Milano, 10/05 to 23/12, 2012

Jerome Zodo Contemporary is pleased to be inaugurating the new curatorial program for its PROJECT ROOM, starting May 19, 2011 at 6 pm in the gallery at Via Lambro 7, Milan.

This new project is intended to highlight emerging and/or previously unexhibited young Italian and international artists from the contemporary scene; presented in alternation with video projections of performance pieces and artistic documentaries, they will share a space that was formerly a garage, and now houses exhibitions and screenings instead of cars. Artistic events and educational activities will round out the calendar, running parallel to the regular gallery programming. The new proposals include a series of initiatives focused on contemporary culture, which without sacrificing a wide range of media and content, focuses on individual universes and monographic materials.

The PROJECT ROOM singles out and fosters the seeds of new aesthetic currents, ideas, poetics and practices of evolution and revolution in post-contemporary culture. The project is centered on exploration and on local dialogue, to encourage experimentation with interdisciplinary forms of creativity aimed at transforming the relationship between space and culture. Posing questions about the simple relationship between building and street, inside and outside, the context inevitably invites site-specific projects, expropriating and externalizing the dialogue between art and life, between everyday experience and the creative experience.

The first event on the calendar, titled BLOOM, is a site-specific project by the young Slovenian artist JAŠA (b. 1978, Ljubljana). After recently being featured in the Memories and Encounters program at VIR Viafarini-in-residence in Milan (January-March 2011), and gearing up for his participation in the 54th Venice Biennial this year, JAŠA presents his own spatial reinterpretation of the PROJECT ROOM, which he transforms into a space of living, a “living room”.

JAŠA – I’ve always been fascinated by what small, enclosed spaces can do to an individual or group of individuals, and what came to mind here was Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis clos (No Exit). Self-awareness requires the Other in order to demonstrate one’s own existence. It contains a “masochistic urge” to be restricted: restricted by the reflexive awareness of another subject. This is metaphorically expressed by Sartre’s famous line, “Hell is other people”.

The artist dreams up a living room inside the PROJECT ROOM, a space within a space that gives the room itself the value of signifier within a signified. The semantic extroversion presses up against the walls, which are intentionally deformed and adorned with decorations, giving the entire installation an expressive power as well as a liminal sculptural soul. The overhead garage door stays open to the street—“allowing me to create an exhibition that can interact with visitors, letting itself be penetrated”. The young Slovenian artist will underscore his installation project and complete this living environment with a long, indefatigable performance at the opening.

In his epistemological investigation of creativity, JAŠA structures discourses that are both semantically and formally based on aesthetic rejection and exclusion. To underline the subversive nature of art, the artist puts into play an anthology of signs, marks, and presences, sculptural talismans and scenographic agglomerations, through performances that are devices taken out of context, to be manipulated and readopted as a representation of reality. His activity as an artist includes metamorphic experiences, the substance of which is not the work itself or the final outcome, but rather the sequence and context in which the process of creation takes place, emphasizing all the characteristics of the relationship/conflict between work and context. This approach to making art, imbued with propulsive energy, is aimed at revealing the alchemy inherent in the creative act; his works harness a strange, unstructured language that avoids traditional taxonomies, working its way along the roots of an urban subculture, a supple, wide-ranging fabric, a compromise that merges together the three exponential peaks of space, work and life.

Jasa was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1978, and divides his time between Milan, Venice, and Ljubljana. In recent years he has received two art awards from the Slovenian Ministry of Culture and has been selected for various residency programs, including DOCVA in Milan and Platform in Vaasa. His solo exhibitions have included: Dolphin’s Dream, Viafarini, Milan (2011), The Lovest, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana (2001), Review-Preview, Ganes Pratt Gallery, Ljubljana (2010), Acting out, Galleria L’Occhio, Venice (2007), Dafne Revisited, A+A Gallery, Venice (2004), Quattro giornate di Berlino, Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (2003). JAŠA has always been active in the institutional sphere, organizing THE LOVEST, a section for independent artists at the Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, and founding the BANZA! association. His artistic activity also comprises lectures and workshops such as X-OP-ART, Helsinki (2010), Novia Nykarlaby, Alu Liubljana (2009-2010), Kim Jones-War Drawings, Viafarini, Milan (2008).