Sonica 2020 Exhibition: Paradise Haunted Garden

Equrna Gallery, 8.-27.9.2020


Group Exhibition, Equrna Gallery


Exhibiting artists: Clara de Asis, Peter Kutin, Alois Yang, Svetlana Maraš, Simina Oprescu

The exhibition presented new works by five international artists working at the intersection of sound and other media. They were created as part of the art residencies of the SONICA festival, for which we decided to offer artists spaces of support and withdrawal, where ideas and beginnings of new works can be created. At the same time, we were thinking about how we could place the holiday islands outside the gallery spaces. Towards the end of his life, when he was already facing illness, Derek Jarman retired to the Prospect hut in the gray and harsh landscape of Dungeness near the nuclear power plant and began cultivating a garden. His garden was carefully planned: the part in front of the house was arranged and the part behind the house chaotic, both sprinkled with sculptures and found objects and although the landscape was rough, Jarman managed to grow some new plant species. Thus, “eventually the garden took on a new meaning: the plants resisted the strong wind, the sun, as from Death Valley, merged with Derek’s battle with disease, then resisted it, and as the flowers bloomed, Jarman’s health began to decline. In his gardening diaries, Jarman wrote, “All gardens are haunted by paradise. But only some are heavenly. Mine is one of them.” The garden thus becomes a time art, the garden as a space of contemplation and as a whole space serves as the background of the festival, the garden as a personal and private, yet aesthetic and semi-public space for visitors, and as a metaphor for dialogue with the forces of nature; moving away from the world, the garden as a symbol of escapism, identity and property, the garden as a piece of land, a place to which we can return, despite or precisely because of the tension outside, a garden that always grows, even as closed shape o circumstances and haunted by the image of paradise.

Artists from international space are participating in the exhibition: Svetlana Maraš, Alois Yang, Simina Oprescu, Clara de Asis and Peter Kutin. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of accompanying events: talks with artists, guided tours, performances and satellite locations – exhibitions set up in public space – in city gardens, which artists will bring to life with sound compositions.

The exhibition was created in collaboration with MoTe – the Museum of Transitional Arts and the Equrna Gallery. 

Project was co-financed by the City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture and the Ministry of Culture. Presented artists are supported by the SHAPE platform.

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Museum of Transitory Art

MoTA –

Museum of Transitory Art

MoTA is a multidisciplinary platform dedicated to advancing the research, production and presentation of transitory, experimental, and live art forms.

MoTA is a museum without a permanent collection or a fixed space. Instead, its programs are realised in different locations and contexts in temporary physical and virtual spaces.

MoTA organizes and supports transitory art in the form of continuous events, exhibitions and educational programs both locally and internationally. As its name indicates, MoTA examines what a museum can be today and in the future.

MoTA is in constant search for the new, the uncertain, and the undefined.

MoTA works on several continuous programmes & projects. We run MoTA Point – a Space for Art & Ideas, we curate and produce the annual SONICA Festival, in addition to regular music programmes such as SONICA Series and SONICA Classics.

Within the years of running our residency programme, we’ve established T.R.I.B.E. – a network of residency spaces in the Balkans & Eastern Europe.

We’ve also initiated the research and archive platforms and Mediateque MoTA & Tomaž Brate. Our educational programmes serve a broader audience with ongoing workshops, talks, symposia, and internships.