The plan of exhibition activities for 2021 was created before the new director Jen Kratochvil, appointed on February 1, 2021, took up his position. Despite the time deficit, some desired changes have been introduced initially in the main exhibition spaces, reflecting the new vision and the current situation. Projects in the Kunsthalle LAB and EXT spaces have remained in their original form.
New Agrarianism: Post-Sucrose Ecologies / Eastern Sugar, photo: Olja Triaška Stefanović
Main Exhibition Activities
”Continuing the good tradition of confronting the general public with the progressive trends of contemporary visual art, KHB will present three main exhibitions assigned to the first floor of its premises. The individual exhibition projects will offer variety in terms of formats, approaches and general orientation towards local production, the wider region, and the international art scene,” says Jen Kratochvil, director of Kunsthalle Bratislava.
The first exhibition in the main space will be a solo presentation of new works and adaptation of existing works by the established Croatian artist Igor Eškinja, prepared by the internationally recognised curator Tevž Logar from Slovenia, in collaboration with the KHB curator Lýdia Pribišová and Jen Kratochvil. Eškinja’s site-specific installations will respond directly to the rich architectural morphology of Kunsthalle Bratislava’s exhibition spaces and non-exhibition spaces.
Duration: May – June 2021
New Agrarianism / Post-Sucrose Ecologies
As part of our mission to mediate international contacts and establish new networks, from Summer into Autumn a project will be offered to the public with the working name New Agrarianism: Post-Sucrose Ecologies, as the culmination of Eastern Sugar, the project which KHB and Ilona Németh initiated in 2018. The international group exhibition, under the guidance of curators Maja & Reuben Fowkes, is organised in collaboration with the Slovak National Gallery and other partner subjects. Its purpose far transcends the boundaries of a static exhibition project, and its resonance is amplified by a rich performative and discursive programme.
Artists represented: Anca Bener, Arnold Estefan, Anetta Mona Chişa, Cooking Sections, Annalee Davies, Fokus Grupa, Ferenc Gróf, Ayesha Hameed, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Tamás Kaszás, Diana Lelonek, Polonca Lovšin, Pedro Neves Marques, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Ilona Németh.
Duration: August – October 2021
Oskár Čepan Award
With the last of the year’s principal exhibition projects, we open up a new long-term collaborative venture, with the Oskár Čepan Award. In recent years that project has journeyed between a variety of Slovak institutions, but this year sees the beginning of a direct, two-sided, dramaturgically interconnected collaboration between KHB and the Oskár Čepan Award organisers. This is occurring not only in the interests of creating a stable background for the Award’s functioning, but also expressing the affinity of new partners whose missions are closely related, namely the presentation of contemporary Slovak visual art and its confrontation with experts and the public internationally. The Oskár Čepan Award will ensure a prestigious line-up of jurors, and in cooperation with KHB it will also provide an opportunity to finalists and laureates to have further occasions for presentation in the international arena.
Members of the 26th annual jury will be: Kathrin Bentele (KW Berlin), Sören Grammel (Kunstmuseum Basel), Edith Jeřábková (UMPRUM, Institute of Anxiety), Margot Norton (New Museum, New York), Jan Verwoert (freelance, Kunstverein Munich, Academy of Umeå). Curator of the 26th yearly event will be Laura Amann (Kunsthalle Wien).
Duration: November 2021 - January 2022
Exhibitions at Kunsthalle LAB
The Kunsthalle LAB programme is focused on two freely conceived themes, which are reflected in various way in the individual projects: critical education / upbringing /childhood and urbanist themes / experimental architecture / sound in architecture. The space will offer five exhibitions in all, with artists and curators from home and abroad represented, predominantly from the Central European region.
"At Kunsthalle LAB and EXT this year we are concentrating on a revision of their programmatic conception. For the LAB space, each year’s programme will be unified and bound together via a central theme or themes. The EXT space will have as its priority to respond to current specific themes of Bratislava and public space,” Lýdia Pribišová, Kunsthalle Bratislava curator, has stated.
The Italian duo Francesca Grossi and Vera Maglioni is preparing a site-specific exhibition entitled Beast Mother. Its central themes are the role of the mother as protector, the child’s fear of separation from her, and the transformation of the relationship with the mother during the child’s different phases of development. The curator of the project is Lýdia Pribišová, and the exhibition is held in collaboration with the Institute Italian Cultural Institute.
Duration: March – April 2021
What Would You Like to Be? An Artist?
The Childhood Creativity of Artists
This project is part of research by the KHB Education Department focused on themes combining visual art and education by art. It makes contemporary art more accessible through the personal story of the artist and his/her childhood, which plays an important role in the lives of all of us. Accompanying the exhibition, there will be a publication and educational programmes. The authors and curators of the project are Daniela Čarná and Lucia Kotvanová; the architect of the exhibition is the artist Matej Gavula.
There is an intergenerational selection comprising 25 artists, including: M. Bartuszová, V. Popovič, K. Fulierová, Ľ. Ďurček, O. Laubert, R. Sikora, P. Rónai, V. Rónaiová, D. Fischer, I. Németh, M. Moravčík, S. Masár, A. Cséfalvay, D. Krajčová, among others.
Duration: May – July 2021
Peter Barényi: Untitled, ca. 1981 (aged about 3 years), property of the artist. Photo: Ema Lančaričová
This Czech artist’s work is complex in terms of the media that she uses. The content of her art is a confrontation with the perception of everyday life and bodily and emotional space. Her conceptually based approach is full of playfulness and mystery. She turns the non-self-evident quality of ordinariness in everyday objects into performances and sculptures. The exhibition will consist of new as well as older works. The curator is Jen Kratochvil.
Duration: July – August 2021
The Polish artist will create a new site-specific work responding to the architecture of the KHB building, working with sound, installed in the LAB space with an overlap into the EXT space, and also into the Polish Institute situated opposite KHB. Part of the project will be workshops, with a primary focus on sound. The curator of the project is Lýdia Pribišová.
Duration: September – October 2021
The Slovak artist will prepare a new project, curated by the artist Boris Ondreička, responding to the architecture of the LAB space. Her complex spatial installation will concentrate on the transparency of the space, the ambivalence of division by a glass wall, openness/closedness, interior/exterior, the abstract/the real.
Duration: November – December 2021
Exhibitions at Kunsthalle EXT
KHB takes an active interest in public space (not only) in its vicinity and tries to cultivate and humanise it. Hence in its own close neighbourhood, on Treskoňová Street, from 2020 it has been conducting projects under the Kunsthalle EXT label. That space is designed precisely towards pushing back the boundaries between the exhibition space, the art in it, and the square, the public space. The programme responds to the situation of Bratislava, communicates with the city, and also links up with the Living Square project.
Interpreted in a new context, the cult work SK Parking by Roman Ondak, the Slovak artist who is best known abroad, makes a concise commentary on the situation in Treskoňová Street. Until recently this dead-end street served as a car park, and currently it is stalwartly resisting various pressures seeking to change it back to a car park once again.
Duration: January – March 2021
The Slovak artist’s new work Promenade responds to specific themes of Bratislava. The installation consists of stone blocks that were part of the travertine barrier on the Danube waterfront. This barrier was created at the same time as the Kunsthalle building, which has travertine elements in its facade. At the same time, it is a reference to the iconic location of Bratislava, and to the problematic influences of developers’ projects on its current appearance.
Duration: November – December 2021
Matej Gavula: Promenade, photo: archive of the artist
We will give information at intervals about further projects for the Kunsthalle EXT space. Possible changes to the exhibition plan are in process of adaptation, connected with the situation now evolving in society overall.