MAJA BABIČ KOŠIR
Turnmeon
September 01—October 15, 2021


LOCATION
RAVNIKAR GALLERY
Levstikova ulica 3
1000 Ljubljana
CURATOR
Piera Ravnikar

TEXT
Eva Simonič
PHOTOGRAPHER
Mario Zupanov

︎︎︎STATEMENT
            Visual artist Maja Babič Košir, sculptor, and painter, curiously blurs the boundaries between mediums in her new series of artworks, which includes paintings, drawings and large-scale collages, as well as sculptural works and spatial installations. The artist's intuitive creative process is, as always, anchored in a contemplative, introspective principle. Drawing material from her surroundings and her personal history, she translates each event of her inner world into a visual world in the cycle of impulsive artistic interventions, remaining faithful to a sensual and intense visual language and a raw, (seemingly) unpolished and wild aesthetic. The artworks are thus a document of the artist herself in a specific moment and space. Certain series from the recent years, such as the still ongoing processes of composing the collages entitled Love Letters, but also the series of explicit, raging monotypes, appear like emotional outbursts in diary form, precisely because of their narrative nature and reminiscence of letters. Particularly exciting are the Love Letters compilations that the artist began to create when she discovered a rich family archive of a wide variety of materials: envelopes, cardboard, colourful papers of different textures, shiny adhesive tapes, cut-out letters and other papers with visually appealing, tactile qualities.

            In a similar language, she also continues with the new series, Turnmeon. From the production, which began in the isolation of a hotel room, when the artist was stuck abroad last year, it is clear that Babič Košir stems from a background in sculpture. The desire to expand into the space is clearly indicated by the installations, which attempt to at least partially deny the decorativeness and two-dimensionality of the collages and paintings, even if they are not very flat, as they achieve a multidimensional effect through the layering and stacking of materials. Although the saturation from the artist's past creative periods may have become more refined and individual pictorial components as well as overall compositions are now more clearly defined, the artist does not strive for perfection – on the contrary, she even welcomes a certain shabbiness, mistakes that are not mistakes, or as she says herself rubbish and poetry. Consequently, this is how she also investigates the plasticity of the material and its sensory dimensions. Her interventions in it are minimal: she always submits to the recycled material she finds – either in the family archive or on her travels – (stones, textiles), uses it as she finds it, composes it with no or very few interventions into a new whole, whose new charge is now completely detached from the meanings that the individual materials may have carried before.

            The present exhibition consists of various artworks such as collages made from materials used by the artist's father as a window dresser, a photographic work by the artist's ex-husband, as well as objects that have nothing to do with art, such as a neon sign that was a lucky find in an antique shop, and stones from her travels through Africa placed in a contrasting combination with pink Plexiglas. For the author of the artworks, these are, as always, in their essence a means of purification. From the selection of the artworks and their placement in the space, it is perhaps more evident than ever that Babič Košir both creates her own art and experiences it with therapeutic zeal. The artistic process is thus a healing process; through a series of metamorphoses, both material, in which the material of a forgotten, worn-out object is transformed into something new and light, and spiritual, thanks to which "the painful memory can become the sweetness of being", the artist builds a new archive of her own. Turnmeon is a collection of objects, remnants of a time, it is an archive of stories about remembrance, about the transformation of pain, about old skins we have thrown away, about the alchemy of art – it is an archive of different love stories.

︎︎︎ABOUT THE ARTIST

            Maja Babič Košir (1978) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where she also obtained her master's degree in Sculpture. She completed her postgraduate studies in Creative Illustration and Visual Communication Techniques at EINA in Barcelona. She has participated in numerous solo and group shows, most notably in Portugal and Spain, where she lived and worked for almost 10 years. She regularly attends international fairs of contemporary art, such as SWAB Barcelona, Vienna Contemporary and SPARK Art Fair. She won several awards and acknowledgments, and her works are housed in private and public collections. She lives and works between Porto and Ljubljana.


︎︎︎MAJA BABIČ KOŠIR: TURNMEON

            Vizualna umetnica Maja Babič Košir, kiparka, slikarka in ilustratorka, v novi seriji umetniških del, ki poleg slik, risb in kolažev večjih formatov vsebuje tudi kiparska dela ter prostorske postavitve, radovedno briše meje med mediji. Umetničin intuitivni ustvarjalni proces je kot vselej zasidran v kontemplativnem, introspektivnem principu. Snov črpa iz svojega okolja in svoje osebne zgodovine, sleherno dogajanje v svojem notranjem svetu v ciklu impulzivnih umetniških intervencij prevede v vizualni svet, pri čemer ostaja zvesta svojemu čutnemu in intenzivnemu likovnemu jeziku ter surovi, (zgolj na videz) nerafinirani in divji estetiki. Umetniška dela so tako dokument umetnice same v specifičnem trenutku in prostoru. V preteklih letih so določene serije, na primer še zmeraj trajajoči procesi sestavljanja kolažev, naslovljenih Love letters, pa tudi serije eksplicitnih, besnečih monotipij, prav zaradi svoje pripovedne narave in pisemskih vzporednic delovale kot čustveni izlivi v dnevnik. Še posebej vznemirljive so kompilacije Love letters, ki jih je umetnica pričela ustvarjati, ko je odkrila bogat družinski arhiv raznovrstnih materialov: pisemske ovojnice, karton, barviti papirji najrazličnejših tekstur, svetleči lepilni trakovi, izrezane črke in drug papir z vizualno privlačnimi, taktilnimi lastnostmi.

