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VASA film series ... "In the Land of..."

A VASA film series by documentary based artists' from former Yugoslavia
Curated by Miha Colner

The following video series showcases works of artists and filmmakers from the territory of former Yugoslavia who work in the field of so called “artists' moving image”. The series is conceived as a subjective insight into the production of documentary based films, which for their unconventional character would not be screened in cinemas but rather showcased in a gallery environment. Ten selected artists predominantly focus on social, political and economic issues of the post-socialist states that have undergone immense structural changes in the past two decades, and critically analyze the general or particular situation in their immediate surroundings.

The Factory
a film by Sanela Jahic

© Sanela Jahic
Time: 10:30
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Sanela Jahic (1980) graduated from Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2008 and received her master’s degree in 2010 from Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Jahic is an intermedia artist, who constructs visual and technologically supported kinetic objects and installations. She reflects on society and individuals with technological tools. In her latest productions she deals with the research of complex relations between technology and human beings, and critically addresses the issues of capitalist production relations. She lives and works in Škofja Loka, Slovenia.


About the curator Miha Colner:

Miha Colner (1978) is an art historian who works as a curator, publicist, editor and lecturer specialised in photography, artists’ moving image and other forms of media art. Since 2006 he has been a curator and program coordinator at Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography (based in Ljubljana and Vienna), a non-profit organization focused on exploring, presenting and promoting contemporary photography and artists’ moving image. Furthermore, since 2005 he has been part-time contributor for number of newspapers, magazines, radio programs, and specialist publications as well as part-time lecturer. He lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Curatorial Statement:

The Factory (2013)

In the past ten years the artistic practice of Sanela Jahic has been through ongoing but constantly upgrading phases that are mostly dedicated to the relationship between human and machine. Among other things she has also conveyed into the close dissection of the background of (contemporary) industrial production in order to find profound answers to questions of the ethics of the labour process and the value of labour. Nowadays, beside the immense number of unemployed, ever more people who are fully employed (often for more than eight hours per day or more than one third of their time available) but they, however, earn so little that they still live on the margins of society. Therefore the artist critically analyses (almost generic) imperatives for greater efficiency and ever more widespread and mainstream discourse about workers' salaries being too high to be competitive with the areas where the ruthless exploitation of the labour force is allowed and labour legislation completely deregulated; the exploitation is usually conducted by the very same companies that are closing the factories in the regulated areas of the West.

The video in two acts, entitled The Factory (2013) showcases conversations among the workers on the one hand, and interview with the owner of the company on the other hand. The artist explicitly points out their attitude towards the machine and labour. While the owner has almost intimate, almost love relationship with his machines and refers to the hard labour in a very romantic way, the workers appear much more ambivalent and reserved on that topic. However, majority of the workers did not want to speak for the camera. So one thing is clear: the intentions, expectations and ambitions of the owner of the company and employees on the other side are completely inadequate and (almost) diametrically opposite. With her recent works Jahic thus extremely effectively captures the reality of the time. The interviews with the workers and with the owner of the company show the individuality, lack of compassion and ever-larger social divide. And besides, the stratification is taking place in the area with long tradition of social egalitarianism.

© Miha Colner

















About Karen Brett

Brett’s intentions are not to describe or illustrate but to visually question our sense of existence and challenge our perceptions of morality which in turn controls our differing views and perspectives.

Karen received her MA in Photography from the London College of Communications. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography, Institute of Photography at Falmouth University (UK).

Funded by The Arts Council, England.

Film sereis funded by VASA.

All films are archived for future viewing
Access Brett Archive

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Screening Schedule:

February 2016:
In War and Revolution
Ana Bilankov

March 2016:
Eric's Story
Eurwen & Jim's Story
Lost for Words

April: 2016
Moving On 1
Moving On 2

May 2016:
Horses Warped On An Altering Canvas

June 2016

Spetember 2016