• 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.


Josef Dabernig

Josef Dabernig’s multifarious oeuvre of films, photographs, objects, public art projects and meticulously carried out handwritings suggest notions of orderliness embedded in conceptual artistic practice. The artist’s take on thoroughly planned plots in his films often leads to moments of absurdity, which derive from the specific locales and the situations his laymen actors are involved in. Absence and presence form some of the central themes in many of Dabernig’s films, stemming from a modernist logic of clear aesthetic patterns of pictorial creation. The predilection with sometimes fetishized cars and trains in remote villages challenges the living conditions in post-industrial times. Dabernig’s films often refer to an immediate Socialist past, where moments of modernity prevail, yet in a seemingly Fordist manner. Loneliness and fatigue are recurrent motifs, which heighten the viewer’s awareness for detail and the contours of the architectural settings. The films, which are mainly shot in black and white, reinforce a system of duality, where no intermediate emotions are at stake. Be it the dull landscape, which evokes stages of remembering the past or the silent characters reminiscent of the era of silent movies, Dabernig creates universal moments that stand between modernity and a present time which is still encumbered by the past. Simple actions are carried out to extremes, which seem to freeze moments of time or the plots, which tell about routine moments of life. Often, the films obtain qualities characteristic of road movies, where time elapses and protagonists have to deal with the given circumstances of their travels and surroundings. Dabernig introduces viewers to the history of film and at the same time anticipates notions of contemporary cinema, where sound compositions play a decisive role to support the protagonists’ actions. His subtle takes on the everyday, which is bereft of glamorous events, reveal the depths of human existence in ordinary situations. Hence, especially the filmic oeuvre stands in the tradition of a cinema d’auteur, where screenwriter and director unite, and in Dabernig’s case also become actor as well.


1956, Kötschach-Mauthen / AT


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Media File
Browse All