Videoperformance Wear I

Photo: Robert Ograjenšek
Photo: video still
Photo: Robert Ograjenšek

Ljubljana (SI), 2005
Metal, polyurethane foam, rope
60x40x50 cm
Video performance 3’22’’
Courtesy of the Artist


The first piece in the series Wear emerged within the frame of the semester exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. From the very start the emergence of the idea into a work of art was limited by the production means and the time I could dedicate to designing my artistic expression.

In that period I had acquired my first camera and computer and I started researching video as a medium, and the possibility of expressing myself through this medium. I researched the medium through the created statue, my body and the camera. The result of the experiment was an intermedia merger which resulted in a video performance. This was also when the name for what later became the Wear series emerged. Even though the name seems to place the sculpture element into the forefront, this is only a part of the completed artwork. I used this name to address the wholesome idea of an external human skeleton, which one could wear on his or her body on a daily basis. With this unique interpretation, the exoskeleton, which serves as a multi-purpose tool, places the structure of life into the field of the visual.

The exoskeleton is made from waste material, which carries the potential to symbolically interpret or contextualise the existential capabilities of the artist and the broader socio-economic conditions. The exoskeleton is an arm created from two opposing materials – iron and foam. The result is a mixture of intentionally used and reshaped waste objects that I have found in my surroundings. I wished to avoid classical sculpture, which produces objects that are separated from the artist. I wished to introduce kinetics, action and man to sculpture. I achieved this by not allowing the form of the created object to speak for itself, for I captured time and documented the exoskeleton as clothes which helped me perform individual actions.

The set design and video projections remained raw forms, which added to the video work. While the set design was random or determined by the existing capacities of the Academy’s studio, the soundscape was carefully selected. For Wear I I selected the music from Kurosawa’s film Samurai 7, which I thought addressed similar issues as I was trying to address. Through editing and my own participation, I brought jocularity to the idea of rawness and banality of life to the video, which many found entertaining. Some individuals even expressed the desire to try the exoskeleton, and I was happy to make this happen for them.