The Slovenia Times

Nika Špan to represent Slovenia at 2024 Venice Art Biennale

Conceptual artist Nika Špan (right) and curator Vladimir Vidmar (left) to represent Slovenia at the 60th Venice Biennale. Photo: Dejan Habicht

Painter and sculptor Nika Špan will represent Slovenia at the 2024 Venice Art Biennale with a project curated by Vladimir Vidmar that the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana has described as an enigmatic entity.

Špan's project will enter "the historical context of Venice as a foreign, unknown and unexpected element", the museum, Moderna Galerija, said in announcing the pick. The museum's director Martina Vovk serves as Slovenia's commissioner for the Venice Art Biennale.

"An enigmatic entity with a very specific exterior, which we recognise as something that cannot be named, speaks about itself, tells the story of its entry into art, and at the same time indirectly addresses something else," the museum said about the chosen project.

"It presents a strange parallel to what is at the heart of the paradigm of art: an object that is alien to itself and, and consequently alienates the experience of the individual who encounters it."

Špan is a conceptual artist who works with different media. Her art is marked by authorship, questioning the value and legitimation of the phenomenon we call art.

She relies on the viewer's experience, and it is often the viewer who must in a way complete her projects.

However, this completion "is never cathartic", bringing no expected satisfaction. Often it is quite the opposite - it brings a shift of perspective.

Špan, born in 1967, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and continued her studies at Kunstakademie in Duesseldorf, Germany. She now lives between Duesseldorf and Ljubljana.

Her major exhibitions and collaborations in Slovenia have been at the triennial of modern art U3 in 1997, a solo exhibition at the Mala Galerija in Ljubljana (1999), her participation in Manifesta 3 (2000), and the exhibitions Was It a Car or a Cat I Saw (ŠKUC Gallery, 2015) and U (ŠKUC Gallery, 2018).

Vladimir Vidmar, born in 1982, is a freelance curator and artistic director of Mala Galerija, the gallery of the Slovenian central bank. He served as artistic director of the ŠKUC Gallery in Ljubljana from 2014 to 2018.

He has curated a number of solo and group exhibitions, including the exhibition Crises and New Beginning: Art in Slovenia 2005-2015 at the Metelkova Museum of Contemporary Art in Ljubljana.

The 60th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Biennale Arte 2024, will run from 20 April to 24 November. It is curated by Brazilian Adriano Pedrosa.


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