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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Slovenia
Silvan Omerzu: Table Scenes

Silvan Omerzu: <EM>Table Scenes</EM>&copy; Photo: Martin de Fern&aacute;ndez de C&oacute;rdovaPhoto courtesy of International Centre of Graphic Arts
Silvan Omerzu: Table Scenes
© Photo: Martin de Fernández de Córdova
Photo courtesy of International Centre of Graphic Arts
Silvan Omerzu: Table Scenes
LJUBLJANA  •  International Centre of Graphic Arts  •  Ongoing

Silvan Omerzu is known in the world of Slovene culture for his puppet creations and ambient art exhibitions. The exhibition at the International Center of Graphic Arts, entitled Table Scenes, is a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk, or 'total artwork,' and a kind of site-specific installation. The exhibition rooms, with their doorways, their windows on one side, and white walls on the other, provide the backdrop for a long flat surface on which a series of miniature table scenes are arranged with puppets in various poses.

According to the curatorial statement for this show, Sivan Omerzu's puppets, "at first glance minimalistic, are unique creatures, though obedient down to their last ball bearing. Similar gestures, poses, and movements shape the silent average majority, in which it is almost impossible to detect any individual yearning. These puppet table scenes are microcosms of a sort installations that tell stories about life and death. In his combination of materials and technology, Omerzu creates an impressive work of design and sculpture, which contains an elemental energy he then sets in motion. There is no free will in this motion; instead, we see a kind of primordial order, in which man is not the measure of all things, a world that is governed by laws based on a different origin of nature and life."

Silvan Omerzu (b. 1955), after graduating from the Pedagogical Academy in Ljubljana, continued his studies in Prague, where he completed a specialist degree in puppet scenography and puppet design. After his return to Ljubljana, it was at the Konj Puppet Theater that he realized most fully his unique poetics aimed at adults. His productions were marked by Dionysian debauchery and filled with black, lewd gallows humor; in notoriously shameless characters such as Don Juan, King Ubu, and Don Cristobal, baseness was combined with nobility, cheapness with beauty, tradition with modernity. After 2000, in the three plays Farewell, Prince, based on motifs from the Flemish playwright and mystic Michel de Ghelderode, and The Sandman and Councilor Krespel, based on motifs from E. T. A. Hoffmann's eerie tales, his grotesque puppets evolved into refined ascetic figures, who no longer mocked the world and themselves but now, woven into the net of fate, contemplated the meaning of life and the magic of death, pure art and divine perfection, and the mystery of creation. In 2006, Omerzu mounted the installation Tears in a Kostanjevica church; in 2008, he directed Ivan Cankar's play The House of Our Lady, Help of Christians for the Slovene Mladinsko Theater; and in May 2009, for the Puppet Theater of Ljubljana, he directed the production Forbidden Loves, based on motifs from classical mythology.

International Centre of Graphic Arts Website

Contact: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Grad Tivoli, Pod turnom 3
1000 Ljubljana
Tel: (386) (0)1 2413 800

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