Monday, April 21, 2014

Important Announcement - Blog not active since 2010!

This blog is not updated since 2011. To view my recent works please visit my website: vakula.eu

Friday, January 15, 2010

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


Bruce Nauman used as material for this performance clean water. I am turning his artwork into Hand Sanitizing Station, dispersing hand sanitizer out of my mouth. Always in the spaces where I believe a hand sanitizer can be placed in the future.

This way I am not only offering his artwork to (perhaps better than artistically ) serve wide public, but also questioning our fears of infections and influenza in relation to our body and hygiene. 
Besides the wide range of antibiotics that are sometime making the viruses stronger, we trying to protect ourselves also by keeping our selves isolated and compulsively clean by overusing various hygiene and anti bacterial products especially hand sanitizing liquids. 
On the other hand the fear of transmittable diseases is real. Especially after the recent ebola outbreak. It is very hard to navigate this complex landscape between fear and reality.

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note:


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 in a more DIY fashion. 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 where he was taken from.

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.” 

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.

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Web Site Specific (2009)


 

Web Site Specific is about anonymity, lack of reference and the possibility to verify online information.
It is a site specific installation created for Bunker Gallery in Nitra City in Slovakia. the installation was accessible only via live online video stream.

I created a model of a fictive gallery room, using the same visual reprezentaiton as a real room. The image was indistinguishible. Inside the model, at the back wall, I placed a text appropriated from  one of Rosemarie Trockel's artworks: "Ich Habe Angst" ( "I am scared" ). Originally this sentence was placed behind an altar in a church in Germany.
The camera was focused inside the model, so there was no possibility to distinguish this fictional small model room from reality

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Transformer (2007)









video






TRANSFORMER

Transformer is a site specific artwork, installed at conference room at United States
Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia. It imitates an architectural model of a future embassy building.

Concept of this work contemplates a specific situation of placement of the
American Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia into the middle of a busy square, with it's disruptive security elements, including large fence, barriers, soldiers and an airport-style checkpoint. These elements raised many concerns among slovak public, ranging from architecture, historical concerns to safety of the passers-by.
In reaction to these concerns, as a good PR intention, the US Embassy  announced that it is preparing  to move to an another location in the city, where it will not be disrupting the everyday flow of foot traffic on the square.

Considering this situation, and partially invoking the american phenomenon of the moving house, I proposed a new embassy building which is flexible and movable. The new embassy building can be rebuilt according to current conditions and needs. This is possible, because the building is based on the principle of portable offices and shipping container houses, which are usually used for transportation of the majority of commodities in the world.
Thank to this technology the embassy would be able to move relatively quickly to any place desired. It's blueprint is proposed for serial production.

The idea of a flexible modular building was inspired by the famous comic book, cartoon and movie series Transformers – robots in disguise. They embody a role of the good guys fighting against threat. Besides this, they sold as variable toys. Each Transformer can be rebuilt into three different modes.
In accord to that, also each embassy building can be transformed into three different modes.
  • The first one represents the embassy - office building,
  • Second mode is the defense robot, which embassy transforms to in case of a threat.
  • Third mode is a oil platform, which could be created by putting three of such serial made embassies together.
This whole toy-like futuristic modular system metaphorically refers to a notion of an institution in general. Institutions are possessing in a way similar qualities as this project: variability and possibility of continuous change of form. On one hand this refers to instability of institutions and their forms in general. They must be perpetually reinstitutionalized and restructuralized in order to keep up with the changing environment.

This project was produced with support of the US Embassy in Bratislava.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Czechoslovakia Second Life (2008)


Exhibition at the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava



Cityscape of the Virtual City Valuta





Photos from opening ceremony of Valuta - the Slovak Capital City in Second Life



Personal Photographs Collected from the inhabitants of the Valuta City










Collected Favorite Objects from the Inhabitants of the Valuta City











Exhibition in Virtual Gallery in Valuta City





Opening Party in Gallery "Hit" in Bratislava, Slovakia



 

 

CSSL
(Czechoslovakia Second Life)




The online virtual world Second Life is not a game. It is a 3 dimensional space where participants communicate with each other through audiovisual bodies, called avatars. It is also a vision of how the internet might appear in the future. Second Life is a phenomenon of the present, mirroring both technical developments in computer networking, and social structures of our society.

