Theatre Möderndorfer, touring exhibition

Termin: 27. 06. 2024 – 01. 08. 2024

Touring exhibition

Theatre Möderndorfer

From 27 June 2027 to 1 August 2024 in the Historical Atrium of the Ljubljana City Hall.

Published in 2022, the Theatre Möderndorfer monograph is a unique example in Slovenian theatre publishing, both in terms of size (1216 pages with around 1500 items of illustrative material) and content. In the book, Vinko Möderndorfer explores 106 performances he had created in more than four decades of his career as a director from his first play at the Glej experimental theatre in 1980 to the first performance of the opera The Unicorn in 2021.

The author’s statement upon publication: “It is very likely that this monograph would never come about if it weren’t for some excellent theatre photographers. In particular, Tone Stojko, who in the late 1970s, approached theatre photography in a way that was completely different from that of his predecessors. His photographs were always faithful to the style of the performance, but also something more. Through his photographs, I experienced my productions in a special way. He opened my eyes to a new perspective on my own creativity. Already in the early 1980s and later, I thought it would be nice to see theatre through the sensitive eye of a photographer. I believed that theatre photography could be an art form in its own right. Today, there are also some excellent artist photographers who take theatre photography very seriously. That is why I originally wanted to base this book on photographs accompanied by short texts about performances. After all, the only thing that remains after a theatre performance is the photographs and the impressions that the audience take away with them. Everything else turns into the dust of oblivion after the final performance.”

The Theatre Möderndorfer exhibition was created as a “logical continuation” of the monograph. The photographs were selected by Vinko Möderndorfer with the help of curator Tea Rogelj. Their main selection criteria were the artistic perfection and expression of the photographs. However, they also focused on the travelling nature of the exhibition – trying to include, at least with one or two photographs, all the professional theatres with which Vinko Möderndorfer had collaborated. They deliberately ignored the visibility and popularity of the performances, their significance for the history of the theatre, the representation of the actors and the weight given to their roles, etc.

The exhibition includes a selection of 46 photographs from various periods of the director’s career, accompanied by the director’s notes. It comprises sixteen photographs by Tone Stojko, four by Foto atelje Pavšič Zavadlav, three each by Žiga Koritnik and Damjan Švarc, two each by Viktor Berk, Tomaž Lauko, Mare Mutić, Darja Štravs Tisu and Peter Uhan, and one each by Robert Balen, Božo Berk, Gašper Domjan, Sergio Ferrari, Miroslav Košuta, Davorin Križmančič, Blaž Pirman, Simon Stojko Falk, Jože Suhadolnik, Jane Štravs and Boris B. Voglar.

The creators took the exhibition to the “scenes of the crime”, i.e., to the cities and theatres where the productions were staged: it was inaugurated at the Slovenian National Theatre Maribor in June 2023 as part of the Maribor Theatre Festival, and then toured the Celje City Theatre, the Prešeren Theatre Kranj, the Slovenian National Theatre Nova Gorica and the Slovenian Permanent Theatre in Trieste. In each theatre, it came to life in a different way, not only because of the different settings and spatial possibilities, but also because the curator, Tea Rogelj, decided to complement it with some of the costumes from the respective productions, in cooperation with the host theatres.

The installation in the Historical Atrium of the City Hall is no exception – in collaboration with the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Theatre Studio of SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana and SNT Drama Ljubljana and the renowned costume designer Alan Hranitelj, it is enriched with costumes and scenic elements from the premiere performance of the Slovenian opera The Unicorn by Pavel Šivic.

Director Vinko Möderndorfer and costume designer Alan Hranitelj, both recipients of numerous awards, including the Prešeren Fund Prize, have collaborated on 21 productions to date, most recently on The Unicorn in 2021.

The exhibition was organised by the Slovenian Theatre Institute (SLOGI) in cooperation with Forum Ljubljana.

Fotografija z naslovnega panoja razstave. Peter Božič, Šumi, Slovensko mladinsko gledališče, premiera 27. februarja 2010 (SMG, Stara pošta). Foto: Žiga Koritnik; Arhiv SMG.

The exhibition opened on Thursday, 27 June 2024, at 19.00 (Photo: Kaja Brezočnik, MOL Archive of the Municipality of Ljubljana).

Theatre Möderndorfer Touring Exhibition
Author: Vinko Möderndorfer
Curator: Tea Rogelj, MA
Designer: Nina Šturm
Translator into English: Nataša Jelič
Language editor: Andraž Polončič Ruparčič
English language editor: Jana Renée Wilcoxen
Produced by: Slovenian Theatre Institute (represented by: Gašper Troha, PhD), Forum Ljubljana (represented by: Eva Rohrman), 2023

In cooperation with the Municipality of Ljubljana, SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Theatre Studio of SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana and SNT Drama Ljubljana, 2024.