When we imagine Sinji vrh, the thousand metre high mountain above Ajdovščina, a place of gathering for artist, we should not forget to mention the view that opens to the Kvarner Gulf and the Venetian Lagoon. The 56th international biennale took place there and further on, in Florence, the 10th. These two important events that took part in the vicinity of Sinji vrh represent the contemporary international artistic scene and with it the important achievements of the individual artists. In the light of these two events it may seem that the 23rd international artistic symposium “Slovenia, open to art” is a secondary event, organized on the outskirts with a much smaller number of participants. But this is not the case. The symposium made its debut away from the cities quite a long time ago. The peak of the mountain enforced its meaning with the selectively chosen group of nationally, generationally and stylistically diverse artists. The project lives its openness and wideness and emphasises the creative intimism and freedom of expression of the individual. Comparing it with the dimensions of both great international events and the contemporary artistic scene, we find the Sinji vrh symposium only a pebble in the mosaic of artistic images. However, 23 artists have shaped this pebble, everyone in their own way, everyone with their own poetics, so that it has sparkled presenting the 23 artist and their works with its brightness.

The international artistic symposium is not important merely as a momentary moment. Its power and influence reach beyond the six-day workshop, its creativity, study, following new challenges, establishing interactions and the flow of various creative energies and socializing. A part of the individuals’ impressions follows them to their environment; it anchors into their memories or waits for a new artistic rebirth in their workshop. The journey of the exhibition following the workshop keeps the project alive and present. The works of art that enrich public collections and the supporters are the richness that will be preserved for our descendants.

New efforts and new trends, but above all, questions about the sense of such meetings of artists make the organizers think about pursuing the initial guidelines. In spite of the artists leaving their workshops, from ex-tempore and symposiums to residential stays every one of these forms still bears its character and has its power and with them also a special mission and sense. The departure is a challenge, stimulation, a possibility of new ways to changes and deepening. It is a confirmation of the sense and a unique opportunity of the view into the new artistic horizons. The departure is the author’s step forward to his creative growth, exchange of opinions, plans and visions.

There is no such thing as a utopic golden era for the artist. Has there ever been one?

There is only a creative necessity; intimate vocations, wishes and longing that lead the individual forward. There are opportunities, among which there are also various artistic gatherings. While taking care of every day existence these gatherings with colleagues are relaxing parts of a person’s life. And at the same time they are the moments when everyone can dedicate themselves to a creative process, when new friendships are made and new opportunities are offered to the individual which can even open a new way into the international exhibition space. In this way art becomes involved into the so important globalization.

A lot of thoughts about the space, many involving the landscape and its optical and sensual information, are going on on Sinji vrh. They also involve the spaces of a person’s inner side in which dwell in his most intimate parts. But the space still lives in the artists’ efforts how to cross over to a spatial illusion on a two dimensional canvass. And the space still lives in the lecture of professor Ana Kučan,Ph.D., with the title The Formation of the Landscape as an Artistic Challenge.

The lecture, together with its practical parts, has given interesting cues for the Sinji vrh milieu, which is a sanctuary for sculptural works of art, for installations and the homestead of Šergal›s house with its typical, ethnologic image, in a word, for everything that associates with the space of the landscape and the art of nature.

“I do not want a static exhibition, I want something alive, something that changes daily,” said Okwvi Enwezor, the curator of the 56th International Venetian Biennale. And “Slovenia, open to art” contains quite a lot of vivacity. Even thou every artefact is static for itself, for we are still walking the path of classic artistic media, it is nevertheless put into a new communication, into some new relations, since it is put on display in various ambience. And because of this vivacity and dynamics are born which revitalizes the works in new contexts and opens new views. It sometimes seems that because of these intensive dialogues between the works of art and the space a new work of art emerges.

It is very lively on Sinji vrh when these works of arts are born. The open studio and with it the possibility of the insight of the creative process gives each work of art another dimension, which can be felt more strongly by the viewer. It is a wonderful possibility of attending the magnificent act of the birth of a work of art, of the individual’s effort to create his own artistic achievement or even surpassing it.

The symposium is interesting for all those who still swear on Easel Painting, the work with sculptural material, to exterior, to the in-site position. But there is an option and a possibility for a different, less conventional entering into the world of art. We would really like to open the Sinji vrh creative diapason to these authors.

Anamarija Stibilj Šajn