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

Dream!? | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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Another original of Tilgner´s fountain Triton and Nymph, situated at the courtyard of Mirbach Palace, can be seen in the Volksgarten in Vienna.



Mirbach Palace (show Contact)
24. 9. 2020 - 29. 11. 2020
Curator: Beata Jablonská, Kristína Zaťko Jarošová

A Probe into the Collection of the Central European Contemporary Art Fund

The exhibition entitled SNÍVAJ!? / DREAM!? features a unique presentation of the works of key Slovak visual artists who emerged on the art scene in the 1960s up to the “post-November” generation of the 1990s. It is based on artwork which reflects the easing of the social and political situation during the Prague Spring (1968) in former socialist Czechoslovakia. In those briefly “liberated” times, the art scene fought for and achieved avant-garde self-confidence and invincible authenticity. These qualities which essentially marked the art of the alternative – unofficial scene were later manifested in the predominantly neo-conceptual work of the younger generation of visual artists. 

The visionary bravery and radical artistic expression of these artists were not extinguished by the measures of the subsequent period of Normalization which often included their expulsion from official fine art life. Despite the fact that their non-conformist approaches frequently faced censorship, systematic intimidation and misunderstanding, these artists persevered and continued to create under the limited conditions of the parallel cultural society.  

Thanks to the ability to create their own framework of the world and internal exile, they found a breeding ground and space for dreaming and free contemplation. The reality of the artists who were “cast out” has survived up to the present in their work, but not in the form of superficial resistance. Rather, it can be seen in meditative searches of the threshold limit values of the absolute and the transcendent and in the artistic visualization of subtly lived moments and situations. Issues related to intimacy, ecology, cosmology, acoustic-visual relations and feminism also predominate. Their unconventional, creative expression features a specific humor, irony, peculiar visual poetics, intermediality and the elimination of the boundaries between “low” and “high” art.

DREAM!? strives to follow the path of artistic escape and the conviction that a civilization based on humanistic ideas is more than just a Utopian dream. Through powerful metaphorical and critical thinking, it does not remain on the level of a romantic daydream, but reflects the social, political and cultural situation of that time.  The title of this exhibition was inspired by the letter of artist and theoretician Robert Cyprich from 1979, in which he writes the following to Czech artist Petr Štembera: “In the words of Balzac, each of us wanted to change this world for a moment. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like doing it anymore. I just want to help people to dream. Yes, I’m a professional for people’s dreams. The shoemaker puts shoes on people’s feet, the barber cuts their hair, and I try to help them dream. What can you give people today?...POUR OUT THE PINK PAINT AND GILD THE SKIES!”

Today, several decades later, the work of “his” generation which shared the common feeling of outsiders towards the visual art scene and society in general, is one of the key chapters of our art history and has left a significant trace even on the international scene. Not only because of its artistic value, but because of its existential message which has its urgency even today.    

Today’s world is comprised of a complicated matrix of climatic and pandemic crises, depleted traditional social systems and the slim probability that the future can only be built based on experience from the known past.   And thus, dreaming or thinking about the world anew, in a radical way, but without certain creative outcomes becomes not only a possibility, but a necessity.  

The Art Fond collection has created an exhibition story for the Bratislava City Gallery which paints a picture of ostracized art, while focusing on both its visible and hidden specifics.  As opposed to the art of the Western art scene, these features were infused with a more personal search for the essence of the relationship between artist and art, at the artistic level, as well as the ethical, social and ecological levels. However, the intention of the collection creators is not to preserve their artistic importance and social relevance within exhibition frameworks connected to the past. On the contrary, their topicality is in direct confrontation with the present days in the works of contemporary artists who were selected in the dialogical conception of the collection.  


Exhibiting artists: Milan Adamčiak, Peter Bartoš, Juraj Bartusz, Mária Bartuszová, Milan Dobeš, Stano Filko, Milan Grygar, Jozef Jankovič, Igor Kalný, Michal Kern, Július Koller, Otis Laubert, Denisa Lehocká, Juraj Meliš, Alex Mlynárčik, Ilona Németh, Roman Ondak, Rudolf Sikora, Dezider Tóth / Monogramista T.D, Jana Želibská

Exhibition curators: Beata Jablonská, Kristína Zaťko Jarošová




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Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
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