Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011


"Cardboard Boxes and a Helicopter 1"

"Cardboard Boxes and a Helicopter 2"

"17 minutes"


Installations Overview:

Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery Boston

Enter Gallery Bratislava


In this piece I am researching a power of repeated imagery.
It contains digital videos, objects and digital interactive media.
How does certain images play with one's mind? On these two videos are apparently just cardboard boxes and a little radio controlled helicopters. Even the behavior of these objects on the screen is unique, we feel  or rather, we know that it is still referring to something else. This is how deep into our mind were certain images imprinted.

I tried to strip this symbol to the maximal possible extend, but I didn't succeed. Please enjoy my failure...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Prize for the Best Public Artwork / A Prize for the Worse Public Artwork (2010)

In this four hours long participatory performance I cooperated with established Slovak curators and artists. I created a fake Public Art Prize. The event was recorded and presented as a video installation with all the elements used during the performance. The curators participated as jury.
At one level the project was mapping situation in Public Art in Slovakia during last 10 years. At a next level it served as a vehicle for a protest action against low quality art created in response to market demand from political or commercial representatives. Because of this demand, in the recent decade there appeared mostly low quality public art often with an aim to replace history or with no response to specific sites or needs of local communities, etc... This art often was and still is created by the same artists which in the past closely cooperated with the communist regime. On the other hand, art which is critical or which responses to communities, contemporary politics, sites and history is supported very marginally or almost not supported at all.
By using two hours long edited video documentation presented together with artifacts of the discussion, I revealed a decision process when a committee was choosing a candidate who received the prize. After a long discussion, the “Prize for the Best Public Artwork” was given to István Csákányi for his piece “Monument for a Monument”
Despite the fact that the performance was just an simulation of an Art Prize, the participating curators and artists were real. Most of them are involved in grant committees and committees in real art prizes.
By revealing this almost exclusively hidden process, the video documentation is exposing a big amount of very valuable information about the Public Art in Slovak and also Central European Region, cultural and political context of this art, society and individual artists.
All the artifacts, symbolic prize, table and documents used by the committee allows the viewers to perceive the performance from a even wider perspective and they are adding to the main layers of concept several different accents. The gallery visitors were also able to sit behind the table and got through the documents and other objects.
The main aim of this performance is to evoke some response. Maybe in a form a real art prize, or something else which will support good quality public artworks. My part was done, now we'll see what will happen.
Part of the performance was also to give a prize for the worse public art work. This prize won an former communist party sculptor Jan Kulich with his nationalistic sculpture “Svatopluk” recently placed at the Bratislava Castle. This sculpture has a really low craft qualities and also it is modulating history regarding to nationalistic needs. Among others the author placed on this sculpture also a cross representing a sign used by slovak nazi militias during the second world war.
Article about my performance appeared together with an interview on a webpage of one of the largest newspaper in the country. It evoked a large confrontational discussion among public. Some of them probably ultra nationalists with threatening posts.

Katarína Rusnáková, Roman Popelár, Mira Sikorová, Omar Mirza, Anton Čierny, Marek Adamov, Matej Vakula

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keď nemáme my, nebudete mať ani vy! ( If We Don't Have, You Won't Have Either! ) 2010

For five days a whole square in a city in Czech Republic sunk into the darkness. I shut down nice and shiny high mast lighting at the "Náměstí Práce” (Square of the Work) in Zlín City. I did that, because in a city in Slovakia where do I come from, there are exactly the same lights, but after they were built, they had never worked. I decided to embody a "typical” slovak trajectory of thinking: “If I don't have, my neighbor won't have either!”

I created this public intervention in cooperation with Museum of fine arts in Zlín, Czech Republic.
It is linking two cities: Zlín in Czech Republic and my home - Žilina City in Slovakia. Before the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Both cities belonged into one country.
Main conceptual layer of my intervention comments critically, but also with humor on Czech and Slovak relationship from a point of view of stereotypical Slovak thinking. It is an interrogation into discourse which took place before the division of Czechoslovakia, where both nations were squabbling about each other.
As an “proper” Slovak, along the process of developing concept for this intervention, I decided to embody a "typical” Slovak trajectory of thinking: “If I don't have, my neighbor won't have either!” I was looking for something physical to manifest my concept. Something unique which can be found just in these two countries. Something, which this two cities has in common. - The specific public lighting, which was built just at one specific area of each city.

In Zlín City in Czech Republic this lighting was built around the “Square of Work” during the Communism era. It supposed to light a square, where the propaganda events as first may celebration, etc... took place. The city itself was celebrated as an important “worker's” city with workers history. These lights are still working and they are in great condition, covered with almost fresh paint.

In Žilina City in Slovakia, these lights were built in the early 80's - at the same time as a big elevated roundabout and junction, which they supposed to light. Such large lights were built by the communist government of former Czechoslovakia in order to light the celebrated huge roundabout, as a proof of awesomely working communist system and economy which can effort such monumental development projects. The city never turned them on, because it was too expensive and unefficient to do that. They rather built around them smaller, cheaper and more efficient lights. The huge lights are really rusty and people stole all copper electric wires from inside them.

