Art Descending Upon the Earth

UGM | Maribor Art Gallery, Strossmayerjeva 6
opening: Thursday, 4 April 2013 at 19:00

The exhibition's initial concept presents different ways discovered by Marko Pogačnik in the past 50 years, how to incorporate the artistic potentials into various life processes. It all started with his collaboration with the OHO movement and art group (1965-71), followed by the foundation of the farming and artistic community Šempas Family. At the present, this orientation is reflected in collaborations with the VITAAArt Group and with LifeNet groups around the world in setting up Geopuncture Circles. Also documented are Pogačnik's interactions with political processes, such as his resistance against the Vietnam War (1966) and his contribution to Slovenia's independence in the form of the state coat-of-arms.

The theme of Art Descending upon the Earth especially emphasises the artist's work in the field of integral ecology. He has been developing different approaches to cooperate with the Earth's consciousness and nature's manifold worlds, whether in the form of Earth acupuncture (lithopuncture) or of geomantic interpretations of individual places and landscapes. Another exhibition theme opens the question of how can art contribute to the transformation of the human civilisation on Earth, which is becoming increasingly destructive. The exhibition unfolds different possibilities of using artistic language in the communication with nature's consciousness and the rise of human self-perception − both in relation to the multi-dimensionality of life and space. Together with his wife Marika, he builds installations made of natural materials, which offer an immediate experience of invisible dimensions of space to visitors. In the Knights' Hall of Maribor Art Gallery, they set up the installation Art Descending upon the Earth which creates a relation to the 19-century ceiling frescos presenting famous battles of the Holly Roman Empire of the German Nation.


The exhibition is transferred from the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art as a variation of the project The Art of Life − The Life of Art.

Marko Pogačnik (1944, Kranj) entered the Slovenian cultural sphere already as a high school student. Later he was a member of the Conceptual group OHO (1965-1971). He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (1963-1967). Since 1968 he has worked as a free-lance artist. In 1971, together with his friends he began joining art and life (land art) and established a commune in Šempas in Vipavska valley. Since his first exhibition held in 1965 he has  exhibited extensively, also abroad: in Paris, Munich, New York, Florence and elsewhere. With his wife Marika and daughters Ajra, Nike and Ana he has developed a new artistic practice called »lithopuncture«. This involves positioning stone pillars on selected landscape points to balance the flow of energy in selected area. Special signs (called cosmograms) carved in the stones act on the consciousness of the space with vibrations of the carved information. Pogačnik has raised his lithopunctural points in Slovenia and abroad. For his 1991 retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana he was awarded with the Prešeren Fund Prize. He designed the coat of arms of the Republic of Slovenia and is the author of several books.

Author of the art installation is Marko Pogačnik in collaboration with Zvona Ciglič, Simona Čudovan and Marika Pogačnik, photographs by Bojan Brecelj and Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art Archive.

curator: Andreja Borin


Supported by: