The pressing questions of artist survival strategies have lately been appearing more intensely in the local contemporary art context, however without excessive understanding for the opinions of the artists themselves. The artists serve here as examples of the practice spoken about rather than living subjects who in reality eke out a living in their profession, while at the same time the speakers and advocates of better conditions are recurrently on the payrolls of different institutions. For this reason, SUR*VIVER, the project of Tina Smrekar is at this moment of key importance for Slovenia and the broader region, since the speaker belongs to that social stratum, whose work is surrendered to charity. The artist has transformed a personal experience to a research-exhibition project, which will, how ironically, in the context of gallery presentations most probably be paid, at least in the form of a symbolical fee. This ongoing project, which started with over forty interviews with artists from around the globe, the artist presents in different ways, from a ‘cheat book’ with excerpts from the interviews, lecture, organising a round table and workshop on contemporary art market at the last U3 - Triennial of Slovenian Contemporary Art, a group show in Galerija Miroslav Kraljevi? in Zagreb, where she upgrades the project with works of artists who, in different ways, react to the same questions, up to the most recent series Anti-stress Techniques which addresses the overload felt by many artists.

text by: Alenka Gregoric, 2008