On 30 March 2017, Kunsthalle Bratislava will introduced two new exhibitions. In the central area it will be exposition entitled Like at Home, which presents the evolutionary transformations of the domestic sculpture of the 20th and 21st century through selected artworks by 12 Slovak artists. The Possibilities of Preserving is the title of the exhibition project by the art group APART collective. The trio of young visual artists created a special multimedia installation for the Kunsthalle Bratislava exhibition space in cooperation with other creative subjects.
The central area of the gallery presents a rather conservative part of the exhibition devoted to the 20th and 21st century sculpture, serving as a guide to contemporary art as well as a visual background for the educational activities of Kunsthalle Bratislava (KHB). Since the objective to educate and improve the relationship of the audience to contemporary art is a prominent and unique aspect of KHB, the institution focuses on the accompanying programs and education in the same extent as on the presentation of art itself. The focus of the exhibition on sculpture is natural and stems from art history, reflecting the progressive transformation of the medium from the second half of the last century, thus also capturing the transformation of contemporary art. The project revives an exhibition model that focuses on the specific development of a single medium. As a “model situation”, the exhibition reflects the fundamental shifts in the development of domestic sculptural art – the transition from classical sculpture to the current state.
The works from 1960s (Jozef Jankovič, Mária Bartuszová, Juraj Bartusz, Juraj Meliš) encounter in the central hall of KHB with the most recent contemporary works created by young and middle-generation artists (Karol Pichler, Marek Kvetan, Martin Piaček, Michal Moravčík, Emöke Vargová, Marko Blažo, Tomáš Džadoň, Pavla Sceranková). Several spatial objects and installations are composed of household equipment such as furniture (Michal Moravčík, Pavla Sceranková) and banal objects of private space (Marek Kvetan, Emöke Vargová), while the main visual of the exhibition features a house (Tomáš Džadoň, Marko Blažo). The intuitive and ahistorically composed installation of the exhibition and the selection of works evoke an absent, fading body. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Vladimíra Büngerová, the curator of the collections of modern and contemporary art in the Slovak National Gallery.
The exhibition also includes a rich accompanying and educational program with events for families (Kunsthalle KIDS), schools, and adult visitors focused on the development and transformation of sculpture in the 20th and 21st century, the perception of a three-dimensional work in space, as well as the ways of installing it. The exposition also features an educational “haptic zone” with material samples and a workbook/children's guide to the exhibition, as well as guided tours by children for adults.
The second exhibition project is devoted to the youngest, currently establishing generation of authors: the exhibition Possibilities of Preserving was prepared by the art group APART collective, which is an association of young visual artists Denis Kozerawski, Peter Sit, and Andrej Žabkay. The project focusing on the current art tendencies is also a “trip to the future”, and possibly the first large-scale presentation of young artists in Slovakia. We included it at the beginning of the exhibition program for 2017 quite deliberately as a radical step with the aim to be contemporary.
The Possibilities of Preserving is a collective site-specific work, or a multimedia environment that begins outside the gallery space. Before entering, the visitors find a pump that invites them to the exhibition. Thanks to the energy it accumulates through the solar panel (located on the roof of the House of Arts building), the pump generates water circulation across the entire exhibition space. Its adjustment also navigates the visitors through the environment of the exhibition dominated by the gradient of light transitioning from absolute glow to darkness, adapted to the perception of film projections in its final part. At the end of the tour, the viewer has the opportunity to lie down, to escape from the context of the exhibition/institution, and to perceive the flow of the previous experiences without disturbance.
The environment also includes an audio track in the form of a voice guide, which narrates a fictional story composed of passages abstracted from different texts on transhumanism, the evolution of humanity, etc., that provide ideological basis for the group. The resulting meta-text illustrates the utopian vision of the future society that has transformed the capitalist thinking about the nature of work as an inevitable activity into the principle of creative thinking/art creation. Art becomes an absolute social capital, and the final phase of art penetrating into everyday life begins.
The exhibition in the curatorial concept of Lucia Gavulová is a futurological story that follows the current discourse on minority issues, social establishment, identification, culture, and the overall organization of the world. However, these themes are not verbalized and the exhibition does not offer a solution; rather, it prompts thinking, raises questions, and admits failures.
Furthermore, the project does not deviate from the imaginative "manifestation" of young authors, which is based on integrating different perspectives and inviting other participating visual artists. In addition to APART collective, other subjects including the architecture studio PLURAL, Czech graphic studio Parallel Practice, music producer Karaoke Tundra, young theorist Kristína Országhová, etc., were invited to participate in the exhibition. This collective project strives to evoke the ideal state when a person is put into a total artistic installation without spending any energy to get into it.
AKO DOMA LIKE AT HOME
Model Situation of Slovak Sculpture in the 20th and 21st Century
Maria Bartuszová, Juraj Bartusz, Marko Blažo, Tomáš Džadoň, Jozef Jankovič, Marek Kvetan, Juraj Meliš, Michal Moravčík, Martin Piaček, Karol Pichler, Pavla Sceranková, Emöke Vargová
Expert collaboration: Vladimíra Büngerová
Opening: March 30th 2017 from 6 until 8 p.m.
Duration: March 31th – October 29th 2017
POSSIBILITY OF PRESERVING
Artists: APART collective with Parallel Practice, PLURAL, Kristína Országhová, Karaoke Tundra, András Cséfalvay, Aleš Čermák, Josef Dabernig, Nicoline van Harskamp, Marianna Simnett
Curator: Lucia Gavulová
Opening: March 30th 2017 from 6 until 8 p.m.
Duration: March 31th – June 25th 2017