Ján Gašparovič at Budatín Castle / Žilina, Slovakia

Ján Gašparovič / Bloop

Guests: Ramon Feller, Matej Gavula, Julie Hrnčířová, Maja Štefančíková

Curated by: Zuzana Janečková

31 July 2021 – 17 September 2021

Attic of Budatín Castle, Považské Muzeum, Žilina, Slovakia

We exist in three states. We run down windows as raindrops. We freeze. We hang as icicles. We evaporate. We wander as clouds. We fall as hail. We flood the countryside. Organisms live next to us and within us. We dry out. We shimmer. We reflect light. We are divine. We are home to mermaids, nymphs, rusalkas, and the Bloop. 
We are subject of research. They take samples and make scientific analyses. Legends spread about us. One of them claims that in the beginning, we alone were there, with God and Satan standing over us. The scientists say that we were part of the primordial nebula, meteorites, and comets. We understand these theories but must admit that we ourselves do not know how and when we came to be. We have been here a very long time. We forgot. There are frequent moments of déjà vu: in a flash of metamorphose we remember then forget again what we once were. We know what we are but have no clue when it will change again. It is difficult to keep changing and remember all the forms and things we went through. We enjoy it, though. It is like a constant party. 
Our relationships depend on temperature. They are not isothermic. When they reach the boiling point, they evaporate. When they reach the freezing point, they become solid. It is not easy for us to maintain them in the long term. We keep hoping it might change one day. 
We are flexible. Lately, we had to become activists as well. Currently, we register various catastrophes related to the Pyrocene era. Our temperature is rising, we are melting, we disappear. Pushed to the brink of extinction, we fight back. We are hysterical, because taken advantage of all the time. We must pass through purification facilities which take away many of our memories, although luckily never all of them. When we think back to the millions of years of our existence, we feel very old and tired. We have washed down and away a tremendous amount of dirt. We would like to ditch some of that responsibility but cannot evaporate into thin air just like that. 
We love depressions. We do not know how long we are going to be here. We love to celebrate. Sometimes we take it too far and cause catastrophes and gales, bringing about misfortune, pain, and death. We destroy the lives we created. We are sorry about that. Our responsibility is great. We get depressed. 
Prognoses say there our numbers will go on decreasing. We are trying to save our resources. In very dry places, they condense us. We are most scarce in deserts, but still manage to give sustenance to some plants. Cacti can make use of us even when we are few and far between. We feel rare. 
When they filter and distill us, we do not feel ourselves. When they add minerals to us, it helps us think. We go through a pleasant weightless state. We feel best as drops in the ocean. We are both salty and fresh. We like the word “plop” used in relation to us. We hate being bottled up in plastic. Sometimes, something catches us off guard and we spring up from the ground and spurt to great heights. They watch us with admiration. We do not get it. 
We are embarrassed and hot. Once we finally feel fine again, they start throwing in stones, coins, or trash. It is unpleasant, but we are defenseless; we know that a disaster is at hand. “Please stop and clean up what you dumped in!” Scuba divers and various volunteers sometimes do, but only in spots that are under environmental protection. What about the rest of us? There is not much we can do, we have decomposed, overgrown or hidden a lot in the mud and sand at the bottom. 
Sometimes we unite and stand all together. That is when they fear us. We are like a weapon. Conversely, when there are few of us, the prey for us to come back. At those times, we are sometimes hidden very deep or far, where we can be left alone. We need some rest. We relax. We indulge in thermal wellness. 
When our temperature drops, we freeze. It is a strange state. For a while, we are in two forms at once. We like cracking, it sounds like a concert. Once it gets hotter, we change once again. We can become invisible then. It is not as easy to freeze or evaporate as it might seem. 
We try to be clean and take it seriously. We are wild, but responsible. We know we cannot just up and take off to a deserted island. We are in constant motion. We circulate. We follow the weather and try to tell when we will turn into gales, snow, frost, floods, or tsunami. Forecasts warn of the threats we might pose. We are thankful for that. 
We are not sure of the things we see and hear. A certain unidentified underwater sound was once thought to have come from a strange unknown creature and named the Bloop. We knew all along no such creature existed but liked the story and did not want to spoil it. 
Text: Zuzana Janečková