In Our Backyard: PLEH References in Ljubljana

28. 08. 2014 - 26. 09. 2014
Kata Mijatović, Pleh statement, 2011, Photo: Borut Korošec

Exhibition, conversation and performance

At the opening, the PLEH artist collective will carry out individual actions and performances under the joint title of PLEH Responsibility.

Artists: Kata Mijatović, Zoran Pavelić, Vlatko Vincek, Marijan Molnar
Curator: Saša Nabergoj
Coordinator: Simona Žvanut


In our Backyard is a multi-layered project prepared by the PLEH artist collective, which includes Kata Mijatović, Zoran Pavelić, Marijan Molnar and Vlatko Vincek. The art practice of the members of the group is diverse, yet their common ground is dealing with concepts and less so with objects. Some (of them), for example, Marijan Molnar, formed at a time when art broke through its narrow constraints and made a vital contribution towards establishing Croatian conceptual art in the 1970s. Even today they are all active and pervasive members of the contemporary art scene in Croatia; Kata Mijatović, for example, represented Croatia at the Venice Biennale last year.


The joined art practice of the artists in the PLEH group, particularly their Pleh References series, stems from a sharp and precise observation of the surroundings, the social context and specifics of the place to which they have been invited. With minimalist interventions, both into the gallery space and into the public space of the city, they establish connections, references and a relationship towards the cultural milieu – the place, in which they are currently located. In their performances, they have so far addressed artistic concepts, people and cultural phenomena that form an important part of contemporary art in a specific place: in 2008 in Koprivnica, in 2009 in Subotica, in 2010 in Sarajevo and in 2011 in Ljubljana.


This exhibition is an opportunity for a rounded overview of the processes and tactics, which have been developed by the members of the group in their “referential” (usually unannounced) interventions. It focuses on a comprehensive display of a series of artistic actions that were carried out by the members of the group between 16 and 18 December 2011 in Ljubljana at various carefully selected public places (The Three Bridges, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, the railway station, etc.). A selection of more recent works from the same series have been added to the documents of these actions (in various formats and mediums: video, drawings, photographs, etc.).


The exhibition on several levels represents a model of successful artistic collaboration and talks about the themes and modes of operation, which are universal and local at the same time. The theme of this exhibition is closely linked to the Slovenian cultural space; what is more, the actions of the artists carefully dissect and disclose the specifics of establishing a story about the Slovenian world of art. With their carefully targeted actions, they therefore thematize and highlight the key elements of the art system, exposing it while leaving it open to analysis.


Saša Nabergoj


The PLEH artist collective, with Kata Mijatović, Marijan Molnar, Vlatko Vincek and Zoran Pavelić as members, was formed in 2007, which was also when the group embarked on their first project addressing the distinction of centre/periphery. PLEH exhibitions were organised as part of the project in Koprivnica (Gallery S, 2008), Subotica (“dr. Vinko Perčić” Gallery, 2009), and Sarajevo (Charlama Depot Gallery – Center Skenderija, 2010).


Kata Mijatović

Born in Branjina, Croatia, in 1956. Member of the informal art group The Swamp (1988–1991). Studied Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy (1991–1993) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia (1993–1996), where she graduated in 1997. Lives and works in Zagreb.


Vlatko Vincek

Born in Koprivnica, Croatia, in 1959. Graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (1983) and was a collaborator of the Masters’ Workshop of Painters Lj. Ivančić and N. Reiser (1983/84). Lives and works in Zagreb and Koprivnica.


Zoran Pavelić

Born in Osijek, Croatia in 1961. Founder and member of the informal art group The Swamp (1988–1991). Graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (1998). Lives and works in Zagreb as a freelance artist.


Marijan Molnar

Born in Reka, Croatia, in 1951. Graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (1976) and was a collaborator of the Masters’ Workshop of Painters Lj. Ivančić and N. Reiser (1976–1979). In 2002, he published an artist’s book with texts and photo-documentation of his works. Lives and works in Zagreb.


Saša Nabergoj

Art historian, writer, editor, curator and lecturer on contemporary art, focusing on curatorial and critical practices. Assistant director at SCCA−Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Slovenia). At SCCA−Ljubljana, head of World of Art, School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art (since 1998) and Studio 6 (since 2004). A member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam).


Simona Žvanut

Graduated in Art History, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana in 2011. At SCCA−Ljubljana, coordinator of World of Art, School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art and the Studio 6 exhibition programme. A regular collaborator in the preparation of projects and exhibitions, as well as a writer of texts on contemporary art.


Produced by: SCCA–Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts, 2014
Co-produced by: International Centre of Graphic Arts, Tivoli Mansion 

Support: Ljubljana Municipality, Department for Culture and Ministry for Culture RS
Thanks: Mladina, d. d.