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299 Hairy Ones and Broad Bean Bob

In his two-part, multilayered visual-and-sound project, Arjan Pregl addresses the issue of the dialogic relation between image and word, indicating with the title the lacuna, the constitutive hiatus, the gap that opens when the image is translated into word(s): instead of the expected 300 hairy ones, he has named his first project 299 Hairy Ones. Thus, with a single stroke, by creating this imaginary field of empty space where logic and predictability fail, he has shown his insightful creative potential, which can be illustrated with Žižek’s words: “… the ‘knack’ of artistic success lies in the artist’s ability to turn this deficiency to advantage, i.e., the artist needs to handle the central emptiness and its resonance in the surrounding elements.”

The exhibited 299 ballpoint pen drawings on A4 paper have two things in common: the fact that their motifs derive from art history and literature in the broadest sense of the word and their “hirsuteness” – each drawing is hairy in one way or another. There are images of shaggy objects, all kinds of animals, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic creatures, hairy literary figures, philosophers, artists, musicians, film directors, actors, Biblical figures from the Old and New Testaments, from Moses and Jesus to the Devil, Pregl’s self-portraits in all phases of bewhiskered-ness, attractive female nudes in seductive poses with lush pubic hair, Playboy bunnies, old men and women, hermaphrodites, and all kinds of linguistic discourses in the guise of symbolic representations and allusions.

The other part of the exhibition, Broad Bean Bob, is a visual and sound representation of transposing language into image in the context of homonymy or homophony. It is an installation composed of small pictures on cardboard and video footage. Images of objects are accompanied by English words that are more or less homophonous to the Slovenian words for what is in the pictures: thus the image of a broad bean, bob in Slovenian, has Bob written below it, a belt has pass, a whip bitch, a statue keep, salt so, a cigarette butt cheek. As we listen to foreign actors pronouncing the words in English, naming what is in the pictures and in a way speaking “Slovenian”, we are entering, on the allusive level, a classroom with special teaching aids.

Curator: Mateja Podlesnik

Source: http://www.mestna-galerija.si/english/razstava.asp?st=437

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