Rog is a symptom

Rog is a symptom: Notes on the history of art production in Autonomous Tovarna RogČasopis za kritiko znanosti 270, Ljubljana, Slovenia, January 2018.

This essay addresses a series of issues and problems related to art practices based and settled in Rog as a space (the facilities of the former bicycle factory Rog) as well as an institution (Autonomous Tovarna Rog) between 2006 and 2017. To do so, it’s necessary to sketch a short history of art production in Rog, restricted to individual and collectives that consider themselves artists, art groups, association of artists and art producers. Due to the lack of organized archives, that narrative will make use of testimonies, interviews and dispersed documents as main sources and must be considered provisional and incomplete. However, it will provide us some preliminary tools for studying art production in Rog in its context, addressing it as a complex open process which has its own specificities and dynamics and at the same time it’s inscribed in local and regional traditions. The relationship (or its absence) that artists working in Rog establish within themselves as a group, with local art institutions, with the rest of the community of Rog’s users and with Rog as a project in formal and conceptual terms will help us to a better understanding of Rog as a whole and the logics of its (self-) representation in different moments of its history. I will consider in the analysis of these phenomena some approaches related to contemporary institutional theories. At the same time, some photos will supply another kind of testimony, related to a series of interesting, here only outlined, questions related to Rog as an (involuntary) museum of Ljubljana’s visual culture and the way artworks and art projects developed in Rog are strongly affected by the acceptance and the affirmation of certain material conditions of production. The sum of all these aspects will speak about how art practices in Rog function as very symptoms of more general cultural diseases, artistic conditions and social conflicts.