Nulté roky - Debrecen

MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts

Zero Years

Slovak Visual Art between 1999 and 2011 from Four Curatorial Perspectives

ZÉRÓ ÉVEK - Szlovák vizuális müvészet 1999 és 2011

24 March - 24 June 2012

The title of the exhibition refers to both the beginning and the end. No wonder, as contemporary Slovak art is connected to twentieth-century avant-garde and modernist efforts in many ways, while the political and cultural background of the works is somehow still provided by the new, global, post-nationalist and post-communist condition. The curators, who were socialized around the time of the change of regime, have compiled their own individual sections according to criteria they deemed emblematic. The four perspectives, however, overlap in several respects, subtly highlighting the characteristic visual trends of the “zero years”, i.e. the 2000s.

As a heritage of (post)conceptual art practices, the self-reflective critique of art and culture is still a current issue, but at the same time the curators call attention to the fact that – similarly to Hungary – since the 1990s the previously suppressed avant-garde art has been institutionalized in Slovakia, too. Another common aspect is the process of eliminating socialist history and generating a national culture, which came to be known as “Mečiarism” in Slovakia, making the 2004 EU accession the singular most important political and cultural event of the zero years. Another striking similarity between the Slovak (and Hungarian) perspectives is the “postmodern” (mostly feminist) challenge to modern politics and modernist art, focusing on social (gender) roles, which is also readily observable in the corpus of the show.

In addition to ideological concerns, the curators stress the problematic of the medium and the image. Some of them approach the new painterly pieces and intermedia artworks by analyzing the use of the image, while others take stock of the different strategies of mapping social status and identity, from traditional painting to interactive installation. The exhibition as a whole is, furthermore, animated by the dialectic of representation and experimentation, as the curators undoubtedly selected the works of the most renowned “national” stars while also attempting to present new, subversive voices.

MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts

Hunyadi utca 1-3., Debrecen 4026, Hungary

Michal Murin: Museum of contemporary art in signature, 2003



Michal Murin: MIenkotvorné masmediálne manipulácie: Moje dielo neurobil Fajnor, 8 minuta,

May 31 2012, 11:57

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