The Artist Known as Janez Janša to Stand Against Janez Janša

By , 29 Apr 2018, 11:30 AM Politics
One of the artists' earlier projects One of the artists' earlier projects

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STA, 28 April 2018 - The opposition Left has decided to field one of the artists known as Janez Janša in the 3 June general election. He will not be a candidate just anywhere, he will run in the Grosuplje district, the stronghold of the man whose name he took for artistic purposes, Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša. 

"I'm Janez Janša and those of you who know me know that I am a politically active individual," starts the video featuring the artist Janša that the Left posted on Twitter on Friday.

He says his candidacy is "the logical consequence of my attitude to society," before explaining how the art world reflects society at large since many artists are doing precarious work and form a large chunk of the army of poor people in Slovenia.

The video is introduced with the tweet "We at the Left are convinced that in this year's general, change of politics is necessary, not just change of faces."

The candidate is Emil Hrvatin, one of the three artists who officially changed their name to Janez Janša in 2007, when the original Janez Janša was prime minister, as a provocation, a comment on Slovenian politics.

jansa x 3.png

"Same name, new appearance." From the Facebook of Levica's Luca Mesec

The name change was an artistic performance that continues to this day and represents a significant part of all the three artists' oeuvre. It has also become a prominent portion of Slovenian contemporary art.

On the right, however, the artists have long been strongly criticised, by SDS members and supporters in particular, their art derided as worthless and opportunistic.

The latest move by Hrvatin-cum-Janša was met with a similar sentiment.


The many faces of Janez Janša. Source: Google Image Search

"Why is it that in a country in which MSM are constantly fearmongering about the "authoritarian" Janša, various oafs can easily make fun of his last name and are even paid from the budget to do that, while nobody dares to change their name to Milan Kučan?" the SDS leader wrote on Twitter in response.

Janša's home town Grosuplje district is firm SDS territory and it is where Janša has always run in elections. He won over 35% of the vote there in 2014, significantly above what his party achieved nationwide (20.7%).

All our election coverage can be found here, while our profiles of the major parties are here.

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