urban space on the other. The award-winners, each in their own way and for this exhibition only, have touched upon these aspects and placed them inside an interesting artistic context. Their efforts were directed into the open field of artistic practice – into the co-dependency of different media, but mostly into the intention of an ultimate place of “truth”, which raises ethical questions about today’s existence, and mostly about the relationship of man towards nature, towards the urban, and their (dis)harmony.  
The participating artists and the nature of their work thus help to create a “space for encounters”, inhabited by questions like: how does the individual today respond to the social environment, to nature and to the material world; how strongly does he acknowledge their vibrations, and how much does he perceive their signs and rules? We are therefore interested in looking at new poles and new senses of social issues, which are spreading – by means of modern technologies – into unforeseen global and also virtual dimensions, and drive people away from the natural, material elements. In this way people are placed inside a new and different life situation; inside a “mobile space” where the real exists before the symbolic end the imaginary, yet at the same time it is inevitably connected to them, creating new cannons and new demands of perception.  

Today the divide between the observer/viewer and the artwork is disappearing. The contemporary artwork relies on intermediality; it does not seduce the observer/viewer in a superficial manner, nor does it try to attract him with in-depth developments, but rather absorbs his presence into the system of the work itself, into the happening and experiencing. It places the observer/viewer into the role of co-agent, thus pulling the artistic product away from contemplation that is so typical of traditional artworks, and highlights its essence – the interactive perception. Nonetheless, the contemporary artwork, whether material or immaterial, preserves a sensuality; a sentimental attachment to ordinary everyday objects, to the social milieu and to nature. This is because “the sensual” causes restlessness; it inscribes a “desire” into the consciousness, one that penetrates deep into the spirit with great force and stimulates a dynamic atmosphere with creative rhythms, where authentic artistic ideas are being born. It is this impulse that cuts through the skin of the exterior, which interrupts the perception of the real world and shifts the viewer’s perspective onto the fluid sphere of the symbolic and the imaginary. This applies especially to the works that are not encoded by symbolic messages, but communicate through the process of acting and appeal equally to sight, hearing and touch; i.e. the works that lead to experience, intention and goal and which deal with the practical intermediary role in social processes. The four artists in exhibition work in such a context as well.         

Silvia Pintilie ponders on the truth, and links it to the quality of human nature. She is an advocate of a “non-absolute truth” and the fact that we cannot reject everything a prióri, just like we cannot live exclusively in an absolutely clean and beautiful, or an entirely dirty and dark world. Her story is set in a most ordinary, everyday life situation and encompasses an intriguing attitude towards mimesis. The project comprises a series of hand-made food packages, but instead of food she filled them with drawings of different dishes. By mimicking the reality the artist in fact creates a double reality: the reality of the artifact as the material world, and the social reality. The small, transparent artifacts only disclose their inside to such an extent that is needed to encourage perception and to take the viewer to a referential frame, which shares life, illusion, and truth. On this fine line of perception, the true show is taking place: there is a dinner invitation, which can be understood as a symbolic meaning of sociality, communicativeness and social warmth. However, there is a paradox that lies in the art product: the cold, industrial fast food has nothing in common with the ritual of “dinner” as we once knew it. Its markers have crossed the line of privacy and in the modern economy of time they have become a reflection of the typical asocial situation.            

Martin Bražina often discusses current social phenomena, like eating alone and living alone. He sees them as an opportunity to discuss their esthetic aspects. But he also realizes that our life in the age of modern capitalism and digital cultures is becoming increasingly abstract and filled with non-material information that forces us into the process of dematerialization. What used to belong to the domain of the material is being transferred to generative forms by means of modern technologies. This causes the “object” to lose its internal, emotional architecture, but at the same time it picks up on the visual activity; just like an artist’s “Pegman”, travelling the vastness of the world, through the hills and the valleys, he sinks deep into our thoughts. But this kind of digital “journey” record creates an entirely independent logic of perception. The images may surprise us with their manifestation, but they disappear just as quickly as they appeared. This is why they lose their experiential and emotional value. And this is precisely why the artist conceives his video work Pegman as critical – he wants to test the emotional ground of the audience and at the same time exposes a conceptual reflection about the image of a certain space.            

