• 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.


Walter Benjamin, New York

Walter Benjamin

The name I took for this conversation relates to the well-known early 20th-century philosopher, but it also relates to the Walter Benjamin who gave a lecture in Ljubljana in 1986 titled Mondrian ’63-’96, a lecture about Mondrian’s paintings from between 1963-1996. It is the same Benjamin whose statement “Copies are memories” is being used as a motto for the Americans 64 exhibit at the Arsenale in Venice [in 2005…] From the territory of certainty you enter the territory of uncertainty, and a familiar landscape is not familiar any more. The notion of the modern is somehow associated with the notion of frontier. Modern means looking outward. It is about pushing the boundaries, turning the unknown into the known in the process. You have something you call “known” as a place where you feel good and safe. And then, you have the »unknown« as some kind of dark and dangerous place on the other side of the border. The entire era of modernism could be understood as a process of pushing the boundaries and broadening the territory of brightness by turning this “unknown” into the “known”.


Excerpts from an interview whose original, unabridged version appears in the catalogue: Arns, Inke, Benjamin, Walter, eds. 2006. What is Modern Art? (Group Show). Frankfurt/Main: Revolver. Archiv für aktuelle Kunst.




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