Going South –From Ljubljana to Sharjah, 2009

Nika Oblak & Primož Novak
Going South –From Ljubljana to Sharjah, 2009
Fictional Documentary, 31 minutes and 15 seconds
Installation view at Sharjah Contemporary Arab Art Museum
Commissioned and Produced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Alfredo Rubio


Slovenian Artists Nika Oblak & Primõz Novak have explored the seductive appeal of media and the promotion of personal ambition in capitalist society in work where they often place themselves at the centre of the piece. Working together since 2002, they use the mediums, techniques and visual languages of advertising while experimenting with new ways of working with photography, video, installation, film, computer or robotics.

This was the case with their film commissioned and produced by the Sharjah Biennial 9. Going South - From Ljubljana to Sharjah, is a fictitious documentary of a three-year, 14,500 km journey walking and pushing a wheelbarrow from Ljubljana (Slovenia) to Sharjah in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record. Also shown was an early work, The Box (2005), a video installation with a pneumatic system, where the Artists appear trapped inside and trying to escape.

They have exhibited widely with solo exhibitions at Catalyst Arts, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2009); Moerenhalle, Dresden, Germany (2009) and the spoof Saatchi Collection shown in Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria and Serbia (2007-08). They have been included in group exhibitions at the Museu da Cidade, Lisbon, Portugal (2010); Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan (2010); the Biennale Cuvee, Linz, Austria (2010); the Sharjah Biennial (2009); Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries, Egypt (2009); Kasseler DokFest, KulturBahnhof, Kassel, Germany (2009); MOVE - New European Media Art, Halle, Germany (2009); the Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2009); Busan International Video Festival, Busan, South Korea (2008) and International Sarajevo Winter Video-Salon 3, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2008).

Nika Oblak was born in Slovenia in 1975. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and graduated with a BA in painting (2002) and with an MFA in video (2005). Primõz Novak was born in Slovenia in 1973 and also graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana with a BA (2002) and MFA (2006), both in sculpture. The Artists currently live and work in Ljubljana.

October 2010

These Artist were part of Sharjah Biennial 9