Milan Adamciak, András Csefalavay, Stano Filko, Viktor Freso, Július Koller, Jana Želibská, Ilona Nemeth, Lucia Tallová, Milan Vagač, Kvet Nguyen, Marek Kvetan, Adam Šakovy, Jaro Varga, Alex Selmeci a Tomáš Kocka Jusko
The exhibition “Reframing Possibilities” is titled after photography represented at the exhibition, by the emerging Slovak-Vietnamese artist Kvet Nguyen. Nguyen writes about the work: In today's world I find a painful past with gaps in the present... I look at the past while finding common denominators in the present times - not only in current political strategies but also in my very own growing trauma in the background of my Slovak-Vietnamese identity.
The present, the special time in which we find ourselves, caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, represents an opportunity to rename and rearrange our possibilities and goals, to find common denominators between the past and the future. Stayed on one place and move forward and re-enter with a new vision of the world.
Born in the 1990s, Nguyen did not have experience with restrictions of the communist regime in Slovakia, but the feeling of uprooting and loss connects her with a generation of authors for whom the world outside Slovakia was inaccessible. The previous regime did not allow artists from the generation of Adamčiak, Filko, Koller and Želibská to travel and exhibit abroad. For a short time, the borders were closed due to a pandemic, the world came to a standstill and we were able to experience the daunting trauma firsthand. The exhibition "Reframing Possibilities" presents a report on how active artitst lived through this period and how their works are similar to the generational statement of neo-avangard artists in Slovakia. Together with this multigeneration group exhibition, an imaginary (no longer iron) curtain is carefully opened and Slovak art is revealed to a foreign audience in Paris. It is clear evidence that the world is slowly recovering and returning to normal. But what will the "new normal" be like? On this question, we feel a certain paradox, a disturbing feeling of something familiar and at the same time vague, obscured, changed by recent events that we have experienced. A similar atmosphere is evident in the video recording of the art project in the public space "Fog" by Ilona Németh. During the event, the author filled the iconic space of Námestie Sloboby in Bratislava with fog and exposed people who pass through the famous locality on a daily basis to a new unexpected situation. Németh writes about the work "Fog": I considered the use of various smokestacks and flares, as well as the idea of complete fogging of the square - the overall historical, social and visual "reset" of the square. Finally, I chose a natural phenomenon that creates a new environment for mental reconstruction. The artist transformed reality with an ephemeral intervention, an almost invisible trace.
During the coronacrisis, time frozen and there was silence with an uncertain suspicion of the future. In large-scale paintings from the series "Clouds", Lucia Tallová embodies the tensions and distopic feeling of silence before the storm or, on the contrary, the silence after the great apocalyptic storm that destroyed the landscape. Curator and art theorist Lucia Miklošková writes about Tallová's paintings "Clouds": “We could perceive Lucia Tallová’s pictures as crystal landscapes, in which time appears and performs the space act. Nevertheless, the time is not interpreted from the human perspective, but from the perspective of more powerful elements: the air and the earth. Those elements represent eternity, infinity full of changes. When perceiving the works of Lucia Tallová, the viewer is suddenly confronted with his finiteness. However, this finiteness does not convey the tragic meaning of the end, on the contrary, it reminds us of the steady order of the eternity."
The post-apocalyptic vision of the future, depicted in András Cséfalvay's work, entitled "Automated Messiah Artificial Peace 2222", tells of the functioning of robots in a mechanized world, free from culture and spirituality. In the video, we observe an army of robots during a special ritual. Robotic bodies preach, pray, and Cséfalvay asks questions: Empty gestures, learned gestures? Routine activities? Lost meaning? Or is the fusion of existing religions a new spirituality in the universal network?
We are ready for the "new normal", for our new world.
If we use the current situation, in the meantime, after the outbreak of the corona-crisis to re-evaluate our options, we can change the set standards and rules. Art and culture have real power to change the world. Or can we imagine our future in an empty mechanized world where there is only "culture without culture", like in Csefalvay's film?
The exhibition is organized as part of the Month of the Slovak Culture in France
Thanks to Partners:
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovak Republic
Embassy of Slovak Republik in Paris
Slovak Institute in Paris