Miha Vipotnik: The Banks of the Ordinary

22 December 2010 - 13 February 2011
Mala galerija, Slovenska cesta 35

Exhibition curator: Igor Španjol
For over 30 years Miha Vipotnik has been exploring video technology, its characteristics and potentials, in terms of the structure and aesthetic effect of the electronic image. In the spirit of Fluxus, his 1979 Multivision of Videogram 4 blended elements of performance, video, film, photography, and music, producing a social situation determined by the context of television and introducing media art in Slovenia.
In his present project for the Mala galerija, Vipotnik has taken as his point of departure the specific features of the venue, more precisely, the fact that it is housed in the Bank of Slovenia building. In a work that invites the passers-by to participate in creating the story, he has reconstructed the broader context and meaning of the bank both as a space and an institution and structured his intervention in space temporally, dividing it into sequences that are visible through openings in the door and windows of the gallery, devising in this way a system of images that function externally as movement and inside us as thought. Vipotnik sees social, political, and art histories as a toolbox: he uses situations from the immediate surroundings of the art space to re-enact them. The total is more than merely a sum of the given forms, stories, and media; the individual elements also function independently. As far as the element of motion pictures is concerned, Vipotnik does not invest the medium of video with any ambition for filmmaking, but allows the specific filmic experience to determine the dynamic scene of the installation. The artist structures gallery space as time: the multi-layered spatial composition is based on shifts and gaps and screens separating the constitutive elements of the installation. The way in which Vipotnik addresses the passers-by is obsessive and poetic, without being naive or romantic. Rather than talk of exhibiting we should perhaps talk of contradictory cohabiting, of an alternative interpretation of the power of capital in which the artist uses a contemporary media approach to confirm Barthes' idea that myth is reflected in society.

Miha Vipotnik (b. 1954) completed postgraduate studies in video and television at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and then went on to take a degree in film directing and video at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. In the 1980s he made a number of experimental, formalistically edited video documents. Currently he makes videos, installations, and television programs on visual art, architecture, and graphic design. He has produced numerous title sequences for television shows, animations for films, television programs, and advertising, and directed music and television programs for RTV Ljubljana and the JRT networks. In 1983 he co-founded the international biennial Video CD, which provided video with an institutional background in Slovenia, and, while serving as the director of the first three editions of the biennial, promoted the inclusion of Slovenian video in the international context.

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