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Common Nonsense | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The Scholarship of Radislav Matuštík has been established in 2004.


Common Nonsense

Author: Dorota Sadovská
Mirbach Palace (show Contact)
30. 9. 2020 - 31. 1. 2021
Curator: Zsófia Kiss-Szemán

The exhibition presents Dorota Sadovská´s latest works from the period of 2018–2020. In many moments, the paintings arranged into cycles relate to her previous works. They are solely figural works dominated by human figures. Human beings and body parts stand for the problems and questions, often paradoxical ones, which, despite their importance, the artist often depicts with humour, using a special form of subtle irony. 

The first in the series is the painting Antropocén/The Anthropocene (2018–2019) that defines the scope and the range of all presented works. The Anthropocene epoch is an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth´s history when the human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet´s ecosystems. The term has not been formally adopted yet. In the very beginning, the fight for resources, power, fame, etc. started that also brought all positive matters related to the human, such as joy, game and humour. The figures are in this common existence, locked together. Besides a relentless ligament, the physical closeness also becomes an intimate bond. It refers to the figures´ addiction to the need of fighting and playing together, which may finally result even in the sport. The view from above creates forms evoking a pattern, an emblem. Despite their constant movement, the figures are captured in a single point when their centre is well-balanced and the couple reaches both the stability and the instability. The limbs disappear in the walls, or the unknown or invisible space. The artist hung the work across the corner of the room, like an icon or some works installed by Kazimir Malevich. In this way, the painting becomes almost a 3D object rising from the surface and showing the possibilities of entering other, spiritual or spatial, dimensions.

The work Antropocén/The Anthropocene is closely related to the paintings #StayHome 1 and #StayHome 2 (2020) made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their impact is much broader. Suggested with subtle humour, the gathered and interwoven limbs and body parts can be seen as a contribution to the representation of overcrowded living space, whether it is a flat in which all family members are locked down, or the overpopulated planet. Nevertheless, despite the overcrowding, people still often live in solitude.  

In the series of paintings humorously titled Common Nonsense (2019–2020), the artist responds to common paradoxes of the period (Anthropocene) and the human with often ambiguous characteristics, bringing them in the scenes together. The figures encounter in a neutral, or unidentified, universal space resembling nature (mud, grass), which also works like a weightless space bringing permanent change and variability (of positions, state). The white figures in the paintings represent our ideas, prejudices, stereotypes, or part of ourselves, our alter ego which we fight much often and more strongly than the reality itself. The empty silhouettes look like vacuum or erased figures leaving an empty place in memory, while the figure is frozen in the fighting/embracing position. The artist deliberately hung the paintings askew to suggest the irregularities; the paintings breaking away from the walls emphasise the figures´ state of weightlessness.

A viable solution to how to break free from this state of imprisonment in the imperfect material and mental world is to accept the uncertainties and paradoxes of human life and the world, learn to live with them, or even enjoy them. The two paintings offer two different views of Christ in the position of crucifixion, however, without a cross. The painting Modrozelený Kristus/Blue-Green Christ (2020) shows the scene in a new light, using a contemporary art language. Seen from below, the figure gradually blends into the green sky, following the well-known comparison of Christ´s cross to the Tree of life. The painting Biely Kristus/White Christ (2020) with a silhouette of the figure seen from above evokes a flying white bird with outstretched wings. The focus on a central point is highlighted by concentrated strokes of the olive-green field and a perfect circular shape. The figural motif in the centre is only recognisable for the outlines of the white surface integrated in the dynamic background. Paradoxically, the depiction of the figure consists in the absence of painting on the expected place. 

In this way, the artist plays with a current question: Is it possible for us to be a part, or even the centre of events at the places where we are not physically present? And although we may hesitate to answer, the binary form of our existence shows us daily its insistent “yes”. But are we sufficiently ready for that?


Zsófia Kiss-Szemán, Dorota Sadovská


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Dorota Sadovská

Other exhibitions/actions

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Mirbach Palace / Exhibition
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29. 10. 2021 - 9. 1. 2022
Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
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Mirbach Palace / Exhibition
1. 5. 2021 - 31. 12. 2021

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