Sebastjan Leban and Stas Kleindienst:
Buy Your Own Art Experience
Who, how and what defines what an artwork IS? The answer to this question can be traced in the system of valorization of artwork, which defines, values and places the artwork in a larger social context inscribing it at the same time into the genealogy of the history of art. One of the fundamental problems of the art world and the art market is the attachment to the original as some kind of fetish, which of course, is evaluated with all of society's fetishes and installed into a specific hierarchical valorization. The project Buy Your Own Art Experience explores and exposes the issue of idealization of art and the artist, the valorization system of artworks and capital produced through the culture industry. The project consists of five performances documented in photographs. Those who buy the performance will have the possibility to participate in the real performative act. On the contrary, if one decides to buy a photograph (object), the performances will be interrupted and the final result of the project will be an object-photograph as a pure commercial artefact. Thus the buyer will be faced with the fact that he/she can consciously activate the process of context alienation, which cancels the performative element of the project by transforming it into an object.
The Leban/Kleindienst's artistic practice is characterized by intermedia interdisciplinarity that is reflected in the critical analysis of the systems of valorization (in the arts and in other fields), contemporary migration, new forms of colonialism and other phenomena occurring within the changing social formation. Through art and theory, Leban/Kleindienst intervene into specific systems with the aim to establish contemporary critical tools that enable to rearticulate the ever more complex social reality.