Tomislav Brajnović: Expedition_Ego

27 October – 12 November, 2010
Alkatraz Gallery, AKC Metelkova mesto

You are kindly invited to the exhibition opening on Wednesday, October 27, at 9pm.

Tomislav Brajnović is having his first solo exhibition in Slovenia. An artist, who after studying at the Academies in London, The Hague and Zagreb, has established his profession within a specific, peripheral family environment in Golo Brdo near Rovinj in Croatia. His atelier is situated there amongst an organically growing and developing family estate on a hill at the end of the track, where he creates alongside his father, mother and brother – all artists. His atelier is also used as an exhibition space for one-day interventions, which he has curated for the past five years.
In his work Brajnović deals with the eternal themes of ethics, morality and religion. He critically questions the role of ideology, politics and society and analyses the impact of consumerism, manipulation, media propaganda and the impact of collective and individual myths. His approach to these issues is soberly analytical, highly critical and totally dedicated. His strategies are mostly descriptive and narrative. His language is simple, chiselled and clean, whilst his message is precise and subtle.

At the Alkatraz Gallery exhibition, Brajnović is presenting photographs and videos from his two series The Arctic Circle and Ego Trip.

Tomislav Brajnović, Speed, 2009

The Arctic Circle project set off in October 2009 under the organisation of The Farm Foundation from New York. Fifteen artists, three scientists and the rest of the team (Director of the Foundation, a journalist and five crew members) sailed the fjords of Svalbard, approximately 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole, for fifteen days. The hundred-year-old ship became a temporary incubator for reflection, exploration and co-operation with its carefully-selected passengers. The raw conditions in the fjords of the archipelago (the cold and the inability to carry out lasting interventions in the area…) where expeditions to conquest the far North usually set off from, dictated a specific way of realising the artistic projects and carrying out scientific research.
Brajnović made a series of interventions in the area: Greed, Fire, History, Speed, which he documented with photographs and by recording four videos: Peace, Genesis, Flag and Ego Trip.
The video Ego Trip is also the interconnecting element of both series The Arctic Circle and Ego Trip. He focuses on the process and therefore continuing development of the individual, even completed works, which often leads to splices within the oeuvre of his inner opus.

The Ego Trip Series deals with the presence and journey of man’s (and thus the artist’s) ego throughout paradigmatic places and centres of power. The series consists of photographs of the artist in classic suit with a ‘mysteriously- lit’ face in different parts of the art world (from New York to Venice), recorded in specific light conditions, where day turns to evening. He created the suit with attached lighting by himself. It serves to emphasise the person inside the artist, his conceitedness and continued exposure of his ego.

Brajnović’s mode of production is an inseparable link to its conceptualisation. The videos are generally captured in a single shot and there is virtually no supplementary editing. The artist himself also designs the technical components of his projects.
Brajnović operates on the principle of a bricoleur, who, in acquiring knowledge and skills, reaches into this inartistic field, which he needs at some point in order to implement his ideas, whilst desiring to control the technical part of the execution when building his artistic world.

Saša Nabergoj

Since 1997, the World of Art, School of Contemporary Art, has developed different forms of contemporary art education: a course for curators, a writing seminar, lectures, workshops, round tables, discussions, panels, interventions, exhibitions…The exhibitions were usually final projects carried out as group work by the students – future curators. Since 2005, the school has also developed a platform for various forms of analysis and examination of past achievements, while offering a reflection of future action. For example, in the 2006/07 season, various working and collaborative strategies that exist in art were discussed in the Laboratorium of Curatorial Practices. Labsus, an open platform of curators, artists, writers and theoreticians, which took place in June 2007 in Škuc Gallery, was also part of the process. In October 2009 in Alkatraz Gallery the entire twelve-year history of the school was presented in a project entitled Around the World of Art in 4,380 Days/The World of Art 1997–2009, which combined documentary presentation and an exhibition. In addition to art works, a curated archive of events, lectures, workshops and exhibitions was also exhibited. In April 2010, the fourteenth generation began working within the framework of the completely remodelled World of Art.

The current exhibition marks the end of a long process of reflection on the past and the building of the future. Tomislav Brajnović has been involved at various levels in the school’s research process since 2006, and we see his artistic and curatorial accomplishments as an example of good work in both fields, making it a key part of a school engaged in curatorial, critical and artistic practices.


Photos from the opening

Exhibition view


Curated by: Saša Nabergoj, Sonja Zavrtanik
Production: SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts-Ljubljana
In collaboration with: KUD Mreža, Alkatraz Gallery

Supported by: Municipality of Ljubljana – Department for Culture, ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Alkatraz Gallery, Metelkova City
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday, 11am-3pm and 4pm-8pm, Friday, 3pm-11pm

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