The Lights around the Náměstí Práce in Zlín City, Czech Republic

The Lights around the Roundabout in Žilina City, Slovakia

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lost In Translation (sound piece) (2010)


This collaborative project arose out of an idea to use Google Translate as an communicative mediator for an email conversation between a native Slovak (me) and native English speaker Daniel Davis. I was curious Where the errors within the Google's translations will lead our email conversation. It was really fun to observe such grand and poetic failure of language. Each of us tried to do his best, in order to respond on the emails but anyways sometimes it was really hard to keep the tread of the conversation.

Scheme of our communication was simple: Daniel wrote a text in English, he translated it using Google Translator into Slovak and he sent this text to me by an email. I responded to this text in Slovak, which I  translated to English and sent it to Daniel. This way we exchanged 7 emails each.
After that I've put all emails in responsive order to an text file. I have used the mac speech utility to read it and I've recorded the sound.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bruce Nauman's Hand Sanitizing Station (2009-2010)

At one part of the body of my work I am interested in resampling well known pieces of art. This way I am questioning the role of the Artist and Artwork in our society. I am trying to bring exclusive works of art closer to the public. I am looking for their other possible functions as common things in our daily life without the Aura of Art. For me, it is interesting observe them, how they work in the everyday situations. In this particular case I am basically trying to place the Duchamp's Pissoir back to his previous environment.

Bruce Nauman in his famous work “The Fountain” is also dealing with the role of Artwork and Artist. Jasmine Moorhead in 1995 wrote about his work in the Yale Herald:

Nauman, though, seems to have worked through Duchamp quite successfully. At the time, he had never really seen Duchamp's work, although he admitted "the information was just sort of in the air." The lineage is complex, but Nauman's approach is so fresh that he can hardly be called derivative. One of Nauman's "Eleven Color Photographs" (1966-1967/70) is "Self-Portrait as a Fountain," showing Nauman spewing water out of his mouth. This piece, consciously or not, relates to Duchamp's "Fountain" of 1917, a urinal signed and turned upside down. In Nauman's piece, the artist becomes not only the author but the object, the art. Nauman has taken the loaded image of Duchamp, who, close to 50 years before, had chosen and subverted such a loaded image as a man's urinal, and subverted him. Nauman becomes the active object, one that still spews water.” 

I am resampling this artwork into public space. I am placing his Fountain and also the status of artist to different situation. Out of the sterile “White Cube” gallery space. Bruce Nauman used as material for his performance clean water. I am turning his artwork into especially today often used Hand Sanitizing Station. Because of this concept I am using Hand Sanitizing Liquid instead of clean water. This way I am not only offering his artwork for the use of public, but also I am making comment about the recent paranoia of infection and influenza. Besides the wide range of vaccines and antibiotics we trying to protect ourselves also by exaggerated usage of  hand sanitizing liquids. This recent phenomena, became widely used and more personal. Because of the fear we invited them to our private sphere, we invite them to touch our bodies.

This performance will continue in the future at more places in more cities. Always in the spaces where already is, or where I believe a hand sanitizer can be placed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Garden of Eden (2009)

My Installation consists of live grass, fountain with hand sanitizing liquid instead real water, video projection and sound. The hand sanitizing liquid inside the fountain spreads all around it’s strong characteristic smell. While standing on the grass, watching the video of a garden with roses, one almost expects to feel their beautiful scent. But in real you feel just the strong smell of the disinfecting chemical.

Eden or Paradise has it’s origins in hebrew, which it translates as “delight”. This garden was here before god created human beings. It was allegory of ideal spotless world. Also, it creates location for human love and sexuality in Biblical sense. It was a place of rest and spirituality but also witness of the first sin. Most important, Garden represents our idealized conquered and controlled place for interaction between our Inner and the Outer World.

During the history the garden became part of our home at the backyard. Mostly is modest, but still keeps many of it’s primal meanings. Still it is our sanctuary, now placed between the natural and urban, between Public and Private. Between the Society and Us.

Sometimes it happens that our private Garden of Eden is infiltrated from the Outside and we are trying to protect it.
Sometimes it happens that we are trying to protect this place so much, that it starts to be threatening for the garden it self.
Sometimes it happens that our utopian piece of conquered and controlled nature where we feel safe starts to turn upside down because of our paranoia of the Outside.

In this piece the paranoia of the outside is represented by the fear of the influenza. Besides the wide range of vaccines and antibiotics we trying to protect ourselves also by exaggerated usage of hand sanitizing liquids. This recent phenomena, or rather tools of expulsion, became widely used and more personal. We invited them to our private sphere, right into the hart of our inner garden.

No doubt, garden is place of interaction between the Inner and Outer world.
No doubt, garden is intersection between the Nature and the Human Environment.
No doubt, this sanctuary is turning upside down, and drags all creatures living in the garden.

With my work I want emphasize people to question the relationship between our fears, our selves and our environment.