Smoke and Mirrors

Exhibition on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Photography and New Media of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava

Exhibitor(s): Eva Benková, Leontína Berková, Tomáš Agát Błonski, Petra Cepková, Iva Durkáčová, Martin Frič, Romana Halgošová, Anna Horčinová, Peter Huba, Dominika Jackuliaková, Jakub Jančo, Andrea Juneková, Ján Kekeli, Zuzana Kmeťová, Robo Kočan, Deana Kolenčíková, Ľuboš Kotlar, Dominika Lickova, Maija Laurinen, Matej Longauer, Lenka Lindak Lukacovicova, Paula Malinowska, Kvet Nguyen, Ingrid Patockova, Silvia Saparova, Magda Stanova, Jan Sipoc, Filip Vanco

Curatorial team: Ema Hesterova, Oksana Hoshko, Barbora Komarova, Lubos Kotlar, Miroslava Urbanova

Coordination and logistics: doc. Mgr. art. Olja Triaška Stefanović, ArtD.

Architectural solution and visual identity: Lucia Gandelová, Adriana Mišková, Doris Sisková, Jakub Tóth

In cooperation with the Department of Visual Communication: Studio Space under the direction of: doc. Mgr. art. Marcel Benčík, ArtD., Doc. Pavel Choma, acad.mal.

Translations: Jakub Ludrovský

Technical support: Viktor Tabiš


The exhibition Smoke and Mirrors on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Department of Photography and New Media of the VŠVU is a non-chronological curatorial selection of works by graduates and students of the department throughout its thirty years of operation. At the same time, it is a preparation for a deeper analysis of the view of photography in connection with the functioning of the department, which gradually profiled from (primary) utilitarian photography towards the expansion of the photographic field, to work with the photographic medium in the contexts of contemporary art.

The main criterion for selecting the individual works represented at the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition was their continuing or rediscovered relevance visually and in terms of content, without taking into account the technological background associated with the creation of the work. The trajectory from analogue to digital (and back again) is neither linear nor definitive, but rather a kind of imaginary curve describing the needs and preferences of individual authors.

The leitmotif of the selected works is research in various areas of identity / identities - in terms of searching, losing and finding oneself in the fleeting moments of feeling in oneself, places and people that are known to us and close to us. As the title of the exhibition Smoke and Mirrors, taken from the English idiom for describing delusion, (artistic) obfuscation of reality, suggests, reality perceived by the senses is not only the subject of faithful photographic documentation, but also an apparent platform for its bending, staging and co-creation.

The medium of photography is problematic in its essence - from its very beginning it has been connected with the question of the truthfulness of the representation, the credibility of the photographic image, its manipulation and the potential bending of facts. It is precisely the moment of mirroring that occurs in photographic work on several levels - to what extent can photography objectively reflect reality, how much of it is subject to the indisputable author's intention or the will to exceed the limits of the camera?


The exhibition was supported from public funds by the Art Support Fund.