Ivan Petkov reaches to the context of the psychology of media and interactive art. He draws our attention to the disappearance of those sensory-perceptive categories that used to rule the world of the spirit, while today we only find them stranded on the borders of “the necessary”. His installation, a sort of a “time book”, refers to time as the basic principle for organization in the broadest possible sense – time, to which all forms of social life and behavior are connected to. Nowadays we are witnessing numerous changes in the temporal paradigm; we are following various conceptions connected to the digital revolution, which steer time into deviations and disconnected temporal units that in a way produce a schizophrenic temporality. However, this does not affect just the duration of perception, which is the vital structure in the understanding of the temporal modus: the past, present, and future; but also affects the recognition of reality and readability of life, which is often equated with the unreal. Just like Foucault’s Pendulum in Umberto Eco’s story, steadily swinging back and forth between reality and fancy, creating a giant labyrinth of charming fantasies and rich esoteric traditions.        

Viktor Vejvoda is drawn to the “edge”, where the most significant changes occur; where images are disappearing and new ones are being created; where an endless process of urban and socio-psychological changes take place. The artist sees the world of little people as self-initiative and an erosion of countless status symbols.
The presented work “Kiosk” is a hybrid architecture with a specific identity (a temporary building construction), which directs us into the exploration of relationships between the lower-class community and its corresponding organic space. It is interesting that Vejvoda never falls into criticism, but rather tells the story of men, whose experiences are related to survival, not to capital. His projects are socially, ecologically and culturally conscious inside the capital’s power and its architectural mightiness; but above all they are a simple artistic statement that, by means of a fragile architecture, as inconstant as life itself, reveals the man “on the edge”.   
The exhibition is a poem of reality. In their own artistic language and medium, with an esthetic experience and emotional charge, each of the artists presents their own particular visual context.


KiBela, space for art / ACE KIBLA, Ulica kneza Koclja 9, 2000 Maribor
Open on weekdays between 9 am and 10 pm and Saturdays between 5 pm and 10 pm.

(1985, Iasa, Romania)
She lives and works in Iasi.
Education: BFA 2004-2008 National University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Decorative Arts and Design, Mural Arts Dept.; MA 2008-2010 National University “Al. I. Cuza” Iasa, Faculty of Philosophy and Socio - Political Studies, Masters Program (MA) in Applied Philosophy and Cultural Management; MFA 2008–2010 National University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Decorative Arts and Design, Public Arts Masters Program (MFA), class of prof. dr. Ion Stendl; PhD 2010 – present “George Enescu” Art University of Iasi, Romania.
Researching the theme of the traditional object and behaviour contextualized in the contemporary culture, the artist applies herself to studying a various amount of artistic and social practices, which she then filters through personal lens and tries to apply in own visual works. Her works were recently exhibited in a itinerant exhibition encompassing galleries and museums in Lisbon, Setubal and Sines (Portugal).
In the editorial area, Silvia Pintilie occupied the editor-in-chief position at the ArtClue Eastern European Contemporary Art Magazine, interviewing various artists and curators in the video art, performance and painting fields. Also, she actively engages in the cultural development of the city, involving in interdisciplinary activities and offering her proffesional expertise to NGO’s and cultural associations.
Presently, she is the owner and leading artist of Inland Projects, a mural arts and interior design studio specialized in projecting public and private spaces and decorating certain areas using adapted techniques such as mixed media painting, resin casting, stained glass and mosaics.
Project: Subversive friends and other delicious monsters
Chapter: “Dinner is ready!”  for Dis-harmony Exhibition at Kibela Gallery, Maribor

Refrigerated food not only invades our homes, but also our social habits. There is a pale image left of what was supposed to represent the communion with the family during dinner time. This issue is arrived to the point where even Coca Cola, a brand of true globalization, organizes campaigns in to gather family and friends together, for old time’s sake. Judging in this direction, the artist attempts to discover what is left of this primary need for sharing and communicating, and discovers that one of the responsible and concurrently iconic objects, moreover a deconstructed collection of main products, is the empty water casserole with a sheet of paper stuck on it. Employing it in a resourceful manner and drawing whole old and good fashioned dishes on them, as an image of a possible result, she creates a metaphor of a balance behavior that somehow, along the way, seized to happen. The resin material in which the drawings were casted is chosen to represent an artificially frozen society that capsules time and feelings, and never lets go.

