• 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.



The works of Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid are characterized by an eclectic, discursive, distance approach to filmmaking free of fascination and empathy. Quotations overlap in a complex, many-layered, and multiply subdivided conceptual and visual framework. Stylistic effects collide, references to narrative “cinema d’auteur” join with references to poetic or theoretical texts (Chekhov, Duras, Barthes, Žižek, Weibel, Gržinić) and with references to mass media – B-movies, TV, commercials, news. Out of all this material, mixed with disnarrative polysemy and an astonishing lack of inhibition, strange “fictions” are reconstructed – fragmentary fictions that are constantly interrupted. Phantasmatic and critical situations are devised around political figures (Mao Zedong and his wife), groups of artists (IRWIN, Neue Slowenische Kunst), and cultural artifacts. The pictures – stereotypes, masquerades, reminiscences – deploy fiction as a mask that is forever being removed, being put back in place, and changing its form. Here, disguise becomes a linguistic strategy. Godard and Fassbinder influence the interpretation of Brecht’s alienation effect. Paradoxically, amidst the rupture of any continuity, a dramatic effect is achieved. Beneath the discourse and the irony, one recognizes the disappointment and the awareness of belonging to the “unfitting other”. Political violation is transformed into physical and existential reality. Reversing Godard’s dictum “That’s not blood, it’s just red paint,” Gržinić writes: “In post-Communist society, a traumatic reality appears beneath the surface of the works. It is not just red paint, it is blood, it is the invisible, post-communist residue that is not (yet) capable of integrating itself into the immateriality of globalization and into the virtual world of the media.”

M.K., K.T.

Marina Gržinić / Aina Šmid

(collaboration since 1982)

1958, Rijeka / HR, at that time Jugoslavija; 1957, Ljubljana / SL, at that time Jugoslavija







Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
(c) Gržinić/Šmid, Marina Gržinić (left) and Aina Šmid (right) 1983,  performing in the video "The Threat of Future"
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