Monika a Ľubo Stacho: SACRAL STORIES
At the current exhibition Sacred Stories, Ľubo Stacho and Monika Stacho present the results of a continuously and long-term author's program, which is characterized by an empathetic examination of spiritual manifestations in the past and present.
Venue: Považská galéria umenia v Žiline, exhibition spaces on the 1st floor.
Opening: Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 5 p.m
Duration: 23.09. 2022 – 5.11. 2022
Peter Megyeši, Peter Salner
At the current exhibition Sacred Stories, Ľubo Stacho and Monika Stacho present the results of a continuously and long-term author's program, which is characterized by an empathic examination of spiritual manifestations in the past and present. The human relationship to the transcendent is an anthropological constant, and the unceasing effort to exceed human limits, to search for and move towards the sacred, takes on different forms in time and space. The author duo focuses on tracking, documenting and presenting these specific cultural traces and proves that the territory of today's Slovakia is a space for the development of historical spiritual heritage and the cultivation of traditions, but also a place of tragic historical ruptures. The exhibition is divided into six thematic chapters, which are interconnected: Past, Rituals, Culture, Consumption, Grief and Beauty.
The Past chapter shows that a large set of rare and valuable sacred buildings has been preserved in a relatively small space, while their condition and degree of preservation testify to the eventful history of the territory of today's Slovakia. The presented historical overview does not idealize the past and does not perceive the presented monuments as proof of an uninterrupted journey in search of goodness. Dark aspects of human existence are also named in the author's interpretation and narration. The Sorrows chapter in particular is a striking memento: It painfully emphasizes the absence and documents the places where synagogues used to stand. Mapping sites with destroyed and extinct sacred objects of Jewish communities is one of the ways of maintaining collective memory and recalling the untold tragedy of the persecution, displacement and extermination of the Jewish population.
An important part of creating and experiencing a sacred space (hierotopia) is, in addition to the architecture itself, a ritual that fulfills its potential. Each church and religious group cultivates and develops its own symbolic actions, which are the metaphorical embodiment of its theology. The chapter Rituals is devoted to the photographic capture of ephemeral manifestations of ritual behavior, in which archaic forms of behavior are often combined with the use of contemporary technologies. It features various religious community gatherings that took place mostly during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Culture chapter makes available documentation of the second life of objects that have ceased to fulfill their original sacral function and are adapted for new use as cultural stands. The viewer of these events is sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadvertently, confronted with the cultural traces of the original functions of the architecture.
The most striking contrast between the profane and sacred perception and use of architecture is presented in the chapter Konzum. Adaptation of objects leads to use in an often unsatisfactory or, given their original purpose, even dishonorable way. The juxtaposition of photographs builds contrasts and points to the absurdity of situations. The final chapter, Beauty, tries to approach the historical, cultural, monumental and spiritual aspects of monuments that were used by Jewish communities and Christian churches. It is motivated by the belief that the selected locations offer qualities and incentives that are, in a certain sense, timeless. The chapter, like the whole exposition, is an invitation to think about jointly shared values. It is based on the belief that these values and ideas are expressed in different ways in the transformations of time and cultures, but people are united by a common desire for transcendence.