Krokus presents the exhibition “In the Name of Love” which showcases a selection from the current work of
Lucia Dovičáková, Zenita Komad and Peter Wehinger.
“Knowledge is a highly complicated thing; love, too!” is the title, and the content, of the text painting by the Austrian artist Zenita Komad from 2005. This could be the motto for the exhibition, since love is a concept traversed by many meanings, often contradictory in various cultures. In the case of the works selected, we remain in the context of a modern European culture, where feelings play an important role. As the sociologist Eva Illouz says, with the beginning of Modernism, an emotional subject was born which defines itself and its identity mainly through feelings and emotional categories such as love.
The works exhibited deal with the concept of love from different angles. The highest cultural ideal and imperative is an easy target for ideology and manipulation. The idea of love as a source of individual happiness goes hand in hand in the modern world with the feeling of disorientation, fear, dissatisfaction, lack of fulfilment. The race for the ideal on the modern “market of love” becomes faster and faster.
In her work, Lucia Dovičáková has long dealt with female identity. The series of drawings were made during her pregnancy and the first few weeks after the birth of her son. She expressed the new situation, complicated physical state and frame of mind using her own form, bordering on the grotesque. Humour provides her with distance when reflecting subjects such as motherly love, desire after the birth of a child, as well as fear of the unknown and of failure, or impatient waiting. Dovičáková’s autobiographical subjects strike a collective note and confront the ideal image of a mother with child with a banal and imperfect reality.
Zenita Komad works with a wide range of media, creating collages, drawings, textile pictures, objects, large scale installations. Her characteristic poster aesthetics and iconography is based on joining together image and word. In her plays on words, poetic expressions, paradoxical combinations and slogans, which are reminiscent of advertising or political or religious rhetoric, she expresses herself on existential subjects such as spirituality, love, happiness. In Zenita-City, as she herself calls her work, comparing it to a city as an organism, she cumulates strong narratives typical of Modernism. Love is one of them: a partner love, ethereal, universal. Love as a fetish, as a source of desire, as well as a cause of neurosis, and finally love as an empty phrase.
In his series entitled Men (pin-up), Peter Wehinger deals with the theme of male identity and intimacy. In contrast with the traditional idea of an attractive young woman as the motif of a so-called “pin-up”, Wehinger is interested in the ageing male body. In his large series of drawings, he depicts naked posing men whose models he found on the internet. In the anonymous environment of the internet, he was confronted with a community of men longing for attention. He describes his work with the words: “Lonely men present the spectator with their nakedness, they allow him to share their intimacy, their hopes, their desires.” On the market for love (hetero)sexuality is a source of social status; youth and appearance are important criteria in contemporary society. Wehinger’s view of the dilapidating bodily casing of men and their self-staging is not ironic or critical, but full of understanding and loving indulgence towards reality which will catch up with us sooner or later.
Text: Gabriela Kisová
Lucia Dovičáková (*1981, SK), graduate of Faculty of Fine Arts at TU Košice. Selected exhibitions: Slovak National Gallery Bratislava 2012, City Gallery Bratislava 2012, Modem Debrecen 2012, Krokus Gallery Bratislava 2011, Wannieck Gallery Brno 2010, Freies Museum Berlin 2009, City Gallery Prague 2009.
Zenita Komad (*1980, AT), graduate of Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Selected exhibitions: Galerie Krinzinger Vienna 2013, Bourouina Gallery Berlin 2012, Albertina Vienna 2012, The Essential Collection Zürich 2012, Jüdisches Museum Wien 2011, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York 2011, Art Cologne 2010, Kunsthalle Krems 2010.
Peter Wehinger (*1971, AT), graduate of Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Selected exhibitions: Kro Art Contemporary Vienna 2013, Cabaret Voltaire Zürich 2012, The Essential Collection Zürich 2012, Das weisse Haus Vienna 2012, WUK Vienna 2011, Krokus Gallery Bratislava 2011, Ankerbrotfabrik Vienna 2009, MAK Vienna 2008.
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