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Juraj Rattaj — Lay-off

JURAJ RATTAJ

Juraj’s seemingly trivial dialogue about vacation time serves as a background for a broader conflict of the contemporary perception of the concept of time. New technologies that radically compress time and space, automate processes, improve effectiveness, production and accumulation and promise more time for creativity, regeneration, contemplation and personal development. Is this all just an illusion that will bring us even more binding mechanisms for new manufacturing, accumulation, investment, absorption and consumption? What should and will the nature of time and our dependency on it look like in the times of automatisation and replacement of creative human potential?

Juraj comments on this dilemma with a fragmented interior of a wrecked cable car cabin. It houses a steel construction sculpture whose formal and material dispositions resemble a robot. Its head contains a display screen with a hand-modelled portrait that is supposed to insinuate human-like authenticity. However, this only humanly authentic element is depersonalised, estranged, alienated, just like today’s socio-technological reality. The portrait enclosed in glass suggests transparency, reachability and control and can be observed only through its reflection which even more isolates its human essence. Can we feel compassion for something so inanimately human? How will technology influence our social reality and human interaction with other humans and technology?

TOMÁŠ ROUBAL

Tomáš’s commentary on contemporary social and cultural phenomena is always accompanied by strong and expressive sculptor’s language. The artist’s approach towards his materials as well as the final form of his creations suggest “primitive”, even “primordial” artistic forms of expression. The simplicity of Tomáš’s art is even intensified with the use of raw materials, such as concrete or metal. His approach towards raw materials and design even aggravates the message for the viewer. However, his approach towards his work is not rough, he pays a lot of attention to detail, curves, lines, but at the same time, it almost satirically borders with the design of “everyday household decorations”.

His brutal and archaic language is in strong, even contradictory contrast with Tomáš’s concepts and themes. His straight commentary on current social and economic changes serves as a collective memento of our time which is meant for future generations. These “artefacts” of contemporary values and phenomena, which we often adore collectively, are supposed to serve as a future archeological site. At the same time, the archaistic approach ironises and satirises their up-to-date status as the reason why they seem important collectively.

JURAJ RATTAJ (1984)
The artist and gallerist Juraj Rattaj graduated from AFAD in Bratislava in Sculpture in 3D Virtual Space and in Architecture, from a studio led by professor Patrik Kovačovský. During his studies he also took a two-term fellowship at the Department of Intermedia, led by Ilona Németh. Some of his most important exhibitions include: See Through Your Finger (2018), in cooperation with Jaroslav Kyša, Kunstraum Super, Vienna; The Fellowship of the Hive, the Schaubmar Mill SNG, Pezinok; Material on the Go (2017), Tvar Gallery, Brno. Since 2011, he has been managing an artist-run gallery called HotDock which focuses on short presentations of young artists and has hosted over fifty exhibitions so far. He lives and works in Bratislava where he is currently working on his doctoral degree at AFAD.

TOMÁŠ ROUBAL (1982)
The painter and sculptor Tomáš Roubal graduated from AFAD in Bratislava in Printmaking and Other Media, from a studio led by professor Róbert Jančovič in 2008. During his studies, he took fellowships in Vienna, Austria and Trier, Germany. Some of his most important exhibitions include: Price/Value (2018), HotDock Gallery, Bratislava; Hostility, Altán Klamovka, Prague; Factory (2017), Berlinskej model [Berlin Model], Prague; Czech Diorama (2017), Nevan Contempo, Prague; Exposition (2017) with Juraj Rattaj at Prague’s Flexup Gallery and Galerie Kód [Code Galley]. His book titled Black Book, which basically does not contain any text, received the Most Beautiful Book of 2012 award from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. He lives and works in Prague.


The exhibition has been supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council. The Council is the leading partner of the project.