Alkatraz Gallery: Adrijan Praznik – The Lost World

Adrijan Praznik: The Lost World

23 December 2014 > 23 January 2015

Kindly invited to the opening of The Lost World exhibition by Adrijan Praznik, on Tuesday, 23rd December at 8pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova.

The exhibition The Lost World (Izgubljeni svet) of Adrijan Praznik, an artist of a young generation, held at the Alkatraz Gallery, consists of recent paintings with an attempt to lead a viewer into a real visual experience. It evokes feelings of admiration, respect and fear, achieved by a proper measure of visual experiments based on manipulation of modern technology and materials that the painter utilizes by reflecting the images on canvas in an unanticipated manner.

The Lost World, can be read literally, as a world that is no more to be found, a world that ceases to exist. Despite its gaze into the past, it is a title bearing within a consideration about the future. With every new, apparently big invention, the world changes by such a degree that it can no longer be thought from a past position. Often we tend to forget that we live in the worlds we do not only inhabit physically, but that it is the physical triggers who allow us to enter these worlds mentally.

A common contemporary person therefore spends an enormous amount of time physically almost inactive, along the mental accesses into the worlds opened to us by books, comics, television, and various other contents we take in through computers, e.g. a record number of viewings of music videos on YouTube, and – if we forget about their musical part for a moment – the quantity of bizarre iconography and visuals we thereby absorb. Fragments of such content are captured in the canvases of Adrijan Praznik. The worlds that we experience are undoubtedly connected to interfaces; for we do not view the world only through our own eyes; more often we focus our look on it via rectangular monitors, displays who have become a constant of our daily life. A painting 1) is also a medium that takes us into a kind of another dimension, which is something the artist is undoubtedly aware of.

In the centre of the canvases there are oversized film protagonists, standing like icons, placed in a retro-futuristic ambience, who – through their visual perfection, their arrangement on the canvas, depict the reflection of space and time. The paintings by themselves are narrations; like frozen cinematographic frames from science-fiction worlds. Like Stanley Kubrick in his space odyssey, Praznik brings up questions of human evolution in relation to technology, artificial intelligence, and possibilities of extra-terrestrial life. The images that we find in the paintings show 'obsession' with the topics linked to artificial intelligence, artificially created life and the relation between the human and their products.

The artist undertakes the issues at the foreground of the contemporary world and the rapid advancement of technologies, by sequencing media characters. Kubrick’s Hal was among the first depictions of artificial intelligence known to the public, who rises above the strict execution of commands, as Hal starts to take decisions no longer based on human instructions, but on the basis of his own consideration. The presence of such themes in popular culture points to a primary apprehension, originating from the dread that we will become victims of our own advancement in technology that will liberate itself from the human supremacy. Technological development in the direction of artificial intelligence nowadays enables easier establishment of medical diagnoses, disclosure of fraud in insurance and stock-exchange, more precise analyses of the human genome, development of robots who could help people with various chores…

Anabel Karolyn Černohorski and Jadranka Plut

Adrijan Praznik was born in 1988 in Ljubljana. After completing Secondary School for Design and Photography he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. For his achievements during the study he received a scholarship for talented students of the Municipality of Ljubljana as well as an Award for Students for Special Achievements and Extra Curricular Activities in the field of painting (2012), at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. He has presented his works at several group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad. In October 2013 he attended an artistic residence in Riga, Lithuania. As an artist he is active in a very wide field of visual art, with emphasis on painterly practice.

In 2014 he presented his works at a solo exhibition I’m Getting off at the Next Stop (Na naslednji postaji izstopim), at Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. Together with Eva Lucija Kozak and dr. Petja Grafenauer he set a solo exhibition Uncompatiblities (Neujemanja); both exhibited at Equrna Gallery in Ljubljana and UGM studio in Maribor. His works have been published in Tribuna newspaper, Stripburger and Fotografija (Photography) magazines, as well as Praznine (Voids) and Likovnih besedah (Art Words) publications. He is preparing an exhibition within the Svetlobna gverila (Light Guerilla) event in 2015. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

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