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Monday 04.12.2017

Kunsthalle Bratislava / exhibitions / 7.12


ŠTEFAN PAPČO: Psycho-vertical
SZILÁRD CSEKE: Fall by the Roadside
Kunsthalle Bratislava
http://www.kunsthallebratislava.sk/en

Info

Open: Mon: 12 pm – 7 pm Tue: closed / Wed: 12 pm – 8 pm Thu - Sun: 12 pm – 7 pm

Contact

info@kunsthallebratislava.sk



Address

http://www.kunsthallebratislava.sk/en
Kunsthalle Bratislava
Námestie SNP 12
811 06 Bratislava
Slovakia

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ŠTEFAN PAPČO: Psycho-vertical

Psycho-vertical: Štefan Papčo's Radical Performative Sculpture


Psycho-vertical is a climbing route in the High Tatra Mountains, situated close to the border between Slovakia and Poland. With a topography of large free vertical loose boulder blocks, it is one of the hardest routes to ascend.

Štefan Papčo's sculptural work is intimately connected to mountaineering, which he has been practicing for many years. The geological formations and the environment of these mountains constitute his workspace, while gravity, mass, or dew point can be considered his material. Papčo engages in an (impossible) translation of his climbing experience, introducing the vocabulary of mountaineering – such as corners, interstices, gaps or chimneys – into sculpture. Between an extreme physical performance and extreme mental discipline, the plural status of climbing is often based on a pre-written, choreographed movement. Written directly onto the rock's surface, the climbing scores created by the climbers themselves are a key source of inspiration for the artist.

Deeply entangled with this environment and its ecology, Papčo's practice revisits the history of alpinism and its dual position within modernity, simultaneously embracing and exposing its contradictions. Officially 'invented' in 1760, alpinism went hand-in-hand with the logic of colonisation and conquest of the summits, while also promoting an anti-technological stance and nature conservation. Within the history of Czechoslovakia, mountaineering at times meant a very particular context. During the Soviet occupation, mountaineering was practiced as a technique of peaceful resistance to mental oppression and as an exercise in freedom from the oppressive system. This was in fact the only escape route from this country with closed borders: a radically vertical one.

The Tatra mountains also function as Papčo's exhibition space. Indeed, he climbs and places sculptures on the mountains' platforms, exposing them to today's ever-changing climate. The carved wooden figures live through and record the extreme weather conditions. Papčo's attitude is programmatically opposite to any 'extraction', it engages directly with the matter of the mountains and reflects on what it means to read the Earth as bodily matter.

This exhibition pays tribute to the legendary Ganek Gallery – a fictional institution created by Július Koller in 1982 on an inaccessible plateau in the Tatras. In a gesture of homage, the artist, curator and several invited guests will perform a modest ascent in the Whitewater Valley leading to Ganek, which will officially proclaim the end of the exhibition.

In the frame of this exhibition, we also invited other artists to contribute their notes on 'verticality' and its politics, gravity, mass, choreographies of climbing and other issues addressed. These artists include, among others: Zbyněk Baladrán, Juraj Bartusz, Roman Ondák, Lucia Papčová, Lucia Sceranková, Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (les gens d'Uterpan), who generously agreed to engage with the questions raised in the exhibition, as well as Július Koller's fictional institution located between the earth and the cosmos.


Elena Sorokina

curator of the exhibition


Partners of the exhibition:

ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN
Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council
NOVUM Foundation for New Art
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ŠTEFAN PAPČO: Psycho-vertical

Curator:
Elena Sorokina

Opening:
December 7th 2017
from 6 until 8 p. m.

Duration:
December 8th 2017 – February 25th 2018

Exhibition space:
Kunsthalle Bratislava

More info: bit.ly/Papčo_Psychovertical_en


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SZILÁRD CSEKE: Fall by the Roadside

„We must find meaning not simply for our complex personal interrelationships, but also for interrelationships in the global context, as we are part of the whole.'

