Mojca Kumerdej: Inner Edges and Borders of Culture

Politics of Life and Death Section // May 2018

According to Sigmund Freud, in his Civilization and its Discontents, the civilization that distinguishes our lives from those of our animal ancestors and serves two purposes – to protect man from nature and to adjust his mutual relations – does not make us feel comfortable. The entry into and becoming through culture and the discontent embodied in it is also examined in the work of Slovenian intermedia artist Maja Smrekar. Smrekar focuses on the latest geological era, the Anthropocene, in which the human race subjects the environment to global exploitation of natural and human resources. The artist, who won the Golden Nica award at the Ars Electronica festival in the category of hybrid art in 2017, stages posthumous dystopias inhabited by hybrid biological and biotechnological species and by extension opens up reflection on an expression of society based on a more balanced coexistence of human beings with the ecosystem. In her work she draws on Western mythology, technological practices past and present, gender theory and biopolitics; her treatments and audacity absorb the viewer in a broad field of though-provoking associations, but by the same token can also serve to trigger unreflective repulsion. READ MORE

Maja Smrekar