Thursday, 11. 6. 2015

2015 Župančič Awards

The recipients of the 2015 Župančič Awards, the highest award granted by the City of Ljubljana for outstanding creation in the field of art and culture are known. This year a lifetime achievement award receiver was an academic painter, graphic artist and sculptor, Vladimir Makuc.

Holder of the Lifetime Achievement Award

Vladmir Makuc, academic painter, graphic artist and sculptor, is one of the most prominent contemporary Slovenian fine artists. A distinguished original and creative expression, which was modern in its reference to the past from the start, founded in terms of design on archetypal primal stylization and flatness that he found in the archaic elements of the domestic Karst landscape. Thus, the starting point of his creative expression became the primordial foundation of the cultural world that is embodied by a vast silence and eternal stone on the backdrop of the modern cravings; through it the artist also convincingly expresses personal emotional states and critical thinking about the fate of civilization and the threat to the natural environment. With imagery of embattled rams or using the motive of kidnapped Europe he gives a response to the societal antagonisms. The artist, who has all his creative life moved through vastness of the selfsame spiritual landscape, and is despite the asceticism exceptionally rich in his lyrical emotions yet childlike in his perceptions of any signs and revelations. His images are strewn with hidden signs, in particular revived reminiscences of verbal graffiti from Istrian frescoes, with scrapings imbibed in spiritual messages. The professional jury together with professional and amateur public granted the Župančič lifetime achievement award for Makuc's work which with his high life jubilee and highest professional awards granted so far is a synonym for a completely authentic emanation of the pristinely humanized nature and is a valuable life message to the future generation already at the time when the artist's continuous creation is only a working station on his current artistic path.

Award Winners for the Period of Last Two Years

The film director Barbara Novakovič Kolenc, founder and principal author of the Muzeum theatre, who can be occasionally seen as an actress, set designer, costume designer, stage director, producer and curator receives the Župančič Award for four high-profile projects: a theatrical dance performance, the Musem of Letters (Muzej Pisem), a jubilee exhibition at the 20th anniversary of the Muzeum theatre, the Time Folding (Gubanje Časa), a performance Desire Caught by its Tail based on a drama sketch by Pablo Picasso and for staging the ABC Oder Krieg by Ivo Svetina. The professional committee has recognized the originality of the artist's poetics whose theatrical language is innovative, subversive, knowledgeable, visually crafted, and rich in references, focused on humanistic values, suffused with intuition, deeply emotive and based on a backdrop of extensive knowledge of Slovenian and world art history.

Alojz Svete, a theatre actor, receives the Župančič Award for five theatrical depictions: for the role of Mother, Radko's mother, 97 years old in a theatre play Boris, Milena, Radko by Jovanović; of Duke of York in Richard III and II in Pandur's directorial interpretations of Shakespeare; of Fran Govekar in the world premiere of the Blue Monkey Hotel (Hotel Modra Opica) directed by Nemec, which was created in tandem with the stage director Nejc Valenti; of Zovolj in Levstik's Tugomer by the director Diego de Brea and for the role of Tonič, Joe's father and Colonel in the representation of different plays by Vitomil Zupan Flags – Husband – Blindness (Zastave – Mož – Slepota) directed by Mare Bulc. The player's distinctly internalized voice expressive disposition had according to the committee allowed the artist to bring forth the revived full-blooded theatrical characters through a wide interpretative range – also in his transvestite metamorphosis and original Svete's humour that sophisticatedly depicts the role in a position within his contemplative spiritual cocoon – and the high norm of stage expression.

The poet and dramatist Boris A. Novak was awarded for the first book of the planned trilogy epic The Doors of No Return (Vrata Nepovrata) entitled the Maps of Homesickness (Zemljevidi Domotožja). In contemporary Slovenian poetry the epos represents an extraordinary phenomenon and a specific feat regarding genre and topic. In it the poet poetises not only his own spiritual autobiography or rather its genesis, but gives through it his comprehensive attitude towards the world and creation. He is aware that words are "the only ones to survive the continuous growth of endless oblivion". As a versatile expert of national and world poetry, especially verse forms, he became a chronicler modelled after the past medieval chroniclers. The first extensive volume of the grand epic which retells what the poet had been with his vast artistic opus and everything that he is still to become appears as such an important work of art and at the same time a poetic work documenting our time that according to the committee it deserves to receive the prominent public Župančič award.