The rector presented the prizes for this year’s diploma works
Rector's Awards 2023
As part of the graduation ceremony, which took place on July 7, 2023, rector Bohunka Koklesová announced prizes for graduates for their diploma works. Graduates from the departments of textiles, design, photography, intermedia and, for the first time, also from the theory and history of art, were awarded.
Congratulations to all our graduates!
Slow is more
Study program: Design / Studio of Fashion Design
The master's thesis is a collection of clothes that were created in the spirit of slow fashion. Its aim is to find a way back to handwork and to a slowdown in the fashion industry. It stands against the concept of fast fashion, where the massive production of textiles and clothing prevails. The diploma work points to traditional textile production techniques, which it puts in contrast with machine and digital production. The proposed questions are mainly about the need for author's products, specifically clothes in today's age of consumerism, in an age when we want everything immediately and quickly, without waiting. It indicates the fading of the garment's rarity. The collection is inspired by inanimate nature, such as water, soil, sand, stones, in which he sees a connection with the theme of sustainable, slow fashion.
"You designed a collection of clothes that were created by a combination of hand and machine production. You focused your attention on the so-called slow fashion, where you found out which type of production generates the most textile waste and, possibly, in what form one can still work with it. Your work is about environmental responsibility, before you even start creating, you consider all the ethical principles associated with the production of new fashion, and that is very good. It is a way to reverse the not good development on our planet. Textile production is one of the biggest polluters of nature, so it is good that ethical and aesthetic principles come into balance in your thinking." - Bohunka Koklesová
Peasants with debts
Study program: Visual arts / Studio of intermedia
The practical part of the thesis deals with current societal problems (the hegemony of global neoliberal capitalism), which permeate all levels of our lives, to such an extent that the author is asked the question of whether it was possible to break out of these mechanisms. More specifically, the work addresses the increasing degree of individualism that disrupts the complex web of diverse social relations to the extent that blame is placed on pathological individuals who "abuse the system" rather than the system itself. The output is a subversive video that formally uses and combines elements of filmed scenes and advertising videos (found-footage), avant-garde practices of wit, mockery, embarrassment and humour with the sound background of a political essay. With wit and absurdity, the graduate creates a distance from the topic, lightens it, but at the same time stimulates self-reflection. Her intention is to provide this experience to a viewer as well.
"When I watched your film, I had an imaginary dialogue with it. It was clear to me right from the start that you are questioning the framework of global neoliberal capitalism. Liberal society, or its neoliberal heritage, has always been associated in theory with a free society. In the polarized world of the 1980s, people believed that a free society would unleash more good than bad. I want to say that many contemporary, but also current attitudes may have a good starting point, but times are changing, it will require rethinking of many concepts. I think that it is necessary to get to know the opposite opinions before making statements. Your work pleased me not only with the way you worked with it, in humorous and non-violent way, but also with the fact that it made me think." - Bohunka Koklesová
Contemporary artistic practice and bioethical problems
Study program: History and praxis of contemporary art
Similarly, like every human individual, art is connected to the outside world by complex reciprocal relationships. In its development, we can observe an interesting continuity with the increasingly rapidly changing society and living conditions. In her thesis, the author deals with art and aesthetics as a specific kind of experience and its relationship to scientific and philosophical practice and society as such. The subject of the graduate's interest is the relationship between art and life and an attempt to identify and explore the forms and possibilities of the relationship between bioethics and visual arts from an art perspective. She contextualized the theoretical starting points with the help of case studies of selected works of visual art.
"You are the first graduate of the History and Praxis of Contemporary Art study program to receive the Rector's Award for a theoretical thesis. In my opinion, one of the most challenging aspects of theoretical works is choosing the topic itself. You have managed to write a work in which you connect visual arts with bioethics as a new, developing scientific discipline. Your work is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary; you bring new issues into art theory that are not overused and outdated. You based your work on a quote that I take the liberty of reading now: Without imagination, there is no hope, no chance to see a better future, nowhere to go, nothing to strive for." – Bohunka Koklesová
About country and meaning
Study program: Visual arts / Studio photography, reality, construction
The topic of the thesis is field visual exploration of the natural geographical space, which is constantly modified by man in connection with economic, political or personal profit. The starting points from the relationship between natural and social components bring questions about the revitalization of the landscape, about the change of the landscape to the so-called "new nature" up to questions about the degradation of biodiversity and the impact on humans. The practical part of the thesis consists of two parts. The first is a short black-and-white film with a soundtrack. The effort was to create "archival material", that is, anachronistically, an image that carries the aesthetic attributes of old films, but in reality it is actual footage of mines or thermal power plants, which today still use the technology of burning coal to produce electricity and heat. The second part of the work is a photographic book that reflects long-term photographic research on the topic of providing local heat in the era of global warming.
"I awarded you the prize for your diploma thesis consisting of a photographic author's book and a film. As a topic, you have chosen the topographical mapping of the landscape, which is affected by aggressive surface mining, where biodiversity degrades, showing the negative impact humans have on nature and the landscape. The approach to your topic was also interesting in that you tried to create a timeless image that, as if it were not anchored in a specific time, you also consider the so-called return to the future, but also about work that is subject to economic and political profit." - Bohunka Koklesová
Study program: Design / Studio of Transport design
Today's cars are insufficient in terms of pedestrian safety. In most cases, we rely only on active safety, which cannot always calculate the situation and prevent a collision. Vehicles are getting bigger and with the advent of electromobility several times heavier. The energy-absorbing surfaces in a collision with a pedestrian are insufficient, as are the conventional materials that vehicles still use today. In a car collision, a pedestrian has a low chance of survival, which decreases significantly with higher speed, size and weight. The goal of the research is to bring such innovative ideas to the automotive industry, which will reflect beneficial passive safety solutions not only for pedestrians, but also for other road users. Artistic solutions and forms are subject to function and at the same time respect the technical aspects of a car. The output of the diploma thesis is the design of a car, in the aesthetic and technical aspects of which the graduate's solutions for advancement in the field of safety are incorporated.
"You are a graduate of the Studio of Transport Design. I don't know much about cars, but what really interested me about your diploma project is that you dealt with the safety of people in car traffic. You didn't focus on the safety of the people inside the car, but those on the streets and roads. You adapted the shape of the car to absorb shocks; you also considered different materials to replace the hard sheets. When I looked at the photo documentation of your diploma thesis, I realized that you had done extensive research on this matter, which I greatly appreciated. You have become an expert on human safety in road traffic and have actually directed attention in a completely different direction than is usual." - Bohunka Koklesová
At the end of the graduation ceremony, the rector also spoke to our Ukrainian students:
"At the end of the ceremony, I would like to address the three graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. I would like to greet Andrii Bahriichuk, Oleksandra Potrohosh, Volodymyr Serhachov from this table, you three, as well as other Ukrainian students, I consider to be among the most important ones at our school today. You study in Slovakia, but you constantly focus your attention on Ukraine. Ukraine shows us all how brave it can be, how bravely it faces Russian aggression, how it protects not only its territory and its nation, but also the rest of us, from lawlessness, terror and aggression. Darkness comes from the east, but Ukraine is our light today."