[artinfo] NAME Readymade at Location One, NYC

Aksioma aksioma4 at siol.net
Tue May 5 15:41:52 CEST 2009

NAME Readymade
Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa

Location One
26 Greene Street, New York NY 10013
Thursday, May 7, 2009 7pm

For more information see:

Can you imagine a few years ago 3 established American artists
joining the Republican Party and then legally changing their names to
George W. Bush? And then bringing the name of the US President to
museums, exhibiting next to Robert Gober or Barbara Kruger,
festivals, showing work next to Meg Stuart and Nature Theater of
Oklahoma, galleries, presenting video alongside Bruce Nauman?
Location One is pleased to host NAME Readymade, a presentation of the
"Name changing" gesture perpetrated by three Slovenian artists who,
in 2007 officially changed their names to the Slovenia's economic-
liberal, conservative prime minister at the time, Janez Jansa.

All Janez Jansas' works, their private and public affairs, in a word
their whole life has been conducted under this name ever since.
Janez Jansa at Location One will take you through a series of
artistic, political, administrative and media actions performed by
himself together with Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa with a particular
focus on their latest personal exhibition entitled NAME Readymade.
Works exhibited in this show (valid ID cards, passports, credit and
bank cards, driving licences, birth and marriage certificates, and so
on) are generated by the reality itself.

"When the three artists changed their names to Janez Jansa, 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 Jansa. [...] Through the
multiplication of Janez Jansa'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)

"(...) 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, Vecer, September
1st 2007)

Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa 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 Jansa, Jansa and Jansa want to achieve the opposite so
that their methods cut deeply into their material lives and the lives
of their immediate surrounding.

???The use of personal documents as exhibition items is certainly a
liminal case; it probes certain boundaries. It is liminal in that it
is not clear whether or not such a use of personal documents respects
the rights that you acquired when you were issued these documents.
You cannot burn documents as this is a criminal offence, but what
about the use of documents for artistic purposes? To be sure, this is
not something that serious people would use to justify persecution in
the name of the state; yet, this does mean that everybody knows that
you are not carrying your documents, that is, that you are not using
them in compliance with the conditions under which they were issued
to you. Even a bank can cancel your cards if they find out that you
are using them in an inappropriate way. You are walking a line that I
would not call ???dangerous???, but I do, however, consider it
suspicious. This is precisely part of the risk that I mentioned
before. Here, we can see various things that could develop from this.
After all, you have to make a special effort to find out how security
is going to work at the exhibition. It is an entirely different thing
if you exhibit graphics numbered 1 to 100 that are insured through an
insurance company. I doubt that an insurance company would issue an
insurance policy for the everyday functional value of the exhibited
documents in the same way as they would issue tourist insurance -
such insurance would require the issuance of new documents.
Furthermore, it is also interesting that these documents are art
works, readymades. The original of Fountain has been lost, nicked, so
Duchamp made new ones, signed them anew, he even made a miniature
version for his little suitcase; you, however, cannot make new
documents, they can only be made by an authorized organization called
the state and its Ministry of Internal Affairs. Yet the Ministry
itself cannot function illegally and, for example, reproduce these
documents as art works. Now what? These are works of art only insofar
as they are also authentic documents. Here we reach a contradiction -
the very contradiction of the world of art. A readymade as a work of
art is something inauthentic; it is the proof of inauthenticity: with
a readymade, the ???aura??? disappears. In your case, however, the
precondition for this readymade is its authenticity in everyday life
- its credibility and authenticity. If somebody bought this work of
art, they would be buying it as authenticity, together with its
functional ???readymade??? value.??? (Lev Kreft,  Name as Readymade,
An interview with Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa, NAME
Readymade, October 2008)

NAME Readymade - THE BOOK
Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Oct. 2008 (208 pp., english)

The book is a parcours through different stages and aspects of the
act of name changing. It also brings different writings on the recent
work by Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa. The book is
structured in 2 parts: essays on name changing by experts in the
field and documents and writings on different actions and projects by
Jansa, Jansa and Jansa.
Rich visual material makes this book an unique document of the work
that has provoked wide range of interpretation in artistic as well as
in general audience.
Contributors: Amelia Jones, Catherine Soussloff, Zdenka Badovinac,
Antonio Caronia, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Tadej
Kovacic, Jela Krecic, Lev Kreft, Blaz Lukan, Aldo Milohnic, Misko

Production: Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and
the Municipality of Ljubljana

Marcela Okreti??
Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Neubergerjeva 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
gsm: +386 41 250830
e-mail: aksioma4 at siol.net

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