Forma Viva / Božidar Jakac Art Museum

Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia 2023


Forma Viva is certainly an interesting concept of artistic creation. The creativity stimulated by symposium creation, defined by time and local resources, encourages a wide range of ideas, working potentials and creative experiences. My reason for participating in the symposium was primarily to reflect on Forma Viva as a whole. Looking at the multitude of artistic solutions by different artists that are scattered around the surrounding parks and fields is a kind of overview of the social record through time and space. To materialise the reflection, critique and contemporary articulation of wooden sculpture seemed reason enough. Hopefully, Shell will bring a continuity of change in this historical record of artistic interventions.

Shell has been a tree from the beginning and will remain a tree. I am not interested in how to reshape and transform it into a new, unrecognisable form with the artist’s signature. The aesthetics of the natural is a complex ideal. I am interested in the interiority of substance, its duration and its passing. That is why I halved, hollowed out and filled this large log, the remnant of an even larger tree, with artificial material. A material that is becoming the bond of civilisation – concrete. In this way, its interior is permanent, and the shell of the tree is left to time and the forces of nature. The decay and absence of the wooden shell brought about by nature will reveal the artificial core, the construct of the tree’s memory and the anthropogenic nature of conservation.


More about Forma Viva on: Božidar Jakac Art Museum

I Made This

I Made This

Photo: Jaka Babnik, Božidar Jakac Art Museum archive

Solo exhibition, Božidar Jakac Art Museum, former monastery church, Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia

24 September 2021-27 March 2022

The exhibition I Made This consists of spatial works created by Tomaž Furlan, sculptor and multimedia artist, who often addresses the complex relationships between humans, our environment and the everyday banalities. His latest work consists of a series of objects, with which he directly, materially and self-reflectively addresses the social dynamics between the so-called civilised society and its most common accessories. A series of sculptures, installations and spatial interventions created from robust materials, such as stone, terazzo concrete, marble and wood are on display in the Former Monastery Church.

Tomaž Furlan’s artistic practice is deeply interwoven with a humorous and ironic attitude to situations that an individual might face in his everyday life and that he is, in the spirit of the times, forced to solve in the manner of optimal efficiency. In 2005 he started constructing a series of absurd machines that share the name Wear, in which sculptured objects are used as body extremities and elements of set design in video performances. His sculptures and installations question the society of unavoidable effectiveness, in which there is no space for useless objects that do not have a practical and potentially monetary value. Furlan continues to question this topic in his most recent artworks. Within this exhibition he addresses the omnipresent idea of ‘common sense’, which is supposedly the criterion for rationality and efficiency. As a result, he presents seemingly trivial objects, which (possibly subconsciously) govern human lives. In his recognisable style, interwoven with self-irony and distanced from his own position, he exposes the absurdity of objects he created and the ideas that they represent. Due to their questionable functionality these seemingly common objects can be understood as merely (useless) works of art.

Miha Colnar

More on: Božidar Jakac Art Museum

Until Morning!

Until Morning!

