Kunsthalle Bratislava has devised an exhibition plan for 2018, aiming primarily at international exchange and presentation of contemporary Slovak visual art, while giving it increased visibility abroad.
The first exhibition to appear in the main space on KHB’s first floor will be a solo project by the Slovak-Hungarian artist Ilona Németh (*1963). Consistently with her artistic programe, the focus will be on the current field of participative art, with the theme of collective work and memory. She will create an installation in the gallery where viewers are directly involved in the “manufacture” of sugar, as a symbol of contemporary production, which gradually disappears just like memory or inter-human relations. The curator of the exhibition will be Nina Vrbanová, with a complementary programe devised by the German-Hungarian curator Krisztina Hunya.
Subsequently, in August, there will be an international collective exhibition with the working title Eagles and Doves. The project will present a selection of contemporary Slovak and German visual artists whose work involves critical thinking about issues of cultural exchange, identity and nationality. This exhibition will be the fruit of collaboration between KHB and the Goethe Institut in Bratislava, which plans to evaluate its 25 years’ functioning in Bratislava in the form of an artistic review of these themes. Curators of the exhibition will be Omar Mirza and Lenka Kukurová.
The main exhibitions planned for the Autumn will conclude with a group exhibition entitled OBJECTive. On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic it will reflect on relations between the two countries, their historical continuity, and the difference of perspective in contemporary artistic production. This exhibition will feature a representative selection of artists born in the 1970s and ’80s who are now successfully establishing themselves on the international scene and collectively generating an image of a Czecho-Slovakian sculptural language, with its own specifities of thought and expression. The curator of the exhibition will be Vladimír Beskid.
The second pillar of KHB’s activity is a programe of exhibitions in the Kunsthalle LAB space, which in 2018 will be offering 5 new exhibitions in fields of contemporary visual art. Early in the New Year the young Slovak artist Tomáš Rafa (*1979) will present his latest work; his socio-politically focused visual art projects have received the accolade of a solo exhibition in the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA PS1) in New York.
This will be followed in April by another solo project in the field of politically involved art, by the Franco-German artist Deidi von Schaewen (*1941). His large-format wall-photo installation, entitled “Walls”, will be produced for exhibition “on site” here in our city. In summer the progressive Czech artistic duo Jiří Franta (*1978) and David Böhm (*1982) will occupy the gallery. For September, with a view to adding dynamism and variety to the programe, we are planning an international curatorial project.
In 2018 KHB plans to launch its new project of a database of contemporary Slovak art in on-line form, which will be accessible on the website kunsthallebratislava.sk. The aim of the project is to create a compact source of textual and pictorial information, with a high degree of professional relevance, primarily intended for experts (theoreticians, critics, curators) but also for the wider public. The existence of a specialised database is justified not only by the demand from the artistic community and the wider community of theoreticians at home and abroad but also in terms of KHB’s institutional character and its key mission: to educate, and to make art accessible and visible.
In 2018 as in previous years, KHB will offer the public educational activities in the Kunsthalle KLUB space. There will be personal presentations and projections by the exhibiting artists, public discussions devoted to current themes with curators participating, and also lectures by foreign historians and theoreticians which are content-related either to KHB’s exhibition plan or to other current themes and problems of contemporary Euro-American art. Otherwise, the programe in Kunsthalle KLUB will continue in the popular chaired discussions known as Art for the Public Space or Artist Stalk.
The gallery-teaching programe Kunsthalle KIDS, aimed at families and schools, will continue its work with the young viewer; and again there will be guided tours to the exhibitions and the Child Curator programe, as well as education for adults in the Experiment Art cycle. For April 2018, in collaboration with the Slovak National Gallery, we are preparing a conference on gallery teaching, focused on building the gallery as an educational institution.