Break 2.4: Potemkin village

Break 2.4: Potemkin village, international festival of contemporary art, 9th edition; from 5th to 18th November 2007 in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Break is a biennial presentation of Zavod K6/4. This international festival of contemporary art mostly focuses on urban and technological art practices. Break festival has become one of the most important contemporary art festivals in Slovenia and gained a worldwide reputation. Break 2.4, the ninth edition of the festival, will investigate the phenomenon of Potemkin village. This fictional village was allegedly built by prince Grigorij Aleksandrovič Potemkin to prevent the empress Catherine the Great from seeing poverty and misery of the regions he governed.

Turned into a commonplace that designates all sorts of manipulated social and political situations, Potemkin village has had a fruitful career, investing each realm of life, from pasteboard decorum to media agency, from staging of political regimes to tourism-oriented urban planning, from TV ‘reality shows’ to historical museums – a successful “architecture”, probably unique in transcending so many epochs, frontiers, genres or ideologies and an ad hoc setup that clearly poses the question of participation and collaboration. Initiators, actors and spectators are all involved. If an unfortunate gesture was to disrupt the play, it would pass unnoticed, for the Potemkin village is anchored in credulity, compliance and deliberate blindness. This is why it proves such a paradoxical device. As much as it hides in a situation, it also reveals, in the crudest light, perceptions and phantasms that would otherwise remain unknown. By showing worldwide examples of Potemkin villages, the festival seeks to investigate forms of mediation and mechanisms of representation in the political, social and artistic realms. The festival wants to show the role of art in both the construction and demystification of illusion. More than a mere presentation of artworks and projects, it demonstrates the limitations, compromises and counterstrategies that shape the visibility of art in the public sphere of a city. It presents a choice between deliberate blindness and taking up the responsibility to say that “the king is naked.”

Break 2.4 will take place from 5th to 18th November 2007 at different locations in the city centre, that relate either to historical events or to most recent urban development of Ljubljana.


Potemkin Palace (Bohoričeva st. 5, Ljubljana), City museum Ljubljana, Alkatraz Gallery, Club K4, Cyberpipe, Metropol Coffeshop, (A) Infoshop, JSKD, Dance theatre Ljubljana, Rog Factory, Railway station Ljubljana, Faculty of social sciences Ljubljana.


Fabrizio Ajello, Gabrielle Ajello, Italy, Redas Diržys, Lithuania, Enrique Ježik, Mexico, Franck Houndégla, France, Martin Zet, Czech Republic, Michael Laird & Carina Gosselé, Belgium, Milica Miličević & Milan Bosnić, Serbia, Don Parker, GB, Takuji Kogo, Japan, Oleg Kireev, Russia, Jochen Roller, Germany, Marija Gajicki, Serbia, Adina Bar-On, Israel, Francisca Caporali, Brasil/USA, Sonja Soldo, Croatia, Alexandru Solomon, Romania, Mirjana Preis & Studio-Contemporary Dance Zagreb, Croatia, Emina Višnić, Croatia, Ryuzo Fukuhara & Martina Štirn, Japan/Slovenija, Corrado Guzzanti, Italy, Hamdi Attia, Egypt, Rotem Balva, Israel, Salamanca, Israel, Ioannis Belimpasakis, Greece, Delphine de Blic, France, EIA, Germany/Belgium, Young hae-Chang, South Korea, Charlie Citron, USA/Holland, Omer Fast, Germany/USA, Harrell Fletcher, USA, Robert Franciszty, Croatia, Dejan Kljun, Croatia, Rafal Jakubowicz, Poland, Tadeusz Kantor, Poland, Neven Korda, Slovenija, Marko Kovačič, Slovenija, La Générale Collective, France, Zhenchen Liu, China/France, Christina McPhee, USA, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Kazahstan, Monochrom Collective, Austria, Not an Alternative Collective, USA, OPA Collective, FYR Macedonia, Jesus Palomino, Spain, Arjan Pregl, Slovenija, Irena Tomažin, Slovenija, Jože Spacal, Slovenija, Tjebbe van Tijen, Holland, Eugeny Umansky, Kaliningrad, Russia, Staš Kleindienst, Slovenija, Sebastjan Leban, Slovenija, Marina Gržinič, Slovenija, Constantin Borokhov, Russia, Francois A. Micheux, France, Helma Pollock, USA, Jaša H. Jenul, Slovenija Jiři Jílek, Czech Republic, Pulska Grupa, Croatia, Amir Muhammad, Malaysia, Marcos Martinez, Argentina, Federico León, Argentina, Phillipe Dutilleul, Belgium, Benda Hofmeyr, South Africa

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