The art project Socialdress – Power to the People (2013) takes the form of a collection of clothes and kitchen and household textiles. Its characteristic trait consists in embroidered protest slogans from the recent general Slovenian uprising, i.e., currently topical expressions of revolt and dissatisfaction with the system.

Representing an attempt to set up a sustainable model of production that incorporates the DIY principle, recycling, and participatoriness, the project combines traditional skills and craftsmanship, contemporary technology, fashion, social engagement and activism, and could potentially evolve into a social enterprise.

Conceived and headed by visual artist Marija Mojca Pungerčar (, recipient of the Rihard Jakopič honorary mention this year), the project was developed in collaboration with Suzana Belak Pungartnik, Tadeja Kumar, Urša Špeh, Špela Škulj and Ines Kežman, who also helped run the workshops.

The Socialdress – Power to the People homepage:

The chosen slogans were embroidered with contemporary embroidering machines by 17 participants during 6 day-long workshops conducted in the RogLab in Ljubljana, from 26 to 31 August 2013. Unemployed women were given precedence in selecting applicants for the sewing and embroidery “training” workshops.

Participating in the production of the collection were Tjaša Avsec, Jasmina Gregorčič, Jana Gusa, Andreja Kranjec, Doroteja Marinko, Tanja Milharčič, Rosana Mlakar, Saša Nemec, Jožica Pintar, Gela Romič, Magda Stražišar, Polonca Strman, Maja Šivic, Elda Špik, Tina Zdovc, Erika Žefran and Tadeja Žefran. RogLab collaborators Nejc Stupan and Alen Bubanja provided assistance with the use of the software.
In the process more than 50 different items were made: aprons, dish towels, oven mitts, cushion covers, bed linen, bicycle-seat covers, handbags, purses, place mats, handkerchiefs and more. All of the products were made of textiles donated by individuals and businesses.

All of the “empowered” household and kitchen textiles were displayed at a solo show at the Alkatraz Gallery between 7 and 14 October 2013.

After the closing of the show, a part of the collection has been included in the 1:1 exhibition at the +MSUM, together with a documentary on the production of the collection and a performance Wrapping up the Collection. The performance revolves around getting commissions for the products, reviving the memory of fashion marketing in the days when the textile industry still flourished.


The project was produced by KUD Trivia. (

Partners: RogLab, KUD Mreža/Galerija Alkatraz, Moderna galerija.

The project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Culture Department of the City of Ljubljana.

Special thanks
Alice Camara, Mojca Dolčič, Maša Ekar, Saša Eržen, Ivana Gašparac, Petja Grafenauer, Aleksij Kobal, Milena Kosec, Mateja Lazar, Meavista d.o.o., Lilijana Stepančič, Renata Šribar and Meta Štular assisted us in the project by donating textiles. Dry cleaning was done free of charge by Express kemična čistilnica Pivk Aleksander s.p. Marjan Kokot, Mateja Mahnič, Matej Perpar and Matej Verbajs gave us needed advice. The sponsors of the embroidery and sewing equipment and technology for the workshops were Lango d.o.o. and Singer Service d.o.o., Gostilna dela and Kavarna Rog helped feed the participants. The furniture, household items, window-dressing equipment and street signs were loaned for the exhibitions by Europlakat, JYSK trgovina, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, Suzana Belak Pungartnik, and Ivanka Zobec. The Domača peka bakery donated cookies. Thank you all for support!

Socialdress – Power to the People is part of the long-term project Socialdress. Started in 2006, Socialdress imparts practical knowledge on dressmaking while at the same time raising awareness of the impact globalization has had on Slovenia’s textile industry and on the consequent disappearance of skilled crafts. The term “social dress” refers to clothes with community-building potential.

Socialdress homepage:


9 October 2013

The Socialdress – Power to the People exhibition, scheduled to remain open at the Alkatraz Gallery through 14 October 2013, has been closed ahead of time. The exhibited works have been stolen by persons unknown.

Yesterday, on Tuesday 8 October 2013, at approximately 6 p.m., a group of 10 to 15 masked unidentified individuals entered the Alkatraz Gallery.

