Kunsthalle Bratislava has been reopened to the public and is busy preparing the program for the second half of 2020
In light of the recently eased coronavirus measures, the exhibition space in Kunsthalle Bratislava has been reopened to the public since May 11, 2020. The extensive Czechoslovak exhibition The Power of the Powerless, which is installed on the first floor, as well as the separate presentation of Emília Rigová titled Čohaňi z Koni Ajlend (The Witch from Coney Island) in the Kunsthalle LAB exhibition space were reopened and extended until July 5, 2020 subject to adequate hygienic measures.
The gallery mediators are wearing face masks and provide hand disinfectant and practical information to the visitors for a safe and enjoyable experience in the exhibition area. In conjunction with the National Culture Center, the sanitary provisions in the shared spaces of the building are continuously coordinated with the aim to make the exhibitions safe, smooth and generally trouble-free – starting at the very entrance to the building.
New negotiations with the Ministry of Culture and the National Culture Center
Last week, two meetings about the further functioning of Kunsthalle Bratislava were held with the new leadership of the Ministry of Culture and new management of the National Culture Center, which provides its exhibition space and offices to the gallery. With the necessary support from both sides, it will be possible to organize the domestic and international exhibitions scheduled for the second half of the year. The “Creative Center” project, which was announced last year, will not be implemented, and the official seat of Kunsthalle Bratislava in the House of Art is therefore not jeopardized.
The requirement for a legislative amendment of Act no. 206 on Museums and Galleries, which in its current form does not recognize gallery institutions of the Kunsthalle type, was met with understanding. This type of institution does not create and manage its own collections in terms of tangible cultural heritage, but its activities constitute priceless intangible cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture promised to amend the said Act and introduce a relevant legislative solution in the next two years. The Ministry envisages proper selection proceedings for the head of this institution by the end of July.
“This year, which is very demanding on culture, the newly-established Kunsthalle will have to justify its existence.
This will be a very difficult thing to do. I have recently had the honor to meet the Kunsthalle management and discuss its future
operations and our mutual cooperation. Fingers crossed!” — Natália Milanová, Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic
New major exhibitions in autumn
From August to November, Kunsthalle Bratislava will host an international exhibition titled At The Limit on the 1st floor (curators: Zorka Lednárová a Martin Juef). A collection of works by more than 18 artists and authors from six countries will bring different perspectives to the artistic experience of limit and borderline situations. The two curators – and in this case also artists – reflect on their personal experience and limits and transgressive conditions created by certain artistic strategies and approaches. The actual boundaries generally refer to the interior and exterior – they're the emerging contours of existential behavior, which has a dynamic and unfinished character.
Gabriel Schor: Feminist Avant-Garde: Art of the 1970s, The VERBUND Collection, Vienna
In December, Kunsthalle Bratislava is planning to host a major and "blockbuster" exhibition project Feminist Avant-Garde (curator Gabriele Schor + domestic curator). It is a unique collection of works by the world feminist avant-garde of the 1970s from the prestigious Viennese collection Sammlung Verbund. The duration of the exhibition is tentatively envisaged from December 2020 to February 2021, and the exhibition finale will be accompanied by the release of an updated and extensive publication by Prestel Publishing.
The exhibition features more than 200 works by 77 female artists from Europe, North and South America and Asia. The exhibition project, including the extensive accompanying publication by Prestel Publishing, was offered exclusively to Kunsthalle Bratislava. For the first time in history, Bratislava will get the chance to experience the works of world-renowned and truly iconic contemporary artists Judith Bernstein, Judy Chicago, Valie Export, Orlan, Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman. In line with the slogan "The personal is political", these artists deal with the stereotypes of social expectations concerning their work.
"Art does not have gender, of course – but artists do."
— Lucy R. Lippard
Kunsthalle LAB showcasing local creations
In autumn, Kunsthalle Bratislava will once again take part in the prestigious international art festival White Night (Biela noc), which presents contemporary art forms and unconventional, unrecognized and important places in the European cities to the general public. This year's exhibition in Kunsthalle LAB (curator: Zuzana Pacáková) is currently being updated along with the gradual reopening measures: the preliminary intention of the organizers of White Night (Biela Noc) is to host local artistic presentations. The exhibition should be open from September to November and the authors include Martin Sedlák, Martin Vongrej, but also Milan Dobeš, a world op-art star.
