Peter Rónai, Moscow dada

Peter Rónai belongs to the pioneers of videoart in Slovakia and is a multimedia artist working especially on the field of photography, video, pc graphic and multimedia installations in which he often works with self-portrait and its deformation using postmodern and neo-conceptual strategies...

virtuálna galéria

No.: G-1019

Artist: Peter Rónai
Title: Moscow dada
Year of origin: 1986
Technique: serigraphy
Material: paper
Dimesions: 60 x 48,5 cm
signature: bottom left: 22/11 serigrafia; bottom middle: „MOSCOW DADA“; bottom right: Rónai Peter 86

Peter Rónai belongs to the pioneers of videoart in Slovakia and is a multimedia artist working especially on the field of photography, video, pc graphic and multimedia installations in which he often works with self-portrait and its deformation using postmodern and neo-conceptual strategies.

In the artwork Moscow dada Rónai has chosen not very typical medium for his work – serigraphy, but the typical of him is the self-portrait, its deformation and ironizing, as well as references to the art history and socio-political situation.

The artist sealed the eyes with two boxes evoking the newspaper cutting written with ´DA´ in Russian alphabet meaning ´YES´ in the photo of his own face (which he also uses later in his works, such as  Auto-reverse, 1995-2005, or the series Mixed memory, 2006-2007).  The scene reminds us of covered eyes in black or blurred faces in the newspaper so that the person cannot be identified. Rónai supresses and ironizes his personal identity, brings the uncertainity and ambiguity, depersonalizes himself from the relationship with the percipient of the work, blurres the details of the artwork to the viewer and at the same time gives his authorial viewpoint ´out of the image´.

We have to understand the artwork from the viewpoint of period of its origin as the reaction to the former regime in Czechoslovakia which blindly followed the directions from the Soviet Union. Peter Rónai connected the criticism of the system with wit and personal view (what was not tolerated at that time) referring to Dadaism, the art movement peaked from 1916-23, which primarily involved and concentrated on the unreasonable, absurdity, denying of the official art forms, absolute creative freedom, redemption of the things, the common relationships and their subsequent embedding into completely new and unexpected contexts.

PETER RÓNAI was born in 1953 in Budapest. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (prof. J. Želibský, 1974), painting and graphic art at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Prof. I. Koczis, 1976), where he finished his postgraduate studies in the studio of photography in 1976-77. In 1990-93 (together with Július Koller and Milan Adamčiak as an inactive member) he established and became member of the group Nová vážnosť/New Respect. He worked at the Faculty of Education at the Constantin the Philosopher University in Nitra and as the head of the video studio at the Technical University in Brno. At present he is working as the head of the Department for visual communication at the Faculty of Massmedia at the University of Cyril and Methodius in Trnava and also the studio of graphic and experimental work at the Department of Visual Art and Intermedia at the Faculty of Arts of the Technical University in Košice.