V.S.S.D. in Words

Alen Ožbolt: V.S.S.D. in Words

Alen Ožbolt

V.S.S.D. in Words

6. February 1997 – 28. February 1997

Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia


Thank you for the word, since it is the word that matters here. The book in front of us could also be called the struggle for the word, the struggle for the appropriate word of my own, for the statement, for my own statement.

THE STRUGGLE FOR THE WORD means the awareness of the signification of words. Hence, it is not only writers, politicians, journalists, tradesmen and propagandists who own the word. Words also belong to every one of us. This was particularly important – I remember – in previous, past, former, ex-times when the signification of words was particularly exposed. Words are deeds, the deeds that change the world.

The specific conception of this book makes it clear that the command “Shut up!” does not apply here. Here the artist speaks, although not to explain, interpret, or describe ...

The book contains a compilation and selection of texts which can be said to be my own, inner texts; it is parallel to my visual production, but also independent. The text tries to phrase, grasp, and comprehend the gaze, image, painting, art ... and everything else as well. Thus the words and texts are not strictly related to art and painting.

Let us omit the question, the “why”. Let us see if there is past. Does the past have a voice, and how does it speak? Does a painting have a voice? Does a painting have a past? As to the look, which will try to show itself at a certain exhibition, it is a look backward, perhaps an insight to the past, but the past which is lost – just like “life”, presence, awareness, original, or directness. Many things have been lost, but are still visible. They can be seen and felt through remains (documents), the representatives of the past. In the present case there are words, compositions of words, statements, manifestos, sound material, and so forth. These are no longer The Memorial Images of the Future (the title of an exhibition), but simply the memorial images of the past (in words). What are the images of words? And the memory – is it the memory as a memory, or is it always a memory of? In what sense and how much is it preserved, and is it preserved in images? Ali this relates to the question of the end: Where is the end? Can we point to the end at ali, can it be located, and can it be identified as the end. (The diagnosis is not successful, since the end – and the death – had been announced and inscribed from the very beginning, and 1990 it was also marked by a special textual (negative, negating, non-) project.)

The creation process of individual installations, exhibitions, or projects – always related to a specific space, or translated and transformed for another space – usually took about one year. Several ideas and concepts remained unrealised, or were 'merely' sketched. Some of the latter have been captured in the text.

On the one hand, time is very dynamic, but elusive; on the other hand, it is a complete and steady flow. It is hard to inscribe it on an exhibition, for it is always already inscribed. Consider walking for example: you can walk forward and backward, up and down, straight ahead and around, slowly and quickly, skilfully or clumsy, watchfully or blindly ... In this case we try to go backwards. How far and how deep? The world did not start today, but grows old faster and faster. When will today become yesterday? V.S.S.D. frequently said, “We're not interested in the future, in scientific or futuristic projects to come; it is all about the past, the past as something never finished and always open.” We cannot judge the future, but the day will surely come, and the night will fall.

The book signed by V.S.S.D. is presented at the exhibition in the Škuc Gallery, that is in the space where V.S.S.D. first officially and publicly (not illegally) began as Painter Do You Know Your Duty (1986). This is not a meaningful end (the end had already happened), nor is it a completion, or conclusion. Perhaps it is a supplementation and extension of a statement, which without this final act would be much more fragmented.

Text for the exhibition V.S.S.D. in Words, Škuc Gallery, 1997. Translated by Borut Cajnko.

Read More

Selection of Works from the Exhibition

V.S.S.D. in Words

V.S.S.D. in Words

Alen Ožbolt