ILONA NÉMETH: Eastern Sugar
April 12th 2018
from 6 until 8 p.m.
April 13th – July 15th 2018
The exhibition Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar (April 13 – July 15, 2018) investigates shifting labour conditions as impacted upon by global economic transformation processes, and explores their local implications. The presentation has grown out of Németh’s year-long research into the history and gradual disappearance of the Slovak sugar industry. Following the accounts given of individual and corporate interests, the artist grapples with both wrenching sentiments of frustration and misleading moments of nostalgia. This new, site-specific intervention at Kunsthalle Bratislava has also been informed by Németh’s decade-long questioning of the intensifying nationalism in the region.
Works by Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan a. o. (tbc) expand the exhibition’s perspective and offer various artistic attempts to render visible complex, and therefore often obscured, socio-economic dynamics. At the core of the exhibition stands Németh’s intervention into the architectural premises of Kunsthalle Bratislava, transforming the main exhibition hall into a manufacturing site. Opening times are related to working hours, and display structures serve as stations for work and storage. By building on the manifold tradition of museums as “factories”, we may ask, ‘what are the realms of production in art and society today?’
For the exhibition, Ilona Németh has also invited the initiator of a planned Sugar Museum in Surány to set up a pilot version at Kunsthalle Bratislava.
Krisztina Hunya (independent curator and art historian living in Leipzig)