© image taken from: https://www.ugm.si/en/exhibitions/etc-selling-out-5277/

OPENING: ETC. / Selling Out

artists: Polina Davydenko, Santa France, Nika Kupyrova, Pita Project, Barbora Šimková
curators: ETC. in collaboration with guest curator Tīna Pētersone

The exhibition Selling Out is an introduction to the third issue of ETC. Magazine of the same name, which this year focuses on the conditions of work in the art world and beyond, on the issues of commodification, and on entanglement in as well as the impossibility of exiting a system that demands more and more of us. In doing so, we rarely stop to question the basic assumptions of our own labour, such as why, for whom, for how much pay, and what is the true significance of our work. If we did, we might realise that we are too often blind to the systemic circumstances of our own lives, which means that the burden on the shoulders of an individual is all the greater. Of the twenty artistic projects presented in the magazine, five are brought together in this exhibition. The participating artists address the theme of the third issue of ETC. with their artworks in different mediums such as video, installation, photography and others, in broad terms: from labour (visible and invisible) in art, to the feminist perspective on working conditions, to the working spaces of our time, which bear eloquent witness to the position of the worker today.

ETC. is a magazine dedicated to presenting current artistic production from the Baltic to the Balkans, bringing together artists, curators, writers, and publishers in the field of contemporary art. With each issue, the magazine addresses current issues in the fields of society, environment, and art, and is thus designed as a platform for diverse voices and opinions from across Europe, contributing to a broader understanding of specific issues and recontextualising stories that transcend national borders. The aim of the publication is to create a platform for the presentation of current artistic production, and thus to contribute to a better connection between local contemporary art and the international art scene. The international exhibition series is curated by Ajda Ana Kocutar, Lara Mejač and Hana Čeferin, who are joined by guest curator Tīna Pētersone for the third issue of the magazine.

Polina Davydenko (1995) was born in Ukraine but has lived in the Czech Republic since childhood. She completed her studies at the Ivars Gravlejs’ Photography Studio at the FFA BUT in Brno. She has furthered her education at KASK in Ghent, FAMU in Prague, and at the FFA’s Environment Studio. In 2022, she was nominated for Futures Photography. She works mostly with the medium of photography, overlapping with the mediums of video, audio, and text. The key theme of her work is narrative and its various forms.

Santa France (1993) is a Latvian digital artist mainly focusing on exploring the potential of 3D software and its usage in creating web collages, videos, animated .GIF images, and digital illustrations. She got her bachelor’s degree in Arts in New Media Art from Liepaja University in Latvia. Her nearly photorealistic yet uncanny compositions are characterised by their impossibly pristine surroundings and the contrasting organic and man-made objects. Her work has been published in many notable publications and she has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Latvia, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, Romania, and the United Kingdom. In 2019, she was awarded the Grand Prix of the JCE Biennale in Paris. She currently lives and works in Berlin.

Nika Kupyrova (1985) is a visual artist and curator with an affinity for literature and language as well as a strong focus on space and its storytelling potential. After studies at Edinburgh College of Art, Iceland University of the Arts, and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, she lives and works in Vienna and Prague. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, among others in Wien Museum MUSA, EXILE Gallery and Belvedere 21 in Vienna, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE in Ljubljana, Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art in Pittsburgh, LENTOS Kunstmuseum in Linz and MeetFactory Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. She is a recipient of the Cardinal König Art Prize (2023), the City of Vienna Promotion Award for Fine Arts (2023), and the Erste Bank ExtraValue Art Award (2017).

Pita Project is a collaboration between visual artists Nina Goropečnik (1993) and Rea Vogrinčič (1994). It has been presented at various exhibitions in Slovenia, including Carinarnica in Nova Gorica, Alkatraz Gallery, P74 Gallery and DobraVaga Gallery in Ljubljana, as well as Simulaker Gallery in Novo Mesto and the Sculpture Department Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana. In the academic year 2019–2020, the artists were awarded the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Prize. In 2023, the project was nominated for the OHO Group Prize. From 2020 onwards, the project archive can also be followed on the website pita-project.com and the Instagram profile @pita_project_250.

Barbora Šimková (1989) is an artist living in Prague. She is currently studying in the doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where she is working on improving the working and study conditions of the members of the academic community who are parents. Her research focuses on the issues of labour, gender, and economic inequalities and the position of carers in the arts. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno, in the Intermedia Studio (2019) with a thesis dedicated to bringing together art students to improve their economic situation and position within the institution. In 2018, she presented her short film on the conditions of Prague’s housing policy at the Ji.hlava IDFF. She has participated in residency programs in Norway, Russia, and Slovakia. She advocates for shorter working hours and higher wages. She is a member of the leisure collective Lilky_60200.