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Fine Art Talk: Manca Bajec

24 February 2016 | 3pm – 5pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Is it possible to create multi-vocal spaces of history through the re-establishment of the counter-monument movement? Can artistic practices create alternative methods of writing history? How can artistic practices serve as methods of historical revisionism?

Manca Bajec will depart from how destruction of sites of memory enable the denial of history and create formats for its further manipulation, in order to ask whether artistic practice can serve as a method of reconciliation. Bajec will present her recent practice based research that observes the counter-monument movement and suggests how it can be re-adapted, in the context of the Balkan conflicts, as a method of memorialization. The work is based on recognizing and acknowledging different methods involved in socio-political artistic practices and examining when these methods become the art-work itself. Departing from here, Bajec makes inquires into national histories and memories, politics, space and society in order to build environments that are inspired by practices of re-enactment but these are counter-balanced with overtly theatrical and fictive atmospheres.

The work is adapting Gustav Freytag’s structure of dramatic plays, which follows the project through its phases; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and Denouement: resolution, revelation or catastrophe. The decision to apply this structure lies in the actions of the project itself, which is divided into a series of roles that she, as an artist and researcher, position herself into. The position of role-play which is elaborated on through text-based works, i.e. A week in August, also becomes evident through a shift of perspectives. Examining ideas of temporal displacement, forgetting and remembering, and destruction, she will also question ideas surrounding the ethical status of politically and socially sensitive topics in contemporary art, and the idea of the permission, which the artist grants herself when conducting such work.

Manca Bajec is an artist and researcher whose multidisciplinary work is situated in the field of space/time, memory and sociopolitical issues. Completing a BA at the Academy of Fine Art in Venice, she continued her studies in Ljubljana while working in theaters as a stage designer and performer. She moved to London to study curating in 2010 and began to focus on memory and memorialization. 

She was nominated for the emerging artist ESSL Award in 2010 and was an Ashley Family Foundation Fellow in 2011.

She is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art conducting research on destruction of monuments. Bajec who grew up in the Middle East, now lives and works in London.