In the period from November 2020 to January 2021, the window exhibition space will host a solo exhibition of Radovan Čerevka from Košice. The author was originally famous for his membership in the well-known Kassaboys group from East Slovakia, but in the recent years he pursued an individual artistic career. His work is solitary and unique in the context of our art because it deals with specific topics – a reflection of the current hybrid wars and media representation. The author is preparing an all-out site-specific installation consisting of new works in the Kunsthalle LAB space. With Áaron Fenyvesi as curator, the project will also include the presentation of a new author’s monograph.
(Non)traditional Kunsthalle LIBRARY in preparation
The project of setting up a specialized library is among the upcoming documentary projects at Kunsthalle Bratislava with the aim to concentrate the relevant information and sources of knowledge on contemporary visual art. The library, which we plan to set up in the House of Art building, will be focused on current Slovak visual art and global history, theory and practice of contemporary art exhibitions. The library is to be established as a multipurpose community center for the professionals and members of a wider community who show interest in this area. Therefore, the ambition of the library project is to offer a rich interdisciplinary literary archive, and involve innovative digital education tools.
Visualisation Marcel Mališ
The online database continues to grow
In the second half of 2020, Kunsthalle Bratislava plans to implement the second expansion and development phase of the online database of contemporary Slovak visual arts called Artbase. Ten new entries will be added to the database – mostly the younger generation: Martin Kollár, Tomáš Rafa, Jaroslav Kyša, András Cséfalvay, Juraj Gábor, Dorota Sadovská, Svätopluk Mikyta, Stano Masár, Erik Binder, Marek Kvetan. These authors were selected by an international committee. In addition to the artists, the online database will be extended by 10 new entries dedicated to the theorists and art historians (authors of profile texts about the authorities).
Kunsthalle documents and publishes
These months are also characteristic of the ongoing preparation of a comprehensive and visually rich archive that charts the past 3 years of the Kunsthalle LAB exhibition activities. The intention behind publishing the representative publication titled LAB 2017 – 2020 is to present the visual and textual documentation and aggregation of exhibition activities, but also to review the gallery's communication potential with regard to its specific location in the center of Bratislava and its interpretative nature. External reviewers will be invited to participate in the publication and assess the quality of the programming concept of the gallery. Additionally, the readers will be able to enjoy the works of authors such as Szilárd Cseke, Tomáš Rafa, Michel Houellebecq, duo Jiří Franta and David Böhm, Karina Smigla-Bobinsky, Milan Houser, Žilvinas Landzbergas and others.
Kunsthalle educates through contemporary art
The Kunsthalle Bratislava training programs continue to unravel in two directions. The accompanying programs to the current exhibitions are implemented indirectly through online children's guides to the exhibition The Power of the Powerless and Emilia Rigová's exhibition. In September, we plan to restart our cooperation with schools and update the long-term programs Children's Mediator for children and Experiment Art for adults.
In light of the current situation, we are preparing a regular cycle of online inspirations through domestic action arts (not only for children) under the title "What do artists do in spring" and continue our research on children's creations, the results of which will be presented next year. In autumn, we plan to carry out the deferred visits of several galleries with workshops on drawing, which follow up on the publication Draw a sheep (Nakresli si ovečku), participate in the festival events White Night (Biela noc), Night of Museums and Galleries and Night of Researchers and prepare the children's guides – worksheets to the exhibition At The Limit and Feminist Avant-Garde.
Campaign to Feminist Avant-Garde
Kunsthalle Bratislava is planning an extensive communication campaign to the “blockbuster” exhibition project Feminist Avant-Garde, which will include printed publication outputs and digital formats. The visual and narrative concept will also reflect the nature of artistic approaches presented in the collection, which turned away from the classic genres to new media such as photography, video, film and performance. The campaign will be targeted, segmented and reaching out to the general and professional public.
Kunsthalle Bratislava was inspired by the months spent in forced quarantine and it will continue with its enhanced communication strategy. We identified the positives of the online environment – we plan to stick with the communications formats such as videos, blogs and virtual galleries, which are well proven, we are also preparing the dynamic "gifs", commentaries and interviews. We have also identified the opportunities in the preparation of e-catalogues, which are more environmentally friendly and less demanding in terms of production. We plan to create new formats – contextually linked to the current exhibitions, artistic trends or specific personalities – and processed imaginatively to reflect the potential of the digital space.