Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša by Janez Janša.

Janez Jansa falará sobre seu projeto Janez Janša, buy Janez Janša and Janez Janša no seminário Cruzamentos Contemporáneos entre Arte e Política. Rio de Janeiro de 12, online a 15 de novembro 2010.

Can you imagine few years ago 3 established Brasilian artists joining the PT – Partido dos Trabalhadores and then legally changing their names into Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva? And since than bringing the name of the president of Brasil (or any other country leader) at museums, exhibiting next to Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica, festivals, showing work next to Meg Stuart and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, galleries, presenting video along Bruce Nauman…

The lecture performance NAME Readymade will present wide range aspects of the “Name changing” gesture perpetrated by three Slovenian artists (Davide Grassi, Emil Hrvatin and Žiga Kariž) who in 2007 officially, and with all the papers and stamps required, changed their names to the Slovenia’s economic-liberal, conservative prime minister at the time, Janez Janša.

“When the three artists changed their names to Janez Janša, they in fact adopted a critical stand to the state. To the Slovene government, in which until recently all posts seemed occupied as it were by a single person – Janez Janša. (…)  Through the multiplication of Janez Janša’s name, the function of the prime minister has assumed, within this specific artistic action, a similar position as the Campbell soup cans in Andy Warhol’s works.” (Zdenka Badovinac, Name Readymade, October 2008)

All Janez Janšas’ works, their private and public affairs, in a word their whole life has been conducted under this name ever since.

“(…) the gesture is—from now on—in constant process: it will be semiotised in connection with their every new work of art and public appearance, therefore it will take some turns unprecedented in other known forms of subversive affirmation.” (Rok Vevar, Večer, September 1st 2007)

Works exhibited in the show NAME Readymade in Graz,  October 2008 (valid ID cards, passports, credit and bank cards, driving licences, birth and marriage certificates, and so on) are generated by the reality itself. In the history of art, such readymades did not exist. Personal documents such as personal identification cards, passports, health insurance cards, credit cards etc. cannot “simply” be bought in shops, recontextualized, turned around, exhibited and produced as readymades. To obtain them, one needs to initiate a process: you have to initiate an administrative process to obtain them.

Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša cut right in the midst of their own realities and the reality of the space and time, in which they work. For this purpose they used procedures typical for art – transformation, translation, representation and mimicry. They turned around the classical relational scheme between art and life as it was developed in the 20th century. Art in previous century is redefined by way of reality entering into artistic contexts without mediation (so that Badiou can define the 20th century as the passion for the real), while Janša, Janša and Janša want to achieve the opposite so that their methods cut deeply into their material lives and the lives of their immediate surrounding.

“(…) the completely subtle and seemingly unpretentious gesture of three artists changing their names to Janez Janša fundamentally intervenes into the artistic and broader social and political space. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from this, namely, that great artistic creations are sometimes found in seemingly marginal, minimal gestures.” (Jela Krečič, Delo, 29 December 2007)

Janez Janša
(Rijeka, Croatia, 1964)

Janez Janša is author, director and performer of interdisciplinary performances. He has studied sociology and theatre directing at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and performance theory at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

His pieces have been shown throughout the world a.o. WE ARE ALL MARLENE DIETRICH FOR – Performance for soldiers in peace-keeping missions (with Erna Omarsdottir), the reconstruction of the piece from 1969 – PUPILIJA, PAPA PUPILO AND THE PUPILCEKS (2006), SLOVENIAN NATIONAL THEATRE (2007) and THE MORE OF US THERE ARE, FASTER WE WILL REACH OUR GOAL (with Janša and Janša, 2010). He performed in the improvisation project At the Table curated by Meg Stuart and collaborated in projects by Tim Etchells and Boris Charmatz. The works by Janša contain strong critical dimension, reflect responsibility of performers and spectators and deal with the status of performance in neoliberal societies. His performances have been awarded at national and international festivals.

Janez Janša’s work includes also visual, media and performance art works. Among others are THE CABINET OF MEMORIES, a tear donnor session, performative installation LIFE [IN PROGRESS], interdisciplinary artistic and research project THE FIRST WORLD CAMP (with Peter Šenk), interactive performance MISS MOBILE, and NAME READYMADE (with Janez Janša and Janez Janša). He regularly curates interdisciplinary workshops and he is the initiator of the organization P.E.A.C.E. – Peacekeepers’ entertainment, art and cultural exchange (with Mare Bulc).

He has published numerous essays on contemporary theatre and art including the book on Flemish artist and theatre maker Jan Fabre (JAN FABRE – La Discipline du chaos, le chaos de la discipline, Armand Colin, Paris 1994; published in Dutch, Italian and Slovene as well). He has been editor in chief of the performing arts journal MASKA (1999-2006). He has edited a reader of contemporary theatre theories (PRESENCE, REPRESENTATION, THEATRICALITY, Maska, Ljubljana 1996), a reader of contemporary dance theories (THEORIES OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE, Maska, Ljubljana, 2001) and several other titles.

Since 1999 he is the director of Maska, non-profit organization in publishing, production and education, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube