Viktor Bernik

20 June - 26 July 2009
Moderna galerija / Mala galerija, Slovenska c. 35, Ljubljana

In Viktor Bernik's spatial installations, the visitor often becomes aware of sound and a multitude of fast-changing mass-media images. Pictures of actual spaces, objects and people intermingle with images adopted from various media, from the imagination, dreams and memory. Through a strategy of montage and appropriation, the artist transforms these images and accentuates their specific mediated status, which draws on the visual aspect of a media-based reality and the unconscious.

The method Bernik employs at the Mala galerija is in line with the artist's usual method of undermining our understanding of the self-sufficient aesthetic object in the very structure of the whole, but at the same time it recapitulates and reaffirms certain strategic approaches in the tradition of projects that make explicit and include the dimension of the notion of the neutral exhibition space in the very effect of their spatial intervention. Bernik's approach perverts the neutrality of the abstract impersonal space, but in doing so he does not merely abolish the dualism between the work and the exhibiting of it; rather and primarily, he focuses on the border between the outside space and the gallery space.

For fifty years, the Mala galerija has functioned as an abstract, impersonal frame that is repeatedly filled with new content, even as the frame itself then disappears. Taking account of the venue's exceptional significance and location, Bernik consciously operates within the historical context; instead of exhibiting artwork in the traditional manner or transforming the "white cube", he leaves the gallery space empty and open. Thus he re-establishes a reflexive attitude toward space as an essentially relational category, abolishes the symbolic border that separates the interior of the gallery from the sidewalk, and opens up the question of the institution of the exhibition and the definition of art. Here we are no longer dealing with the abstracted pure space or with some temporal relationship that establishes the work as a field in interaction with the viewer; instead, we are dealing with a radical and dangerously direct concretization of the public space.

Viktor Bernik, b. 1971, graduated in 1998 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, where he studied painting with Profs. Metka Krašovec and Bojan Gorenc; he went on to complete a specialist degree with Professor Gorenc and later continued his studies in the United States.

The curator of the project is Igor Španjol.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 00.00 - 24.00. Free admission.

Sign up for the MG e-newsletter

Museum of Modern Art

Windischerjeva ulica 2
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
MG+:+386 (0)1 2416 800,
+386 (0)1 2416 834
+MSUM: (0)1 2416 825
Fax: +386 (0)1 2514 120

History of the MG
Opening of the renovated MG


  • podporniki
(c) Moderna galerija, Ljubljana