Without speaking they set upon the exhibits, stealing almost all of the artworks that featured embroidered slogans from recent Slovenian uprisings. They also took some of the household utensils there intended to demonstrate the use of the artifacts, leaving behind leaflets with the message “We won’t be the excavator undermining Rog!”.

I, the author of the project, Marija Mojca Pungerčar, am horrified and distressed by this underhanded attack on my art project and the destruction of the exhibition.

I call on the perpetrators to take off their masks and openly make their statement, and to return the stolen works and equipment!

Marija Mojca Pungerčar


My response to the theft of works from the Marija Mojca Pungerčar exhibition is twofold: as Director of Moderna galerija condemning the theft of objects from the Alkatraz Gallery; as curator of the 1:1 stopover project equally condemning the theft itself, but at the same time trying to finds answers to the questions – What was actually stolen? and, Is it enough to address this act only in terms of its criminal aspect? My answers come from the vantage point of the concept of the 1:1 stopover, a project I invited Pungerčar to participate in with her Socialdress project, which was to come to the +MSUM in a slightly modified form straight from the exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery.
In my initial call to the artists I wrote, among other things: “For me, works on a scale of 1:1 are, above all, works that focus on process and duration, rather than on being (limited to) an art object. One of the central issues the 1:1 project will address is how to capture the relation between an event that presents a work and the process in which a work lasts, i.e., its aspect of duration. This exhibition is an opportunity for the works to present themselves in a constellation of different relations, both the horizontal social connections and the relations involved in working with an institution, reflecting critically on society; and self-reflection. Since it is impossible to present an artwork that approaches reality on a scale of 1:1 in an exhibition that is limited in time and space, I would like to consider together with you which individual aspects of your work should be given most prominence.”
I further expounded on this in the exhibition concept printed in the invitation and press materials:
“1:1 art has a past, a present, a future, and sometimes also an end, a death (when the artist deliberately destroys his or her work). [Here I might add: or when someone else destroys it.] It is never a wholly finalized product, and this makes 1:1 only a moment in the duration of 1:1 art. When an institution acknowledges its own inability to represent the complex temporality of 1:1 art in all of its life forms, it can only offer a place where such art can become a public good, a place where its various users can come together. (…) 1:1 art refers to more than just art objects; above all, it refers to points of convergence of collective ideas and desires, of various vocations and various narratives. (…) 1:1 art proposes conditions that do not involve anyone representing anyone, conditions under which interpretations and translations result from actual, concrete collaborations.”
One of the reasons that led me to invite Pungerčar to present her Socialdress project at the 1:1 was the fact that I saw in it all of the crucial characteristics of 1:1 art. One of the crucial characteristics of 1:1 art is that it has a life of its own: once it has been publicly presented it can no longer be wholly controlled by the artist. This is something that an artist producing 1:1 art must come to terms with; they must treat their art as art both when it is doing great and when things just aren’t going so well. Another distinguishing trait of 1:1 art is duration, so its material realization cannot be claimed to be more art than its processual and participatory character.
So what was stolen from the Marija Mojca Pungerčar exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery?
In terms of the 1:1 concept, only a part of Pungerčar’s artwork, and by no means the artwork in its entirety. We might even say a minor part of the artwork, since the crucial part of the Socialdress project is its participatory character. And it is from the vantage point of participatoriness that the theft at the Alkatraz should be understood. Participatoriness should by no means imply that gestures coming to a gallery or museum from the outside should be domesticated by the institution. The history of art is rife with gestures of destruction, and it would be out of place not to recall this tradition on the occasion of the Alkatraz incident, which its agents have described as a political performance.
The Socialdress art project is far from destroyed by the theft; more specifically, it is far from destroyed by the (possible) destruction of some of its material supports. Indeed, we might even say that it has acquired another dimension, since the political performance that took place at the Alkatraz is already triggering discussions and forcing us all to take more clearly defined positions. And this is also the embodied potential of the slogans from the recent popular uprisings here that are embroidered on the stolen artifacts.

Zdenka Badovinac