Lucia Dovičáková * Jarmila Džuppová * Martin Melicherčík * Alex Mirutziu * Erik Šille * Marianne Vlaschits
Krokus Gallery is pleased to invite you to the exhibition Self-portraits that is the selection of the works by young Slovak artists as well as some artists from abroad. The limits of a self-presentation in the traditional works of art are questioned in the contemporary art practices.
When American essayist and theorist Susan Sontag wrote “In the diary I invent myself”, she put the process of literary writing into the direct context of constructing one´s identity. The same can be applied to the long continuous history of producing self-portraits which is always highly connected with the identity be it social, sexual, gender, religious, ethnic or cultural one.
We live in the digital era with the continuous flow of the textual and visual information. What is more, the media form and expect the certain image of a professional self-presentation and at the same time shift the border between private and public sphere. In this context self-portrait can serve as the example of interconnecting private and public par excellence. A discovered identity of a creative subject thus receives a political meaning, his/her body and its representation speaks also about the historical and political situation in which he/she always finds himself/herself. The other artistic strategy includes blurring one´s identity or creating personal mythologies and mystifications.
Being confronted with an artistic self-portrait questions appear concerning our own identity, the set of our beliefs and its representations. Both, in the process of self-identification and refusing to be identified a question “Who am I?” remains central. The exhibition offers a selection of the contemporary works of this classical genre. At the beginning of the project there was a question concerning the limits of the traditional self-portrait. Many displayed works were created for the exhibition and include paintings, drawings, photographs, video and prints.
Lucia Dovičáková (*1981) is already established figure of a young Slovak contemporary art. Her work emerges from her life-story and oral history of her family and embraces painting, drawing, video and animation.
Jarmila Džuppová (*1984) has recently graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Košice (in the studio of Prof. Rudolf Sikora) and in 2009 she was a finalist of Oskar Čepan Prize for the young artist. Her work can be described as the archaeology of her native town Michalovce. She approaches her intimate subject with the dual technique of painting and drawing
Martin Melicherčík (*1977) is a visual artist and a graphic designer. His art is inspired by the cartoons, street art and graphitti. The gallery presents his unconventional auto-portrait-installation that draws upon the searching of one´s identity in the process of mechanical reproduction.
Alex Mirutziu (*1981) a Romanian multi-media artist and performer was awarded Best Independent Artist Award at the Optica International Video Art Festival in 2008. In 2010 his work was shown at the exhibition Ars Homo Erotica in the National Museum in Warsaw. His work includes video, photography, objects, painting and performance. The author lives and works in Cluj-Napoca and London.
Erik Šille (*1978) awarded Igor Kalný Prize and a winner of VÚB Painting in 2009 is a prominent figure in the young Slovak contemporary art. His work is included in the number of important collections in Slovakia as well as abroad.
Marianne Vlaschits (*1983) graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She was a finalist of Walter Koschatzsky Award and in 2010 she received a scholarship Ö1 Talentebörse. Her work embraces painting, drawing and installation and has a strong performative character. The author lives and works in Vienna.
Text by Gabriela Kisová
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