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

Souls in a Hideout  | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


Explore the archive of exhibitions


The City Gallery of Bratislava publishes children´s exhibition guides?


Souls in a Hideout

Authors: Alena Adamíková, Lucia Dovičáková, Marcel Mališ, Alžběta Josefy, Jiří Topinka, Adéla Sobotková
Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
17. 5. 2012 - 17. 6. 2012
Curator: Magdaléna Ševčíková

9th year of the Bratislava City Gallery project focused on the support of young curators 

Souls in a Hideout

People say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. But what if there are no eyes? What if everything is hidden? The exhibition Souls in a Hideout presents headless torsos, deformed heads and covered bodies, asking to what extent the absence of faces with selected artists is (un)intentional and to what extent it is the artist´s strategy and intention. Is this loss of expression automatically the same as the loss of identity? And, moving from purely visual projection of an impersonalised body to latent levels of perception, what role do the artist´s inner incentives play in the creative activity? Can they lead to deliberate deletion and fragmentation of a body? Do these bodies become empty shells, puppets without soul, or on the contrary, receive a new dimension and depth?

When looking at the presented works, one can say that in spite of a different motivation of individual artists, the bases are very similar. In general, we can see two basic approaches to work: in-depth analytical, intuitive, reflecting inner world, and elaborated, strategic, and conceptual.

Bodies and faces of Alena Adamíková, Lucia Dovičáková, Marcel Mališ, Adéla Sobotková and Jiří Topínka represent either fragments, or are being constantly fragmented, deformed, hidden, covered, or filled with a new content. Lucia´s Mirrors, for instance, disturb integrity and independence of represented body. Her empty faces depersonalise and deprive bodies of their roles through the loss of identity. The bodies in works of Marcel Mališ are held captive and lying at the mercy of their “torturer”. They suffocate helplessly in agony, having no notion of time and space. In terms of visual incentives and the absence of faces, the approach of Lucia Dovičáková and Marcel Mališ is the most radical one within the exhibition.

In works of Alena Adamíková, Jiří Topínka and Alžběta Josefy one can find a sort of composed “stories” and specific scenes. While Alena´s works have been motivated by the absence
of a personal contact with her family abroad and obscure ideas about unknown identity of individual family members, which she materializes and symbolically transfers to their heads, works by Jiří Topínka have been inspired by René Magritte. Instead of reflecting subjective trauma, he covers faces and finds Magritte´s motifs in everyday situations. He plays with the reality itself. By manipulating the content of selected specific scenes, he changes the perception of represented body. Alžběta Josefy puts the bodies onto the canvas as a photographer, creating the scenes and turning
a classical portrait upside down. 

And finally, the works of Adéla Sobotková omit the bodies in general, reducing them to the representation of dream-like and indefinite heads. Except for her Landscape, they are impersonalised, lacking any distinct context, and yet visually impressive and intrinsically strong.

On the one hand there are the artists who consider the most important the possibility to materialise their inner world, reveal the Souls in a Hideout and give vent to their hidden frustrations and desires (Lucia Dovičáková, Adéla Sobotková, Alžběta Josefy), on the other hand there are the artists whose work is the result of elaborated and strategic work (Alena Adamíková, Marcel Mališ, Jiří Topínka). The two approaches are to a certain extent intuitive (if talking about an initial selection of themes) and interwoven, as the connection is the impersonalised fragmented body loosing the basic attributes necessary for communication. The body is not specific, provokes by its otherness and is strongly symbolical. The exhibition Souls in a Hideout presents six different approaches to how and why to fragment, hide and cover the bodies or even to deform faces.     
Magdaléna Ševčíková


Do you want to know what´s new at the City Gallery of Bratislava?

Alena Adamíková, Lucia Dovičáková, Marcel Mališ, Alžběta Josefy, Jiří Topinka, Adéla Sobotková

Other exhibitions/actions

Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Curator: Vladimír Kordoš, Marián Meško
21. 4. 2020 - 30. 8. 2020
Mirbach Palace / Exhibition
Author: Albín Brunovský
Curator: Ivan Jančár
12. 3. 2020 - 30. 8. 2020

Františkánke nám. 11, 815 35 Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Panská 19, Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
The photographs of works of art, promoting the exhibitions held at the City Gallery of Bratislava, published on the website, are subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act. The City Gallery of Bratislava is not a copyright holder; it is the artist, or his/her heirs. The work of art becomes free more than 70 years after author´s death. The photographs of works of art published on the website can only be used with the prior written consent of the artist, his/her heir, or institution representing artist´s rights, otherwise it shall be regarded as copyright infringement.