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

What comes around?  | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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Before 1975, the City Gallery of Bratislava had its seat in the premises of the Primatial Palace.


What comes around?

Author: Oľga Paštéková
Mirbach Palace (show Contact)
26. 4. 2018 - 24. 6. 2018
Curator: Miroslava Urbanová

The solo exhibition of Oľga Paštéková What comes around? introduces her site-specific reaction to the newly established Gallery of the Youth of City Gallery Bratislava. Mirbach Palace's attic with bold beam supporting system is filled with the artist's latest works on plywood. This artwork is a symbolic reference to the forest – inspired by the forest environment, as well as using natural materials.

Oľga continues to develop her own personal mythology, which is firmly linked to the motifs of wild animals. However, as the title of the exhibition suggests, she contextualizes her works within broader questions concerning mutual interaction of people with other species. She uses bears, ravens and wolves from the city environment of her previous work Animal versus City and returns them to their natural surroundings. These animals cannot avoid encountering our species – in the forest as well as in the gallery space.

People and animals share in many philosophies an important common trait, which makes them equal in a certain sense so-called anima, which means breath or spirit / soul. This is reflected in etymology of the animal word as well. Oľga believes that all creatures are equal and there should be no hierarchy of living beings. She introduces the visitor to a strongly, emotionally charged environment, in which animals represent an active element, always on the move, demanding their space to live.

Oľga's older works, which are consistent in their figurative rendering, are typical of usage of the theme of shadow. Jungian psychology connects the shadows with unconsciousness or with its certain aspects or with collective unconsciousness and fears. According to her needs, Oľga updated these symbolical layers as narratives from European culture – for instance the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The interpretation of such stories are conditional not only on archetypal reading of its main actors and their deeds, but also on period context. Nowadays, this fairytale, which was in the past a moral tale, resonates within the framework of #metoo discourse as well.

In her current exhibition, Oľga experiments with the representation of these animal outside of their traditional narratives and she does so with a very reduced gestic brushstrokes. Alongside the dematerialization of the motifs of animals, which reminds slavers of furious specimens, Oľga has broadened her color palette. Due to their ambivalent (un)presence in contours, the representations of the animals became traces, indexes of vital force, existential fear and deliberate freedom at the same time. They absorb the whole surface of narrow vertical slabs from industrially processed, but still natural material.

In this exhibition, nature and culture are intentionally intertwined, pointing to the arbitrary opposition of these two categories.  Within the framework of the growing civic and environmental activism should appear the questions about relationships with and within our regional ecosystem. What exactly is the forest? How far have we domesticated it? And what goes around?






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Oľga Paštéková

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
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
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