Main Cankar Year exhibitions to open
Ljubljana, 18 June - To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of one of its most prolific writers, Slovenia has dedicated 2018 to Ivan Cankar. The main event of the year is a joint exhibition project put on by the Cankarjev Dom arts centre and the City Museum, opening Monday evening.
The display shown in Cankarjev Dom showcases Cankar's work and the authors who influenced him, while the display in the City Museum focuses on his life. Both displays will run though 28 February.
Ivan Cankar and Europe - Between Shakespeare and Kafka presents Cankar's work in the context of other European authors.
It focuses on basic ideas Cankar drew from Plato, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, and explores the originality of Cankar's work in comparison with contemporary European literature.
"We're trying to show what Cankar accepted from Europe and what kept him original, Slovenian, one-of-a-kind," curator Janko Kos said at a press conference last week.
Cankar's work was influenced by William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Russian realists, including Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, as well as naturalists of the late 19th century like Henrik Ibsen and Emile Zola.
His work was also influenced by representatives of the Decadent Movement and Symbolism like Jens Peter Jacobsen and Maurice Maeterlinck, said Kos.
The exhibition draws parallels between Cankar and his contemporaries Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, James Joyce and Franz Kafka. Moreover, it features works by 15 Slovenian authors who interpreted Cankar.
The exhibition in the Ljubljana City Museum follows Cankar's life and tries to interpret the key events and define the key circumstances in which he lived and worked.
The exhibition follows Cankar's mental journey and works like a "minimundus" which is also "the minimundus of the Slovenian people, who were always in Cankar's thoughts", said Blaž Peršin, the head of the Ljubljana Museum and Galleries.
Curator Blaž Vurnik said that it was a challenge to show Cankar's longing for Ljubljana, his enthusiasm about Vienna and his political activity.
The exhibition aims to capture the author's attitude toward the time and the places he lived in through segments from his works in which he comments on life, arts and politics, said Vurnik.