Irena Pivka Brane Zorman:The MOLAT Retreat

video about an unrealised work of art + conversation with artists

The MOLAT Retreat was conceived as a possible artist’s residence on a small, sparsely populated island in the Adriatic Sea. The key difference from a classical artist residency would be that the Molat Retreat would be intended as a resting place, with the explicit requirement not to talk about art, not to work, plan, realise or otherwise practice any artistic production.

The MOLAT Retreat as a work of art has not been realised today, or at any time in between, because it carries in itself an essential paradox. It is difficult to talk about not working without working at the same time, and even more difficult to produce and realise a project about not working without working. What is possible, however, is serious reflection on why we work the way we do, that it is really hard to afford not to work. Reflections on the meaning of non-work that have raised many questions. How has the dedicated time when we are not working given rise to the development of a strong tourism industry, which “feeds” a lot of people but pollutes a lot? When did work become so important that it entered as a value into all pores of the social system? Or has it always been so? Even more interesting is the assumption that it is over-work, hyper-production as the basis for progress, that has brought us to the ecological crisis we are in. We are a society that demands constant economic growth, which is simply unsustainable on our planet with limited capacities. Therefore, a reflection on non-work is in fact a reflection on ecology.


Kolonija Molat: Irena Pivka and Brane Zorman, 2006
Video concept and production Kolonija Molat: Matej Tomažin, Alja Lobnik, Irena Pivka and Brane Zorman
Screenplay: Irena Pivka
Filming and editing: Matej Tomažin
Sound design: Brane Zorman
Translation: Jana Renée Wilcoxen
Production: Maska Ljubljana, Cona 2023


26. 09. 2023




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