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

SCHOLARSHIP OF RADISLAV MATUŠTÍK 2013, PANEL STORY | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
7. 5. 2013 - 16. 6. 2013
Curators: Lucia Miklošková, Lucia Štrbáková


Exhibiting artists: Peter Cvik, Tomáš Džadoň, Juraj Florek, Sylva Francová (CZ), Pavla Gajdošíková (CZ), Katarína Hládeková, Martin Kochan, David Možný (CZ), Mira Podmanická, Rastislav Sedlačík, Martin Špirec, Lucia Tallová, Juraj Toman, Jaroslav Varga, Silvie Vondřejcová (CZ)


The exhibition project titled “Panel Story” focuses on the subject of mass housing development and the reflection of this phenomenon in contemporary visual art. In the 1970s and 1980s, the ideas of modernity in residential architecture were under the thumb of ideology and gradually turned into a monotonously repeated pattern. The rationalised building industry was controlled by political regime calculating with a human dimension under the constructive motto “architecture for all”.

The ambition of the exhibition project has not been to alternate the role of an architect or
a town planner and to pass “objective” or univocally critical judgements to the quality of mass construction of housing estates. We have rather been interested in searching the imagery of
a panel housing estate from the perspective of an individual, inhabitant, user or a passer-by. The selected sample of art works tries to point out the diversity of artistic views, languages and approaches with a prefabricated concrete building working as a specific sign.

If it is possible to think about the specific urban space within two discourses: an objective discourse of an engineer – town planner and a subjective discourse of a writer – poet (Olivier Mongin), it is the latter that is decisive to us. Here the concern is with a characteristic sort of experience to which the perception of space through its aesthetic qualities is specific. In
a sense, the exhibition project also becomes a sociological probe, a research of imagery – “imageability” (Kevin Lynch) of a panel landscape, where the artists themselves become “respondents”.

The exhibition is divided into two units the sole criterion of which is the perspective. The first unit presents the view of the exterior of a panel housing estate, while the second one shows the interior of panel houses. Panel architecture is employed as both a specific feature, symbol relating to the politics of the former regime (unit one) and the space with a typical visual poetics of uniform, even anonymous expression (unit two). The reflection of the issue of housing estate, however, gives a vivid picture of the idea of certain new folklore with a hint of nostalgia.

Although representing a number of serious problems, panel houses still remain home of the majority of urban population. On that account, the second part of the exhibition shows the interior of panel houses, focusing on individualised premises of flats. Here, the standardised architecture is being filled with types of human characters, social relationships (family, neighbourly, etc.) and intimate micro spaces of the privacy of home. The individual works of art show the process in which human being fills in and shapes empty space, giving it its appearance, ideas, or circumstances of his/her own life.

Of course, the division of the exhibition evokes the opposites such as external and internal, uniform and various, anonymous and personal, public and private, etc. Yet, if one wants to understand the issue of housing estates, one must consider the coexistence of these categories.





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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
Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Authors: Matej Krén / Juraj Krén
Curators: Kristína Zaťko Jarošová, Ivan Jančár
26. 9. 2019 - 31. 5. 2020

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Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
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