"THEATRCIAL OBJECTS 2000-2009"
Gallery Jakopič, Ljubljana
15.12.2009 - 03.01.2010
photo: Peter Uhan
video: Andrej Intihar
photo: Matjaž Banič
Once upon a time Walter Benjamin wrote: (…) None of us has time to live the true dramas of the life that we are destined for. This is what ages us—this and nothing else. The wrinkles and creases on our faces are the registrations of the great passions, vices, insights that called on us; but we, the masters, were not at home (…). Performances by director and architect Matej Filipčič are plays of doors always ajar, with spectators entering the world of all these passions, dramas, and questions without knocking. We are always at home whenever they call... We just sit there in the darkness of the auditorium, immersing into the space of the story, into ourselves. These are performances about an unknown geography, the relief of the soul, somewhere between outside and inside. Nothing you have seen before can be used for comparison. It happens for the first time. The Braille of the stage. The Braille of our skin. Wrinkles and creases. You can feel it. Time.
The sets created by Matej Filipčič are the stage we enter. The next logical step for them is to become an exhibition. Everyday things in life keep losing their warmth, but the exhibited items and atmospheres have a warmth of their own. They are like an infrared heater in the bathroom, under which we stand alone, wet, holding a steamy mirror full of images never seen before... Drama. Memory. There, we are everything. There, we are everyone. Every night. Every morning. We all carry this experience.
It is also an exhibition you can always enter on your own. That is its best quality. How many public places are there nowadays that you can enter alone without fear? And when you are there, the most important issue is only what you bring with you, and whatever you see fits your image, as if the space were a glove that is only yours and that you wear every time you step into a cold day. Refrigerator, mirror, lace, a set table... A geography of the body and the soul at the same time. If I wanted to spend Christmas, this family holiday, alone, I would spend it at this exhibition. Time is of no importance. Space is important. Who would we be if we could not forget about ourselves, at least for a little while? Who would we be if we could not learn? Become someone other than we are? As they say: (…) Time exists only so that things would not happen all at once, and space exists so it would not all happen to you (…). This exhibition changes the above-mentioned dimensions. It is here, so it can happen all at once, and only to you.
Matej Filipčič’s Theatrical Objects - The Interiors of Emotional Memory
The exhibition entitled Theatrical Objects, in which Matej Filipčič, BA in Architecture and MA in Set and Costume Design, captures and audio-visually materializes and reinterprets the memories of his six authorial theatre performances using select and thought-through spatial arrangements and set interiors, represents the first retrospective of his recognizable stage creation since 2000, now in the context of visual arts and before a gallery audience.
The exhibition mounted in the spacious oblong hall of the Jakopič Gallery offers visitors a chronologically arranged series of six equivalent and equally carefully set up, changeably illuminated individual performance interiors including slideshows and mechanisms moving certain artefacts. The additional atmosphere and mood is created by the characteristic musical passages chosen from individual performances. The viewer’s gaze and experience (and also memory if they saw any of the performances before on stage with live protagonists) can feast on aesthetically subtly and excitingly visually and spatially arranged ambiences. Without the live protagonists and without the spoken lines, they are even more abstract and enigmatic while at the same time more open and provoking for the necessary completely personal co-creative contribution of each individual visitor.
The carefully and precisely chosen and always appropriately emphasized richness of select shapes, details, colours, imaginatively transformed objects and everyday objects in new contexts of meaning, etc., which is the standard element of Filipčič’s visually thoroughly thought-through and clear-cut performances, is this time confirmed in its direct static and dynamic materialization also as aesthetic material for a new and different communication with the audience, without the live (dramatic) protagonists, characters and relations among them, transcending the otherwise necessary duration of individual theatre performances.
The luxury of select beauty
Silent spatial placements are arranged in a chronological series, allowing the author to reminisce about his performances: Interieri (with Iva Zupančič at Cankarjev dom, 2000), Osum (with Jette Vejrup Ostan, Iva Zupančič and Akira Hasegawa at Moderna galerija – Museum of Modern Art, 2002), Sanset (with Lučka Počkaj, Katja Levstik and Gorazd Bračun at the Knight’s Hall at Križanke, 2004), Ko mine (with Jette Vejrup Ostan and Iva Zupančič at the Ljubljana City Theatre, 2005), La La La … (with Marinka Štern and Metod Banko at the Old Power Station, 2007) and Tosco (with Jožica Avbelj and Mirjam Tola on the Small Stage of the Ljubljana City Theatre, 2008). Restored and authorially reinterpreted interiors from performances, which, without the live protagonists, would have remained dully silent, come to life in the ambience and spiritual context of an exhibition venue. With their rich pictorial and spatial expressiveness, they associatively arouse in us memorial, emotional and imaginative images (of love, family gatherings, party games, adventure travels, nostalgia for the luxury of Venice architecture and operas, old films and music hits on vinyl records), filling us with the luxury of select beauty.