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

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 was an Site Specific collective exhibition created for Bunker Gallery in Nitra City in Slovakia. During this exhibition, public had access to the artworks just trough the live videos streamed on the Internet.
I was working with the intention of anonymity and lack of possibility to verify information on the Web.
I made a model of a fictive gallery room, with the same aesthetics as the  other real ones. At the wall inside, there was placed an appropriation of  Rosemarie's Trockel artwork. It was sentence: "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 recognize this new room as fiction, viewed at the website besides video stream from the other rooms, in which were placed artworks from the other artists.

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 related to location of the
American Embassy on the busy Hviezdoslavovo 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 the architecture, history to safety. In reaction to these concerns, as a good PR intention, the US Embassy embassy decided to move somewhere where it will not be obstructing 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 material is the embassy able to move relatively quickly to any place and it is proposed as a blueprint for a 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 flexible modular system metaphorically refers to an institution possessing similar qualities: 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)




On the internet, there exists a virtual world called Second Life. 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, manifesting both technical developments in computer networking, and utopian movements in our society.

Over 15 million people all around the world have already registered there. 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 Slovakians. Both of them are inhabited by a mixed Czech and Slovak community, but this grouping doesn’t have any political character. The fact that this mixed community of Slovak and Czech citizens exists in today’s virtual world, results in interesting relations - especially with regards to our history and the break up of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Behind this community stand real people. The situation in Second Life, which brings traces of our past back to life in the form of a mixed Czechoslovak community, represents progress with regard to an historical time line in our real world. This gentle oscillation between a segregated real world and an integrated virtual one, past to present to past, creates important layers of my project.

In my multimedia installation I conjoin the virtual environment of the internet and real public space, connecting the past and present of the Slovak territory. My project works with a real place in Slovakia, the capital city Bratislava, and in Second Life with the Slovak virtual city Valuta, inhabited by the Czechoslovak virtual community.

During the process of searching for an adequate and applicable space I visited the exhibition “Ako sme zili” („How did we live?“) in the Slovak National Museum. The exhibition shows 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 from the time period of that section. Documentary films about life in the particular periods are shown on the TVs.

I decided to create a site-specific art intervention in the exhibition. I created a new section of the exhibition, which shows the virtual Czechoslovakian community. I appropriated the visual language of the exhibition and present the community of Valuta citizens through the objects they use daily.

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.

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 transport
  • The publicity of environmental friendly modes of transport
  • 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.

I my idea was to make this artwork useful for citizens of Zilina City. I translated the Vehicle to cheaper materials, and made it accessible not only for artists an intellectuals, but for everyone.
It was moving trough one specific street in Zilina City, which is normally full of  cars. Because of this event it was closed.
For Person, who wanted to take a ride, it was possible by only one condition: While on the Platform, He/She has to think about ecology, Moving trough this exclusively empty street. On my platform common member of the community can be the one "on the road of progress picking up speed to a better future". I am thinking about each individual as an agent which can lead the society to progress cleaner and healthier future.