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Czechoslovak Postconceptualism

 

Katarína Hládeková a Ondřej Homola

 

22.2. – 18. 4. 2018

 

The opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, 21 February 2018, at 7 pm.

 

Curator: Marika Kupková

 

The Kvalitář Gallery is launching this year’s program with an exhibition called Czechoslovak Postconceptualism by artists Katarína Hládeková and Ondřej Homola. This is their third joint exhibition – usually they create and exhibit individually, and their aesthetic and ideological approaches are distinct. Hládeková’s output is predominantly three-dimensional objects that are conceptually more pronounced and full of numerous self-references, while Homola customarily works with the medium of drawing and is more communicative and direct in terms of content. Their collaboration has the nature of a kind of “self-curation”: The artists establish the thematic assignment that they will co-create for the exhibition. The content of this assignment is, at a general level, the critical position of the artist toward contemporary arts operations and a humorous, almost sarcastic reflection on interpretations of contemporary art and its local specifics.

The central motif of the exhibition is teeth. Yes, teeth. The appearance and quality of one’s teeth are a sign of success, of social position, of health, of youth, etc. They are also a strong communications link, the plotline to exciting legends, stories and superstitions. This is a human body part that is used as decoration and as symbolic payment: Not just animal’s teeth, but human baby teeth are set into jewelry, mothers are supposed to “get money for a dress” in exchange for a child’s first baby teeth, the teeth of saints are kept in reliquaries. They have, therefore, the nature of a commodity artefact, the acceptance or rejection of which we can use to demonstrate whatever we like, including crucial artistic approaches such as Conceptualism and Postconceptualism. Naturally we are working at the level of metaphor here, the role of which is key to the Czechoslovak version of both of those streams of throught, whether in a poetic mode related to the Czech version of these approaches, or in the metaphysical/political mode ascribed to the Slovak art in this vein. The exhibition is also a reaction to the relationship of the Czech and the Slovak cultural contexts, a report on their (frequently unconscious) persistent intermingling. Another indication here is that of irony, a non-serious approach both to narrative and to the cultural and ideological symbols the artists exploit to question the pillars of any conceptual considerations. The creatives take advantage of a mix of their own typical genres and stances: Drawn satires or models, objects, and their photograph recording.

 

Katarína Hládeková

Katarína Hládeková is a graduate of the Studio of Graphic Design and Experimental Art at the Technical University in Košice, Slovakia and of Painting Studio 3 at Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic. She began her doctoral studies at the Department of Electronic Imaging at J. E. Purkynĕ University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic and is currently completing them at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. She exhibits in many Czech and Slovak institutions, for example, the Liberec Regional Gallery last year, and at HFAL in Glasgow.

 

Ondřej Homola

Ondřej Homola is a graduate of Painting Studio 2 and the Multimedia Studio of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic. During his studies he spent a semester as an intern in Brussels. His most recent events include the project Pašerák (“Smuggler”) at Galerie Jelení in Prague or the exhibition Harvest at the Galerie Luxfer in Česká Skalice. In cooperation with Katarína Hládeková he implemented the project Too Much Too Soon at KabinetT in Zlín, Czech Republic. He has also exhibited at Galerie TIC in Brno and in other institutions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 

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