Blueprint for Revolution | Mark Požlep

Curated by Alenka Gregorič

The artist’s latest project, Blueprint for Revolution (2017), is a presentation of research findings, documents and action performed in the course of his two-month residency in New York. By intertwining personal stories and information gathered in the field, he blended idealized childhood memories of America with the current situation of Native Americans, which he learned about from conversations with the descendants of the Lenape people. He started the project with the idea of cruising around Manhattan Island, which was inhabited by Native Americans before the arrival of Dutch colonists in the first half of the 17th century. The preparation and implementation of the cruise itself, including the search for the canoe, collecting details regarding individual sections of the cruise, looking for a moor etc. was, as is so typical of Požlep’s practice, full of unexpected but not entirely unpredictable twists and turns. The video and the daily log documenting the cruise are just two types of material with which the artist presented his project, whether performed on a theatre stage or carried out as a gallery presentation. Photographs and stories from his childhood, Karl May’s books, films about Winnetou and current stories of Native Americans are woven into a complex, socially critical narrative.

The exhibition at the Hestia Art Residency & Exhibitions Bureau is conceived as a coherently modelled collage of different views and interpretations of the given topic that combines a variety of documents and media of presentation spanning canvas, the artist’s book, light installation and video installation and features a cruise log, abstracts from films on Winnetou, segments of a lecture performance as well as diary entries. Besides this, the carefully thought out narrative staged in gallery space also constitutes an authentic document and a universal commentary on the inadmissible treatment of any minority group.