• Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual art
    12 Dec 2018 − 24 March 2019

    Prague City Gallery / Stone Bell House Curated by: Vlado Beskid and Jakub Král Loans by Kontakt: Ján Mančuška, Julius Koller, Stano Filko, Roman Ondak The exhibition will introduce Czech public into one of the crucial tendencies found in modern and contemporary Slovak art. It will focus on the origination and development of Conceptual and post-Conceptual Art within the horizon of the past fifty years in Slovakia, i.e. from the alternative, unofficial scene of the 1960s to the post-1989 legal artistic platform. The oeuvres of two generations of artists, such as Viktor Frešo, Jozef Jankovič, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Martin Kochan, Július Koller, Marek Kvetan, Ján Mančuška, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Monogramista T.D, Rudolf Sikora, Pavla Sceranková, Peter Rónai and Jaro Varga, will serve to present particular forms of Conceptual artistic morphology, as it was shaped by the new aesthetic criteria with their codes, in the context of time. The exhibition, held as a specific contribution to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the existence of Czechoslovakia, will go hand in hand with interventions by several Czech artists (Jan Brož, Alice Nikitinová, Vít Soukup, Pavel Sterec, Antonín Střížek, Michaela Thelenová) who will loosely contextualize selected historical, social, economic and world-view facets of our history. Their main subject of interest is the transformations of the internal social paradigm, presented the loss of the utopian outreach of our thinking in connection with the declining big ideologies.

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VALIE EXPORT’s video "Body Politics" relates to the gendered patterns of behavior in public space. Her 1974 performance shows a man and a woman tied together by a long rope. They both stand on adjacent escalators, one running down and the other up. Acting out different positions on the stairs, the man and the woman demonstrate five phases of the communication system that are specified by a corresponding series of German-language titles meaning “against each other,” “with each other,” “to each other,” “for each other,” and finally, “each other.” With these gestures—most of which required one of the individuals to walk against his or her escalator’s direction of travel—EXPORT evokes a balance between genders that—in 1970s Austria—could not claim to have progressed to the extent that it had in the US or in other parts of Europe. She relates to the anonymous and dull atmosphere in public, where all one ever saw was routine behavior, and tries to break up such typical everyday patterns with an ironic twist that positions counter-agents amidst the agents of an overarching social field.

  • Artist: VALIE EXPORT
  • Original Title: Body Politics
  • Year: 1974
  • Material: video, b&w, sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 2min, 16sec
  • Inventory no.: K450
  • Category: video
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