JAŠA: Apnea’s Rhapsody / Installation and Performance Project at On Stellar Rays, New York

Apnea’s Rhapsody is a multi-layered installation and performance project by the Slovenian artist JAŠA (Mrevlje-Pollak; born in 1978 in Ljubljana, Slovenia). Apnea’s Rhapsody at On Stellar Rays is JAŠA’s first exhibition in the United States. The gallery exhibition is an immersive installation including wallpaper, carpeting, furniture, sculpture, video, photography and other surprises. According to the gallery, the show “explores the tension between perceived experiences of awe, ecstasy and beauty, and actual conditions of a specific time and place.” (Hit the jump for entire press release). This video documents the performance on June 21, 2012. The exhibition runs until July 27, 2012.

JAŠA: Apnea’s Rhapsody / Installation and Performance Project at On Stellar Rays, New York. Performance, June 10, 2012. Video by Shimon Azulay.

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Press release:

On Stellar Rays presents Apnea’s Rhapsody, a multi-layered installation and performance project by JAŠA, exploring the tension between perceived experiences of awe, ecstasy and beauty, and actual conditions of a specific time and place. The gallery installation will be immersive, including wallpaper, carpeting, furniture, sculpture, video, photography and other surprises. Apnea’s Rhapsody marks the Ljubljana-based artist’s first exhibition in the US.
Like a rhapsody, JAŠA’s work is often charged with romanticism, mood and spontaneity, created thorough the layering of familiar contemporary and traditional images. JAŠA plays with an excess of seemingly idiosyncratic proverbial visual associations – albeit, with Aesopian hints – that are taken to such extremes that the elemental parts fuse and the total atmosphere overcomes interest in minutiae. Personal narratives also permeate JAŠA’s work, often taking on cultural or folkloric forms and recapitulating feelings of euphoria and beauty found within them.
Flight is an important reference in Apnea’s Rhapsody, particularly as it relates to the mythological and visionary aspirations of man. Divergent views of the heavens and the sky in Slavic (Koschei the Deathless, Baby Jaga, Tugarin Zmeevich, Zmeu Gorynich) and Western mythologies (Icarus and Deadalus), as well as later, turn-of-the-century attitudes inherited from such diverse sources as the Wright brothers and Vladimir Tatlin’s Letatlin flying device, play into various sculptures and actions, most prominently in a 8-foot pair of wearable wings, made of black umbrellas, constructed by the artist and his wife in a furious all-nighter, after the discovery of an account of Tatlin’s shared project.
Although allusions to the beautiful and euphoria are ever-present, JAŠA’s playful approach and emphasis on the particularities of situation point more to a heightened state of reality than to fantasy. Reality, however complex, multi-layered, absurd or unpredictable, may still offer breathless moments.

JAŠA (Mrevlje-Pollak; b. 1978, Ljubljana, Slovenia) graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, Italy and studied classics at the Gimnazija Poljane Ljubljana. He frequently works in collaboration with other artists, with Crash in Progress from 1999-2005, an artists collective with Giorgio Andreotta Caló, Simone Settimo, Peter Furlan & Martina de Lugnani, and recently with Kalu (Luka UrÅ¡ič), Junzi, Nina Vidrih, Mark Požlep, Jyrki Riekki and Meta Grgurevič among others. Recent solo presentations include The Lovest at The Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2011-ongoing); Yellow Dot, official inaugural event at Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana (2012); Dolphin’s Dream at ViaFarini, Milan (2011); and solo exhibitions with Ganes Pratt Gallery, Ljubljana (2010, 2008) and Jerome Zodo, Milan (2011). Recent group exhibitions include The Accademie Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennal (2011); Lords of Dirt at UGM/Maribor Art Gallery, Maribor, Slovenia (2011); The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2010); Realism and Reality in Contemporary Art in Slovenia, curated by Charles Esche, The Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2010).

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