Solo exhibition by the Slovak visual artist Svätopluk Mikyta curated by Mira Keratová.
The exhibition entitled ‘Variabilita Turba’ by Svätopluk Mikyta hints at the ways in which the artist thinks visually during the process of confrontation of outer and inner images. He reinterprets old aesthetics, former representations and their evolutionary continuity set in the context of the unceasing history of art and culture in order to create neologies and new images.
Mikyta experiments with intervention approaches onto found vintage prints in the long term out of his initial graphic position. In the context of his current exhibition he conceptualized new series of monotypes and monochromes as sophisticated pictorial databases of shapes. Horizontal and vertical image expands to the space and by increasing layering relief of reprints or monochromatic compositions it creates overlapping levels of meanings. Seemingly dissociated images, however, are not isolated semantic systems; they build new and unpredictable dynamics in their mutual communication. This function is close to the model of human visual memory, or memory per se which is said to be based on some sort of circuits or loops which we always disturb if we add something else.
Mikyta's exhibition work has long featured an increasing, albeit selective, expansion into space (see his use of non-decent frames and later even more monumental display cases, or the inclusion of unmanageable textile materials say for example forming waves, or other unusual more “sculptural” bases or limits) and a tendency to layer (redrawings, reprintings, covering over etc.). This leads him towards a model of complex installation, where meanings of particularities are developed in connections and in a conditional relation to the position of the viewer and his physical presence in the space. This results in a narrative line which is developed non-linearly and in different density, in certain places abstracting into highly sensual shape and colour points which are defined just by symmetry or asymmetry, rhythm, repetition, etc.
The exhibition is built around the concept of anticonism, which is one of the possible approaches to grasping Mikyta's work which is usually explained discursively according to the rhetoric of East European art from the turn of the century. However, political geography is an increasingly simplistic lead, even in the case where the artist's selection of appropriated and used material can be relatively clearly defined from a historical, political or aesthetic point of view (see Mikyta's references to modernism or period propaganda). The ever-present motif of the absence of image can be explained by the principle of the “hole in the flag” -a term known from the period of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, when people cut out the old Communist emblems from all the flags displayed in public areas, leaving behind just a hole in the black fabric. Mikyta's work revolves around the moment when one symbol is no longer valid but the new one does not exist yet to replace it. An “empty” colour environment replaces the depiction of material reality or a minimalist monochrome is placed instead of a detail of an original figurative element; by means of deleting or in fact supplementing at the same time, he creates new meanings.
Svätopluk Mikyta (born in 1973 in Čadca), graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, studied at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (DE), and awarded an DAAD grant from 2001 to 2002 at the UDK Berlin. In 2008, he won the Oskár Čepan Award for young Slovak artists, in 2009 he took part in a ISCP residency in New York, in 2011 he won the Strabag Art Award. He leads the Drawing studio at the FaVU VUT in Brno (CZ). Selected exhibitions: Circular Ruins, MeetFactory Prague (2014), Reminiscences of the Future, Brno House of Arts (2013), Antykryształy, LETO Gallery Warsaw (2013), Haunting Monumentality, Plan B Berlin (2012), Delete, Slovak National Gallery Bratislava (2012), Society, Utopie und Stilleben, Strabag Artlounge Vienna (2012). His works are in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, the Bratislava City Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, Zabludowicz Collection London and others.
Mira Keratová, curator and art historian. She is the author of the curator and research project Working Memory (tranzit, Bratislava 2009); from 2012 to 2013 she prepared a retrospective of Ľubomír Ďurček entitled Situational models of communication (SSG Banská Bystrica, SNG Bratislava), in 2011 she was curator of Stano Filka's installation POST BIGSF BANGSF ARTSF at the Biennale in Lyon (FR). She was a lecturer in contemporary art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava and at the Brno University of Technology. At present, she is curator in the Central Slovakian Gallery in Banská Bystrica.
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