Anton ─îierny – With Kind Permission of My Father, 2014 ÔÇô 2019

Anton ─îierny – With Kind Permission of My Father, 2014 ÔÇô 2019

During 1990’s, the intermedia nature of the work of Anton ─îierny (1963) was defined by creating objects and installations made with emphasis on their site-specific nature. Approximately since the turn of the millennium, this intermedia framework substantially ÔÇťdematerialisedÔÇŁ, and the ÔÇťsite-specificÔÇŁ was redefined as ÔÇťcontext-sensitiveÔÇŁ. The main medium of the artist’s expression became personally carried out private or public performances recorded on video and participative pieces. His interest in locations as spaces where one is anchored (in social, geographical, cultural, political context) and his interaction with the locations became more evident. The artist’s performances specifically made for video recording are mainly classified by exploring location that is selected based on specifics, but perceived by the artist as a complex unit. Concentrating on the memory of a specific place also became key, and it unfolds through the exploration of the space in often adventurous manners (like sailing an amateur-made vessel or balloon flight). This activity enables the artist to comment on the status of his subject, but most of all, to underline the difference between the so-called general (official) history of the given place, and its memory mediated by an individual’s point of view, whose subjective memory and his voice are almost always threatened by extinction in the passing of time.

The work With Kind Permission of My Father (2014 ÔÇô 2019) communicates the nuances of the artist’s personal (family) bond with the location of the village Lask├ír in the region of Horn├í Nitra. By concentrating on the wider contexts of this location ÔÇô historical, but also those contexts that create its current appearance, he defines his identification with this place. This performance for video originates in a lineage of works where the artist progressed from mapping of private space and exploring his own identity and its factors, to works that refer to wider contexts ÔÇô his own connection (as a native, national, state resident) to the places of genius loci with history connected to manifestations of nationalism, antisemitism, or negative impacts of totalitarian regimes.

With Kind Permission of My Father is a variation on formulating a relationship to a specific location: an emphasis on the hard to grasp factor of fellowship or showing the reality that an individual with personal ties to a location often only has minimal possibilities to influence the development and changing face of that place. This is represented by the models of individual and collective features of pieces that the artist carefully selects depending on the content and context.

ÔÇťThis video is a reflection of a submerged village Lask├ír near Nov├íky that became the victim of┬á mining industry in this region of Slovakia. First, an evacuation of inhabitants took place, then its demolition, an finally, it became one of many ground drops of this area flooded with water. I pass places that I used to visit (father’s birth place and my grandmother’s house) on a vessel that I constructed. I am looking for the house, the garden and a park, where I used to play. This piece isn’t only about a lost place or identity, but also about┬á strategic and economic interests of the state ÔÇô hidden politics of power leaving devastated environment behind.ÔÇŁ This is the citation of the artist’s statement about this work.

Exhibition is supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.

Peter R├│nai – autoReverse, 1997

Peter R├│nai – autoReverse, 1997

The long-term agenda of artist Peter R├│nai (1953) is the thematisation of the world of art through a strong subjectve lens ÔÇô aimed at the art’s condition and its perception at the time of maturing postmodern age ÔÇô especially the revision of ideas of the avant-garde resonating in the present times. The thematisation of the world of art offered by P. R├│nai is defined by an example of two interconnected aspects. One of them is his permanent self-ontextualisation ÔÇô defining his own position in art (as an art creator, author), but also making of an antithesis to art ÔÇô forms of communication/dialogue with art throughout its history (not only 20th century, but also earlier periods). The second aspect is his personal/existential ÔÇťself-presentationÔÇŁ through portrayal of his own face, mainly via the application of self-portrait photography. In the artist’s understanding, the function of this photography is naturally ambivalent: it underlines the cult of the artist, but also challenges it (through manipulation of the face), and therefore it is also iconoclastic.

The works KUNSinvHALLE (1972 ÔÇô 2014) and autoReverse (1997) can be perceived as an illustration of the mentioned interconnected aspects: KUNSTinHALLE actually demonstrates a system of the artist’s self-contextualisation, therefore it works as his entrance to the history of art. He uses tools of citation, interpretation, but also formulation of antitheses, but ÔÇô in the spirit of the avant-garde ÔÇô representing a portrayal of the fusion of life (private and artistic existence) and art. autoReverse is a portrait ÔÇô self-preservation and self-presentation, but also an example of self-reevaluation, or even self-irony by using metamorphosis/manipulation of his portrait or commenting on his own position as an artist.

In relation to the subject of the display First Museum of Intermedia: Memory and Information, pieces are presented as specific variations of the mentioned themes. autoReverse reflects the activity that is own to all of us ÔÇô creating traces of memory capturing the flow of our existence, such as photographs documenting individual stages of our lives. This video is a time-lapse version of the portrait of the artist ÔÇô it captures the transformations of his portrait from childhood to his likeness at the time of the completion of this work (1997). It takes form of a condensed personal photo album. He used the technique of morphing, enabling him to create smooth fade-over of one image to another in order to transform the photographs. At the time of making this work, the tools for morphing (PC technology and software) were quite inaccessible, and whatever is possible to achieve with any graphic software today, had to be made via a more complicated system ÔÇô individually, photo by photo. The technique of morphing is an important attribute of Peter R├│nai’s work ÔÇô treatment and manipulation of photography is essentially synchronous with thinking about one’s own identity and identity generally in several artists’ works and especially those working with the new media during the 1990’s.┬á Morphing, one of the strategies of creating post-photography (hybrid medium using elements of analogue and digital image and practices of media art) can define photography as an attribute/representative of identity freed from the traditional understanding of the flow of time, intervening in formatting and mechanisms of our memory. The video composed of 44 portraits overlapping one another was originally part of an installation with same title shown by the artist at the Videoanthology exhibition at Museum of Art ┼Żilina. This video piece was part of a typical medium of the second half of the 1990’s ÔÇô video installation created using the principles of the readymade. This was a supermarket shopping trolley filled with goods connected to a field bottle via cable. R├│nai modified this bottle for watching his self-portrait video on a small screen. The flow of time (present in his morphing portraits) or what we experience and lose, created a content opposition to what we gain and (do not need) paraphrased by the shopping in the trolley.

Exhibition is supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.