ULLA ŽIBERT
Can have so forget about sea swallowing plastic
March 18—May 16, 2022


LOCATION
R SPACE
Gosposka ulica 16
1000 Ljubljana
CURATOR
Piera Ravnikar

TEXT
Eva Simonič
PHOTOGRAPHER
Mario Zupanov

︎︎︎ STATEMENT
           Artist Ulla Žibert presents herself in R SPACE with a solo exhibition enigmatically entitled Can have so forget about sea swallowing plastic. It is a set-up that is essentially an attempt to visualise the uncertain spirit of the time. The starting point of the exhibition is a failed monologue that reveals, on the one hand, selfish human intentions and, on the other, the concern and helplessness of the individual in the face of the irreparable damage and devastating consequences of the global environmental crisis. It exposes that which is no longer smouldering beneath the surface but burns above it, becoming irrepressibly omnipresent and penetrating the realm of the everyday. The motif of the everyday is also frequently taken up by the artist in her practice, as she understands this concept to be inseparable from the issues of contemporary society, despite its banal associations. With a mimetic stroke, but at the same time with an uncomfortably distorted perspective and thoughtfully painted shadows, Žibert brings tension to the luxuriously trivial scenes of everyday life and creates a gap that leads to a reassessment of what is seen. Even if the painting seems predictable, the otherwise convincing illusion eludes her viewer's re-analysis and the possibility of a different reading opens up.

           The artist uses pictorial approaches to open up new semantic clues, particularly through the shaping and reshaping of the shadow, which she uses as a tool to generate alternative information about what we are looking at. This is also the case in the present spatial set-up, which consists of a painting depicting an interior and an object that spreads out from the canvas as an extension of the painting and occupies the gallery space. In the clean interior depicted in the painting, we notice a poster that is about to come off, its incised text casting a shadow on the wall behind it. The question carved into the poster (Can we have sex? So I can forget about sea turtles swallowing plastic bags) and its shadow, which can also be read as an answer (Can have so forget about sea swallowing plastic), create a certain dimension of paradox in both possible readings; the painting becomes a riddle of an escapist and anxious stepping away from the problem of global pollution and at the same time awareness of the consequences of the hyper-consumption logic of the existing economic system. The image of a beautiful decorative carpet can be just that, an isolated and exuberant detail from a scene that gives the impression of homeliness. The artist potentiates it by repeating the carpet in the space, while at the same time explicitly distancing herself from it. An object whose surface is unpredictable and no longer soft enough, but an unpleasantly crumbling mass of sharp felt, becomes a foreign body that creates a cut and a step away from whatever meaning the image of the carpet may have had before.


︎︎︎ ABOUT THE ARTIST

            Ulla Žibert (1988, Trbovlje) completed her studies in Sculpture under the supervision of Prof. Jože Barši at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO) in Ljubljana in 2015. She works in the field of visual arts, mainly in the media of painting and printmaking, where she focuses on reinterpreting seemingly ordinary everyday phenomena. She builds and develops subject matters that challenge what we take for granted every day, incorporating both social and ecological issues into her work. She often includes texts and wordplay into her work. By manipulating language, she thus creates situations that explore the relationship between language, image and meaning. She presents her work in group and solo exhibitions. These include the solo exhibition This is/this is not (Simulaker Gallery, Novo mesto, 2020) and the group exhibitions For the Nation's Blessing (Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana, 2020) and We are all absolute beginners, AIR4 edition, Ravnikar Gallery Space, Ljubljana, 2021). She has been awarded for her work and has received the Piran Ex-tempore Grand Prix. Her work is included in public and private collections. She lives and works between Trbovlje and Ljubljana, where she also leads drawing and painting courses at the School of Painting for All Generations.


