Nina Jan (Slovenia, 1986) is a conceptual artist, performer and director, lately mostly working between the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. Her conceptual work, which covers the fields of performance art, installation, film and internet art, often investigates audience-friendly ways for interactivity and questions the default settings of artistic media, artistic processes and the creative position of the author herself.
Nina is a co-founder of the multidisciplinary artist collective KUD NUM.
International Relations (Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
BA Dance and Choreography (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Austria)
BA Open - Creative Writing, Art of the 20th Century & History of Film (Open University)
Interview with Nina Jan
- An email museum - a museum of thoughts’ next best option
- May 1st 2015 at de Appel arts centre: Collected tales of Mi(s)s(ed)Fortune II, a performance by Nina Jan
Museum of (un)sent emails / Radio MUSE - creator
A la Cart performance webshop - creator
Dear spectator! When I am in your position, as a spectator, I am almost impossible to please. Encountering the work of art, I want to be taken in, fully. I don’t like to watch compromises. I don’t like not being treated with respect. I can’t stand artists who think they are messengers of god. I hate artists who think their hands or mind are producing gold. I don’t like artists who are so obsessed with themselves that they are unable to see anything else. I above all hate it when artists rob art of all playfulness, when they pretend that what they do is such a serious affair that they manage to kill art’s very soul.
This is where my work begins. Taking me, the impossible spectator, as the ultimate person to please. This doesn’t mean I am only making art for me and me alone, neither does it mean that I only think how to please the spectator. But I would say my work starts with a promise. A promise to me as a maker, and to you, my spectator, who might at some point view my work. Making art for me is fulfilling this promise as far as I can.
The promise instructs.
To love the process of making, silently but with full and complete dedication.
To avoid hiding behind words that say nothing.
To stay truthful to my-self.
To treat every member of the audience with the same respect, regardless of their background.
To listen to what the audience has to say about my work, and never hide behind various excuses.
To understand that audience feedback matters.
To understand that my work is my playground, but it only becomes art when it’s shared with the public.
To constantly try and free my mind of my own boundaries.
To trust myself and my vision.
To trust you, my spectator, and your capacity to understand and perceive.
To prepare work that won’t allow you, my spectator, to be a passive observer.
So to engage you.
To challenge you.
To gently convince you that you want to be part of my thing.
To always be over-prepared, but then to slalom between control and losing control.
To see no limits to an artistic idea. To take care of myself, so I don’t fall apart.
But also to take care of you, my spectator, so that you don’t get lost on the way.
This unwritten and invisible promise reminds me that we, as makers, never reach the end of a journey. My aim as an artist is to return to this list, again and again, each time as a slightly altered individual. Each time to reassess the relation between you and me, in order
- 'Collected tales of Mi(s)s(ed)Fortune II' (performance at de Appel arts centre, 2015)
- 'À la Cart Performance Webshop' (webshop platform, 2014)
- 'Arriving.Soon.' (blog and performance, 2010-2011)
- 'So it is Lolita' (interactive museum/installation, 2011)