I’m looking for Friends (2020–)

Video documentation of performative event (10:18min), zine

The artist Iza Štrumbelj Oblak in her long-term project I’m Looking for Friends radicalizes and questions the modern way of making friends. The work is the author’s tool for combating feelings of alienation in the municipality of Medvode where she lives but does not know anyone. This social experiment is her absurd way of pointing out the difficulty of meeting new people and building relationships solely with friendly intentions. The biggest challenges for her are how to approach an interesting person and inviting a potential friend to maintain the relationship - if, of course, she gets along with him enough that she would like to. Through public invitations in physical and digital forms, she sincerely invites people to meet and socialise, thus requiring from them a significant degree of self-initiativeness. Therefore exploring the openness and activity of society and testing first-hand how it treats individuals.

The project is presented in video form, accompanied by a zine in which fragments of written communication that the author had with strangers through various channels are collected.

The artist is already preparing another event in the cycle of I’m Looking for Friends events when the epidemic subsides, but while waiting for that she is staying in touch with the ones she already met

Iza Štrumbelj Oblak (1997) is a student of an additional year of Photography at the VIST – The Higher School of Applied Sciences in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In her practice, she mostly uses photographic techniques, but she does not exclude other media or methods, as she tends to combine and intertwine them. She also engages in writing texts and essays that accompany her works. Through her projects, her researching is always looking towards society, as she focuses on themes like interpersonal relationships, social structure, she tries to understand what beauty is and explores the concept of identity, meanwhile she is always interested in the personal stories of her subjects. In addition to her studies, she broadened her horizons at home and abroad with the help of various educational programs, participating in several group exhibitions and placing in photo competitions.