"Hi, can you hear me alright?"
UGM Studio, Trg Leona Štuklja 2
guided tour: Friday, 26 January 2018, 18:30
exhibition opening: Friday, 26 January 2018, 19:00

artists: Nika Ham, Emil Kozole, Iza Pavlina, Dorotea Škrabo, Valerie Wolf Gang
curated by: Jure Kirbiš

Join Jure Kirbiš, UGM curator, as he takes you on a guided tour of the exhibition, half a hour before the exhibition opening. "Hi, can you hear me alright?" combines projects of five young authors – Nika Ham, Emil Kozole, Iza Pavlina, Dorotea Škrabo and Valerie Wolf Gang. In 2016 and 2017 the projects were originally executed among the Initiative for support of young artists U30+ in production of Aksioma, the Institute for Contemporary Art in Ljubljana. In Aksioma’s project space, each artist was presented individually. An experienced group offered young artists mentorship, the coverage of production costs, a space for the execution, technical equipment and support, promotion, photo and video documentation and a possibility of exhibition hosting. The following is now realized with an exhibition in UGM Studio, where the projects are exhibited for the first time as a whole.

The common thread of the exhibition is communication. The artists are using modern communication channels, social media, telephone applications, different websites and tools of one-way control. These channels are used in their work as a communication device, they play around with them, warn about their shortcomings, about communication noise which can occur at usage and the possibilities of their abuse. This is their way of appealing to their peers -the digital natives- who use these assets on a daily basis and have majorly internalized the virtual reality of digital filters. Along with that, they are trying to reach up and beyond the restrictions of social hierarchy - generational wise, as well as position and influence wise.  “Hi, can you hear me alright?” is a reflection of each individual’s own place in the digitalised world and at the same time an attempt of communication of this living experience to those whom this environment is foreign.

Nika Ham (1991) is finishing her postgraduate studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She is infatuated with new media art because of its magnitude and the possibilities of manipulating with objects in a fairly compact form and because it precisely resonates the state of today's society. With entering the museum space she started exploring the relationship between the artist and the institution itself through performance and the restrictions which apply to the individual, involved in the heart of the cultural system. This is associated to the redefinition of a role and the purpose of a public space as well as the funcion of the body in it. She was represented at various group as well as solo exhibitions at MoTa Point, Gallery Kresnička, the University of Southampton, Biotechnical faculty, Celica and Dobra Vaga. She also did visualisations at Club Tiffany and collaborated with the Municipality of Ljubljana and Križanke at various projects (such as New Years' decorations, live painting and organising a painting school). Nika also works with the film festival LET'S CEE in Vienna, where she has now been in charge of the graphic design department the second year in a row. In Ljubljana she works at the Modern Gallery and collaborates with the art group Laibach.

Emil Kozole
(1991) is a graphic designer and typographer working mostly as a researcher of both creative expressions along with new media and different socio-cultural phenomena. For his research, he uses code and typography, manifested through various physical installations and performances. He finished his undergraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and got his MA degree at Central Saint Martins in London. He is one of the co-founders of the artistic collective Freštreš and the design studio Ljudje, which received the highest acknowledgment for design in Slovenia, the Gran Prix award at the 7th Biennale of Visual Communication in 2015. Based on his work, he got published in numerous world known publications, such as Wired, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and Business Insider abroad and in magazines and newspapers such as Mladina, Delo and Dnevnik at home. Among other, his work was exhibited in Victoria & Albert Museum and in the Lethaby Gallery at London Design Festival, in Gallery Koril in Rijeka and as well as in Aksioma and MGLC in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He currently works as a lecturer of graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

Iza Pavlina (1991) is finishing her postgraduate studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where she, among other things, received a special achievements award in 2015. Her work is characterised by her interest in topics related to sexuality, paraphilias and pornography. She creates fictitious identities with which she enters the virtual space to explore various phenomena of social anomalies, relations of power and the question of how to manipulate one’s own image to establish communication with a target group of internet users. Her work has been presented in solo shows Talk to Strangers (Erotic Gallery Račka, Celje, 2014) and Isabelle Peacocks (Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, 2016). She has also participated in several group exhibitions: To ni ljubezenska pesem (This is Not A Love Song, Miklova hiša Gallery, Ribnica, 2014), Situacija Dogville (Situation Dogville, Project Space DUM, Ljubljana, 2015), Mediterranea 17 – No Food’s Land – Young Artists Biennial (Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano, 2015), the 3rd Triennial of Young Artists – Premiera 2015 (Premiere 2015, Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, 2015).

Dorotea Škrabo (1992) is a visual artist born in Rijeka and currently living and working in Ljubljana, Slovenia, who primarily deals with the phenomenon of photography and video on the internet. Her research is focused on new media, popular culture and art, especially through the limitations of social networks. She regularly produces short online videos, where she develops critical relation towards popular trends and participates at various art exhibitions. She presented her work at numerous group exhibitions (Kino Šiška, Multimedia centre KIBLA, MoTa Point, Fotopub Festival, Metricubi, CTK-RI), as well as solo exhibitions: ‘A šalim se’ (Kino Šiška) and Prepovedano Fotografiranje (Aksioma and Drugo more). She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

Valerie Wolf Gang (1990), MA of Media Arts and Practices, works in the field of video art, film and new media. Her work and research reflect social conflicts arising from political regulations and constrains, especially when traveling and working abroad. She is regularly working on different international artist-in-residence programs, where she researches and realizes her new artistic projects; among others she worked in Singapore, USA, Germany, Austria, Serbia, in The Netherlands, China … She actively creates multimedia installations, which are exhibited in various international galleries as solo and group exhibitions, and her videos and films are screened at various international festivals and cinema theaters. She is an active member of international art collective Spielraum Ensamble, research unit Famul VideoLab and Directors Guild of Slovenia. For her work she received various awards and nominations, such as Vesna Student Film Award at Festival of Slovenian Film, Alumnus Optimus Award, Cinemasports Top Pick Jury Award, EFF Film Festival Portugal, BURI Award Italy, EAS San Francisco..., she was nominated twice for ESSL Art Award, TESLA Award, and she received different grants, such as Roberto Cimetta Travel Grant, Working Stipend of Ministry of Culture Republic of Slovenia, grant of Municipality of Ljubljana for realisation of cultural projects, support of IN-SITU Network etc. In addition to managing and creating her own authorial projects and artworks, she also runs workshops focused on (art) film and contemporary art practices in collaboration with various organizations such as Kinodvor, the Institute for Contemporary Art SCCA, KD Igo Gruden, GT Gallery, etc. She is actively involved in different forms of artistic production, video and film projects, international exhibitions, festival selections and artistic residencies.

In the framework of U30+ Aksioma Institute production programme for supporting young artists.

Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017-2018
Coproduction: Umetnostna Galerija Maribor 
Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

KINDLY INVITED!

High resolution photos for publishing:
Emil Kozole, HMIYFW, photo: Aksioma
Valerie Wolf Gang, Wet Dreams, photo: Aksioma
Dorotea Škrabo, Please Do Not Take Photographs, photo: Aksioma
Iza Pavlina, Rule 34, photo: Aksioma