Antroporary at Ján Koniarek Gallery / Trnava


by Michal Stolárik

Lőrinc Borsos, Radek Brousil, Bogomir Doringer, Sári Ember, Barbora
Fastrová, Anna Hulačová, Adam Csoka Keller, Šárka Koudelová,
Vojtěch Kovařík, Pavla Malinová, Kristián Németh, Titania Seidl
& Lukas Thaler, Boris Sirka, Adam Šakový

18 – November 15, 2020

Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Slovakia

international exhibition project
responds to anthropocentric and anthropological tendencies, motifs
and elements in the works of the current young generation of artists
and art groups in the domestic and international environment. Their
interest in themes related to man, his corporeality and figural
depiction naturally stems from social atmosphere, directly influenced
by the political system, social pressure, the media, hoaxes, social
networks, and modern influencers. The subject matter, updated with
the sentiment related to the consequences of the recent pandemic,
accelerates the urgent need of physical contact and meeting other
people, as these have, naturally, become scarce. In the post-corona
world, introversion is thriving and the impossibility to live as
usual is challenging one’s own needs, chances of survival, and
dependence on a healthy and prosperous environment. What’s the real
extent of our decisions? Is man still the center of the universe? Is
this age favorable towards individualism or prefers collective

curatorial project, which includes various media (painting,
sculpture, installation, video art, film, audio recordings), observes
the forms and strategies of contemporary visual art with an emphasis
on updated figurative art. The exhibition reflects selected themes
that are directly related to the body, corporeality, and man. It
naturally graduates from banal or ironic approaches, pseudoarcheology
and personal mythologies to serious political issues, matters of
inclusion of marginalized groups or vanity, and the consequences of
(negative) human impact on the environment. Due to the diverse range
of subject matters related to man, various authorial approaches and
fluid tendencies in contemporary art, the exhibition forms one
complex unit. It has no beginning or end, omits traditional and
established institutional categories, and creates a visual collage
that stretches as an organic installation in Jan Koniarek Gallery in
Trnava. Nevertheless, it offers several distinctive sections defined
New Figuration
Body Politics

The individual sections naturally intersect and offer a comprehensive
exhibition of international contemporary art.

New Figuration

New Figuration

section observes current directions of contemporary painting and
sculpture. The outdated interest in elementary realism opens up new
possibilities for deformative and surrealistic tendencies, but also
highlights deconstructions and recontextualizations of appropriated
sources. The concept of the section responds to social disputes about
the objectification of bodies and the relentless effort to define the
standards of beauty. Categories such as anatomical accuracy or
realistic depiction have long since ceased to be the defining
features of quality in visual art. Recently, organic “imperfections”
and tangible inspiration from historical archetypes and ancient
cultures have been flourishing significantly.

tendency is confirmed by monumental oil paintings and small drawings
by Czech author
Malinová (1985)
who pays tribute to the modernist figure. Her robust, even cumbersome
characters naturally oscillate between the physical and symbolic
world, combining intimate and banal subject matters with universal
ones. The inclination towards sculptural representation of painted
figures extending into real sculptures is represented by Slovak
visual artist
Sirka (1981).

His shapeless beings that don’t have much in common with the human
body exude a strong surreal atmosphere and metaphorical
representation of space between the universe and the inner world of
man. The works of
Hulačová (1984)
a prominent representative of contemporary Czech sculpture, aim to
redefine current figurative art, which has long been burdened by
religious history and political ideologies. Her sculptures are
inspired by mythology, Eastern cultures, folk tradition and Christian
symbolism combined with the language of contemporary art, as well as
a hint of surrealism.
Kovařík (1993)
the representative of the youngest generation of Czech painters,
continuously processes and updates timeless stories from Greek
mythology. He fills his monumental canvases with oversized figures of
ancient heroes and heroines, which he deforms to fit within the
frames of his paintings. In his latest series, Slovak painter
Šakový (1987)

adopts figural scenes and details of the less familiar fragments of
the most acclaimed European late Renaissance and Baroque sculptures.
He combines them with levitating “stone” objects, which
change the nature of the scenes with their spatial qualities and cast


section elaborates on issues related to examining, searching for and
creating of one’s own identity. Naturally, this section asks what or
who defines us, to what extent we can be authentic, what are our
roles and positions in today’s society, and what it means to be human
in the 21st century. The works examine how history, hobbies or
fetishes affect us, considering personal spirituality or cultural and
social predispositions. They create symbolic portraits and
self-portraits without the necessary presence of the specific
characteristics of the depicted individuals. It is no coincidence
that the majority of artworks adopts historical elements and excerpts
from the history of art. At the same time, the obvious archaeological
aesthetics outlines the themes of the ephemerality of human lives and
what we leave in the world after our death.


