JANJA KOSI
Serving suggestion
September 15—October 25, 2021


LOCATION
R SPACE
Gosposka ulica 16
1000 Ljubljana
CURATOR
Piera Ravnikar

TEXT
Eva Simonič
PHOTOGRAPHER
Mario Zupanov

︎︎︎STATEMENT
            R SPACE is a project space whose exhibition programme thematises the question of space and at the same time addresses a broad spectrum of the nuances of its meaning. Participating artists have the opportunity to explore and interpret the concept of space, either in its manifestations or as abstract metaphors, using a non-standard exhibition format and, above all, pursuing their own creative process in the course of realising the exhibition. The exhibitions in their initial form do not represent the final, complete totality of the creative process, but consist of three phases of development and continue to change during the first week after the opening. The focus is on the process of making the exhibition. The artists constantly document their process (inside and outside the gallery space), creating the exhibition as well as its archive and providing an insight into the background, the cogs of the mechanisms involved in the conception, preparation and realisation of the exhibition.

           R SPACE, a new artistic initiative of RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE, was launched in collaboration with ZRC SAZU and is aimed at the youngest generation of artists who present themselves mainly in the mediums of painting, drawing and sculpture in all its dimensions and forms.

           The artist Janja Kosi will be the first to present herself in R SPACE with the project Serving Suggestion, which has already been shown in part at DobraVaga Gallery and at Art Stays Festival of Contemporary Art. It is based on the idea of the postcard as the bearer of the image of the most brilliant architectural and other sights a place has to offer. Here, however, the illustrations of Ikea chain shopping centres from 11 different cities beam at us. These are now admired "like a tourist studying a mediaeval cathedral" and treated as a superior experience that such consumer spaces always promise. Using the postcards as templates, she went on to produce modular paper models of the buildings depicted, the individual parts of which can be freely assembled into any composition. In a final step, she reproduced the resulting formations in an illusionistic stroke on canvases; like following an instruction manual for the step-by-step assembly of furniture, the artist intervened in the chain of successive, thoughtful interventions in various materials and mediums to finally achieve an appealing image of the final, promotional product.

           In the new installation, Kosi continues her exploration of architecture as the process and site of an event, experience, story. She combines her memories of family trips to Ikea with the idea that we make sense of our own (home)life through architecture, without which we cannot even imagine living. A particular space (a built structure) only becomes architecture when a living story of people becomes entangled in it, when it absorbs an experience that merges with it to such an extent that the characteristic design of a space can become a sign of the experience itself – in this sense, for the artist, shopping in Ikea centres will forever be linked to its architectural form and the childhood memories associated with it. We can conclude that architecture is not only a physical, "real" space, but also and above all a space of human experience of what happens in a given space. The space is both the scene and the evidence of an event, it is a witness, a memory of an event: a certain event and a certain space are inseparable. From this perspective, the artist also sees the gallery as a home space that she herself furnishes and to which she gives meaning by bringing in her experience – her artwork. Assuming that architecture has the capacity to sustain the emotional charge and attachment of its users to it, the artist will leave an indelible mark on R SPACE with her exhibition (event, experience). She builds (up) the exhibition step by step and in several stages that correspond to the phases of her artistic approach described previously.

RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE in collaboration with ZRC SAZU.


︎︎︎ABOUT THE ARTIST

            Janja Kosi (1994, Maribor) studied Painting at the Academy for Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where she graduated in 2016. In 2020, she completed her master studies with the thesis The Everyday Life of Heterotopic Space and practical piece X°Y’Z’’ N – A°B’C’’ E, for which she received the ALUO Award for Outstanding Creative and Study Achievements. She spent part of her studies on an exchange programme at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. She works in the fields of visual art, painting, illustration and animation. So far she has presented herself in the solo exhibitions Serving Suggestion (DobraVaga, Ljubljana 2021), darling the roof is leaking (DLUL Gallery, Ljubljana 2019) and in many group exhibitions, such as Art Stays (Fo.Vi Gallery, Kidričevo, 2021), EKO8 (UGM-MTT, Maribor 2021), Temporary. Until further notice. (Fotopub, Ljubljana 2020), EKO 8 Launch Days (UGM-MTT, Maribor 2020), 4WD; The Polycentricity of Painting Issues in the Works of Four Authors (Moderna Galery, Zagreb 2020), Another time and place (Improper Walls, Vienna 2019). Spatial installations and the integration of different mediums characterise her practice. In her work, she often explores the concepts of (non) space, home and homeliness, and the relationship between man and architecture.

︎︎︎INSTALLATION VIEWS