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MILOŠ BOĎA SHOCKS, EDUCATES AND ENTERTAINS

Flesh made art

"VERY odd, I have never seen anything like this," a visitor to an exhibition by Miloš Boďa at the Bratislava City Gallery commented. The astounded viewer turned and asked a nearby guard, "Aren't you scared of working amongst these monsters?"

MILOŠ Boďa's replica birds.
photo: Courtesy of GMB

"VERY odd, I have never seen anything like this," a visitor to an exhibition by Miloš Boďa at the Bratislava City Gallery commented. The astounded viewer turned and asked a nearby guard, "Aren't you scared of working amongst these monsters?"

On two floors the gallery is hosting Boďa's exhibition made from the remains of dead animals. It seems that the artist wants to remind us of our own mortality and that in death, our bodies will decay and rot.

"Boďa's works cannot be compartmentalized and unilaterally interpreted," said Beata Jablonská, the exhibition's curator. "In his works everything is a bit more complicated, more perplexing and more paradoxical than expected."

A rotting bird with a few feathers left is placed side-by-side with a replica made from dead insects. Boďa uses the same organic material for constructing geometric and abstract shapes, or when creating short cartoons. Objects on display include the head of a doll and a desiccated spider.

Wandering through the gallery one is reminded of a school biology laboratory, the contents displayed as art. In some pieces the use of dead animals is obvious, while in others it is camouflaged. The artist sets these objects in transparent material - polyester, takes a photo of them and juxtaposes the two for exhibition.

The photographs reveal a world of light, reflections from the polyester cases, not apparent in the real objects. In photos the objects lose their morbidity and take on poetic qualities, allowing the visitor's mind to dream. A cluster of ordinary insects looks like crystal glass or an amber brooch.

The creative principle shaping 52-year-old Boďa's artistic vision is finding a world between different forms. By juxtaposing them, he creates a position between real objects and their photo likenesses, between organic and inorganic forms and between stylized visual images and hyperrealism.

"It is necessary to stress 'between', because the artist uses neither objects nor photography in attested and well-established ways," Jablonská explains.

Miloš Boďa's exhibition is at the Pálffy Palace at Panská 19, Bratislava, until April 24. It is open daily except Monday between 11:00 and 18:00. Tickets cost Sk60. For more information call 02/5443-1556.

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