(1987 Čeladná, Czech Republic).
He lives and works in Prague
Education: In 2007 he finished the High School for Graphic Art in Jihlavé and since 2008 he studies at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademie výtvarných umĕní) in Prague.
Solo exhibition:
2010 Falling asleep, Usináni, Galerie K4, Prague
Group exhibitions:
2012 Expedition RPSP, Gallery AVU, Prague; 2012 World of Daisies, Gallery Rampa, Ústí nad Labem; 2011 Intermost, Gallery K4, Prague and Kaffistofa Nemendagallerí, Reykjavik; 2011 Dark Shell, Gallery AVU, Prague; 2011 Additional Links, Gallery NTK, Prague; 2011 Misliti kot gozd, IV. Mednarodna likovna forma viva Maribor 2011; 2011 M40, Galerie AVU, Prague; 2010 Ontogenie, Zbrojovka, Brno; Vaše problémy bych chtĕla mit, Langhans Gallery, Prague; We Are Waiting for the Perfect Wave, Kűnstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz; 2009 Born 1989, St. Andrä, Graz; 2008 Ahoj !!!, Gallery Ján Šmok, Jihlava; Mediations Biennale, Poznań; CammouFlash, Dresden;  Sketchstorming, Austrian Cultural Forum, Prague; Free Pivo, Academy of Fine Arts, Praga / Prague .
Pegman's World
He’s the phantom of the surrounding landscape, gently he collects the world
piece by piece. But can he reveal deep secrets and treasures of every
landscape? Will he share them like the others?
There’s no spirit without spirit. There’s no landscape without a man
who cares about it.

(1976, Gabrovo, Bulgaria)
Ivan Petkov lives and works in Linz. He received his MA at the National Art Acadamy Sofia and at the Art University Linz. He works in the fields of sculpture, interactive installations, and animation. His films were shown at festivals like Crossing Europe Linz, VIDEOHOLICA International Video Art Festival Varna and Video Art Festival Miden Kalamata. He participated in art symposiums and exhibitions with sculptures and installations in Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Spain.
“Suffering makes you live time in detail, moment after moment”, 2012, Installation
E.M. Cioran, The New Gods

During sunrise, the first pages of an empty book are being flipped by an airflow. At midday, the amount of the pages which have been turned roughly equals the ones which are still left. At sunset, the end of the book is reached.
The medium book carries connotations to wisdom, culture, law or religion. In these contexts
humans create books, with the purpose to teach, to record, to amuse but also to determine or secure oppressive political regimes. An unexpected use of the book takes place in this installation. It is blank and still can be read - in an intuitive way, without the torturous precision of the signs and through the invisible power of the wind. It reveals the time passed from the morning and the time left till dusk. It reminds of a bygone era in which only the bright part of the day belonged to the active life.

(1983, Prague, Czech Republic)
He lives and works in Prague.
Education: During 2004–2006 he was a student at Charles University (Faculty of Humanities) in Prague. From 2006 to 2009 he attended College of Graphic Design Hellichova (department of graphic design and printing production). Since 2009 he is a student at the Academy of Fine Arts (department of new media) in Prague.
Web site:
Exhibitions: 2012 Expedice RPSP, Galerie AVU, Prague; Gif Festival, Entrance Gallery, Prague; Festival Kukačka, Ostrava; Intruder, Elektrické podniky, Prague; 2011 Temná schránka – Dark Case, Gallery AVU, Prague; Přídavná spojení – Additional links, Gallery NTK, Prague; Intermost – Elusive Intimacy, Gallery K4, Prague and Gallery Kaffistofa, Reykjavík; (A)FEFV - [KUL•] Festival eksperimentalnega filma i videa, Krk; Misliti kot gozd, Forma Viva, Maribor; 2010 Dataism, klub Final, Prague; Fluidum, Ø8Ø9Ø1Ø, galerie K4, Prague; Ontogenie, Brno
Publications: 2006 Via Baltica, with Aleksi Cavaillez, publ. Noir sur Blanc, Paris; 2009 East:West, 1:0; 2012 PPP, Poetická politická pohádka; 2013 Kiosk
Greasy Kiosk
With need to protect small and fragile I aimed on tiny subversive constructions.
They are improvised.
They are ugly.
They are easily destructible.
They are colored.
They are human.
They are cheap.
They are punk.
They are greasy.
They are left.
They are unconventional.
They are unwanted.
They are tolerated.

Fragile architecture are constructions which exist in direct opposition to inaccessible fortresses made from steel, glass and concrete.
Greasy kiosks are mostly situated in interesting areas with an essence of liberty.
As part of their daily routine they serve fast-food, newsagent, foodstuff, greengrocery; they are blue-collar pubs. The kiosks are often self-built by the owners or constructed from prefabricated segments.
They stay and resist through changes of regimes, times and developers’ intentions.
Mapping and preserving situation of such a fragile construction is done with the medium of cut-out and gives everyone the chance to construct his own private kiosk.




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