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OHO, Project OHO

Slovenian collaborative Conceptual artists OHO worked with telepathy in the seventies via group projects, in conjunction with esoteric traditions, counterculture movements, ecological concerns and strong group interaction.47 In the early 1970s Abramoviç and her closest art school friends were curious about the Duchamp-inspired Slovenian experimental collaborative art collective OHO.46 More recently, Manifesta 3 in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, highlighted the interesting case of OHO, and their highly innovative and eccentric approach to Conceptual Art in Slovenia involving the practice of telepathy.[1] The group was preoccupied with working with a harmonic unity within the group and with nature and the universe, and this lead them to practice telepathy: “In the search for such a harmony, they used different means, including telepathy.”[2] OHO worked with telepathy in the seventies via group projects in conjunction with esoteric traditions, ecological concerns and strong group interaction.[3] OHO connected art involving telepathy with the natural countryside and mild minimalist earthworks, cultivating a kind of meditative visual and material eco-telepathy within rugged organic aesthetics, allied to global ecological awareness and counterculture movements. OHO’s communication via telepathy is described by Manifesta 3 as “peculiar” and by Richard Blandford[4] as “strange”: “the OHO group was a little strange, apparently communicating by telepathy before giving up art altogether to live on a commune on an abandoned farm.”[5] OHO is mentioned in Lucy Lippard’s Six Years: The Dematerialisation of Art along with other artists working with the telepathy of conceptual dematerialisation of art. [6]

 

Image: http://www.avantgarde-museum.com/en/museum/collection/authorsoho~pe4394/#overlay

 

 

[1] “Manifesta 3, Newsletter: Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana – Opportunity or Threat?” European International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 23 June-24 September 2000, 26 Oct. 2002 <http://www.manifesta.org/manifesta3/newsletter1.htm>.

[2] Zabel, Art in Slovenia.

[3] OHO were shown at the Information Show and MOMA NY and A4 Aktionsraum in Munich. Slovenia has produced a number of other significant artists and artist groups other than OHO including Irwin. Irwin contrast with OHO’s gentle spartan manner and dress up as businessmen (italics courtesy Peter Hill).

[4] Richard Blandford, Aspects/Positions – 50 years of Art in Central Europe 1949-1999, 3 Feb. 2002 <http://www.soton.ac.uk/~views/Arts/view411/aspects.htm>.

[5] Blandford. See also: Igor Zabel, “OHO Group” in “Source Artists,” Cream 3, ed. Gilda Williams (London: Phaidon, 2003) 435.

[6] It appears that Lucy Lippard has telepathy on her art historical radar, or at least does not edit it out when she discusses artists who work with it. She notes it her writing when others do not, for instance, she draws some attention to it in Susan Hiller’s work and Robert Barry’s work. When she writes a fictional article for Robert Barry as part of his artwork, she is a direct collaborator in art production. Six Years: The Dematerialisation of Art also contains visual and written data on Robert Barry’s Telepathy Piece.