Trk, 2019

πr kvadrat - festival of contemporary ceramics
Layer house, Kranj

Materials: ceramics, marble, metal construction, pulleys, rope, knife
Dimensions: ceramic sphere - 44cm, installation height - 8m, marble floor 70x70x2cm

Author: Rok Oblak
Curators: Nina Koželj and Marko Arnež
Production assistance: Urban Magušar, Miloš Ojdanić, Urban Pintar
Special thanks to Marmor Hotavlje for local marble stone donation, Joco and Zala 

From the exhibition catalogue:

Only shards remain after the Rok Oblak’s project Trk /Crash/. Shards speak about the arts and crafts in the human history, the dynasties of time past, inevitably affecting the technologies and ways of thought in the contemporary. The hand-crafted sphere, custom designed for breaking on the Plečnik square in Kranj, was carefully brought from Radovljica and lifted high up to enable an optimal destruction. The tension of dramatical about-to-happen is additionaly intensified by the crowd gathered around the Plečnik monument. There is no drama, no happening without them – they become part of the performance, the desctruction of an art piece.

Celebrations represent a collective release of social intensities, repeating in time. In the context of the Easter celebration by orthodox church, the author is depicting the ritual of smashing clay pitchers in Corfu island – the loud noise supposedly banishes the cold winter and celebrates the spring time – a start of the new season. The sound is the important if not an essential part of the performance – it interpretes the character of the ceramic material and deposits its specific experience in the subconscious. To preserve an art piece, as well as ceramic houseware, the destruction is carefully avoided. With Trk, Rok opens up the intense, loud sensation of breaking and enables us to prepare for the event beforehand. Comparing to the visual, the sound is often neglected in the arts as well as in the everyday experience. According to French social theorist and noise researcher, Jacques Attaly, nothing essential happens in the world without noise.

In the context of ecological philosophy, Rok is interested in the phenomenon of the hyperobjects – the shapes of natural events and occurencies which posses the agencies beyond the human control, if not even endanger their existence. In the Dark Ecology, by Timothy Morton, hyperobjects represent the agents of awakening the human out of their anthropocentric dreams. The author of the Crash is asking if the observer of the breaking can intensify the experience of the material? Can such events change the relation of the human being towards the environment?

In a dialogue with the Plečnik’s statue of the cock on top of the stone tower, the micro-catastrophy has an ambition to awaken the old part of town and remind us on the fragility of our environment – our acts might not be safe anymore. Monumental protection of the Plečnik square might be endangered by an art intervention.
A short video clip of the performance in Plečnik square in Kranj.