Ilona Németh (*1963)
Column, 1995

object, glass, acrylic, polystyrene, hair
75 x 75 x 288 cm
acquired as a gift from the author in 1996

In the nineties Németh’s installation were usually designed for a specific site including non-gallery space. They bear signs of land art and Arte Povera, prominent especially in the use of natural materials. The object was created as citation of one of the pillars in the Berlinka area of the Dessewffy Palace in the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava. The perfect shape similarity and the use of organic material enabled the author to achieve the – rather paradoxical – illusion of a lifeless marble surface. The work can be interpreted as a contribution to the theme of personal (corporal) aspect in contemporary art, but also as a piece that, figuratively, accumulates information carried by the hair collected from numerous individuals. Thus, the Column secondarily became some sort of memory storage, referring to privacy and identity of unknown people.

Reflecting upon the conflict between the public and private aspects, the issue of (political) power enforcement, intolerance against minorities, but also upon aspects extending to the sphere of collective and historical memory became the typical features of Németh’s works created in the new millennium, often featuring sociological dimension.


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