Igor Zabel: Inexplicable Presence

This catalogue presents the exhibition Inexplicable Presence (Curator’s Working Place) curated by Igor Zabel at Ljubljana’s Moderna galerija/Museum of Modern Art in 1997 and at the Celje Gallery of Contemporary Art in 1998. The posthumous publication emerges from the recent finding of an outline of the catalogue that Zabel intended to self-publish. 

The Inexplicable Presence exhibition was particularly precious to Zabel; it included artists whose work meant a great deal to him, as he himself wrote. The exhibition was above all a study and an effort to establish dialogical relations, an attentive reading of the artworks as well as a space and a situation that was an inquiry into his own role as a curator.

As a starting point, Zabel sent his short story entitled Inexplicable Presence, together with a photograph of the place that plays a crucial role in the story and a presentation of the exhibition project, to the invited artists. He asked them to respond to the short story and the photograph with the goal that the exhibition would activate a space of dialog in which stories, experiences, statements would be exchanged and thus would be illuminated anew and influence each other. He wrote that he had decided on this particular story because it addressed themes that were important to him – the influence and consequences of the inexplicable, the coincidental, and the ephemeral on our lives and our conception of things. 

Zabel set up the exhibition in a temporary space into which he also moved his office. In this space, he exhibited the artworks he received in the mail and dedicated himself to reflecting and writing about them, as well as to communicating with the visitors. 

In addition to the short story mentioned above and Zabel’s description of the project, the catalogue includes his writings about the invited artists and exhibited artworks, reproductions of the artworks, and preserved correspondence. Ivian Kan Mujezinović/Ee designed the catalogue on the basis of the found outline.

Exhibition catalogue

Featured artists: Heimo Zobernig, Mladen Stilinović, Uri Tzaig, Angela Greuerholz, Jochen Gerz, Jože Barši, Lewis Baltz, Suchan Kinoshita, Yuri Leiderman, and Per Kirkeby

Published by Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory (Ljubljana)
IZA Editions: publications series by the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory (Ljubljana) and Archive Books (Berlin)

Supported by ERSTE Foundation