Question 1 (Manca Bajec and Isobel Wohl). Ralph Rugoff writes that this year’s exhibition, entitled May You Live in Interesting Times,‘will no doubt include artworks that reflect upon precarious aspects of existence today, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the “post-war order.”’ How do you feel that the work that you are presenting as part of your curated project responds to this set of concerns? (Or, for curators, how do the curatorial choices you have made respond to this set of concerns?)
Stanislav Kolíbal: From my perspective, art is not only a question of form, but is also the message. In my life I have experienced several periods of hardship: three occupations of our country (1938, 1939, 1968), bans to exhibit, publish and travel. In spite of that I have always tried to continue my work, which was in turn influenced by these circumstances. In this respect, many of my works deal with the topic of time and its uncertainty or lability. In this way, it encompasses elements of interruption at a certain moment or in other words intentional incompletion: that which is naturally linked with our life.
Question 2. (MB and IW) What does it mean for you as an artist, a curator, or a curatorial team to represent your country? How does the structure of the Venice Biennial, with its individual national pavilions, influence your choices as a participant? What does it mean, in terms of the current state of European and world politics, for us to emphasise national representation in the arts sector?
Stanislav Kolíbal: I am very pleased to be invited to represent my country despite the association with the end of my productive years. Even though our pavilion is rather small, the beginning of my installation is marked with a piece from 1963, which, in a certain shortcut, allows the viewer to follow my creative development up to this day.
Question 3. (MB and IW) How do the choices you’ve made in your national pavilion relate to recent developments in your artistic or curatorial practice? What do you hope that your creative decisions in this project will contribute to your work going forward?
Stanislav Kolíbal: If I am able to continue with my work, it will happen regardless of this Biennale. For the main purpose of my work is the search for harmony and order under any circumstances.
Manca Bajec is an artist and researcher living and working in London, UK and Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Isobel Wohl is a visual artist and writer. She lives and works in London, UK and Brooklyn, NY.
For more information on the Venice Biennale go to www.labiennale.org/en/…