Photo: Nada Žgank

Solo exhibition, Alkatraz Gallery, AKC Metelkova Mesto, Ljubljana, Slovenia

8 September 2020 – 30 September 2020 “Here I am again. I’m running out of time; the sketch book is full of ideas I don’t remember. The studio is full of trash, I’ve got coffee and milk, the evening is approaching. There’s another long night in front of me. Until morning, the next Wear has to be finished! Until morning! Wear VIII!!” Tomaž Furlan’s retrospective exhibition entitled Until Morning! presents a selection of the artist’s work of the past decade. Primarily, it is composed of two series, namely: Wear (VII-XXII), a series of absurd performative devices, predominatly welded together from parts of iron found by chance; and Morning, a more recent, formally more sculptural series. Tomaž Furlan, otherwise, is an academic sculpturer and a renowned artist, a recepient of The OHO Young Visual Artist Award and The Jakopič Recognition Award. In addition to his artistic work, in the past decade, and alongside his physical work including restoration, he also worked as a director of a youth centre and as a youth worker. He currently works part-time as an assistant at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana (ALUO), and as an occasional caretaker and postman there. Furlan grew up in a stonemason family from Škofja Loka, and it is precisely his craftsmanship background that essentially determined his decision to professionally choose art: ‘I was searching for a profession, where I would not be able to find its absolute knowledge. As Einstein said that an expert is someone who has made all mistakes in a certain area, I was searching for a profession where this would not be possible, and art is this kind of a profession, for sure. Art today has no climax.’ Furlan emphasizes the fact that he is both a caretaker and a professor at The Academy with a pround whine. A similar duality can be identified in his works from the series Wear. It is composed clumsily (and hysterically). Its artpieces appear rough and sophisticated at the same time. They are grotesquely realistic, with a certain comic component – one can either contemplate them or laught at them, although mostly one does both. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Furlan’s influences include both Marina Abramović and Charlie Chaplin, as well as Lars von Trier. The series Wear was being produced at the last minute, mostly during the night, a day or two before the exhibition. On the contrary, the series Morning is more deliberate, less impulsive, and conceived more long-term. Wear and Morning were created during the night and in early morning hours before Furlan starts work at The Academy, respectively. In terms of form and style, the two series in question are diametrically opposite. The past decade of Furlan’s life and work can be seen as a move from the night to the day – from being one of thousands to be cheated out of pay during construction industry crisis, to the present day being an established artist on the way of becoming a professor at the university. Nonetheless, the crisis has been accompanying him throughout, it made him stronger, and he internalised it: ‘Nothing can be so bad that it can’t be worse, the worst case scenarios have been realising all the time; which is not completely true, but the feeling never goes away.’ It is characteristic of Furlan that his works are created for exhibitions, just before their openings. After he receives an invitation, he waits for an inspiration, which is born just before the exhibition, out of agony. The works in Wear were thus created in a zealous way. Their ‘use’, too, requires zeal, but here is the catch; Furlan’s works are interactive in the most primary sense of the word: both in the way of production and consumption (usage), they lack distance. Thus, the paradox reveals itself: Furlan’s works are impersonal precisely in that they lack distance. What we see is what we do. Something similar can be said about Tomaž Furlan. We all know that his art is ingeniuos, but no one can say why precisely – his genius is visible at first glance, but it is also impossible to overlook. His artistic works possess not only freshness, humour, and abusurdity, but also incite a moment of wonder and vulgar sublimity. It is similary painful to interpret his works, as the interpretations vary from art history to useless theory in the sense of ‘he is interested in the material’ or ‘postfordism’. The artist himself best defines his works, when he talks about Wear XVII: ‘It is an attempt at fighting banality with stupidity.’

Miha Turk

More on: Alkatraz Gallery

Under the Surface, ARCOMadrid

Under the Surface, ARCOMadrid

Photo: P74 Gallery archive

Art fair ARCOMadrid, collaboration with P74 Gallery

26 February  – 1 March 2020

P74 Gallery proudly presents a dialogue between two remarkable artists of different generations: the innovative practice of the young Tomaz Furlan and the post-conceptual practice of the middle-generation Joze Barsi. In their work, they both deal with objectness (Barsi: from the deconstruction of the sculptural object in the mid-1990s to a shift to architectural explorations of space and their subsequent expansion into installation), the autonomy of the subject, and individualization. The title Under the Surface implies synonyms such as “basement”, “depths”, “belly”, “ground”, “groundwork”, “pedestal”, “rest”, “substructure”, etc. Tomaz Furlan and Joze Barsi both show a specific interest in the strategies of re-use: Furlan in the construction processes of his “machines” and Barsi in the post-conceptual re-examination process of copying the overlooked and ignored texts of political philosophy and art.

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Breakfast on a morning train

Breakfast on a morning train

Samostojna razstava, Galerija ŠKUC, Ljubljana

21.11. – 13.12.2019

»Je avto objekt ali socialni simbol? Je čakanje v vrsti produkcijski proces ali kontemplativno dejanje? Je obuvanje nogavic eksistencializem ali konvencija?« se sprašuje Tomaž Furlan ob aktualni razstavi, ki (razen enega) vključuje popolnoma nova dela. Čeprav vsako od njih vsebuje lastno sporočilnost, je treba gledati predvsem postavitev v celoti. Ta se osredotoča na izsek vsakdanjega jutra povprečnega posameznika, ko se sooča s sliko sveta. Avtorja zanima posameznikov osebni pogled na objekt – trenutek v percepciji, ko gre za razumevanje vseh razsežnosti oblike in ne le njene konstrukcije. Na razstavi tako išče banalne konotacije med objekti in njihovo pasliko oziroma se ukvarja z njeno popačenostjo, ki jo povzroči individualna interpretacija. Gre za nadaljevanje avtorjeve refleksije družbene dinamike, pogled v civilizirano okolico in njene pripomočke. Tomaž Furlan opiše razstavo tudi kot »slike ponedeljkovega jutra, kjer je vsak prostor svoj kader oziroma slika«.

