Polona Tratnik (SI) In(threat)timity of the common space-tissue

intervention, 2005

In order to describe the interweavance of objects and space, a presence of a human body in the world into which it is immersed, Maurice Merleau-Ponty has introduced the concept of the flesh of the world. Things reciprocally belong to each other and thus form the same flesh, which is the flesh of the world. A world does not exist in front of me, but is all around me, I do not see it as regard to its external bandage, but I live it from the inside, I am immersed into it. I am a part of the flesh of the world, in which everything is interweaven. I touch things and regard them – thus I am seizing them.

At microbiological level micro organisms enter the human organism, but also get out of it into the environment. With an exchange of these micro beings living beings and things are in direct mutual contacts; we touch another bodies, beings, as also others and other things touch us through space. Our bodies leave traces in the space, even more – we co-construct a living tissue of a space, the fauna and flora of it.

A plenty of micro organisms, above all bacteria and fungi, live with our healthy body in symbiosis. Normally we are not aware of them because usually we do not see them with our naked eye. But if we come in contact with some strange, species that presents danger for us or even with some familiar, but exaggeratedly multiplied species, they can cause illness, specially if the immunity of our body falls.

The project In(threat)timity confronts the observer with the fauna and flora of common space. The micro-cultures arisen from the public sites are being multiplied in enormous quantities so that they become visible by the naked eye as colonies of different forms and colors. The invisible living public tissue becomes visibly shown. In such a manner the micro fauna and flora of the environment also become dangerous for us. The project In(threat)timity questions the observer's relation to the living micro world of common space, when the intimacy of it becomes a threat.

Polona Tratnik (SI)

Polona Tratnik was born in 1976 in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia. She is a doctoral candidate in philosophy and theory of visual culture at the Faculty of Humanistic Studies in Koper, Slovenia. She has received a master’s degree in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2001. She graduated in painting at the same academy in 1999. In 2005 she is the art director of the international festival for contemporary art Break 2.3 New Species (www.break-festival.org), which will take place in Ljubljana in November 2005. She is a secretary of the Slovenian Society of Aesthetics (www.drustvo-za-estetiko.si). She has finished a course for curators, organized by the Soros center for contemporary art in 1998 and from 2002 she works as a freelance cultural worker, organizing contemporary art shows and exhibitions. She has been occupied with editing and publishing – has edited and published a book Spaces/Places of Art and was a co-editor of the Slovenian art magazine Art Words, and she has also founded Horizons, a magazine for the philosophy and theory of art. From 1997 she has been organizing lectures and colloquiums on aesthetics, contemporary art and culture. As an artist she has widely exhibited from 1998; she started her career as a painter, but in the last years she is presenting installations thematizing the human body containing living components as human skin cells, micro-organisms, hair etc. She has participated in a number of major exhibition events: L’Art Biotech (2003 Nantes, France), Breakthrough (2004 Den Haag, the Netherlands), Biennale of Electronic Art (2004 Perth, Australia) and The seven sins; Ljubljana – Moscow (2004 Ljubljana, Slovenia).