press release

The Wonderfulness of Memory
24. 9. 2021–13. 2. 2022

Inaugural exhibition of Cukrarna Gallery, featuring works by fifteen artists: Rosa Barba, Sophie Calle, Janet Cardiff, Jimmie Durham, Vadim Fiškin, Teresa Margolles, Ernesto Neto, Adrian Paci, Lia Perjovschi, Marjetica Potrč, Tobias Putrih, Miha Štrukelj, Aleksandra Vajd & Anetta Mona Chisa, Samson Young.

The context of the former sugar factory site and its history provided the artistic director of Cukrarna Gallery and the curator of the exhibition, Alenka Gregorič, with the conceptual framework for The Wonderfulness of Memory, which highlights the interweaving of past and present as its central theme. The works presented address issues of memory as the collective and individual experience or as things felt and rationalised, with the curator juxtaposing bookmarks, records, archives, narratives and found objects so that they can be understood as a tribute to the stories snatched from oblivion, interweaving them with the memories encoded in the Cukrarna building.

Due to the mostly gloomy stories about Cukrarna and its past, the curatorial decision in conceiving the exhibition followed a turnaround in perspective and ways of finding a connection with contemporary art production, while exploring the positive and creative sides of the work of the poets and writers Dragotin Kette, Josip Murn, Ivan Cankar and Oton Župančič, who resided in the Cukrarna building at the turn of the 20th century. It was these most famous residents of Cukrarna who established a new romanticism, decadence and symbolism in Slovenian literature and left extraordinary testimonies in their literary works about the building and the people who lived there.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Corina Apostol, David Crowley, Oscar Gardea, Alenka Gregorič, Birte Kleine-Benne, Sarah Messerschmidt, Alva Noë, Barbara Predan and Vladimir Vidmar, as well as an interview with Ernesto Neto, a journal entry by Samson Young, a poem by Petr Borkovec, and texts by the artists Rosa Barba, Jimmie Durham and Marjetica Potrč.