Erik
Binder

Erik
Binder

Erik Binder (1974) works in practically all media, from drawing, painting, graphics, through objects, installations to performance and working with music, sound, and poetry. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He lives, creates, receives and broadcasts in Bratislava.

For Erik, art is a way of being in the world – a way of dealing with things, but also with words and thoughts. The principle of his creative process is the almost constant, spontaneous transformation of situations and materials.

He often and gladly welcomes the principle of chance and accident into the creative process. He aims to minimise his decision making, in order to “withdraw from the process, yet still accomplish”.

He’s inspired by subcultures such as hip-hop, skating, and street art. These are united by their respective new works not being created ex nihilo, but rather as a rearranging, layering, and mixing of existing elements. As such, Binder can also be seen as a “visual DJ” and “selector”.

The approach to material is involuntarily ecological and anti-elitist – for him, waste and any “low-end” objects are a full-fledged art resource. He recycles or “up-cycles” discarded materials, giving them a new life cycle. It accepts as equals both growth and emergence, as well as decay and destruction.

The author’s work fulfills the avant-garde idea of merging art with life, and also merging the viewer with art. Ideal visitors are willing to take a step from a passive “looking” to a more active and creative “perception”, and thus complete the work with their own story.

Marko
Blažo

Marko
Blažo

The surprising “oeuvre” (construction, creation) of Košice artist Marko Blažo (1972 – 2021) is one of the most original and consistent of the generation. After graphic training at ŠUP in Košice, Blažo studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) in the early 1990s at Rudolf Sikora’s quasi-free “open studio”. In the decade shortly after the revolution, when society was still curious about new art forms and young people’s creativity, Blažo’s presentations (e.g. chewing gum “paintings”, various surreal objects, and situational “game” installations) were immediately registered for their distinctive poetics. It comprised a rich, romantic, yet essentially melancholic world.

In the case of paintings, it was not a “realistic painting”, but rather a painting drawn or painted, essentially conceptual – the “gains” of the viewer consisted of a special constellation of return motifs and their associative power. They appeared here and variously layered and cycled the motifs of trains, building blocks; links to archeology, ancient and medieval architecture (pyramids, castles, support systems, abysses, simple churches, and magnificent cathedrals), and children’s or adolescents’ “ostalgic” world. The artist drew on cultural sediments of global cultural heritage, art history, and socialist visual experience.

He worked with motifs of this “memory bank” and repeatedly and ingeniously combined and composed them into new associations, which, since they were later generated by computer, overcame any spatio-temporal constraints.

Denisa
Lehocká

Denisa
Lehocká

The work of Denisa Lehocká (1971), one of our most successful contemporary artists, is beyond the scope of language. As if the meaning contained in her works was the domain of a pre-reflective experience – the domain of a moving body, its visual and (imaginary) haptic (“touching”, tactile) sensations. We can detect several starting points that provide partial information about the works’ background, less so about the works themselves. One of these starting points was certainly the study of textiles at the Bratislava Secondary School of Applied Art, as well as subsequent years at Rudolf Sikora’s VŠVU studio. Other clues are the tradition of organic sculpture and an affinity for authors such as Eva Hesse, Eva Kmentová, and Mária Bartuszová. The time of Lehocká’s onset (the 1990s) and the-then prevailing post-conceptual tendencies in art must also be taken into account. Her drawings, objects and installations evade any attempt at analysis, and are the kind of art that negates attempts to rigidly adhere to a certain style or tradition.

It can be said that Lehocká has been consistently developing her artistic programme for several decades. And that her programme is actually the only temporally and spatially spread work that the author continuously associates, layers, or branches out in an associative and intuitive manner. The slowness of her objects, intuitive thinking and organic shapes can lead us to associations with feminism, and an archetypal female perception and world formation. Whilst using a number of sculptural, textile and painting techniques in her work, they all fail to define Lehocká. As a result, the main characteristic is the design, fulfillment, and revitalization of the space in which her work (usually spatial installations) is located.

Milan
Tittel

Milan
Tittel

Milan Tittel (1966) is one of the most distinctive authors of his generation, who until recently was rather “in the background” as a member of various art groups and collaborations. Fortunately, curator Aurel Hrabušický “discovered” him and put him centre stage. Although he deals with several media (found objects, performance, video, etc.), his starting point is sculpture, which he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU). The sculptural perception of space is also noticeable in the Karanténa (Quarantine) photographic series (since 2020), which is a kind of diary record of days spent in isolation. At first glance the deserted spaces and open horizons in the photographs evoke post-apocalyptic sadness, but they can also be read as the opposite – as symbols of freedom, peace and relief.

Tittel’s object work is characterized by an intimate scale. The installation method is intentionally inconspicuous, so the challenge is the very discovery of the artwork. It necessitates being approached with fingertips in order to perceive it. It requires physical proximity, maybe even touch. The objects that Tittel creates are largely defined by the physical and haptic qualities of the material used – softness or hardness, gloss, fragility. Although he does not create sculptures in the classical sense (in which to study the influence of his pedagogue – intermediate experimenter Vladimír Havrill), the most important feature of the author’s art remains contact with material. In this sense, the series Krátky život (Short Life) and Dno (Bottom) are interesting. Both cases have almost identical copies of natural formations (butterflies, mushrooms), which the author “re-creates” in an artificial material (PVC, silicone). As if the experience of physical contact with objects (their touching, organizing, or creating) was a necessary condition for their full understanding, feeling – the way to unity.

Marek
Kvetan

Marek
Kvetan

Of our exhibition’s group of artists, Marek Kvetan (1976) is probably the most characteristic artist of the 21st century. In terms of style and social performance, in a sense he’s the heir to Britart: an ecosystem of middle class and situational challenge, and visual reference to commodity fetishism. As early as the 1990s, Kvetan was one of our most literate media artists. He knew how to work with media, enjoy it, and also artistically misuse it. In addition to video art and digi-graphics, he presented objects and installations – often on the basis of diverted ready mades.

Never an artist of big issues, Kvetan is rather about situational themes (media criticism, multiculturalism, information noise, institutional and corporate criticism). His work is chameleon-like and extremely flexible. That’s why he resonates so well at thematic exhibitions. Because it is always “here and now”. Marek Kvetan is a contemporary artist in a good way. His work is neither escapist nor romantic, but in a sense pragmatic.

The postmodernist Kvetan does not have (a priori) themes or a fixed medium, hence the frequent surprises at exhibitions. And he delights! Kvetan’s artifacts are beautiful in form, sometimes literally shimmering or simply glamorous – almost design-oriented, but always with a slight ironic overlap or the alienation of this (apparent) design. Compared to related but artistically more vulgar colleagues, Kvetan appears to be an artist of specific media intelligence and decent visual gestures.