            V sorodni govorici nadaljuje tudi novo serijo, Turnmeon. Iz produkcije, ki se je pričela v izolaciji hotelske sobe, ko je umetnica v preteklem letu obtičala v tujini, gre jasno razbrati, da Babič Košir izhaja iz kiparskega ozadja. Želja po širitvi v prostor je nedvoumno nakazana z instalacijami, ki poskušajo vsaj deloma zanikati dekorativnost in dvodimenzionalno naravo kolažev in slik, sicer pa tudi ti niso izrazito ploskoviti, saj s plastenjem in nalaganjem materialov doseže večdimenzionalen efekt. Četudi se je nasičenost iz umetničinih preteklih ustvarjalnih obdobij morda izčistila in so tako posamične likovne komponente kot tudi celostne kompozicije danes bolj izkristalizirane, umetnica ne zasleduje popolnosti – nasprotno, določeno umazanost, napake, ki to niso, ali, kot jim reče sama, »smeti in poezije«, celo pozdravlja. Posledično tako raziskuje tudi plastičnost materiala ter njegove senzorične razsežnosti. Njeni posegi vanj so minimalni: zmeraj najdenemu – bodisi v družinskem arhivu bodisi na njenih potovanjih (kamni, tekstili) – recikliranemu materialu se podreja, uporabi ga takšnega, kot ga najde, z nič ali zelo malo posegi ga brez olepšavanj sestavlja v novo celoto, njen nov naboj sedaj popolnoma odmaknjen od pomenov, ki so jih posamični materiali poprej morda nosili.

            Pričujočo razstavo sestavljajo raznolika umetniška dela, na primer kolaži iz materialov, ki jih je umetničin oče uporabljal kot aranžer, fotografsko delo umetničinega bivšega moža, pa tudi docela neumetnostni predmeti, kot so neonski reklamni napis, po srečnem naključju najden v starinarnici ter kamni iz potovanj po Afriki, postavljeni v kontrastno kombinacijo z rožnatim pleksi steklom. Za avtorico umetniških del so le-ta, kot zmeraj, v svoji biti sredstvo za očiščenje. Iz izbora likovnih del in njihove umestitve v prostor morda še bolj kot kadarkoli prej izhaja, da Babič Košir lastno umetnost tako ustvarja kot doživlja s terapevtsko vnemo. Umetniški proces je zato zdravilen proces; skozi vrsto metamorfoz, tako materialnih, ki zadevajo manipulacijo materiala iz pozabljenega, obrabljenega predmeta v nekaj novega in lahkotnega, kot tudi duhovnih, zahvaljujoč kateri lahko »boleč spomin postane sladkost bivanja«, umetnica gradi nov, lasten arhiv. Turnmeon je kolekcija predmetov, ostankov nekega časa, je arhiv zgodb o spominjanju, o transformaciji bolečine, o starih kožah, ki smo jih odvrgli, o alkimiji umetnosti – je arhiv raznovrstnih ljubezenskih zgodb.


︎︎︎KRATKA BIOGRAFIJA

            Maja Babič Košir (1978) je diplomirala in magistrirala iz kiparstva na Akademiji za likovno umetnost in oblikovanje v Ljubljani. Podiplomski študij kreativne ilustracije in tehnik vizualne komunikacije je zaključila na EINA v Barceloni. Umetničin ustvarjalni proces temelji v meditativnem, introspektivnem principu. Snov črpa iz svojega okolja in svoje osebne zgodovine, še posebej iz bogatega družinskega arhiva najrazličnejših materialov; tako svoje intimne zgodbe skozi intuitivne umetniške intervencije prevede v vizualni svet. Sodelovala je na številnih samostojnih in skupinskih razstavah, predvsem na Portugalskem in Španiji, kjer je živela in ustvarjala skoraj 10 let. Redno se udeležuje mednarodnih sejmov sodobne umetnosti, na primer sejma SWAB Barcelona v letu 2020, Vienna Contemporary v letih 2019, 2020 in 2021, istega leta se je premierno predstavila tudi na sejmu VOLTA v Baslu. Letos je sodelovala na novem dunajskem umetnostnem sejmu SPARK, obenem pa v RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE družno z umetnico Neveno Aleksovski pripravlja njuno prvo skupno razstavo. Živi in ustvarja v Ljubljani.

︎︎︎INSTALLATION VIEWS







Maja Babič Košir

︎︎︎ AVAILABLE WORKS


Dance While You Can, 2022
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm


I Saw the Spark, 2022
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm


My Dreams Have Return, 2022
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm


Stories Untold, 2022
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm


Neon Baby, 2021
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm

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Fuck Jerry!, 2021
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm

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The Greatest Love, 2021
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm

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Indigo / Love, 2021
Love Letters Series
90 x 70 cm
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Just Be Here, 2021
Love Letters Series
Plastic
160 x 60 x 20

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