Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa
Lecture and Presentation
Saturday, 24 April 2010, 20:00hrs.
Everybody has a name. Not just a name, but usually a Given name and Family name, which together comprise one's personal name. But, what is a personal name? What is its role in society? A personal name is a conventional label used by people to differentiate a specific subject from others. A name is something that introduces an individual in a public environment. "Please, introduce yourself" means in fact "Please, tell me your name". But, just how personal is a personal name if it mainly has a public function? In what way can a name still be considered given and family if an individual has arbitrarily adopted it?
What happens when the personal name of a public figure is suddenly multiplied and starts to appear - locally and internationally - in contexts other then its original ones? What does a personal name mean - in terms of brand - in the contemporary neo-liberal society? What does it mean for a public figure to give up his established brand and continue his career with a brand-new name? In marketing speak: is it a "suicide" or can it be a strategic (and paradoxical) move of "visible disappearance"? Does the multiplication of the personal name as a signifier lead to the disappearance of the original referent or does it rather contribute to the popularity and the diffusion of that name? In which way does the multiplication of a personal name possibly render communication unstable due to the "hacking effect" it has on the unique identifier system?
What contradictions, paradoxes, tensions and legal questions, come to the foreground when valid identification documents are deemed - by specialists of the art field - innovative artifacts, new forms of Readymade?
NAME Readymade is a lecture/presentation about the "name changing" gesture perpetrated by three Slovenian artists, who in 2007 officially - with all the papers and stamps required - changed their names to that of the then prime minister of Slovenia Janez Jansa. Since then, all of their works have been signed under this name; their private and their public affairs have also been conducted under this name.
During the lecture, Janez Jansa will take you through a series of artistic, political, administrative and media actions performed by the three artists with a particular focus on their personal exhibition entitled NAME Readymade in which all of their valid personal documents (passports, ID cards, credit and bank cards ...) have been put on display.
"The use of personal documents as exhibition items is certainly a liminal case; it probes certain boundaries. It is liminal in that it is not clear whether or not such a use of personal documents respects the rights that you acquired when you were issued these documents. You cannot burn documents as this is a criminal offence, but what about the use of documents for artistic purposes?" (Lev Kreft, Name as Readymade, An interview with Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa, NAME Readymade, October 2008)
"When the three artists changed their names to Janez Jansa, they in fact adopted a critical stand to the state. To the Slovene government, in which until recently all posts seemed occupied as it were by a single person - Janez Jansa. (...) Through the multiplication of Janez Jansa's name, the function of the prime minister has assumed, within this specific artistic action, a similar position as the Campbell soup cans in Andy Warhol's works." (Zdenka Badovinac, Name Readymade, October 2008)
"The use of personal documents as exhibition items is certainly a liminal case; it probes certain boundaries. It is liminal in that it is not clear whether or not such a use of personal documents respects the rights that you acquired when you were issued these documents. You cannot burn documents as this is a criminal offence, but what about the use of documents for artistic purposes?" (Lev Kreft, Name as Readymade, An interview with Janez Jan_a, Janez Jan_a and Janez Jan_a, NAME Readymade, October 2008)
Janez Jansa | interview
An interview with J. Jansha, J. Jansha and J. Jansha by Alessandro Ludovico
Name as Readymade
An interview with J. Jansa, J. Jansa and J. Jansa by Lev Kreft
Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Oct. 2008
The NAME Readymade lecture presentation has been presented at:
Location One, New York, May 2009
MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, March 2009
PSI - Performance Studies International Conference, Zagreb, July 2009
Fabryka Trzciny, Varsaw, October 2009
Atelier Real, Lisbon, November 2009
Festival Amber '09, Istanbul, November 2009
TheatreWorks / 72-13, Singapur, January 2010
Art Laboratory Berlin, Berlin, February 2010
Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Neubergerjeva 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
gsm: +386 41 250830
Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina
Rr. Zija Prishtina p.n.
Republic of Kosova
NAME Readymade at Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is produced by Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana and is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia the Municipality of Ljubljana, GAP Institute and DZG.