DEEPER DOWN THAN INSIDE
Artists: Michal Huba, Dávid Koronczi a Dominika Kunzová
Curator: Miroslava Urbanová
Exhibition opening: Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 6pm
Duration: 5. 9. – 16. 9. 2018
The daily flow of news from mainstream media concerning climate changes are accompanied by emotional messages with the pictures of dead whales full of plastic in our social media newsfeed, making appeal on the change of our consumer behaviour. Anthropocene (Stoermer, Crutzen) became a well-known term for the demarcation of a new epoch, when the human activity unreversibly changes the planet. As a critical update of the concept of anthropocene -- due to its anthropocentric nature and lack of ambition to change the system -- appeared capitalocene. Capitalocene localizes the ongoing crisis both historically and ideologically within the global capitalism and its ambition of unrestricted growth at the expenses of extraction of planets‘ resources.
The terminological introduction above has no educational or moralizing purposes. It rather pinpoints at the shifts in thinking about the ongoing processes and changes, that are re-defining our present and that reflect on ways of looking at the problems also by means of how we name them. Simultaneously, it presents different views on perception of the temporality, the broadening of historical awareness to times before the existence of human species and the importance of the current decisions.
The porcelain pocket waches Contemplations (2017) of Dominika Kunzová are not only a designer jewel, but a starting point to thinking about the temporality as such, that transcends our ordinary problems – such as the influence of the summer and winter time on our sleep cycle. In their design they fuse the retro reminiscences of chivalrous times with new technologies, that enabled the artist to create a time-measuring device, that is sensitive to touch. Their display the time only after the touch with human skin, otherwise the clock dial remains invisible. They reflect on the subjective nature of the perception of time, disrupting the notions about its linear or circular flow. Their contemplation potential does not lie in the fetisization of the present moment. On the other hand, their usual quietness enables the real reaching of the state of contemplation. However, we can enjoy this state only after our touch abates.
The changes in the perception of temporality is not the only discursive point, that can be followed within the contextualization of the exhibited pieces. They can be read as well within the changes in theoretization about the planet Earth as such, that is quite geocentric, but not anthropocentric anymore. Far from popular figure of the Mother Earth, naively described as motherly reservoir of material, the discourse switched to imaginary and immaterial figure of Gaia (Lovelock, Margulis, Stengers and Latour). Gaia embodies the autopoietic system, a sum of interdependent processes, that does not serve to our good and plentifulness. Conversely, her reaction to changes caused by capitalist extraction is actually rather intrusive (Stengers). The humans are moved back to the horizontal relationship to biosphere (Clarke).
Through his series Fyzis (2017-18) (nature, being), Michal Huba problematizes the dichotomy of nature and subject. He uses the pulsating rhythm of installation of various formats and photographic pictures to convey the dynamics of relationships and processes. Nothing remains static, the captured objects and matters are constantly in the flow. Their materiality and structures are part of the bigger whole of contrasts and affinities. Similarly to the installation made out of clay stones by Dominika Kunzová – The Wall (2012), the difference between the human and the natural is a construct, a helping line outside the essence of the matter. Simultaneously, The Wall is the outcome of the thematization of the topic of revenge by the artist. Within the context of the exhibition Deeper Down than Inside, the crumbling wall, that was partially made out of sun-dried clay, gains strongly symbolic, even a prophetic-pathetic touch.
The last term, that I briefly describe and that tries to name the present planetary changes is chthulocene, poetically named after a character from literature – a monster with many tentacles (Haraway). Its author challenges all to establish new kinships, that are not based on the genealogy and reproduction, but rather on the mutually beneficial relationships outside traditional hierarchies of species and things. The main motif becomes collaboration and symbiosis.
Environment of Dávid Koronczi Bacterial Blues and Yeast Party (2018) consists of many thematically intertwined elements with ritual feeling. The entrance curtain stitched from dish towels, music track with sounds of insects and dough, projection of amorphous ensambles onto the circle from flour on the floor and many baked elements – these all things are linked to one of the basic grocery items, its production and story across cultures and political systems – the bread. Instead of people enjoy their ritual party this time the yeasts, that help us to digest otherwise indigestable ingredients of bread. However, they are not present in industrially produced bread. The yeast in human intestines are a real agents of honest collaboration, maybe the new kind of kin according to Haraway. They are alive, cultural, political and aesthetic as well.
This work was created in collaboration and with help of Juraj Mydla and Martina Szabóová
Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council
The exhibition Depper Down than Inside presents three distinctive practitioners from fine arts and design. They probe the permeability of mental structures and constructs (by questioning of dichotomy nature vs. subject, of perception of time as pure objective quantity or by broadening the concept of community and collaboration to the microbiologic level). In ther examinations, they do not remain on superficial level. Conversely, they are interested in the sediments, that constitute our approach to learning about the world and the processes occuring within.
The exhibited artists were awarded with the Prize of the chancellor of Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 2017.
The project has been made possible by public support from:Bratislava Self-Governing Region
Michal Huba is graduate from Department of Photography and New Media. In his art practice he explores the possibilities of building up the correlations between photographic images with the emphasis on methaporical potential of these relationships. He insists on importance of thinking about the photography as poetic language.
Dávid Koronczi: „I am graphic designer, curator, cultural organisator and artist. I finished my Bachelor´s Degree in photography at ITF in Opava and my Master´s Degree at the Department of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, in the Studio IN of Ilona Németh. In my work, I try to connect the authorship with everyday living and (human and non-human) communities around. My inclination to reflection of memory, identities and politics, language, enviro-philosophies, ecological discourses and geopolitical issues is therefore natural... I speculate, I event stories, I think a lot. The majority of my curatorial projects took place at the gallery PRIESTOR in Lučenec, where we organized the exhibition from the mid 2010 to the end of 2015. I am a co-founder and member of the editorial board of the magazine Kapitál, since 2011 I work in a collective visual incubator Pinchof_, that is specialized in the field of visual communication of cultural events and platforms. I perform as DJ Richard Zsiiir.“
Dominika Kunzová is graduate from Studio of Ceramics by doc. MgA. Daniel Piršč. Due to her previous 2-year-study of architecture in the studio of Mag.arch. Peter Stec ArtD. she understands the clay as capable of extending the borders of its medium. She touches and dissolves the borders of perception of ceramics within the framework of applied arts. In her art practice she works with various dimensions (installations in space, sculpture, design, jewelry), that enable her to approach the observer in various fashion. By play with dimenstions and experiments with material she gains enough freedom of production despite the reduction of her means of expression solely to clay.