Jaka Gerčar

Jaka Gerčar (b. 1995, Ljubljana) is a PhD candidate at the University of Ljubljana. His current research interests concentrate on reading practices in the humanities, publishing, and the social ramifications of digitisation. He also contributes essays and pieces of criticism in subjects such as philosophy, literature, and art. He is the head of publishing for Membrana Institute, Ljubjana and serves as the managing editor of the Dutch journal Depth of Field (Leiden University Press).

It struck me how transiency (and even the thought of a possible failure) of a political idea on occasion seems more comic and more tragic that the inherent transiency of a human life.

Foundation of Endeavour centres on Jasmina Cibic’s ongoing investigation into the idea of political gifts of culture, exploring their role within national and political structures during moments of European crisis in the 20th century. The exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ljubljana (MSUM), curated by Igor Španjol, comprises several of Cibic’s recent works: All the Power that Melts into Noise, Foundation of Endeavour, The Spirit of Our Needs, and the 20’ art film project The Gift. The author argues that the multipartite exhibition succeeds in conveying often overlooked manifestations of “soft power” formidably well, thus shedding light onto the historical, anthropological and sociological facets of political gifts and also suggesting relevant considerations on the significance of notions such as “public art”, “internationalism”, and “national culture”.

Tito’s relaxed manner towards the camera can also be seen as frank admission of the ruling regime that the photographs are indeed made and constructed rather than being a neutral documentation of reality.

Among older generations within the territory of former Yugoslavia, May 25th is still remembered as Youth Day; the holiday that once marked the birthday of the federation’s life-long leader, Marshal Tito. An exhibition of Tito as a photographer by his personal photographer Joco Žnidaršič opened on May 25th, 2020 at Galerija Fotografija in Ljubljana – incidentally, just a few kilometres away from the hospital where Tito had died exactly four decades ago on May 4, 1980.

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