Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1 PM
The exhibition offers the institution’s open and self-critical view of their own collections, many of which have been accumulated during a period the curators aptly call the Time of Servants.
The Time of Servants is a documentary introspective into the gallery’s acquisition history. The curators have decided to present a part of the collection fund. They divide the pieces into different theme categories without following any judging criteria which might seem senseless, and they themselves actually admit that it is. At first glance, there are likeable themes like animals, music or the universe which then turn into an anecdotic and terrifying showcase of a single era’s “taste” once they are displayed together. Many of the artworks have ended up in Nitra Gallery’s depositories only thanks to adulation, a certain level of provincial insecurities or just sweet ignorance. Due to their atypical installation, the array of the showcased paintings and sculptures becomes a somewhat humorously absurd collection of artworks.
The project is about institutional introspective that is necessary for further professional development. The Time of Servants is not a traditional artwork showcase, nor it is an exhibition in a true sense of the word. The exposition relies on the viewer’s personal taste, their judgment, knowledge and recognition of the artworks’ historical context. At the same time, it a curatorial manual to (re)discovering the displayed “undisplayable” art of the 1970s, 1980s and a part of the 1990s. The project has led the curators to a point of recognising that it is necessary to point out some of the aspects of the institution’s past, even though they would rather overlook and suppress it. However, their realisation that it is not possible to keep ignoring it forever has allowed them to admit and identify the weaknesses that would once have been a part of the institution’s (un)professional path. The Time of Servants is about waking up from a dream about a museum with perfect collections, but also about humorous reflection of social paradigms and all the various (power-oriented, friendly, professional) relations between the (in)visible servants of the time. The Time of Servants is mostly about criticising the gallery’s acquisition policy.