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16 Feb 2021

Roman Ondak: SK Parking, 2001/2021 at Kunsthalle Bratislava / Kunsthalle EXT

Roman Ondak: SK Parking, 2001/2021, photo © archive Kunsthalle Bratislava / Martin Marenčin

Roman Ondak: SK Parking, 2001/2021
Kunsthalle Bratislava / Kunsthalle EXT


27. 1. – 14. 3. 2021


Kunsthalle Bratislava
Nám. SNP 12,

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Roman Ondak: SK Parking, 2001/2021

After twenty years, Roman Ondak invites us to experience a reinstallation of his cult work SK Parking, a constellation of seven Škoda cars parked in a dead-end street beside Kunsthalle Bratislava. He invites us to think about the questions: in what way is this work, and on this very street, still topical today? Is there actually a still-existing abyss between East and West, which continues to remain a component of our geographical space; or ultimately, in fact, does it mirror the state of the building in front of which the work appears, and indeed of certain institutions within it?

The Škoda cars were originally exhibited in 2001 in the exhibition Ausgeträumt... in the Vienna Secession. Cars of Czechoslovak manufacture with Slovak identification plates, parked outside this exhibition space for contemporary art, evoked in the Viennese a disquieting feeling of threat from the presence of poor Eastern Europeans; it was at this time that warning signs appeared in Czech and Slovak in the Austrian supermarkets: Do Not Steal! Ondak here radically, yet at the same time inconspicuously, stressed the unequally divided power relationships dominating the entire geopolitical reality, within which the countries of the former West have enjoyed, and still enjoy to this day, higher status and privileges. The work is controversial right here in the centre of Bratislava – this time round, in the light of public discussion of the city's parking policy.

Roman Ondak (*1966, Žilina, Slovakia) is today regarded as one of the most notable representatives of neo-conceptual strategies. His unusual creative stance makes him one of the most striking artists of the past decade. In his visual art Ondak makes new use of the world's reality, by staging it or employing contextual shifts. He grips the viewer's attention with incessant contradictory transpositions of meanings, in places where we are accustomed to expect something stereotypical. Precisely by this quality of mutability, his works and installations address the viewers with great intensity. (Good Feelings in Good Times, 2003; Measuring the Universe, 2007; Loop, 2009; Zone, 2010).  

Curator: Lýdia Pribišová
Duration: 27. 1. – 14. 3. 2021
Place: Kunsthalle EXT