The exhibition was cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Spending the childhood in a mountain hotel that looks like a prefabricated apartment building positioned sideways must be a unique experience. The motel that is surrounded by deep forest and located close to the village of Hybe has hosted many domestic guests, foreign tourists, communist high officials, school trips or post-revolution mobsters. The Hybe hmotel has seen them all, but it was run down by Mečiar’s (former prime minister) wild privatisation in the 1990s. The building has not been used for many years, yet it has mysteriously not deteriorated yet.
Erik Binder’s first solo exhibition at the Nitra Gallery is designed as a “Gesamtkunstwerk” – an organic mélange of archival, artistic, materialistic, spiritual and spiritistic ingredients, archeo(non)logically distilled from the world of the mHybe hMotel – its architecture, surroundings, past, present, secret hideaways and tales and stories.
Binder’s approach to his work/anti-work/overwork is documentarist, operational, improvisational, material and immaterial, metaphorical, metaphysical, stratospheric and overall strategically (an)aesthetic. The artist guides the audience through different levels of time and space which allow them to become a child that once again has a chance to peer at life through a keyhole.
Erik Binder uses the background of his subjective mythology and family history to outline the recent history of Slovakia and various political and social changes also this mysterious motel has witnessed.
An important part of the exhibition is its unusual catalogue – a mental, physical, textual and visual map that complements, partially explains and partially mystifies the whole story.
Erik Binder was born on 21 February 1974 in Hnúšťa-Likier. Until he was eighteen, he had lived in the Hybe Motel where his mother worked as a general manager. Between 1991 and 1996 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (printmaking: prof. Jančovič, painting: prof. Fischer). In 1997-1998 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (printmaking: doc. Kokolia). Since 2002 he assisted to prof. Fischer at AFAD where he successfully defended his dissertation work Intersections of Science and Art and became ArtD in 2010. In 2001 and 2007 he was a finalist of the Oskár Čepan Award. In 2003 he exhibited with the Czech group Kamera Skura at the Czech and Slovak Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. They presented an installation titled Superstart – a three-meter tall statue of Jesus Christ stylized as a gymnast practicing the rings with football fans cheering.
Erik Binder’s work is very diverse and moves across all art media and materials. He creates his pieces spontaneously, often at the end of the work process or directly on site (at the exhibition). He works with various visual references inspired by advertising, graffiti, hip-hop, kung-fu, comic books, eastern philosophy and western pop-culture. His absolute approach towards his creative process is relayed to the audience by putting any trivial object into new visual and unexpected contexts. He is unconventional, playful, witty and ironical, but can also be contemplative and investigative, and is able to easily mix pop-culture with philosophy. He lives and creates everywhere, currently mostly at his studio – a former heating station in Karlova Ves, Bratislava.