KočevArt: Gottschee (Kočevje) art exhibition
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 as with 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.
Dr. Anja Moric
Photographs: Josef Dornig (1904–1983, born in USA, worked in Kočevje until 1942, died in Graz, Austria), John B. Gladitsch (lives in New York, USA, his family originates from Dolnja Briga), and Vito Oražem (grew up in Kočevje, now lives in Germany.
Sculptures: Matija Glad (1912–1995, born in Banja Loka, worked 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, Croatia, works in Dolga Vas), and Matjaž Matko (born in Novo Mesto in 1958, works in Koprivnik).
Carving: Heinrich Putre (1928–1994, born in Kočevska Reka, worked in 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, her family originates from Polom), Elisabeth Pemberger (1948–, works in Kla- genfurt, 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 70s and 80s).
The exhibition was prepared by: Anja Moric
Project by: the Putscherle Institute
Location: Kočevje Library
Financial support: the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities, the Municipality of Kočevje.