|Title||The Janez Janša Project|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Keywords||biopolitics; identity; Janez Janša; over-identification; renaming; self-representation; subversive affirmation|
The renaming of three Slovene artists as Janez Janša, the prime minister of Slovenia, incites a number of thoughts. Although this was an intimate act not promoted in public, it is a fact that the renaming was done by three (conceptual) artists. With this act they have produced a series that points not so much to the name taken or the deed itself, but, rather, to its own meaning and effect. This series leads to the disappearance or emptying of the subject, to desubjectivisation; with its stringing into infinity, the series creates a sequence of empty signifiers, which then can be filled arbitrarily with new content. At issue here is not the disappearance of Emil Hrvatin, Žiga Kariž and Davide Grassi, as the artists were named before, but the disappearance of Janez Janša as the most renowned holder of the name. Therefore, the aim – non-conceptualised or collateral – of this act of renaming has been to undermine the existing ideological, economic and political power of the holder by sacrificing one's own intimate identity, as well as one’s own artistic and public identity. The artists have reached this goal through a strategy of subversive affirmation, which exploits the media effect of the renaming: the media cover this non-event on the basis of a certain automatism and thus generate a series of productive collisions. Apart from its almost physical character, the Janez Janša Project is also a media or mediated event par excellence, and it has been actually and fully realised only in forms of media representation. Its three manifestations – the intimate, or identity; the public, or political-performative; and the media, or mediated – can be best understood in the framework of contemporary biopolitics: the performance by the three artists is a form of their biopolitical self-representation.