SMALL BUT DANGERS
If I were God, I would not exist.
1. 4.—30. 4., Likovni salon Gallery

Small but Dangers is an artist duo, whose meaningful and ‘incorrectly’ written name draws the attention to a game between form and meaning right from the start. Their solo presentation at Likovni salon is composed of various works from their art collections. These are marked off within the medium, but their common denominator can be found in their artistic expression, predominantly based on a multifaceted experience of the world in all its simplicity. Fascinated by the overlooked banalities of everyday life, the meanings of artistic forms, found objects and ambiguity of technical principles, SBD establish new systems of visual perception, either formally or narratively. Through a semiological game, which means rethinking the visible, they are looking for layers of meaning beneath the set codes of objects or occurrences. In such a way their ready-made objects, installations, or any material that has been designated as art – as well as their video and power-point presentations – explore the relationship between materiality/form and (non) sense. The exhibition presents simple, mechanically manipulated visual effects, such as little clouds that move around aided by a fan, or a small piece of fur fluttering in an artificial breeze. The geometric systems in their drawings and paintings appear like conceptual games. Gobelins are given a new dimension in terms of colour, composition and content, which is typical of abstract paintings. Simple mischievous animations show the surreality of the PowerPoint computer programme. The figures in their animation – like a yogi performing asanas, a dead bird and a leaf in the wind – become meaningless and absurd in their endless repetitive motion without purpose, place and time. SBD build new systems of signs in their art practice, adding to and taking away from the unambiguous message of things. According to Barthes, the mythical signifier is similar to the alibi: “I am not where you think I am; I am where you think I am not.”1 Precisely this elusive harmony between form and sense can be applied to many of the works by SBD, in the same way that ‘mythical’ meaning constantly eludes us. The artists intentionally leave a gap in their as well as the viewer’s interpretation, a doubt as to whether the artwork is being read correctly. On the other hand, they simplify the meaning of some of their pieces to the extent that it is returned to the primary level of understanding. Through a considered spatial display and treatment of the relationship between the individual parts of the whole, they create a playroom of visual languages, leaving the viewer the empty spaces to comprehend the seen, to form associations, laugh or feel a sense of absurdity. “We understand displays and each of their details as a rebus without predetermined solutions, or whose solutions might even be non-existent. The manipulation of the contents is minimised to the point at which it is just still able to arouse the suspicion that it means something. The simpler the works, the greater space is given to what remains non-signified in them. This poetic provocation serves to question reading between the lines: we understand that such reading is made possible precisely by the existence of lines, and is determined by them. The moment we step out of one sign system, we create another. The non-signified in language appears only as a possibility, which evaporates as soon as it is made real. It is at the boundary that we seek a solution. We manipulate the image to the point where what is non-signified acquires potential, which we refrain from fulfilling. That creates a metaphysical effect, reminiscent of a magical spell.” say the artists. As builders and destroyers of meanings they therefore conquer a polygon of signs, ‘myths’ and languages, where meanings shy away precisely from that excessive enthusiasm of wider social and cultural reality.

Curator: Maja Antončič

1 Roland BARTHES, Mythologies, Noonday Press – New York, 1972

Small but Dangers is an artist duo made up of Mateja Rojc and Simon Hudolin. The two artists have been working together successfully under the joint name since 2004. They both completed their studies at the Arthouse College for Visual Arts in Ljubljana, Simon Hudolin also completed a postgraduate course of study at the Academy of Fine Arts. They regularly show their work in group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad. Currently, their installation is included in the Crises and New Beginnings: Art in Slovenia 2005–2015 exhibition. They are the recipients of the VIG Special Invitation as part of the Essl Award 2015. They also received the second prize for the Photograph of the Year 2013 together with Matija Brumen, and were nominated for the OHO Group Award in 2008. In addition to their art practice presented in the Celje exhibition, they also work in audio-visual performance and scenography for animation.

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Likovni salon Gallery / Trg celjskih knezov 9, 3000 Celje / Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday and for holidays closed.