was born in 1971 in Ljubljana. In 2003, he graduated from the Arthouse – College of Visual Arts in Ljubljana under the mentorship of Prof. Darko Slavec and Prof. Tanja Mastnak. Širca is co-founder and president of the KUD VIČ Arts and Culture Association, and co-founder and leader of the S.K.U.P. Art Group. He lives and works in Ljubljana, and exhibits regularly in Slovenia and abroad. He also runs graphic and visual art workshops for children and adults, and has provided artwork for several publications. The main subject in his work is numbers, which he designs and combines in different ways in his canvases as well as in his graphic and assemblage works. Recently he has returned to the female nude and human figure, and has also tried his hand at sculpture.
2013, transfer print and mixed media; Exibition in the Gallery
The size of the paintings: 220x100cm, 185x100cm
Money is a generally acceptedmeans of payment. It can be exchanged for a product or a service; at the same time, it also serves as an indicatorof the value of thatproduct or service. The system of paying with money replaced the exchange of goods as a way of doing trade.
Paintings on paper aremanually transferred enlarged images of scanned banknotes which are then washed manually in the process of making a transfer print. Transfers of money of suspicious origin to tax havens andmoney launderingshow up, figuratively speaking, aswhite spots – blankspaces in the images of washed-out money. The purity of money becomes the main theme.
Paintings painted on inflatablepaper bags (inflated to various degrees) represent relationships between economies, economic bubbles, credit ratings assigned bycredit rating agencies, trading on currency exchange markets, inflated prices of works of art at auctions… everything is connected with money…everything is about money.
Money was a popular theme with pop artists andwas often depicted in their work.
Like Andy Warhol said: paintings on the walls of collectors are worth a fortune, but only because of how much they paid for them, not because of what is in them, their content is irrelevant, thereforeyou might as well paint an image of money, put up money on the wall, so to speak.
sculptures, » WIRE FACES«, 2011, wire, 30 x 30 x 170 cm
In his »WIRE FACES« series, Brane Širca considers modern man and woman and their role in the society of continuous technological progress. The series consists of ironic portraits of people made of wire which he sees as an important element in modern society shaping present times. Wires are everywhere, in every electronic device, along them information and energy – the driving force of society – travel. Wire faces portray ordinary people caught up in these wire networks. They are empty spaces surrounded by massive crowd of wires. This is a very topical subject today not only among artists, but also in the western civilization as a whole where people have started to question the purpose of continuous technological and informational progress. It is precisely these doubts that are the main message of these silent portraits made of intertwined wire looking at us and asking for salvation.
Numerical Landscapes by Brane Širca
I can claim that the major role of the artistic works by Brane Širca is that of showing us (the viewers) the literal truth of the society in which we live. They make us aware of what is a well known fact to everybody. There are numbers surrounding and endangering us at all levels. Everyday life is crammed with the omnipresence of numbers. What is more, we, too, are only numbers in unimmaginably huge data bases. And yet, paradoxically, numbers endanger us with the same intensity as they also fascinate and attract us.
It has been often said that contemporaneity does not have its own symbols in comparison to the past epochs. That the technological and scientific world of industry does not have the everlasting symbols for good, real, eternal etc.; that images are like material that changes quickly. Širca does not share this point of view, for he places the number at the level of a symbol which perpertually and unchangingly defines this world. Even more, it is the number with its undestructibility and ideality that bears evidence of temporaneity and mortality of all the rest. It is not the meanings of his numbers that Širca is interested in, he focuses on the relations between the painted elements of his compositions, on the visible. But nevertheless, as Jean-François Lyotard puts it down: is it not that what painting is about to really show the continuous presence of the invisible in the visible? The invisible represents what cannot be seen, what cannot be shown. The answer to this paradox seems to lie in the following: We are attracted by the visible and endangered by the non-showable. The non-showable cannot be shown, but it is possible to give a hint to explain its existence.
In this sense, the works of art by Brane Širca stay close to what Fredric Jameson calls "the technologically sublime". This is not the sublime that Kant understands, who sees the source of this feeling in the power of nature (daring and threatening overhanging rocks, thunderclouds, an endless stormy ocean, a high waterfall of an immense river). Nature has long ceased to use power to show herself with similar fearfulness. Instead, she has been substituted for the high-tech society, in which the truth and the mechanism of its global economic system can no longer be understood by an individual. The truth is no longer showable, but somehow we know it exists. And we do know it keeps ruminating on numbers. The numerical landscapes by Brane Širca will not tell us about the system's mechanism, but they will force us to think about it. They make us aware that the profane is only the back side of the mystical. May we not be misled by the superficiality.