Inflatable spatial installation

Nina Koželj: Stay as Long as You Want

from 23. Jan to 14. Jun 2020, from 10:00 to 18:00, Pentagonal Tower, Ljubljana Castle

The unrecognisable mass of plastic that blobs out in the space is a unique kind of Informalism, but at least due to its everyday material, it is also a contemporary Informalism experience. A form that does not resemble anything and communicates only with its own presence. Then the electric motors start up, some kind of pumps that inflate the plastic so that it changes its form and becomes something other than it initially appeared. It is not that it was previously something that does not exist, and that it is simply taking on the appearance of formlessness. No, that was not a level of non-existence, it was a level of the potential to be. Only the presence of a person in the space, which is otherwise bare and empty, causes the mass of plastic to become something more. With the help of a pump and electrical wiring with a motion sensor, spirit, breath and soul are breathed into the plastic; I cannot decide. A person comes into the space and causes a change of form. He or she recognises the new form as something different, as another form, a form that now resembles something. The story becomes like the story of man’s creation. The plastic seems like the clay of the modern, industrialised world, which floods its own foundations with crude oil, and it does not seem like anything unusual when the breath of life is blown by electric motors.

Look at it! A plastic bug. Alone in a room. This is not exactly Paradise on Earth, but it breathes and gives the impression that it is alive. In so doing, it becomes a creature like a human being. Well, not exactly like a human being. It only resembles a human being insofar as it resembles Kafka’s Gregor Samsa. The anxiety that it causes is primarily the discomfort of the rhythm of breathing, which becomes suggestive with time. Hence the invitation in the title of the installation. The time that the visitor spends in the space is part of the artwork and is crucial to the overall experience. And breathing. Like the breathing of a creature that is slower than the natural human rhythm. For a visitor who stays long enough, it causes respiratory disturbance and discomfort.

Discomfort and disruption, unusual behaviour and reacting to a person are constants in the artworks of Nina Koželj. They are impersonal provocations on a personal level. On one occasion it blows in your eyes, on another it whistles nonsense, on a third it shakes electrically when touched. Now it is breathing all wrong. In addition, this plastic bug is kind of a pet. Well, not exactly a pet, because it is here on its own accord, like a spider that weaves a net in the corner, or a grasshopper that slips through the slit in a closed balcony door and crawls over the blanket at night. It is almost unwanted, as it is not fond of cuddling like a human-like mammal. It remains an unknown, an insect, a menace, an uninvited guest in the human world. But, hey, it is at home here, and it is the person who is a guest. Although this is a gallery, it is the space of a human biotope. Moreover, it is a place of human culture. A creature reminiscent of an insect that crawls through human residences at night is suddenly the host of a person who, in his or her innocence and naivety, even arrogance and ignorance, believes that he or she has everything under control. He or she also believes that all of this is imagined, that it is fiction. It is true that the creature is not really alive, that it is sculpture. It is not a statue because it does not stand still in its limited space. It is also true that it is not breathing, it is just pretending, as it only needs one full breath to become what it is. However, with breathing that is not merely a simulation it establishes its own identity, its own reality, whether as a creature or as an apparition.

Exhibition curator: Vasja Nagy-Hofbauer

Za obisk razstave priporočamo vožnjo s tirno vzpenjačo/We recommend using the funicular railway to visit the exhibition.

Tickets Tickets

Ticket: Free admission