Bratislava City Gallery ­– Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic

OUT OF THE CITY / Land art - Moscow | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The City Gallery of Bratislava is an allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic.


OUT OF THE CITY / Land art - Moscow

National Centre of Contemporary Arts Moscow
1. 12. 2009 - 10. 1. 2010
Curator: Daniela Čarná

The exhibition OUT OF THE CITY / Land Art (named after Rudolf Sikora´s action) focuses on the phenomenon of artists´ entry to nature within action and conceptual tendencies in the Slovak, Czech and Russian unofficial visual art scene from the late 1960s to the 1980s, in some cases to present days. The exhibition doesn´t map the realisations in nature in chronological order only, it points out various forms of activities of selected thirty-three artists in nature. Instead of depicting nature on canvas, they entered nature like their studio with the aim to leave there a trace of their presence.  

Although land art did not become an individual tendency in Slovak visual art, most of the artists of unofficial visual art scene responded to nature and landscape in their works, mainly as a part of conceptual and action activities. This response was more or less parallel with the origin of land art in the US and the UK; however in our environment it had some specific features. It was rather the response to ecological and ethical issues related to the environment discussed by artists and scientists at unofficial meetings. Here the land art has a character of group or individual expressions – from actions, celebrations and rituals realised out in the country (Alex Mlynárčik, Jana Želibská, Artprospekt P.O.P.), individual study of nature and its processes and phenomena (Peter Bartoš), through introvert communication and intimate relationship with natural (Michal Kern, Dezider Tóth, Daniel Fischer, Milan Maur, Miloš Šejn), to the reflection of ecological problems (Rudolf Sikora, Juraj Meliš). While some artists regarded nature as a permanent centre of their interest, the others confronted themselves with nature rather sporadically, using its specific language and space for leaving poetic, inventive or ironical messages (Július Koller, Ľubomír Ďurček, Otis Laubert, Vladimír Kordoš, Matej Krén, Marián Mudroch, etc.). Many artists (most of them living in Bratislava) perceived the natural environment as a place of self-reflection to which they escaped from estranged impersonal urban environment. Natural environment, which stood beyond the state control, could become a natural space for “hidden” presentation, but the activities in nature were usually held privately, only with the participation of a close circle of artists or invited participants, or in personal space.  

Land art works in Slovakia were not created for the purpose of public presentation in galleries. At the time of their origin, when the artists who refused to conform to the dogma of Socialist realism could not display their works in official premises, public presentation was hardly imaginable. However, after 1989 they were reflected within many exhibition projects devoted to action art and conceptual art in both domestic and international contexts. They are the evidence of the universal and topical nature of certain themes and they invite to the reflection about our existence in accordance with the environment in which we live and to the redefinition of our relation to nature, world and ourselves. The trace of nature is captured in tens of realisations created on our visual art scene during the last four decades.


Daniela Čarná


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Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
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