Slovenian artist and Hugo Boss Prize winner Marjetica Potrč will present her premiere gallery show with Max Protetch from April 6 to May 4, 2002. Her first major exhibition in New York was held at the Guggenheim on the occasion of the Hugo Boss Prize in 2000. Potrč’s work comes from a well thought-out, politically minded position, focused around the needs and desires of people and their interactions with a changing urban environment. For this show she will be building a new sculpture in the gallery, based upon houses created by untrained architects for Barefoot College in Tilonia, India. By utilizing solar panels and harvesting rainwater, the college has used these structures to generate its own energy. And by recreating one in the gallery, Potrč articulates her belief in the aesthetic and political power that people create through individual initiative. As Francesco Bonami writes in his essay for the Hugo Boss Prize catalogue, Potrč’s “living structures… show how the inhabitants of favelas and townships produce a threatening autonomy that challenges the planned structure of a city.” Her digital prints, which will also be included in the show, continue in this vein, exposing the ‘wild’ spaces in the cities we inhabit. For Potrč, these spaces are liberating, as is the ability of animals and humans to adapt to them. Her adaptable approach to the materials she uses is based on a similar premise. In her print work, for example, Potrč achieves a painterly effect by using the pixellation that results from digital collage and inkjet printing. Like the sculptures, which are created from materials like raw cinder blocks and corrugated metal, these prints transform qualities associated with deterioration into opportunities for formal, aesthetic, and social invention.
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