(born in
and formed by Lilla Lőrinc (1980) and János Borsos (1979)) raises
questions of self-identification based on their Hungarian identity.
Their existence is based on bipolar gender, sexual orientation, and
intellect. Their multimedia works deal with the coexistence of a
couple in one identity, dualism, and conflicting opinions.
site-specific installation by Czech visual artist
Fastrová (1988)

resembles great excavations from an archaeological site. The mosaic
wall composed of white plaster elements evokes fragments of bodies
that have been kept underground for millennia. The symbolic
excavation site shows the infographics of characters captured in
movement, which were created in response to their own morphology. The
result is a “social puzzle” which, despite its diversity,
forms one solid whole. The objects, spatial interventions and
painting installations by Czech author
Koudelová (1987)

examine the perception of cultural identity, its fragments and
ideological contradictions. The author works with issues of cultural
appropriation while dealing with the ephemeral nature of our
existence (fragments of the body) in contrast to humanity’s
relentless effort to gain social status (jewelry and other forms of
beautification). In addition to their solo work, Austrian artists
Seidl (1988)

Thaler (1989)
began to develop a joint artistic practice. Their site-specific
environment composed of paintings, objects, and audio recordings
comprises naive “indigenous” facial cartoons, which are
connected to oil paintings showing fragments of idealized human body
parts. It is an absurd dialogue between objects and paintings about
the possibility of being not only the head, but also the rest of the
human body, forming a “full-fledged” person.
Ember (1985),

born in São Paulo and living in Budapest, continues her exploration
of traditional portraits in her spatial installation of marble
objects and hanging textiles, which she reduces to basic elements.
Additionally, her simplified emoticons, which refer to specific
individuals from Ember’s immediate surroundings, outline the theme of
self-identification in society, which is often associated with using
masks and trying to be an expanded version of oneself.


works in the

section discuss (continuously) sensitive issues stemming from the
current political and social situation, which emphasize the
consequences of our decisions while encouraging a more pragmatic
mindset and openness to topics that are not commonly covered by the
media. The artists draw attention to the existence of persons with
physical disabilities and the inclusion of queer minorities, ask
questions related to religion and faith, follow dance politics as
well as the impacts of neocolonialism and human production on ecology
and the state of our planet. They no longer ask what it means to be
human in the 21st century, but how to be a good person in the 21st

his films, Slovak director and visual artist
Csoka Keller (1991)

presents an original perspective of otherness. The selected two short
films (
integrate fashion visuals with inclusion of the LGBTIQA+ community
and persons with Down syndrome. The fascinating mixture of opera
arias, ballet, modern dance, film aesthetics, and surreal narrative
pushes the boundaries of perception of “different” worlds.
The selected works by Czech multimedia artist
Brousil (1980)

present a critical perspective on issues of ethics, ecology,
economics, and the absurd consequences of (seemingly banal) human
decisions. The soft patchwork objects hanging from the ceiling
contain author’s photographs printed on fabrics produced by the Czech
company VEBA, which, however, are intended exclusively for the
African market. A short and visually appealing video essay explores
the cultural and social tradition of gifting Red Naomi roses. They
are grown by an African producer and then delivered to Europe, which
not only has a catastrophic impact on the environment, but also leads
to frequent sexual abuse of workers, whose bodies are exposed to
harmful pesticides. Slovak visual artist
Németh (1983)

continuously devotes his work to criticism of the Christian church.
The exhibited installation responds to the bizarre event of 2002,
when a two-meter Renaissance statue of Adam collapsed in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Despite the fact that the
restorers managed to save the fragmented details and pieces and bring
the statue back to life, the author was inspired by this random
disintegration to symbolically depict the undermined foundations of
the church and its inability to adapt to the needs of today’s
Doringer (1983),

a Serbian artist and curator working in Amsterdam, studies dance
floors around the world in his long-term project
Dance Alone
From a bird’s eye view, he observes individuals as well as dancing
masses. Their behavior, nonverbal communication, interaction,
movements, choreography and gestures can be seen as a mirror of
social, political and environmental changes. The author asks where,
how and why we dance the way we dance.