Again and Again
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova / LJUBLJANA (Slovenia)
25.10.2016 – 11.12.2016
Taking place a year after A Retrospective by Appointment in Zagreb, Again and Again offers a new take on the genre of retrospective exhibition, tracing narratives and methods that occur in David Maljković’s work. While the Zagreb retrospective opened a subtle dialogue with the Zagreb institutional landscape, the atmosphere of its sociability and rhythms of cultural life through engaging with small-scale institutions, Again and Again looks into the approaches and obsessions recurring in David’s works that offer various points of entry to the institutional and social history of Moderna galerija / the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana and the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova.
Again and Again brings together a range of works, as well as elements of installations from different stages of Maljković’s career, along the way deconstructing the genre of a “mid-career” retrospective by taking a nonhierarchical approach to all the works and objects, putting them side by side on seemingly inadequate, unlikely structures taken from the Museum’s storage areas. Defying expectations and taking a humorous approach to the retrospective format itself, Again and Again problematizes its own relation to the context and infrastructure by reusing and repurposing elements of previous exhibitions’ furniture and displays, thus probing institutional protocols and history.
Key concerns and methods of David Maljković’s work – individual and collective relationships towards the complexities of time, a collagist approach, self-referentiality, referencing the work of other artists, the use of his earlier works and exhibition displays as material, inquiry into the notion of art’s autonomy, exploring the nature of the gaze, carefully choreographing the exhibition experience – are all visible within the exhibition. Throughout his practice, David Maljković creates a web of relations that evoke the various metamorphoses of his work, calling attention to their formal aspects, as well as the circumstances of their production. The architectural reconfigurations of the space, as well as various exhibition constructions taken from the Museum’s storage areas, become elements in David’s method that works with the tensions between the procedures of exhibition display, which draw the viewers into the exhibition narrative, and those that are aimed at creating the estrangement effect. The rhythm and heightened physical presence of the exhibition elements that could equally be called exhibition architecture, scenography, or sculpture, direct the ways of looking and contextualize the individual works within a “choreographed” experience.
Again and Again is organized around subtle clues for tracing and reconstructing fragments, transformations, metamorphoses and references, but humor and a playful nonchalance allow for the “here and now” of the exhibition as an aesthetic and social experience that aims to see what is the core of contemporary art once the forms are disrespected and disrespectful, and how this could open the possibility to radically reimagine both exhibition practice and the future of cultural institutions.
Curated by Bojana Piškur and What, How & for Whom/WHW