KočevArt: an exhibition of works by Gottscheer artists
In September 2019, as part of the 5th Days of Gottschee Culture, which took place in Kočevje, the Putscherle Institute opened an exhibition of works made by Gottschee artists – KočevArt.
The exhibition is the first broad presentation of artistic (academic and amateur) creation in the Kočevje region from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Visitors were able to look at paintings, sculptures and photographs by 20 academic and amateur artists lent to us by the authors themselves or their relatives. The works of artists who create or have created in the wider Kočevje region or in Gottscheer communities abroad (Austria, USA and Canada), provide insight into the depth of human perception and depict life in the Kočevje region in different periods, which gives them great ethnological value. The exhibition reflects the social reality in the Kočevje region over a long period of time, as the art work not only depicts everyday life (depicting a conversation in the Kočevje dialect, working in a mine, etc.) but also sheds a light to tragic interwar events (internment in Italian camps), and tells a story about people’s deepest and abstract experience of his their inner world.
With the exhibition, similar to the exhibition Showcases of Memory (in 2016-2018), I wanted to bring the cultural heritage of Gottscheers closer to a wider public and establish a space for connection and cooperation between all who have been shaping the fate of Kočevje region: Gottschee natives, emigrated Gottscheers (from the USA, Canada and Austria) and post-war immigrants. At the same time, the purpose of the project was to promote the Gottscheer culture with amateur and academic art productions in the Kočevje region and in the Republic of Slovenia, while contributing to breaking down stereotypes and promoting intercultural dialogue in the wider Kočevje region.
Anja Moric, PhD
Photographs: Josef Dornig (1904-1983, born in the USA, worked in Kočevje until 1941, died in Graz, Austria), John B. Gladitsch (living in New York, USA, family originates from Dolnja Briga) and Vito Oražem (grew up in Kočevje, lives in Germany);
Sculptures: Matija Glad (1912-1995, born in Banja Loka, works in Kočevje), Marko Glavač (1959-, works in Kočevje), Tomaž Hartman (1957-, works in Kočevje), Matija Kobola (works in Šalka vas) , Anton Križ (born in Tršče in Croatia, works in Dolga vas) and Matjaž Matko (1958-, born in Novo mesto, works in Koprivnik);
Carving: Heinrich Putre (1928-1994, born in Kočevska reka, worked in the USA);
Drawing: Martha Hutter (born in Livold, lives in New York, USA);
Paintings: Stane Jarm (1931-2011, born in Osilnica, worked in Kočevje), Irena Kapš (from Občice), Viktor Kobola (1923-, Šalka vas), Sašo Koprivec (works in Kočevje), Anne Kroisenbrunner (Kitchener, Canada) , family from Polom), Elisabeth Pemberger (1948-, works in Klagenfurt, Austria), Roman Erich Petsche (1907-1998, born in Kočevje, worked in Austria), Michael Ruppe (1863-1951, born in Ovčjak, worked in Austria) and Andrej Trobentar (1951–, worked in Kočevje in the 1970s and 1980s).
The exhibition was prepared by: Anja Moric
Project holder: Putscherle Institute
Location: Kočevje Library
Financial support: Public Fund for Cultural Activities of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Kočevje.