• 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.


Zbyněk Baladrán

Contemporary criticism regards Zbyněk Baladrán as an underground archivist operating within the ruins of the utopia of former Czechoslovakia following the fall of communism. Baladrán is a member of that generation of Czech artists who arrived on the scene around 2000 and tend to work with the concepts of the archive, of the document, of Foucault’s archaeology of knowledge, of the diagrammatic recording of reality and of the audiovisual field, as well as with other concepts that represent a different, updated version of reality. This version, characterized by its fragmentary nature, opens up new possibilities of interpretation. The concept of the “archaeological field” is a defining metaphor for the images and the fragments thereof that surface. For Baladrán, the large number of amateur family films, newsreels and documentary films made from the 1930s to the present day, as well as documents, texts and manifestos of the 20th century avant-garde, have become an archaeological field. These are subjected to critical analysis, though at the same time space is created for a complex of emotions linked with the expectation of its realization. The aim is not to reconstruct the fragments into their original form, but to make possible new narratives to emerge and to explore temporal, spatial and semantic coordinates.



1973, Praha / CZ, at that time ČSSR


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