︎︎︎ SLOVENŠČINA

            Umetnica Ulla Žibert se v R SPACE predstavlja s samostojno razstavo, enigmatično naslovljeno Can have so forget about sea swallowing plastic (Lahko imaš zato pozabi na morje, ki golta plastiko). Gre za postavitev, ki je v svojem bistvu poskus vizualizacije negotovosti duha časa. Izhodišče razstave je spodletel monolog, ki na eni strani izpostavlja sebične človeške namere, na drugi pa skrb in nemoč, ki pride z realizacijo posameznika, soočenega z nepopravljivo škodo in uničujočimi posledicami globalne okoljske krize. Izpostavlja tisto, kar več ne tli pod površjem, pač pa gori nad njim, postaja nezadržno vseprisotno in vstopa v sfero vsakdanjega. Tudi sicer je motivika vsakdanjega nekaj, kar umetnica v svoji praksi pogosto tematizira, saj ta pojem, njegovim banalnim asociacijam navkljub, razume kot inherentno povezanega z vprašanji sodobne družbe. Žibert v mimetični potezi, a obenem z neprijetno popačeno perspektivo in premišljeno naslikanimi sencami, v razkošne trivialne prizore vsakdana vnese napetost, s katero ustvarja razkorak, ki napeljuje k ponovnemu vrednotenju videnega. Četudi se slika zdi predvidljiva, se njenemu gledalcu s ponovno analizo sicer prepričljiva iluzija izmuzne, odpre pa se možnost drugačnega branja.

            Umetnica nove pomenske iztočnice odpira z likovnimi prijemi, predvsem s postavitvijo in predrugačenjem sence, ki jo jemlje kot orodje, ki ji pomaga ustvariti alternativno informacijo o tem, kaj gledamo. Tako je tudi v pričujoči prostorski postavitvi, ki jo sestavljata slika s podobo interierja ter objekt, ki se kot podaljšek slike razteza iz slikarskega platna in zaseda galerijski prostor. V izčiščenem interierju, upodobljenem na sliki, opazimo plakat, ki se bo kmalu odlepil, z izrezljanim besedilom, ki na steno za sabo meče senco. Vprašanje, izrezano v plakat (Can we have sex? So I can forget about sea turtles swallowing plastic bags), in njegova senca, ki jo lahko beremo tudi kot odgovor (Can have so forget about sea swallowing plastic), v obeh možnih branjih vzpostavljata določeno dimenzijo paradoksalnosti; slika postane sestavljanka eskapistično anksioznega odmikanja od problematike globalnega onesnaženja in hkratne ozaveščenosti o posledicah hiperpotrošniške logike obstoječega ekonomskega sistema. Podoba čudovito dekorativne preproge je lahko zgolj to, izoliran in hipen izsek nekega prizora, ki daje vtis domačnosti. Umetnica ga s ponovitvijo preproge v prostor potencira, hkrati pa se od njega izrazito distancira. Objekt, katerega površina postane nepredvidljiva in ne več dovolj mehkobna, temveč neprijetna razpadajoča gmota ostrega filca, postane tujek, ki vzpostavlja rez in odmik od pomena, ki ga je podoba preproge morda poprej nosila.


︎︎︎ BIOGRAFIJA

           Ulla Žibert (1988, Trbovlje) je leta 2015 diplomirala iz kiparstva pod mentorstvom prof. Jožeta Baršija na Akademiji za likovno umetnost in oblikovanje (ALUO) v Ljubljani. Deluje v polju vizualne umetnosti, večinoma v mediju slikarstva in grafike, kjer se osredotoča na reinterpetacijo navidez običajnih vsakodnevnih pojavov. Gradi in razvija vsebine, ki preizprašujejo samoumevnost vsakdanjih privzetosti in tako v svoja dela vnaša tako družbena kot tudi ekološka vprašanja. V dela pogosto vključuje tekst in besedne igre. Skozi manipulacijo jezika tako ustvarja situacije, ki raziskujejo odnos med jezikom, podobo in pomenom. Svoja dela predstavlja na skupinskih in samostojnih razstavah. Med njimi velja omeniti samostojno razstavo To ni/ To je (Galerija Simulaker, Novo mesto, 2020) ter skupinski razstavi „Za narodov blagor“ (Galerija Alkatraz, Ljubljana, 2020) in We are all absolute beginners, AIR4 edicija (Galerija Ravnikar Gallery space, Ljubljana, 2021). Za svoje delo je prejela priznanja in nagrado Grand Prix Ex-tempora Piran, njeno delo je uvrščeno tudi v javne in zasebne zbirke. Živi in ustvarja med Trbovljami in Ljubljano, kjer tudi vodi tečaje risanja in slikanja na Slikarski šoli za vse generacije.

︎︎︎ INSTALATION VIEWS