Franc Purg, from the installation GLOBAL DEBT, 2011
Coming Soon, the Future!
Center sodobnih umetnosti Celje / Center for Contemporary Arts Celje
December 15, 2011 - February 19, 2012
Locations: Gallery of Contemporary Art and Likovni salon Gallery.
The Center for Contemporary Arts Celje kindly invites you to Franc Purg's exhibition Coming Soon, the Future!, which will open on Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m. at the Gallery of Contemporary Art. The Center for Contemporary Arts Celje is pleased to announce the publication of an extensive monograph on Franc Purg's artistic production.
Franc Purg's artistic practice is mainly characterized by a clear perception of social phenomena, processes and relations, a prompt and direct reaction to the world in which we live, a critical view of the status of contemporary society as well as poignant and intensive representation of reality, which hardly fail to leave the spectator untouched. There are a number of works, among others the performance and installation Where is the Line? (1998) and the video Leon (2001), that have occasioned reactions and uneasiness among spectators, as well as repudiation and condemnation because of the artist's intransigence and word-for-word presentation of reality, including their own. The installation What Makes Me Look Like This? (1996), dealing with hypocrisy of religion, has gone so far as to prompt a censorship incident. In his recent works, the artist is opening up questions about relations of power and social justice, touching with great sensitivity upon the position of marginalized social groups, their everyday reality and the capability of inventing creative strategies and tools for the needs of survival (a series of projects, Privileged Tactics (2006-2008), in collaboration with Sara Heitlinger). He speaks about the margin of society and at the same time about the nature of society that makes possible the existence of the margin. As a careful observer of the relationship between the center and the margin, he considers the margin not as something frail and remote but as a creative and present cell capable of exercising an active influence on the center. His engaged and continuous research of the margin is the distinguishing feature of all of his works made after 2001 (the turning point in his work is represented by the video Kids (2002) about the suburbs of Belfast), which has contributed to the creation of his artistic statement according to which the margin is more important than it might seem, for it is more intensive and faster than the center towards which it is advancing - unnoticed, but with firm resolution - telling of its future.
The relationship between the margin and the center is as well the conceptual framework of Purg's present extensive exhibition with the telling title Coming Soon, the Future! Featured at the exhibition, which will be taking place in two locations, at the Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Likovni salon Gallery, will be his recent work Global Debt, as well as the most emblematic projects, or parts of them, that have defined his artistic production to date. By placing them into new relationships and through the visual and above all content-related connections thus created that will impart a special atmosphere to the individual spaces, the exhibition will speak about the dark side of our society and our existence, about transience, the urgency for changes in relation to the environment, to our fellow human beings and to life, about the creative solutions brought about by the social margin and the marginal situation, about when a criminal act becomes legitimate and about how we can read the future on the basis of our understanding of the margin.
Purg's artistic practice dates back in the period of modernism. He set out on his artistic career as a sculptor and has been mainly engaged since the 1990s with video, photography, performance, sound and intervention into public space. He has participated in many international festivals and has exhibited his works in numerous museums and galleries, such as Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Grand Palais Paris, Le Fresnoy Lille, Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, ZKM Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, E:vent Gallery London, Kunsthaus Graz, Essl Sammlung Vienna, Exit Art New York, Moderna Museet Stockholm, etc. His works are part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana and the Maribor Art Gallery, Okolje Consulting Art Collection, New Media Collection Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon. He was awarded the UNESCO Digital Arts Award, the Rihard Jakopi? Award for the year 2005, the first award at the competition for Slovenian independence, the International Media Art Award, The 50 Best, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, etc.
He graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Art in Ljubljana in 1979 and had further training as a student in Köln (1991), Glasgow (1995), Paris (1997) and Belfast (2001).
Franc Purg lives and works in Celje and London. Read more at: http://francpurg.net/
The realization of the exhibition Coming Soon, the Future! and the publication of the monograph has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Celje Municipality, Okolje Consulting Art Collection, Miklova House Ribnica and private collectors.