The Slovenian media landscape is in many ways characterised by the fact that Slovenia used to be a part of former Yugoslavia. During the privatisation process of the media, which started after the independence of 1991, there was no such thing as foreign investments in Slovenian press agencies. Now there is. It is surprising that print media have a reach of more than 90% of the population. The most important newspapers, such as Delo and the tabloid Slovenske Novice, have suffered competition from free newspapers such as Žurnal24.
Almost 29, but fairly honoured and exposing throughout Europe (recently also in Amsterdam): Maša Gala is kind of upcoming. While most artists are suspected of being outside society, that does not count for Maša. 'News is extremely important for my work', she says. 'I concentrate on information, how capitalism is bombing us with news.' The Slovenian is not shy when it comes to using big words. 'On how the news is brought, on the radio, in movies, how you are being informed by talking with other people. And how most of the news goes right past you. But sometimes things are retained, somewhere.'
It is nine o'clock in the evening and we are sitting in her studio, in a far corner from the former tobacco factory on the edge of the city centre of Ljubljana. Nice high ceilings, big windows. 'But I only suffer from it', she says. She needs continual light, so her working day starts at about 8 in the evening. 'Look', and she walks to a corner, where she carefully pulls two small canvases, one red, one blue, from behind a larger one. 'I also use newspapers for my art, they truly form the foundation, do you see?' Upon the canvas, papers can be seen under layers of red paint. 'And I collect them'. She opens up a drawer, which contains a pile of newspapers, neatly folded. Die Welt, but also a Slovenian one. Here and there some highlights from a yellow marker.
So you rather prefer newspapers than websites?
'Of course', Maša says. 'I have no internet here. Too much of a distracting. Before you know it, I am surfing on the internet for an hour. And then it is already light outside when I want to start painting.
Check out her website: www.masagala.eu.
Writer and journalist Mark Schalekamp travels the EU for his project Youropeans. In every city he interviews a doctor, barber, an immigrant, a prostitute, local celebrity, police officer, businessman and an artist. And he shares his view on the media landscape for Publistat.