• 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.


Miklós Erdély

The confrontation and montage of differing theories and mediums characterizes Miklós Erdély’s entire oeuvre. As a young architect in the early nineteen-sixties, he began creating scientifically inspired poetic texts and montage films; later on, he came into contact with the Hungarian neo-avant-garde and Fluxus movements. During the second half of the sixties, he began staging his essentially theoretical and pseudo-scientific texts as performances and “actions” (such as Three Quarks to King Marke, 1968). Parallel to this, he produced pop art objects, photo montages, and—later on—arte povera-like environments with deep philosophical connotations. In these environments (e.g. In Memory of the Council of Chalcedon, 1980), he took everyday materials (plate glass, bitumen, tarpaper, matzo, lead) and reinterpreted them in light of various scientific, philosophical, psychological, political and mystical connotations. The seventies, then, saw him develop a specific theory of art that combined avant-garde montage theory with modern scientific theories and paradoxes from the fields of topology, set theory, quantum physics, relativity theory and quark theory.

Erdély’s work is decidedly non-object-centered, but it was also not a matter of the “simple” illustration of his own theory, as he considered the process of creation to be the essence of art. Based on this approach, he established a significant alternative art-pedagogical practice in Budapest. It was from this practice and his course (Creativity Exercises, 1975–1977) that the activity of the so-called InDiGo group developed, and even just this group’s name represented the melding of theoretical and practical innovation, such as interdisciplinary thinking and the exploration of new mediums such as indigo paper. Parallel to this activity, Erdély dealt intensively with filmmaking, in which he engaged with the language of film while also reflecting on such important issues as totalitarianism (Spring Execution, 1984) and racism (Version, 1979). During the eighties, alongside creating large scale installations (Military Secret, 1984), Erdély also “discovered” and reinterpreted the medium of painting which, unlike the postmodern zeitgeist, served to “illustrate” his art and theory as a kind of visual aid. His earlier graphic art (indigo drawings) and paintings had likewise been attempts to subvert the common sense and “naïve realism” (to quote Max Born) of everyday thinking.



1928–1986, Budapest / HU


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Courtesey György Jovanovics, Photo: György Erdély. Event in the garden of Miklós Erdély, 1970
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