When the initial laughter stops, reality steps in

“Contemporary art is nothing but a business, but we take it as a joke.” These are the words of Nika Oblak & Primož Novak, an artist duo exhibiting in Slovakia for the very first time. Kunsthalle LAB will host the opening of their show And Now For Something Completely Different 5 curated by Petja Grafenauer on Thursday, 5 November 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition will last until 6 December 2015.


Slovenia artists Nika Oblak and Primož Novak started working together in 2003. The artist duo represents the new global nomads, moving from one place of the globe to the other, doing residencies, developing projects, exhibiting worldwide. Thus, their work reflects the art scene in Slovenia, internationally vibrant since the late 1980s. Formally, their work is perfect, shiny and appealing, as if from a tabloid. However, Oblak and Novak do not express their fascination with the global pop culture; they consciously use its existing forms to make the ridiculousness of the reality even more real. Because the artists regard themselves to be a part of a social system based on unconditional consumption with a capitalist face, they focus on critical examination of contemporary media and capitalist society.


The exhibition And Now For Something Completely Different 5 presents pneumatic video installations Sisyphus Actions, Reality is Out, The Box, and a brand new production entitled Border Mover to be presented for the very first time. They expose the daily routine, artificially produced consumerist needs and illustrate our existence as the monotony of operating machines.


Despite their appearance and wider possible reading, the presented pneumatic video installations are very personal works of art that say as much about the artists as they do about the society at large. Technically based on a pneumatic mechanism, they are able to transmit the two dimensionality of the screen into 3D. The image seems to be strong enough to move the border outside into the real world.


The works by Nika Oblak and Primož Novak are communicative, inviting, and quite impressive when seen live. Kunsthalle LAB hopes that their approachable form will attract viewers of different generations, making them wonder about the technical aspects of the installations. However, once the audience is lured in and the initial laughter stops, reality steps in. The authors present a story of a small man trapped in a box which he cannot get out of. He repeats his actions, never quitting, never stopping until his last day, when the television stops working and the laughter gives place to the awful silence of the desert that late capitalism has left behind.


And Now For Something Completely Different 5

Curator: Petja Grafenauer Artists: Nika Oblak & Primož Novak

Opening: 5 November 2015, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Duration: 6 November – 6 December 2015

Location: Kunsthalle LAB