GalerijaGallery is inviting you to Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep zoom opening of an online exhibition Southwind E1.
(Southwind, Maxime Berthou & Mark Pozlep, 2019–ongoing)
From 2 September 2019–20 October 2019, Maxime Berthou and Mark Pozlep embarked on a practice-based research journey on the Mississippi River. Their mean of transportation was a 6-meter steam-powered paddle boat. Their goal was to research and experience contemporary US society along the mythical river. Following the methodology and chronology of a research-action project, Southwind proposes an investigation into personal experience, transcription, disproportion, and the production mechanisms of an artistic project.
Their trip started on the 2 September, a mere month after a six-month period of flooding, which – according to the locals – was the most extensive and longest since 1993. Many of the cities along the upper Mississippi have been washed away, marinas have been devastated and destroyed and the infrastructure along the river abandoned. The locals have also had to grapple with the intense poverty caused by the floods and the current economic situation, as well as health problems caused by toxic industrial pollution. Racial inequality is a part of everyday life, notably in smaller towns and places with less educated households.
They chose the Mississippi River as a kind of “body of the nation”, an entity representing a case study of the present-day US, owing to its colonial history and to the fact that it is the most important commercial waterway in the country, spanning 3,730 kilometers and crossing ten different states: Minnesota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas.
The project is still in its inception phase, which is why GalerijaGallery's online activities will become a kind of writing residency for the next month-and-a-half, which the authors will use to document his equally-long journey along the Mississippi River. Fresh short stories will be posted every three days.
Mark Požlep (born 1981, Slovenia) finished his BA and MA at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and completed an Advanced Master’s Degree in Transmedia at the Sint-Lukas Campus in Brussels. He is currently involved in a two-year residential program at HISK – the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. He works in the field of visual art, performance, spatial installations, and video.
His artistic practice often involves journey-travels, which function both as long-durational performance/endurance art and as an art piece in itself. It is an intense procedural exploration, aiming to reveal the tension between politics and poetics, individual action and personal impotence. The journey is not an illustration or a metaphor; it is an experience; it is the crossing of real places.
Maxime Berthou, (born 1981, France), graduated from the Ecole Supérieure d'Art d'Aix-en-Provence before joining the post-degree of Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporain in Tourcoing then following a pre-doctoral training at the Ecole Supérieure de Arts Décoratifs of Paris.
His artistic practice consists of making cinematographic essays based on the experience of performative gestures. His work is part of a practice-based research context superimposing an artistic framework on a scientific framework.
The project, based on their previous artistic work, takes advantage of the specific nature of the artist-run space GalerijaGallery.
One of the concepts employed by GG is the conscious use of the gallery as an artistic medium. In practice, this means that the gallery’s physical space, as well as all its other operational segments, is used as an artistic medium for visiting artists. Even before the current health crisis forced us to do things differently we understood that communicating and being present online allows the gallery to use a whole new artistic medium, one available to guest artists and to us as an institution – providing us with a new mode of creative expression.
While GG’s activity is in essence based on physical socialization in an artistic environment, the web platforms are likewise an important medium of (artistic) communication, allowing for new creative forms and establishing new relationships between artists, their public, and between the artwork and individual’s everyday environment.
Southwind E1 is our first fully web-based project, which nonetheless does not exclude the physical, reality, and concrete situations.