Pride and Prejudice in National Costume
Ante Trstenjak, Ludvík Kuba, Tina Dobrajc, Eric Schuett, and Trine Søndergaard
UGM, Strossmayerjeva 6
26 August – 23 October 2022

curator: Andreja Borin

professional advisers: Kristýna Blechová, Christina Boguzs, Ilona Bierling, Jerneja Ferlež, Jiří Smlsal
curator's assistant: Simona Šuc
exhibition design: Andreja Borin in Simona Šuc
translation: Ksenija Vidic
visual communication: Matej Koren Studio

The exhibition Pride and Prejudice in National Costume is a result of many years of collaboration between the Maribor Art Gallery, the National Museum in Prague, and the Museum of Lusatian Sorbs in Bautzen, Germany. The large-scale display is primarily focused on the artistic work of Slovenian painter Ante Trstenjak (1894–1970), who studied in Prague and lived there for two decades, was influenced by the Lusatian Sorbs' rich culture, and spent the last years of his life in Maribor. His artistic oeuvre is fractured and held by all collaborating institutions due to his dynamic life journey. The exhibition's focus revolves around national costumes and their representations in a specific area and time, but it also touches on issues of allegiance and identity, as well as the role of women in society.

The Lusatian series in Ante Trstenjak's painting opus, the influence of Czech painter Ludvík Kuba, and a look at the awakening of Slavic nations in the first half of the 20th century will all be featured in this exhibition. The display's ethnographic-documentary core will be supplemented with pieces by contemporary artists Eric Schuett, Tina Dobrajc, and Trine Søndergaard, all of whom use national costumes in their work. Their participation adds modern issues, concerns, and reflections to the exhibition, while also providing an exciting artistic experience.

Tina Dobrajc (b. 1984) is a Slovenian painter of the younger generation who combines contemporary painting with aspects of Slovenian folklore in her work, focusing on issues that raise questions about women's roles in modern society. Her artwork On the Dark Side of the Alps I (2016) and the video Milk (2015) will be featured in the exhibition.

Village Queens was started by German photographer Eric Schuett (b. 1967) in 2009 to take photos of the remaining women still wearing traditional garbs or elements of them in their daily life. A selection of images from this series, focusing on women from the Lusatian region, will be on display at the exhibition.

Trine Søndergaard (b. 1972) is a Danish photographer whose work combines documentary objectivity, refined aesthetics, and poetics. Her images of women wearing traditional headgear and veils relate to women's history and demonstrate how, over time, women's headgear has evolved to convey both something cultural and personal. The artist will show her series Hovedtøj (Headgear) in the Great Hall of the Maribor Art Gallery, while three photos will also be included in the exhibition Pride and Prejudice in National Costume.

More about the project:

-    Biographies of authors
-    Breda Kolar Sluga – Preface
-    Kristýna Blechová, Jiří Smlsal – Ante Trstenjak in Prague
-    Christina Bogusz – Two Painters — One Passion, The Lusatian Series in the Work of Ludvík Kuba  and Ante Trstenjak
-    Andreja Borin – Ante Trstenjak's Sorbian women
-    Ilona Bierling – Traditional Sorbian Costumes. Travel Impressions from Sorbian Lusatia
-    Jerneja Ferlež – The Sorbs, the Slovenes, and the Slavic Reciprocity, Slavic Concepts and Connections
-    Andreja Borin – National Costume Today. Selected Perspectives