Marjetica Potrč, The World in the Age of Stories (Part 3: The World after the Borromean Knot Is Untangled), 2020, ink on paper, 76 x 112 cm.

Marjetica Potrč »Possible Worlds«

Stockholm, September 28, 2023 - November 03, 2023

Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm presents Possible Worlds, by Marjetica Potrč. Her solo exhibition runs parallel to the unveiling of Future Island, the artist’s public work at the Albano campus in Stockholm, in collaboration with OOZE (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) and commissioned by Public Art Agency Sweden, Akademiska Hus and Svenska Bostäder. Potrč is internationally renowned for her architectural case studies and collaborative site-specific projects, rooted in a multidisciplinary practice that merges art, architecture, ecology, and social sciences. Her practice places emphasis on individual empowerment as well as sustainable and democratic strategies for the future.

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The exhibition at Nordenhake comprises three works: a site-specific wall drawing from the series The World in the Age of Stories; a new suite of drawings in the form of a visual essay that gives title to the exhibition; and Kuku Town Core Unit, an architectural case study based on an example of a service core unit in Cape Town, South Africa. Potrč’s architectural case studies function as theatrical objects and point to the societal and environmental conditions that shape their existence. Kuku Town Core Unit is based on the incremental upgrading of an informal settlement of 22 households known as Kuku Town, in Kensington, Cape Town. Service core units are examples of collaboration between the municipality and settlers, where infrastructure and shelter issues are dealt with separately. The city provides a utility system for potable water, energy, and sewage; and the new residents take on the task of building their homes. A Core Unit is therefore a type of contextual solution that encourages local communities in a “participatory design”, reflecting Potrč’s belief in the power of collective action and shared knowledge. Here the 1:1 scale sculpture is presented as a rudimentary but adequate structure assembled from prefabricated elements.

The visual essay Other Possible Worlds: On Participation is a suite of 10 works of paper, exploring participatory dynamics between communities and municipalities during the time of high modernism, and the collective reconstruction of today’s city facing retreat of the social state and challenges posed by climate change. The large-scale wall-drawing and three works on paper from the series The World in the Age of Stories, address three states of coexistence between humans and nature. Each of the drawings centers around the figure of a woman; from an indigenous woman dreaming the world, to a Medusa-like image, and finally to the Venus of Willendorf. Meditation on indigenous communities thus brings a circular movement to the three drawings: the world departs from and returns to indigenous practices and knowledge.

Potrč’s practice brings in alternative perspectives to pressing issues such as sustainability and ecology. The artist emphasizes the importance of remaking our cities based on inclusive participation of citizens, as well as importance to renew human relationship with nature in the age of the Anthropocene, such as knowledge exchange between indigenous peoples and environmentalists.

Marjetica Potrč is an artist and architect based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she was born 1953. Her work has been featured extensively at international contexts such as the 23rd Sydney Biennale, MCA Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana (both 2022) the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale (2021), Venice Biennale (2009, 2006, 2003), São Paulo Biennale (2006, 1996) Gwangju Biennale (2004) and Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997).

Noteworthy solo exhibitions include Civic Gallery, Piran, Slovenia (2022); Visual Carlow, Carlow, Ireland (2018); Kunsthall Trondheim and Flora ars+natura, Bogota (both 2017), PAMM Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2015); Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2012); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2007); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (both 2004); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2001) among many others. Potrč has exhibited regularly at Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin and Stockholm since 2003. She has taught at a number of institutions such as the HFBK University of Fine Arts in Hamburg; the University of Ljubljana; MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology and IUAV Faculty of Arts and Design in Venice.