at the dawn of yet another age of absurdIty:

composItIon no.2


02 – 08 October 2017
10:00 - 18:00

HOP Projects Space
A spatial and performing intervention curated by Mitra Khorasheh.
A Collaboration Between HOP Projects and The Performance Studio in association with WE.ARE Institute.

‘What is there to do but wonder’, a stranger’s face seems to propose. He was standing not far, but far enough for the other to stare back. As he, the other, stared at the stranger’s face, dark-skinned, he could not see the stranger’s lips move. ‘Why you do not want to accept my gift’? the stranger added. He, the other, continued to stare at the stranger’s face and moving hands, gesturing. Almost out of final frustration, the stranger added ‘I am about to leave (there will soon be nothing left for me–to die or live for–here). Nothing common. No ‘us.’ He, the other, melted into the usual crowd, and then they all stared, they stared back, The stranger opened his dark umbrella, right above the cliff. ‘And I only wanted to make you all some eggs’, he said right before disappearing. ‘And I only wanted to make you all some eggs’, echoed in everyone’s heads.

The composition continues.

In light of our deep ambivalence about our global socio-economic situation, the question of the political commitment, in art and elsewhere, seems to be calling out for alternatives that do not shy away into the usual ‘underground’. The poetical, the individual act of defiance, a voice, sound, a repeating gesture as a poetical stance and standing resistance.

Composition no. 1 saw Jaša unravel, on April 22, 2017, in New York City, on his own, what he did for six days a week, for 29 weeks, with a group of people, during the duration of the performance, the same issues, the same questions.

In essence, the composition remains the same: Ephemeral, gestural, a form of resistance, only now reacting to a different context, as it molds in response to a delicate and menacing political climate. The core is an architecture of resistance, which manifests actions through presence and language. Actions and interventions are spread throughout the eight-day performance, reacting to the local, the temporal, a simplicity is fueled by the urgency of the now, a repercussion in time and space, we must recoil quickly, react to what’s happening around us, in order to be immediate and relevant.

(Reactionary—immediacy is the medium. Relevancy—say it out loud, now, instantly, perform, proceed.)There is tension under the surface. We have been swallowed by egocentrism. Today’s rapidly changing day-to-day necessitates action, comment, responsibility, response. We are in an urgent state of ideological crisis that has resulted in the psychological breakdown of society. The situation needs constant attention, it requires reaction, as individuals and as different groups as a whole. All of it was there from the beginning; it now depends on which elements will surface through, which emotions will become the generator for a certain ideology. Art has always had the responsibility of being both a catalyzer and generator. Punk as an attitude was a reaction to a stiffening tissue of the era; Dada was a necessary opposition to boiling extremes that brought humanity to meet its most monstrous side. In each inch of our bodies lies a potential disaster; as we are facing the most existential dilemmas on every step, each cell can decide to deteriorate and bring out the worst in us while we are dreaming of beauty. At times, it may be better to limit yourself than to continue the illusion of an all accessible freedom, which ends in nothing less than limitless ego. A lake of me-s to drown in, a lake of us to love me.

Alternative forms of communication do exist; visual, musical, symbols, patterns— what we need are regular executions, to be exercised regularly. An exchange of situations creates the uniqueness of experiences. A Beuysian gesture in its potential to transform society. A simple exchange; a catalyst for hope. An act that will be what it is. Through repetition, gesture, and embrace, we reach the shores of ones most authentic self. In his recent composition’s, JAŠA limits himself into a reverse situation—an honest way to face the self in front of self. Every thought can deteriorate. Every character can have many shades. A manifestation of a contrasting process that embraces aggression as emotion in order to give birth to the poetic. The obscurity of space reveals the preciousness of each gesture, gestures that parallel and overlap in time and space. All in one body, a dance with gravity. Now. It is time to scream in the face of absurdity. Only together can we erupt and break free. Openness. A dense cloud of energy and spontaneity. When all is said and done, we transition into memory; we leave no trace. All in one body we walk…

JAŠA (Mrevlje-Pollak) was born in Ljubljana in 1978. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice and has since been a unique presence in Europe’s artistic landscape. One of Slovenia’s most prolific and critically recognized contemporary artists, JAŠA is driven by his rhapsodic interpretations of situation, narrative, sculpture and performance. Through his alchemistic connection with material and content, JAŠA transforms spaces into experiences, driving them toward their poetic and aesthetic potentials. Pushing artistic boundaries through uncompromising vision for almost two decades, JAŠA has created a rich and remarkable body of work that includes multiple critically acclaimed solo shows and projects in Europe and the US. In his two active studios in New York and Ljubljana, Slovenia, JAŠA has created a unique environment, which allows him to cultivate contextual and visual eventuality integral to his work. His latest projects include Composition No. 1 (Khorasheh + Grunert, New York, 2017), Above All We Are Not Done (Whitebox, New York, 2017), ULAY & JAŠA /Cutting Through the Clouds of Myth (Kustera projects Red Hook, New York, 2016), UTTER / the violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope (Pavilion of Slovenia, Venice biennial, 2015), UNTITLED, 2015 (Krampf Gallery, Istanbul Contemporary, 2015), Crystal C (Pioneer Works, New York, 2014), among others.