The concept of the exhibition Lightning over the Bunker is based on a connection of the two authors...
Authors: Anabela Sládek, Katarína Czikorová
Venue: BUNKER – Nitrianska galéria, Župné nám. 3, 949 01 Nitra
Duration: 10.11. 2011 – 11.12.2011
Opening: Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 5 p.m.
Curator: Jozef Žilinek
After the opening you are kindly invited to an open discussion with the authors and the curator, which is held within the cycle Evenings of Artistic Reflections.
The concept of the exhibition Lightning over the Bunker is based on a connection of the two authors whose artworks are different in the basic stylistic level of expression. While the strategy of Anabela Sládek is conceptual, Katarína Czikorová deals with the issue in terms of graphic design. What unites both of them is mainly a topical approach and interest in issues of their own collective identity, which they reclaim basically on the old-new symbols, myths, political and mythological characters and territories. The result of a mix of inspiration is the very name of the exhibition “Lightning over the Bunkers”, which became the site-specific leitmotif of the exhibition itself.
In 2011, Anabela Sládek (1982) successfully completed doctoral studies at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica at the Department of Graphics. She works with overlays of new media, photography, digital print, animation, and creates site-specific installations in the form of projections aimed at appropriated objects. A feature of most the author’s projects is realized in the close link of the ideological, formal, technical and strategic levels. This is manifested by the recent work, acquiring documentary features, which the author connects with the basic content level of the work.
The project Slovak imagine matrix (2011) is an example in which she experiments with GPS navigation technology. The project is the author’s private space mapping of Slovak cities, in which she also creates its own cartographic record. That is carried out using GPS tracking technology, by which she is physically navigated in the urban structures of the two selected Slovak cities Žilina and Komárno. By her own walk she creates an output in the form of GPS data drawings, while using an applied model, which is a placeholder of the Slovak Republic – its outline borders. Sládek transforms map contours by real walk in the city into the route which she tries to pass as accurately as possible. The underlying matrix passes through solid objects such as buildings, inaccessible industrial parks, waterways, private land or blind streets. Therefore, it seems almost impossible to draw the outline in the terrain of a Slovak city. The resulting output is more than a 2-hour dual projection of the author’s walk in Komárno / Žilina, together with the resulting GPS drawings, which are not identical; but on the contrary they evoke a real border only. Sládek offers a set of physical and ideological matrices for comparison.
The project Photoreport (2010) is a document in the form of the author’s photographic collection depicting the “celebration” in the Pantheon for Slovak national revivalists, which has unique characteristics such as displaced aesthetics of public place in the form of bizarre, grotesque sculptures of Slovak important personalities, showing self-irony of their own nature via such actions. Sládek herself imperceptibly enters the scene of celebrations by her response – a “silent protest”. Using the photographic medium she illustrates a specific image version of nationalist extremism in the area of rural Slovak countryside.
Katarína Czikorová (1982) finished her master studies in 2007 at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Department of Graphic Design. Nowadays she continues her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Visual Arts and at the same time works as an assistant at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. She works on short animated films. In 2005, she won the first place in the Festival of one-minute and five-minute films „Azyl“, and in 2008 she finished in third place in the 10th International Bratislava Film Festival, section VideoART.
The works of Katarína Czikorová use a visual language which, in its character, is close to graphic design.
The main theme of shown works is searching and losing of Slovak identity. It is a visual play of Slovak symbols which refer to traditional values of „Slovak people“ and their connection with new contemporary influences and values. In the bizarre visual connections, we can find for example a cow and a cola, črpák (traditional wooden dipper) and French fries, Tatra and thunderbolts. They are easily decipherable thanks to their humoristic form and the simplicity of visual language; however, by their content they touch such important issues as globalization, consumerism, etc. An important moment is the execution of Slovak symbols itself. By its fresh visual form it moves the traditional treatment to a new level and thus they become attractive also nowadays. The medium used here is digital graphics, using a visual shortcut which has the elements of a poster.