Slovenia is one of the smartest pavilions in the Biennale this year. It provides probably the best illustration of my hypothesis, that the national representation conundrum forces artists and curators to think out of the box, and swim against the current that brings them to Venice.
The multimedia installation focuses on the aesthetics involved in the establishment of the national myth; the visitor first sees a re-enacted discussion among parliamentary experts about which artist can best represent the Slovenian nation. That debate was held in 1957. The artwork is not shown, the artist not mentioned, thus the viewer naturally imagines the discussion is contemporary and concerns the current artist. Another video reproduces a philosophical discussion between a journalist and an architect about issues of representation through the aesthetics of art and architecture. Both videos, overly formal, focus on delivering all the arguments and counter-arguments that can be given in such debates.
All surfaces of all spaces within the pavilion are covered with a wallpaper representing a beetle discovered by a Slovenian entomologist in 1933, who enthusiastically (but with insufficient foresight) named it Anophthalmus hitleri. Besides the stunning visual effect, the creepy crawly wallpaper provides au unsavory twist to the Slovenian national myth. Finally the artist has hung oil paintings of flower arrangements that are in the possession of the parliament or its political parties, providing the final flourish to her exploration of the extremes of national representation.