A certain curiosity and appreciation for the diversity of club culture has often led Asiana Jurca Avci to find herself at the heart of nightlife. During her most restless and productive years, clubbing culture and her closest friends were at the centre of her photographic work. “Photography gave me a reason to be there,” is how cult photographer Nan Goldin describes her relationship with her medium of choice. In the case of both Goldin and Jurca Avci, “there”, is right in the middle of it all – the nightlife, the clubs, the underground of the cities where they otherwise spend their days.
Drawing on the practice of relational artists, in the large-scale participatory performance TRA(N)CE Jurca Avci focuses on the interaction between ravers and the location, creating a space for art production that is both directed and left to its own pace and rhythm. For TRA(N)CE, the artist transforms the gallery space into a club to question the role of designated spaces and structures of authority, blurring the lines between institutionalised and what is considered to be alternative culture.
The artist brings into the gallery the essential elements of nightclubs, such as a DJ, lighting, a bar and lounge area, with the intention of transforming the space and replicating some of the other spaces she has encountered. In her performance TRA(N)CE, Jurca Avci invites ravers to become artists, placing herself in the role of a catalyst rather than at the centre of the artistic production. The act of raving is presented as an art object and is understood as a performance. The artist herself becomes a silent observer, employing herself to document the event. Through the performance she creates a place for what is seen as a core value of nightlife – a safe space for people to explore their identity. However, with the monetisation of club culture, this idea has been quickly forgotten and exploited too often. With her performance, the artist aims to bring the focus back to the essence of clubbing, which is inherently an act of rebellion and the search for personal freedom, which was born out of the ethos of Peace, Love, Unity and Respect (PLUR).
As always, ravers are invited to leave a trace, interact with the space and each other, spread love and have fun.
Asiana Jurca Avci (1992) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Visual Communication Design. She has been working mainly in the field of photography and video. Her (mainly autobiographical) work is characterised by confessional poetics and a narrative sensibility, which originates from her love of the medium of film. Jurca Avci’s works often explore themes such as interpersonal relationships, motivation, self-image and questions of authenticity in artistic expression. In her master’s thesis, the practical part of which is titled “The Production of Value and the Value of (Re)production”, her interests shifted from the (hyper)production of images deeper into artistic production itself. In 2020, she presented her master’s thesis with the multimedia exhibition “So this is it?”. She has participated in various group exhibitions both in Slovenia and elsewhere in the region, most recently in the group exhibitions “Based on True Stories. Spaces and Articulations of Sexuality 1990-2022 ” as part of the Račka Festival in the Centre for Contemporary Art Celje, and as part of the Foto Wien Festival with the exhibition “Different Worlds” at the Photon Gallery in Vienna.
Text: Jelena Radić
Curator: Maja Hodošček
Support: Mestna občina Celje