confidant: Anetta Mona Chisa
Tomáš Džadoň (*1981 in Poprad), graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, laureate of Tatra Banka Foundation Art Prize, finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award (CZ) and Oskár Čepan Award (SK). Author of the Folk Architecture Monument in Košice (2013-2016). Lives and works in Prague.
In the language of law "ideal co-ownership" denotes a situation where a single property is jointly owned by multiple parties without it being determined what exact part of the property is owned by whom. In effect, each of the co-owners has an equal share in all the returns as well as in all the responsibilities. In Tomáš Džadoň's artistic translation of the term, ideal co-ownership is on course towards ideal responsibility, ideal motivation, ideal determination, ideal participation. 'Ideal' means 'existing in thought' (from the Latin idea / ideālis); it is an idea of something that is perfect, something that functions without a flaw: an image of an unrivalled situation. Tomáš Džadoň focuses on the ideal relationship between architecture, monumentality, sculpture and national narratives. His projects seek to free public places from the hold of rigid ideas of co-existence and from monuments of unchanging outlines. He proposes (more-) ideal solutions to the dynamics of public space - using playfulness, processuality and interactivity to achieve collective activation and transformation. His designs for a playground (Leopoldov), for a remodelled square (Námestie Slobody, Bratislava), his interventions within a building's facade (the Czechoslovak Pavilion in Venice) and in historic buildings (the Brno House of Arts; the chimney of a disused factory in Česká Skalica), are not built to last throughout the ages but against the ages. For Džadoň, his role as an artist implies a responsibility to help define the cultural power dynamics as well as the life of the shared space via a "relational" architecture.
All of the projects presented at Krokus Gallery deal, with various degrees of stress, with the idea of an uncompromised co-ownership within the historical framework of the recent past and within the context of broader socio-political issues, such as federalism, Czecho-Slovak relations, freedom and its contexts in relation to architecture and urbanism. The principles of memory, utopia and nostalgic pathos turn into an animated idealism. In Džadoň's works, various structures of time intersect so that the effects of past events, the urgency of present worries and the challenges of the imagined future all crystallise into a universal reflection on the mechanisms of collective memory.
Džadoň's sculptural-architectural models are directed towards the future (a future actualisation) but stem from methodical re-examinations of the past. The proposals Džadoň puts forward seek to modify existing public space so that it becomes an intellectual adventure full of life, an act of courage, a testament to grand narratives, an interactive platform for participation, a politics of perception. Ideally. By paying detailed attention to architectural principles and urbanist strategies, he proposes places be made accessible to people, landscapes revitalised and experiences of the common space re-energised. Public space becomes his ideal field of action, the activating element, the place for thinking, re-evaluating, dreaming, but at the same time a space for creating art, for co-operation and change.
Tomáš Džadoň cares about the future and thinks about the past. In his exhibition at Krokus he presents the audience with a collection of small models of large ideas. The ideal spectator might find in it the perfect technique for cultural reflection and for contemplating public space as the place where we should also be finding out about the things we'd never want to know.
Text: Anetta Mona Chisa
The creation of the exhibited works was supported by public funding from the Slovak Arts Council
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