FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
March 17th 2016, 6 to 8 pm
March 18th – July 31st 2016
Exhibition space: Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava
Radovan Čerevka (SK), Pavlína Fichta Čierna (SK), Janka Duchoňová (SK), Alena Foustková (CZ), Mandy Gehrt (DE), Oto Hudec (SK), Lukáš Houdek (CZ), Mario Chromý (SK), Daniela Krajčová (SK), Kristián Németh (SK), Nová věčnost (CZ), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Tomáš Rafa (SK), Oliver Ressler (AT), Birgit Rüberg (DE), Kateřina Šedá (CZ), TOY_BOX (CZ), Ján Triaška a Olja Triaška Stefanović (SK), Eliška Vrbová (CZ), Anna Witt (AT), Tobias Zielony (DE), Artur Żmijewski (PL)
In cooperation with non-profit organisations and foreign partners we have organised an accompanying program prepared for the wider public and for refugees in cooperation with refugees and about refugees. The program provides a rare possibility of meetings and communication and tries to contribute to the transformation of “the unknown” into “the known”.
The phenomenon of fearing the unknown, which appears in the title of the exhibition, determines to a large extent the form of public discussion in Slovakia and Eastern Europe. The topic of other cultures or religions remains quite distant to our everyday lives. It is not experience that contributes to the tension within society, but rather reproduced images and statements. As a result, we often do not relate to those who come to Europe in distress as genuine “unknowns”, but rather as representatives of a particular group.
Art provides a platform on which it is possible to raise a fundamental social topic on a symbolic level without any black and white polarisation. Even though the artists are not experts on the refugee issue they express their personal feelings and opinions and confront them with those of the audience. The aim of this art exhibition a dialogue between people. Art enables us to avoid simplification limited to “the good” and “the bad” and to focus on imagination and visions. The exhibition can be the place where all can speak without anybody winning a debate.
The exhibited artworks do not only talk about the issue of today’s refugee crisis but also about other closely related topics. Some of the artworks have the form of art reportage, some were even created in cooperation with refugees or people working with them. Some of the artworks call for reflection, while others express a protest. The majority of the artworks were created directly for the exhibition and talk about the given topic in the context of Central and Eastern Europe. The artists exhibiting their works very sensitively perceive the situation and of the “mood” in society and respond to it. Political and critical themes are a long-term feature of the work of many of them.
The exhibited artworks are not presented as documents and do not claim any absolute truth. Instead, they create space for pausing, reflection and banishing of fears. At the same time, they represent a humanistic appeal. The exhibition reminds us that the issue of the refugee crisis is not something which develops unconnected with us, rather we are part of it. We are also, however, part of its possible solution.
The exhibition is taking place under the patronage of the president of Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska.
(Sat) 21. 5. 2016, from 12:00 pm till 4 pm Restaurant Day – Unknown flavours
Human Rights League's restaurant "Unknown flavours" will offer food not really known and unique in this part of the world.
(Thu) 5. 5. 2016, 5:30 till 6:30 pm Marko Stamenkovic – HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE. Europe, Migration and the Emperor's New Clothes
This talk is a short tale about foreign affair between Europe and its significant other: an invite to think and rethink to which extent both sides involved in the so-called integration process comply with our capacity to imagine a 'life more glamorous' for everyone and, also, anyone being part of it.
(Wed) 4. 5. 2016, at 2 pm and 5 pm How to overcome the fear of the unknown
The artist has invited Barbara Lášticová from Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy od Sciences and Andrej Fidor from Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava. Several exercises will be introduced in the workshop, showing how diverse practices of contact with the refugees can help to eliminate “fear of the unknown”.
(Thu) 7. 4. 2016, 5 pm and 6:30 pm From the Refugee Crisis to Colonialism and the Society of Exclusion
Two exhibitions are being held at the same time in Bratislava which reflect on the current issue of migration and related public discussion.