Urška Preis: Dolores

The graphic design of the 23rd International Feminist and Queer festival Red Dawns by Urška Preis


Urška Preis: Dolores

Pain Through the Image of Sound

A Solo exhibition of a visual and sound artist Urška Preis

From the 4 to 25 March 2022

Alkatraz Gallery,

ACC Metelkova City,

1000 Ljubljana

Exhibition opening 4 March at 7 pm

Tea Party with the artist 16 March at 5 pm 

Tea Party with the artist 25 March at 5.30 pm 


Opening hours in the time of the festival:
Monday, 7 March:  11 am — 8 pm
Tuesday, 8 March: 11 am — 7 pm
Wednesday, 9 March: 11 am — 8 pm
Thursday, 10 March: 11 am — 9 pm
Friday, 11 March: 11 am — 10 pm


The main exhibition of the 23rd International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns, which will take place in the Alkatraz Gallery, will include the latest artistic production of a visual and sound artist, Urška Preis. This exhibition entitled Dolores — Pain through the Image of Sound is based on several years of theoretical and artistic research into the pain of women*, the perception of this pain through written history and in society.

The theoretical background of the exhibition is Master’s thesis (which won Prešeren Award) and the conceptual exploration of gender differences in pain perception. The works presented at the exhibition are the fruit of research into the perception of women’s* pain and society’s staged gender differences throughout history. The artist connects the relationship between political power and its repression of women* with centuries of forced silence and forced hysteria. Through the artistic expression of her pain and through the feminist principle personal is political, she connects her research with diverse visual and sound practices, and links them into a whole, where she explicitly compares the history of pain to the history of body, corporeality, writing and weaving.

The black-and-white photogram images of the author’s menstruation on a snow-white cloth thus record (female*) pain that has been inaudible, unwritten and undocumented throughout history. Even in her works, it could have been written silently, but the author chooses to empower it with sound. The applied photosensitive coating reveals the author’s zealous painting on canvas, which, employing the materiality of menstrual colour, overturns the perceived masculinity of abstract expressionism, and artistic photograms (here we refer to at the notion of art history of rayographs by Man Ray and Schadographs by Christian Schad). The works show, in a modern way, the inaudible and invisible record of women’s* pain and in parallel, with the accompanying sound, give voice where it was taken, namely in the field of (mental) health, where women’s* anger led by the captivity in an oppressive society, was too often described as hysteria.

In addition to other works, the author also presents her artist book entitled HURTS (BÔLI). In the photo book the author questions the limitations of the photographic medium, including photographic and sculptural works, photographs (author’s note: preisograms) and associative analogue photography, which references the artist’s research into her own conceptions of zoebios and psyche — biology, society and the inner thought.

With visual and audio cues, the author attempts to describe group experiences and treats her own inner states and pain as a (loud) communicator and driver. At the forefront of the work is her own pain – cramping, stretching, tightening, tearing, stretching, pulling, tightening, spilling, pulling, stretching — two intertwined paths — one anchored in sound and the other mirrored by sound in the visual images. Since pain itself consists of several parts, it should be presented as such — a multidisciplinary landscape that describes several different, sometimes diametrically opposed perspectives in the complexity of which the viewer can see ambiguous interpretations, but unequivocally empathizes with the pain of women*. The sound and visual display of pain is thus transformed into a cathartic act through the works at the exhibition Dolores — Pain through the Image of Sound. The works draw deeply from the history of feminist art, from all the artists and works that came before us and screamed until everyone else was stunned.

The exhibition is part of the 23rd International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns and the annual program of the Alkatraz Gallery — both co-financed by the City of Ljubljana — Department of Culture and the Ministry of Culture.


* the word woman (women) is used for everyone who identifies with this word



Urška Preis (1992) is a musician, harpist, visual artist and musician. She completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and DesignÍslands in Reykjavík and the Leipzig Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst. As a graphic designer she did an internship in the London studio Aitor Throup, and as a visual artist and composer in the Danish studio Hotel Pro Forma. During her postgraduate studies, she transferred to the MA Photography module of the Academy of Arts in Ljubljana, where she completed her studies with honours in 2021 and received the student Prešeren UL ALUO Award. She builds her artistic and creative practice through distinct intermedia activities, preferably in the interweaving of feminist theories and practices. She is also part of the music duo II / III, the fluid band Zhlehtet, the experimental noise group Sujevera, and performs solo as a rounge-ah. She currently works as a musician and composer, intermedia artist, designer and photographer, writer and music journalist, she curates the music programme for the Red Dawns Festival and prepares music broadcasts and contributions for Radio Študent, ARS — the third program of Radio Slovenia and Odzven / SIGIC. She contributes, on the topic of intermedia arts, for the platform Neodvisni and critiques and interviews for the photographic magazine Membrana.





Curatorial team: Saša Nemec, Eva Jus, Lučka Zajc, Ana Grobler, with the help of Anja Seničar and Sasha Ihnatovich

Technical design of the exhibition: Danijela Zajc

Technical support: Peter Fettich, Kela

Technical sound support: Štefan Cerjak, Friteza

Sound mastering: Alberto Bertelli – Holy Similaun



Organisation: 23nd International Feminist and Queer festival Red Dawns

Coproduction/coorganisation:  Alkatraz Gallery, Kela

Design of the poster and graphic design: Urška Preis

Contacts for media and press: Saša Nemec, rdece.zore@gmail.com

Financial support  by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City of Ljubljana



With the Ordinance on Interim Measures for the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases COVID-19, which entered into force on 21 February 2022, the Government is also releasing restrictions on cultural activities and the collective exercise of religious freedom. All temporary epidemiological restrictions on the provision of cultural events and other cultural services and on the collective exercise of religious freedom have ceased to apply. Preventive hygiene measures remain crucial. More on gov.si.




Urška Preis: Dolores