Four artists look back at 1980s

RIGHT in the middle of the busy city centre, inside the historical Pálffy Palace that houses the Bratislava City Gallery, is a path of chopped wood pieces that leads all the way up the palace's 104 stairs. It ends in an exhibition hall in a circle of ash.

photo: Courtesy of GMB

RIGHT in the middle of the busy city centre, inside the historical Pálffy Palace that houses the Bratislava City Gallery, is a path of chopped wood pieces that leads all the way up the palace's 104 stairs. It ends in an exhibition hall in a circle of ash.

Viktor Oravec created the installation, inspired by the words of Zen master Shunryu Suzuki: "When you do something, burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."

The logs symbolise overcoming life's obstacles and the ashes are a metaphor for creative energy that means one should completely "burn out" for their work.

As provocative and unusual as it is, the work echoes themes from the 1980s. At that time, Gorbachev's perestroika was rolling over socialist dogmas, causing artists to begin looking to the West for inspiration on how to incorporate progressive trends.

Oravec and three other artists - Daniel Brunovský, Svetozár Ilavský and Milan Pagáč - were just completing their studies back then. They now share an exhibition entitled The Intermediate Time, which shows them halfway through their creative lives, mature physically and expressively.

"According to a recent survey conducted by Five TV, the British see the 1980s as an aesthetic disaster filled with a staggering amount of awkwardnesses that now, when seen from a distance, evokes both gales of laugher and consternation," says the gallery's director Ivan Jančár.

In the process of looking for one's own identity, the four artists evidently succeeded. They are now hard to miss on the art scene at home as well as abroad. "They brought excitement, polemics, tension and mainly the conviction of the need to pursue one's artistic path without compromise," Jančár said.

"They brought what many other true artists tried but weren't allowed to do."

Brunovský exhibits his mythical paintings, Ilavský shows expressive objects that oscillate between the edge of existence and extinction and Pagáč experiments with light.

The Intermediate Time summarizes the past and shows the present. "I am curious about how the first years of the 21st century will be seen two decades from now," Jančár said.


- ZH


What:The Intermediate Time.
Where:Bratislava City Gallery, Panská 19, Bratislava.
When:open Tue-Sun 11:00-18:00 until June 18.
Tel:02/5443-1556.

Top stories

Košice

Employers will start testing unvaccinated employees on Monday

The Economy Ministry issued the manual on Friday afternoon, one day after it was supposed to.


26. nov

Incomers from countries where omicron was confirmed asked to report to authorities

Slovakia's Public Health Authority is working on new border rules.


27. nov
The fountain in its current shape and visualisation of its refurbishment.

The biggest fountain in Bratislava will gush water again

The Družba fountain on Námestie Slobody Square will be renovated after 40 years. Take a look at what its dilapidated interior looks like before the reconstruction.


24. nov
Skryť Close ad