Gerhard Johann Lischka


With the display at the Kunsthalle LAB entitled Fall by the Roadside Szilárd Cseke realised a spacious, mature installation rich in allusions. The site specific installation is a big kinetic model, a work of art which presses contemporary questions. Cseke put up the installation as a critical model for discussion and intervention.

The goal was to create a complex system, a space filled with eventful life: on a bricollage-path, white table tennis balls continuously rush on the „road', driven by fans and turbines. The route of the balls is full of obstacles and ambushes. The spheres are occasionally directed from the plotting board into the steeply escalating transparent or even opaque tubes, while some of the spheres fall off, leaving the path. Some balls acquiring a high speed, fly straight into the windows of the exhibition space, from which they bounce back, falling back onto the designated trajectory.

Four polycarbonate plates, acting as walls, protect or obstruct the bouncing balls from falling to the ground. Meanwhile, the path paved with mirror films and lit with LED light-tubes continues: air deflector plates, wire grids refract the light and guide or obstruct the track of the balls. The „traffic' is huge, the motion and the sliding is unpredictable, with the constant danger of dropping off the path. The presence of serendipity is also there, with the visitor's interaction, who can pick up and put back one of the fallen spheres. Onto the highways of our lives? Ascending and falling under, bouncing back and rebounding.

The installed, maquette-like, route filling up the gallery space can be understood as a symbol of life itself. A performative dimension and a process, the timely progress doesn't end, as it is cyclic. Surrounded by the ventilators' humming winds and loud, humdrum noise, the visitor as the observer realizes: he/she is at the center, as a human, almost god-like, or at least in a supportive position. Upon intervention, if he/she puts back the ball upon its fall into its ever-lasting cycle, he/she can relive her/his own similar moments, experiences. When in the past with a gesture, a decision, with a small movement he/she helped someone; helped someone to get back on a track, performing an interaction that was designated to him/her. According to George Simmel, „life is motion'. Complementing perpetual motion, as a significance of the wholeness of existence, good deeds are also a huge part of the process.

The Bratislavan display by Cseke Szilárd is an implication of human fate, the experiences of migrants, expats, lifestyle changers: survivors of euphoric and desperate situations. So the route-model is valid both on a communal and a personal level, like the former site-specific spatial installation entitled Sustainable Identities, at the Biennale Arte in Venezia (2015, Hungarian Pavilion). Big white balls continuously moved back and forth inside seven translucent tubes, which were stretched across the space, and they called attention to identity formations. The system of tubes above the visitors' heads divides the space into segments. The paths could be interpreted as routes of identities, as constructed images in motion.

Szilárd Cseke „builds on a specific tradition within kinetic art which uses the poetry and dynamism of movable parts in mobiles and environments in order to create images of thought for complex social, economic or ecological processes.' (Fritz Emslander)

For decades, the artist has been creating objects which incorporate movement and which, through their materials and critical titles function as associative elements. Cseke explained in an interview: by the kinetic object Good Shepherd (2013) the goal was, to form a „critical model of contemporary social systems'. (Artguideeast, 2015/02/16)

Sociologist's Dirk Baecker's writing that appeared in 2007 as „Next Society' is analyzed by contemporary art theory and art practices. It seems many don't see his artistic endeavour as a production of artistic artefacts. An artwork is not the goal of art, but its raw ingredient. This means that Cseke's exhibition in the Kunsthalle LAB, couldn't have been static and it couldn't have been independent of the given space. It is simultaneously: a raw ingredient, a plotting board full of innuendos and an abstract system.

„Cseke's installations offer the possibility to create space to contemplate and remind us that we are travellers.'

Daniela Gottschlich


Kinga German
curator of the exhibition


Partners of the exhibition:

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest
Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Sculpture Department Budapest
Project was supported by KHB, Balassi Institute Bratislava and the K-ARTS Art Foundation
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SZILÁRD CSEKE: Fall by the Roadside

Curator:
Kinga German

Opening:
December 7th 2017
from 5 until 8 p. m.

Duration:
December 8th 2017 – February 4th 2018

Exhibition space:
Kunsthalle LAB

More info: bit.ly/Cseke_FallByTheRoadside_LAB