821 01 Bratislava
Hours: Wed - Fri 2 - 6pm
and by appointment
Curated by Daniela Čarná
MICHAL KERN (*1938, Močiare by Liptovský Mikuláš – †1994, Močiare by Liptovský Mikuláš) was one of the central figures of the unofficial art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. His conceptual and land-art thinking focused on nature, based on which he successfully built a convincing although discreet body of work in terms of media (photographs, drawings), in which he laid the main emphasis on thematizing the relations of man and nature, their mutual intertwining up to spiritual merging. He lived and worked at Močiare by Liptovský Mikuláš, in the family seat of his father, the painter Peter Július Kern. Fascinated by the cycles of nature and the majesty and fragility of the landscape and natural framework in which he lived, he understood his work as a silent and ardent dialogue with nature, a ritual process of mutual reflection, leaving traces, touching and penetrating; his “studio was nature and nature was his studio”. He frequently intervened in his landscapes with objects and his own body, where he left an extensive plastic trace. He worked with the principles of accident, appropriation, mirroring and “transient media”, snow, water, light. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (1956 – 1962, under prof. L. Čemický, J. Mudroch). Retrospective exhibitions were held at the Art Gallery of the Považie Region in Žilina (1996) and at the Bratislava City Gallery (2011). Selected international exhibitions: Naturally: Nature & Art in Central Europe. Ernst Múzeum, Budapest (1994); Between Concept and Action. Galleria Sonio Rosso, Torino, etc. Representation in collections: Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno; Muzeum Narodowe, Vroclav; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Museum of Modern Art, Texas; Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava; regional galleries and private collections in Slovakia and abroad.
In his artistic practice based on alternative strategies of storytelling, András Cséfalvay seeks new per- spectives on the functioning of knowledge and language, as well as on the effects of science on our interpretation of reality. In his videos, different spiritual and scientific views are confronted and played off against each other. This kind of con- frontation between different worldviews and the models interpreting, classifying and organizing reality reveals some processes of decision-making, power relations, aspects of authority, and indi- vidual, communal or even national interests under- lying (scientific) facts. Facts are not tools that take us further towards an understanding of an absolute truth, as it is a merely superfluous and arrogant assumption that this one truth – if it exists at all – would be accessible to us. Facts are driven by interests and affected by different types of relations. The foundations of science and their terminologies are also based on factors influenced by political, economic and cultural circumstances, therefore these concepts are embedded in that same world that they intend to describe. In this sense, science can be regarded as a cultural activity.
Science is a very effective way of representing the world, however, according to Cséfalvay, it is always important to examine in each case whether in a given situation it is science that is in fact the most effective tool in doing so. András Cséfalvay sees his own responsibility and the role of art in shining a light on spots that science cannot reach, in amplifying voices that would remain silent and through this, he argues for the grounds of invisible worlds. Within our realm framed within rules and rational systems, he seeks for the relevant position of the destruction of these same rules, the omni- present reversibility of facts, the mystery, or the inexplicable.