Odnos med človekom in okoljem je glavna tema celotne avtorjeve umetniške prakse, naslov razstave pa povedno oriše današnje stanje. Produkcijski proces ni le aktivnost samega proizvajanja, temveč tudi vse ostalo, v kar je vpet posameznik (njegovo gibanje v družbenem okolju), tako racionalizacija časa kot učinkovitost ter kolektivnost in participatornost. Naslov razstave obenem asociira tudi na naslov slike Edouarda Maneta Zajtrk na travi (1863), eno od prelomnih del umetnostne zgodovine. Kompleksna vsebina je pomembna (v grobem) zaradi monumentalnega načina prezentacije vsakdanje teme, kjer je v žanrski prizor vključen ženski akt, sicer rezerviran za slike z mitološko ali alegorično vsebino. Pa vendar – Manet naslika meščanstvo, ki zajtrkuje na travi, Tomaž Furlan pa nam »slika« mobilno meščanstvo. Njegova vpetost v produkcijsko in družbeno rutino, ki je vedno bolj prisotna tudi v zasebnih prostorih, vendar je bolj kot na zunanje sistemske mehanizme vezana na posameznikovo izbiro, ki se na videz zdi svobodna in osebna.

Nina Skumavc

Več na Galerija Škuc

Artist is on vacation!?

Artist is on vacation!?

Photo: Božo Rakočević

Solo exhibition, Night Window Display Gallery Pešak, AKC Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana, Slovenia

7 September  – 6 October 2019


»Artist way of life« is changing phenomenon in the modern history. Bohemian tired from turpentine and alcohol vapors, activist exhausted from the political and autodestructive practices, artist drained from the poverty and constant chase for the truth, businessman, misunderstood genius or some other form of  obtained identity.

What has a bigger significance? An art or an artist? Is the artist’s lifestyle indicating the value of art?

Can artist existence be the point of view for the artistic content?  Is artist always present as for example Marina Abramović?; is everyone an artist as stated by Joseph Beuys?;  does artist goes to vacation?

Installation “Artist on vacation!?” speaks of the artist 24/7, also when he is not on a pedestal.


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Rihard Jakopič Honorable Mention

Rihard Jakopič Honorable Mention

Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
April 12, 2017

Named after Rihard Jakopič an important Slovene impressionist painter, the Rihard Jakopič Award is the highest award in the field of fine arts in Slovenia. The Prize and Honorable Mentions are awarded by the Association of Slovene Fine Artists Societies, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, Moderna galerija and the Slovene Association of Art Critics.

The recipient of the 2017 Rihard Jakopič award for life achievement is an academic painter, Marjan Gumilar. The recipients of the 2017 Rihard Jakopič honorary mentions are artists of the younger generation for their achievements in individual projects in the field of contemporary art. The recipients are academic sculptor Tomaž Furlan and multidisciplinary artist Tanja Lažetič.

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Celebrating New Realism

Celebrating New Realism / Autour du Nouveau Réalisme

Photo: video still

Group exhibition, Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie Toulouse, Toulouse, France

February 2. – May 2017

Movement Nouveau Réalisme began in 1960 when  Pierre Restany wrote the manifesto “Déclaration Constitutive du Nouveau Réalisme” signed by  Arman, César, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé, later on joined by Niki de Saint Phalle, Gérard Deschamps, Christo et al.

Manifesto addressed the rise in industrialisation and consumerism in society. Artist draw the materials for their works from the daily life of the early 1960s, Nouveau Realists used everyday objects, adverts, posters, junk, neon lights…  Each artist had their own particular method of creating a poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality. Their works were however dense and radical, marked by action and movement.

The exhibition will highlight how much the group has influenced public space, and our lives and will show the militant, often comical side to the work.

Tomaz Furlan’s  works  are part of  “A contemporary echo of Nouveau Réalisme”, presenting contemporary artists.


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Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie Toulouse



Retrospective exhibition, Museum of contemporary art Rochechouart, Rochechouart, France
February 28 – June 7 2015


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Musée de Rochechouart

Technical Unconscious

Technical Unconscious

October 2014

Residency and permanent installation of Wear XVIII in the frame of cultural and multidisciplinary research project reactivating the post-industrial spaces of the Cooperativa dos Operários Pedreiros do Porto (Stone Masons Cooperative) in its Centenary.

Curator: Inês Moreira