Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana: Re-made

The opening of Viktor Bernik's exhibition ˝Re-made˝in the Alkatraz Gallery

Viktor Bernik / Re-made

02 September 2011 > 16 September 2011

Re-Made can be allocated amongst those works of Viktor Bernik where the content and the form are fundamentally linked to the sites in or for which they are created. The space the work-event is created in, simultaneously represents the artist's medium and at the same time the object he transforms and makes it visible. While at it the author includes the entire art system and its possibilities into the process, when resarching the connections between an art work (the space for art) and reality in which the artefact (and the space for art) is allocated. In this way he does not place the critique of institutions and society into the first plane as he is primarily interested in perceptual abilities of an individual as well as the capability of her or his own unbiased view on the world and the events in it. We can discover this creative principle with his Untitled Project in the Mala galerija, the work Theatre Bar – Alternation as well as at the exhibition The Tower on the Ljubljana Castle, when the author collaborated with Jadranka Ljubičič, the curator of the current project, for the first time.

In the two months – the duration of the Untitled Project – the Mala galerija remained empty, the lights in the gallery were on, and its door was open wide for 24 hours a day. This is the way in which the author formally and conceptually transformed the space, the gallery space lost its original determinative or distinguishing aspect and became a part of the street, a border between the gallery and the street disappeared. For this very reason the exhibition became the topic of debates and critique as well as (artistic) actions/interventions of those passing by.

The artist was invited to the Ljubljana Castle to prepare an exhibition in a very conservative manner. So in the exhibition entitled The Tower, he imitated the characteristics of exhibitions common in the world of art. He painted a few “just right” abstract paintings and had agreed with the curator – prior to her seeing his works – to prepare a text typically characteristic of the above mentioned context. The opening was carried out as one of the many of the kind, featuring an opera singer, wine and snacks. The speeches, interviews, communication and all other details pertaining to an opening were executed according to common practice. The visitors – unaware of it – participated in a situation/performance, as the distinction between the real and simulated event was quite impossible. Even though the event was a simulation it still initiated real activities and its consequences.

The Theatre Bar – Alternation was realized in the centre of Ljubljana, in the premises of an abandoned bar in the passage between Čopova and Nazorjeva Street. The premises addresses the passers-by with large, full length glass walls on two sides. The walls acted like some permeable partitions of uncertain borders between the world outside and the happening indoors. The space acted like a display, while at the same time retaining the function of an interier of arhitectural urban design. It was an object of transformation and a medium, not merely a space an artefact was going on. In the Theatre Bar – Alternation 1 Death Metal, a death metal band performed for 1.5 hours accompanied by flashing neon lights, and turned towards the passers-by. In the Theatre Bar – Alternation 2 Live Horror Show a couple of professional actors in a partially improvised performance reacted to the space lit by projections of television recordings and audio material with cries and explosions from different films. The band and the actors took a rather different role/function to their usual ones: just like the premises they represented just a part of the entirety, a medium exploring the topic of relation between a daily reality and a constructed, mediated reality as well as the relation of a subject towards the urban space and society.

Most of its work Viktor Bernik does not see as a representation of the outside world, but more as a part of the daily reality. At the same time he places the artwork ouside this reality, as it has – for being artistic – the capacity not to fit into the social structure entirely. The artist's work is more than just a presentation of reality; it is an act possessing a capacity of distraction in reality and in the perception of the spectator. Bernik's art actions are an open form, inviting the visitor to active observation. Even more: without a spectator his work does not exist, as the spectator represents a part of this entirety. He does not want to direct the attention to the work, but to the reality surrounding it. In the intervention at the Alkatraz Gallery, Viktor Bernik continues his praxis in a precise humorous manner.


Viktor Bernik (1971) lives and works in Ljubljana. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana with prof. Metka Krašovec and prof. Bojan Gorenec, and graduated in 1998. Then he enrolled as a postgraduate student, completed his summer term in 2000 at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and in 2001 obtained his M.F.A. degree in painting with prof. B. Gorenec at the Ljubljana Art Academy. Since 2003 he has participated at group exhibitions in Slovenia, Europe, and Japan. His solo exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana (Moderna Galerija Ljubljana), A+A Gallery in Venice, Kapelica Gallery…

Text about Viktor Bernik's solo exhibition on Ljubljana Castle in 2009, by Jadranka Ljubičič

Alkatraz Gallery

Masarykova 24,
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Opening hours of the gallery:
Monday – Tuesday:
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
3 p.m. – 11 p.m.



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