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07 May 2009

Absolutely Fabulous | Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak at Motorenhalle

© Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak: Shund (Movie poster)

Absolutely Fabulous | Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak


May 7 - May 22, 2009
Tue. - Fri. 4-8 p.m.
Sat. 2-6 p.m.


Wachsbleichstraße 4a
D-01067 Dresden

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The trailer of Quentin Tarantino's cult movie 'Pulp Fiction' starts. Who has seen it before, will be able to identify every single scene. But there is this strange and striking similarity of the main characters:

Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak themselves slip into all female and male leading roles of the film, they copy setting after settin, using the title 'Shund'. The same happens with the cinematographic advertisement of the classic 'Taxi Driver', here introduced as its new version 'Cab Driver'. In their recent movie remakes, that are completes by stylish posters, Oblak & Novak again ask the question for the source and the expiration date of fame, but at the same time that of how the audience is influenced by the media. They state: 'In this way we subject ourselves to the influence of mass media and materialize a common fascination with celebrities. As actors of all parts in the trailer of a fictive, non existent film, we become fictional superstars. Visually reconstructed trailer becomes like a de-ja-vu of original, reflecting global pop culture and exploring the position of an individual as a passive consumer of monopolized, one way communicated media content.'

That way and by means of popular reenactment-strategies, the artists from Slovenija articulate media criticism, yet remaining entertaining. Furthermore, this criticism does not happen from an elitist distance, but by a 'complicit' acting of the artists -- who quote the ubiquitous desire to be famous, if only for five minutes.

In that context, too, we can understand their series of short films and staged photography titled 'we did this and that'. Here, Oblak & Novak offer their personal version of 'Guiness World Records' and invent numerous curious competetive situations as 'We stuffed 516 drinking straws in our mouth and held them for 10 seconds for this photo'. While demonstrating the absurdity of related TV programms, the artist refrain refreshingly from using a moralizing undertone.

Curator: Susanne Altmann

Nika Oblak (*1975) and Primoz Novak (*1973) both studied at the art academy of Ljubljana/Slovenija. They had a fellowship UdK Berlin with Katharina Sieverding. Since 2002 they work as a team. In 2009 they have participated in the Sharjah Biennale, with their new work 'Going South'.

The show 'Absolutely fabulous' is a collaboration of the series 'Videoabend' at Motorenhalle, Motorenhalle, the State Collection of Art Dresden/Kunstfonds and the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden.

Further partners and supporters: Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana; City of Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenija/ Ministery of Culture.

Further info: