Roman Ondák (*1966)
Infant Prodigy, 1993

installation, glass, water, wood, ink, variable dimensions
acquired by purchasing from the author in 1993

The authorÔÇÖs work from the nineties is considered an important contribution to the neo-conceptual art of the decade. At this time, during which he also created the Infant Prodigy, the author focused on making installations and objects of ready-mades, many of which reflect Ond├ík’s interest in learning processes, the handling of information and its (metaphorical) preservation. The well-known works from this line include primarily objects/installation consisting of cans with labels featuring fiction titles, or bags of flour with the names of philosophers. The in-situ installation Infant Prodigy was Ond├ík┬┤s contribution to the exhibition Secret (1993) at the Museum of Art ┼Żilina. It consists of three pieces of furniture and three aquariums filled with formaldehyde solution that ÔÇťarchives” books. The author not only evokes a particular moment of stopping in time, but also the moment of eternal keeping and preserving information.

The later as well as current works of the author fall into the category of the so-called. context-specific art, i.e. art initiated by a certain situation and responding to it. In many cases, Ond├ík employs an anonymous collective participation of people (viewers, visitors of the gallery), who are the actual creators of the work and the author takes on the role of the director of the situation. A typical example of such work is Ond├ík’s Measuring the Universe (2007, MoMA New York), where visitors marked their height on the wall of the exhibition hall, along with their name and the date of the measuring.