The Link Art Center is proud to announce Supertrash, the first solo exhibition of Slovenian artist Sašo Sedlaček in Italy. The exhibition will take place at Ultra c/o eflux studio in Udine from May 16 to June 20, 2015, and will be introduced by the artist talk Friendly Strategies of Resistance (Casa Cavazzini Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Udine, Saturday, May 16, 5:00 PM).
Supertrash – which borrows the title from the first overview exhibition of Sedlaček’s work, made in Slovenia in 2011 – presents a selection of projects from the last decade. Starting in 2001, Sedlaček developed a rich body of work, generally defined by theories of disposal and the use and reuse of cheap technologies and waste materials. His practical and humorous works result from a subversive recycling of scientific, legal, or technological facts and employing DIY (do-it-yourself) and collaborative methods. As Petja Grafenauer wrote in the Supertrash catalogue, “His projects shift between local and global problems of waste. The artist is interested in topical themes that fall into the category of the age-old efforts to improve human life. Fortunately, he does not tackle these issues in a naïve, bigoted or moralistic manner, but rather with humor and incentive. His ideas are witty, creative and, above all, useful.”. This can be seen in early interventions such as Just Do It (2003) and Loop (2004), where printed propaganda by big shopping malls has been turned into paper bricks that in Loop have been used to build a mobile pavilion equipped for monitoring the city’s noise; as well as in his more recent work. The issue of technological waste, which relates to planned obsolescence, returns in many works on show, from Beggar Robot (2006), a robot for the materially deprived and is constructed entirely from old computer hardware; to The Big Switch Off(2011), an action in which Sedlaček invited people from a residential building to throw analogue television sets off their windows right after the introduction of digital signal in 2011, that suddenly shot dead old technology; and The Ex(2010), huge billboard prints conceived for the public space where pictures of third world dumpsters filled with technological waste are used to advertise computer companies such as Apple and Microsoft.
Also made from waste technology, iSmoke2 (2011) thematizes the increasingly socially frowned-upon act of smoking and its perpetrators – smokers – by turning an old laptop into a lighter; while Jobless Avatars (2014) focuses on software obsolescence, presenting online speaking characters, virtual representatives and alter egos introducing themselves and begging for a job.
Unemployment, poverty and its social consequences are changing the wealthy West and generating a new iconography of the post-industrial society, that Sedlaček ironically explores in Dolce far niente (2014), a series of edible sculptures made of chocolate featuring characters such as the protester, the beggar, the junkie. In this scenario, communication technologies do not disappear, but are rather perceived as a basic need even by people who do not know where to sleep. AcDcWc, potty with a dog (2010) responds to this situation, offering a cheap solution for recycling electric power, using the extra power generated by a chemical toilet to supply various devices.
Sašo Sedlaček (1974) is a Ljubljana-based artist whose primary interest seems to be things that people overlook and the ways in which they can be made useful once again. Sedlaček has participated in numerous solo and group shows, including at the Secession in Vienna, the Sixth Taipei Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Ars Electronica in Linz, Transmediale 2014 in Berlin. He won several awards has been an artist-in-residence at the ISCP in New York, IAMAS in Japan and The Israeli Center For Digital Art in Holon.
Sašo Sedlaček _ Supertrash is realized in the framework of Masters & Servers. Networked Cultures in the Post Digital Age, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), Abandon Normal Devices (UK), Link Art Center (IT) and d-i-n-a / The Influencers (ES) that was awarded with aCreative Europe 2014 – 2020 grant. For 24 months from September 2014,Masters & Servers will explore networked culture in the post-digital age.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Sašo Sedlaček _ Supertrash
May 16 – June 20, 2015
curated by Domenico Quaranta
Opening: Saturday, May 16, 7:00 pm
Sašo Sedlaček _ Friendly Strategies of Resistance
Saturday, May 16, 5:00 pm
Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea
Via Cavour, 14 – 33100 Udine
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission
Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana and Link Art Center, Brescia
In partnership with: Ultra, Udine
Graphic Design: eflux studio, Udine
Supported by: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Thanks: Casa Cavazzini, Udine
This post is also available in: Italian