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Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art
Budapest, Budapest 1095 – Hungary

The exhibition SIGNAL looks at the birth and evolution of Slovak art from the mid-1960s until the present day. In so doing, it shows the broader contexts that gave rise to Slovak conceptual art in 1964–1965 while also emphasizing the continuity of this form of visual thinking throughout the succeeding generations of artists. The exhibition’s approach is neither linear nor based on a generational classification, but instead presents its information in four main thematic sections representing the primary artistic strategies for the past more than fifty years: TEXTmania (Text-based visual fields), The Zero Gestures (The rebellious gesture fulfils), The Indoor Cosmos (A journey through a paper universe), Redefining the Image (The digital impact).

Conceptual thinking emerging in the 1960s was not merely one of many strands of modernism, but a fundamental breakthrough in the structure of how art is defined and in the status and perception of the artifact – programmatically creating borderline “stalker” zones and pioneer fields of exploration. Instead mimesis, depiction of a scene, a static artifact – these give way to a new, non-iconic space and time, a different definition of the substance of art language, or anti-art: postulates, manifests, records, texts, events and activities.

We can naturally observe generational waves on the timeline, developing under different social and political conditions – on the alternative, unofficial scene before 1989, and the continuation afterwards by the younger generation in the era’s changing paradigms and worldviews. In this light of a functioning “intel-net” we can imagine the development of conceptual and post-conceptual approaches in three generational stages: the crucial artists of Slovak conceptual art Slovakia – establishing this visual language, the post-conceptual approaches in the 1990s – redefining conceptual thinking, the new generation of artists after 2000 – new “post-media” strategies and approaches, incorporating digital and electronic media.

SIGNAL – The Story of (Post)conceptual) Art in Slovakia is a continuation of the project Soft Codes, which was held at the Wrocław Contemporary Museum (2015) and exhibition Probe 1 in Prague City Gallery (2018).

Exhibiting artists

Blažej BALÁŽ, Cyril BLAŽO, Stano FILKO, Petra FERIANCOVÁ, Viktor FREŠO, Jozef JANKOVIČ, Martin KOCHAN, Július KOLLER, Marek KVETAN, Ján MANČUŠKA, Roman ONDAK, Michal KERN, Monogrammista T. D, Rudolf SIKORA, Pavla SCERANKOVÁ, Péter RÓNAI, Jaro VARGA

Curator: Vladimír BESKID

Professional assistance: Viktória POPOVICS

The exhibition is on view between 19 April and 23 June 2019.

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