Kunsthalle LAB Keeps Visitors and Passers-By under Surveillance

On 6th November, Kunsthalle LAB will host an exhibition of a Polish-Hungarian visual artist duo known as Elektro Moon Vision. The interactive multimedia projects of Elwira Wojtunik and Popesz Csaba Láng represent the more progressive part of contemporary Central European visual art. The exhibition project entitled Random Eye Check (REC) was selected based on an international open call. The selected installation virtually draws visitors and passers-by into a sphere of constant surveillance. For the purpose of the exhibition, the Bratislava Kunsthalle adjusted the LAB’s opening hours. The gallery will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Fridays, but the installation can also be viewed outside the opening hours until midnight. It is hoped the evening setting will deepen the experience of this remarkable exhibition.
„We selected the Elektro Moon Vision exhibition project mainly because it is a site-specific installation and works directly with the LAB windows in a creative way. It also exploits the location of a busy street in downtown Bratislava and reflects upon the current phenomenon of permanent surveillance and control. At the same time, it reverses the traditional relation between an exhibition space and the viewer, in that the work or art unexpectedly takes on the role of an autonomous subject, i.e. an observer of the surrounding area,” explains the curator of LAB, Nina Vrbanová. The media background of this project can also be of some interest as it features new innovative high-tech expressions resembling the mapping strategy. The Random Eye Check exhibition will be open until 27th November 2014.
Formed in 2004 in Budapest, the portfolio of the visual artist duo includes multimedia projects of broadly grasped audiovisual art expressed through visual or audio-visual performances, interactive video-installations, large-format multimedia projections, including space mapping or projection scenography in theatrical or opera performances.
„The aim of the REC project installed in the glass facade of the Bratislava Kunsthalle is to create an impression of permanent surveillance. Models of cameras are directed toward the windows physically dividing the area of the gallery from the outside street. The observation angle of the camera lens changes continuously and creates an impression that the camera lens is closely watching the people passing by. Thus, the cameras enter into a relation of dependence and interact with random viewers passing by, who are, at least to some extent, interested in this installation,” writes Krzysztof Siatka, curator of the exhibition.
As the Polish curator points out, pervasive surveillance over the society is no exception in our cultural context. We are subject to surveillance in cities, on the roads, and basically everything we do over the internet is monitored. Surveillance is accepted on the grounds of its economic objectives – to obtain data which facilitate more efficient sales strategies and adjustment of product features to our rational needs. „Apparently, the today’s society is ready to embrace many forms of surveillance, especially those which do not impose limits on the society but bring about more convenience. Whether we like it or not, we engage in a daily interaction with real or virtual methods of gathering data about our lives. Random Eye Check perfectly illustrates this modern system of dependence. At the end of the day, you don’t really need to love art to become the focus of an artistic work. Likewise, the monitoring equipment does not necessarily need to be real to create an atmosphere of control. Sometimes a mere impression of its existence will do,” concludes Siatka.

The exhibition plan of Kunsthalle LAB was devised by an internal committee of curators of the House of Art /Kusthalle Bratislava (KHB) composed of Juraj Čarný, Richard Gregor and Nina Vrbanová. The committee will also evaluate exhibition projects as part of the call published earlier in January this year. The envisaged dramaturgy aims at the most contemporary cross-cultural visual art expressions. As concluded by Juraj Čarný, their ambition is to present interactive and site-specific projects which employ light or sound, anticipate active participation of viewers and break the traditional understanding of contemporary art often limited to painting.

Partners of the exhibition: Polish Institutein Bratislava, Culture.pl, iStores.


Exhibition name: Random Eye Check
Authors: Elektro Moon Vision (Elwira Wojtunik and Popesz Csaba Láng)
Curator: Krzysztof Siatka
Opening: Thursday, 6th November 2014 at 6 p.m.
Duration: 7. 11. - 27. 11. 2014
Venue: Kunsthalle LAB

Opening hours:
Wed – Mon: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Tue: Closed

Outside the opening hours the installation can be viewed from the outside until midnight.
Free entry

Zuzana Golianová
PR Manager
Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava

October 30th 2014, Bratislava

2014-11-14 14:30