Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša’s work often explores and responds to the ways different institutional, bureaucratic and power systems deal with their choices, starting from the name change. Life Span was inspired by the way this life event was processed and implemented into Pojmovnik slovenske umetnosti 1945–2005, an online database of Slovene art. The entries dedicated to the three artists under their original names feature their dates of birth and present 2007, the year of the name change, as that of their passing. On the other side, there is a single entry for “Janša, Janez,” featuring no date of birth, nor death. Of course, the fact that Janez Janša changed his name to Žiga Kariž (in 2008) did not make Janez Janša dead, nor did it make Žiga Kariž live again. No other information is provided on the pages, except for links to their fields of activity. Although it’s hard to date these pages, the copyright note at the bottom of the site refers to 2008–2014; arguably, they have now been online for a long time.
With dark humour, Life Span shows how the faithfulness to a given identity is crucial in contemporary art, and, more broadly, the role of names in authoritative contexts; but it also finds in this encyclopaedic failure a poetic opportunity to stress the nature of the name change as a symbolic death.