It has over 1 million regular users. At present, over 20 000 Czech and Slovak citizens are also registered there.

In Second Life there exists a city founded by Czechs and another created by Slovaks. Both of them are inhabited by a mixed CzechoSlovak community. This grouping in Second Life doesn’t have any political character but has very interesting political connotations in relationship to the history of these two nations. Especially in regards to the fact that they were before the break up 1993 one country - Czechoslovakia. 

Existence of this unseparated, mixed Czechoslovak community, represents discrepancy in regard to the historical time line in our tangible world. The gentle oscillation between two  very different situations, in two different "worlds" creates the most important layer of the project.

In the multi-media installation of the project I am merging the virtual environment of the internet and tangible public space, connecting the past and present of the Slovak and formerly Czechoslovak territory. The project focuses at a real world Slovak capitol Bratislava, and in Second Life with at the Slovak virtual city Valuta which is inhabited by the virtual Czechoslovak community.

During the process of searching for an adequate and applicable site to install the project I visited the exhibition “Ako sme zili” („How did we live?“) in the Slovak National Museum. The exhibition depicts life in Czechoslovakia from the establishment of the country in 1918, until its break up in 1993. It is divided into 10 sections, each representing certain time periods. Each section features a uniquely colored multimedia cabinet with an LCD TV, photographs, and objects used in the daily lives of people of the time period from that section. Documentary films about life in the particular periods are shown on the TVs.

In collaboration with the National Museum, I decided to create a site-specific art intervention in this exhibition. I added a new section to the exhibition, which shows the virtual Czechoslovakian community. I appropriated the visual language of the exhibition and present the community of Valuta through their personal photographs and objects they daily use in the virtual Czechoslovak city.

My installation comprises copies of the museum cabinets in a different (white) color than the originals. In the upper part I placed a wide screen LCD TV with a documentary film about the virtual Czechoslovakian community. Digital photographs from the building of Valuta, the opening ceremony, habits of its citizens, and some personal photographs are placed on shelves inside the cabinet. On bigger, lower shelves are real world recreations of some of the virtual objects in everyday use by the members of the Valuta community. The objects are made from a special plastic, commonly used by industrial designers for creating models and 3D printed.

These randomly selected objects and photographs create a critical layer of the artwork. They show, how personal image and the dematerialized consuming of [virtual] goods, play a big part in the everyday lives of Second Life inhabitants. Almost all of the members of the community have 'ideal bodies' and wear virtual copies of luxury items such as jewelry or Rolex watches. This utopian world, largely, if not always, projects and symbolizes our human desires. The relationships between these desires and the state in our real world create interesting reflections of both worlds - the two cities Valuta in Second Life and Bratislava here and now.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Eco Think Tank (2008)

 
 
The work "Eco Think Tank" was made as a part of the European Mobility Week in Zilina City in Slovakia. The main goals of my work were to support:
  • The development of energy saving and alternative modes of transportation
  • The publicity of environmental friendly modes of transportation
  • Publicity of cycling and walking
  • Supporting of environmental and ecological citizen attitudes
The work is an apropriation of Krzystof Wodiczko's Critical Vehicle. His vehicle is made for exclusive use of an Artist. It is moving in straight line, in one direction only. The Artist walking up and down the tilting platform causes seesaw movement. This energy is transmitted by system of gears to the weels which move the vehicle forward. On the platform Artist is - according to K. Wodiczko - "on the road of progress picking up speed to a better future". He was thinking about artists and intellectuals as agents which can lead the society to progress.

My goal was to make this artwork useful. I translated the Vehicle to cheaper materials, and made it accessible not to artists and intellectuals only, but to everyone.
The Eco Think Tank was moving trough the streets of Zilina City, which are normally crowded with cars. To accommodate this event the streets were blocked off.
Passengers of the Eco Think Tank could take a ride only under one condition: While on the Platform, He/She has to think about ecology and ecological modes of transportation. Stearing and moving this platform, a common member of the community can be the one "on the road of progress picking up speed to a better future" not exclusively artists or philosophers. I am thinking about each individual as an agent which can lead the society to progress cleaner and healthier future.