Artist statement

Jatun Risba - 'ki' - is not (solely) an artist, nor a Slovene or EU citizen, neither a woman nor a man. There is much more to see and nurture beyond professional, gender, sexual, religious, racial, national... identities that ki prefers to drop the face and surrender to the moment: fluid, vibrant and open-ended. Embracing integrity, without biases. Ki uses arts as vehicles for embodied and communal awakening in the quest to understand: “How to grow kinship and support Earthly wellbeing?"

Since 2014, Risba has been developing a performative language called 'interesse' (Latin; to be in-between) that reveals the liminal expressions of the thinking body − movement, gesture, voice, word and contact in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. From this state of dilated consciousness, ki devises transdisciplinary artworks that challenge the status-quo. Kin artworks are multilayered in nature and intentionally undefined so that everyone can find their individual meaning and be inspired or dazed and confused together, in authenticity. Ki has been using the term 'arts of self' to denote this specific modus operandi where arts are considered vehicles for self-introspection, community-building and a spontaneous revelation of beauty (truth). As an artist, researcher and pedagogue, ki is firmly rooted in inclusive, accessible practices and strongly believe that the working process is as important as the outcome. Risba is actively engaged in bridging art, science and humanities, wherefore each discipline opens the other to more expansive ways of engaging with life.

Ki-n: Towards a language of terrestrial kinship

Risba uses the pronouns 'ki' (sing.) and 'kin' (poss., plur.). The inspiration for this originates in the work of Robin Kimmerer, a distinguished professor and botanist with native American roots who noticed that using the term 'it' for other species distanced humans from animals, plants and the Earth so she proposed using 'ki' instead. Risba – ki - extended this idea by using the terms ki-n to describe humans, more-than-human species and even non-living objects. By extending the notion of selfhood, language can become a means for overgrowing inter- and intra-species violence. This is the starting premise of this language-game. The language of kinship encourages people to think about not only different expressions of life but also all forms of matter as deserved to be cared for and also taken care of. To sum up, the initiative explores the role of language  in shaping human thoughts, behaviours and perceptions of reality. It has been informed by the writings of philosophers and scholars such as Donna Haraway, David Abram, Tim Ingold, Karen Barad, Johnny Golding and others.


Jatun Risba – 'ki' – is an artist of self, linguist of kinship and joker exploring beyond human paradigms. By approaching Art, Science and Technology in terms of ritual mysticism, ki recovers poetry and magic in contemporary societies. Risba is the pioneer of a somatic divination practice: Interesse dance of life, which consists of liminal somatic and vocal expressions in a trance state of awareness. These 'arts of self', performed among and with others through interventions, 'actios', happenings, installations, workshops, lectures, exhibitions ... create opportunities to reveal, share and rewire the self. Following a calling for indigenous artistic, spiritual and ecological tools and forms of life, Risba did field research in Ethiopia about Zār spirit possession rituals in 2015 and was investigating the material culture and imaginary of Tarantism in Apuglia, Italy in summer 2019. Kin work is informed by philosophies of New Materialism, Speculative Realism and Critical Posthumanism.

Jatun Risba has presented work internationally: in Slovenia, Italy, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Spain, Slovakia, Mexico, the USA and the UK. Ki obtained a BA degree with honours at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA) in 2009 and was a MA student of Art & Science at Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London in 2019/20.

+++ photo by Franco G. Livera