On the stage

András Cséfalvay, Ilona Németh, Zuzana Žabková

10.07.2014 - 18.09.2014

The Gallery Apart, Via Francesco Negri, 43 Rome

curator: Lýdia Pribišová

photo: Giorgio Benni, installation view at The Gallery Apart

The On The Stage exhibition will present three Slovak artists focusing on the relationship between perception of an artwork, the spectator and the stage, representation and the related difficulties.

The main topic of works by András Cséfalvay include presentation of human ambitions, tendency towards saving the mankind, messianism, fallen heroes, inability to fulfil ambitions, and the emptiness of heroic deeds. These topics often appear in classical operas. András Cséfalvay will exhibit Maquette/Maketa – the work for which he received the 2009 Oskár Čepan Award, and one which is even today still among his most distinct works. This artist often utilises music in his works, even having recently released his own music album. The main protagonist of this work – a maquette of an opera – is András Cséfalvay himself, with the pivotal topic being his ambition to create a monumental epic opera, with a symphonic orchestra, epic stage design and everything else that it takes.

Maquette/Maketa is a model of an opera, consisting of three video-projections evoking an opera scene. On the sides of a U-shaped dark drapery, he projects static images of empty theatre loges, while the core of the projection – a sketch of an opera opus – takes place in the centre. The video, in which the author fully takes on the role of the main author, composer, director, musician, singer and actor, tells about several unfinished operas, with the individual parts being illustrated by the proposed musical and visual motives. The key storyline of the cycle presents the main protagonist in the centre of attention. In his story, we perceive his constant attempts to succeed and his consequent failures. András Cséfalvay is interested in opera mainly as in a Gesamkunstwerk – and creating it is supposed to prove his success, his achievement of a lifelong goal. The work is a maquette, and although it does work on its own as a standalone work of art, it also draws attention to the fact that an opera actually does not need to be ever finished.

Ilona Németh will present a monumental site-specific installation entitled Auditorium/Hľadisko, alluding to self-referencing, disturbing the roles of spectator and actor. A metal construction with plastic chairs resembling an open-air stadium. The interior construction akin to a scaffolding does not make up an independent statue, since it is always adjusted to the actual exhibition premises. This aggressive and at the same time fascinating construction, with its own rhythm and repetitive character, also suggests the motive of an echo, the impossibility of a dialogue, a stalemate situation. Among other things, the project also refers to the currently complicated power relations within the institutions of contemporary art in the Central-European domain. In a similar way as András Cséfalvay's opera, Ilona Németh's project is about balancing on the edge between success and failure.

The video entitled Small Odyssey II (2011) by Zuzana Žabková is an introvert contemplation about the means of expression, about emptiness, and in a similar way as the other works, also about the possible failure. The video captures a play on piano, but the music instrument is not producing any melody; all we hear is the gentle sound of fingers touching the keys. The video is a specific choreography for hands. Young artist Zuzana Žabková is known for specifically combining contemporary choreography, dance, and visual arts. She focuses on video art, video-performance, choreography, installation, sound-art, and their derivatives. In her works, she often manipulates the definitions of "today's usual utopias". By means of an experiment, she gains overview of the variability of the given definitions, thus learning together with the audience from her own mistakes. Perhaps also for a better future.

With financial support of The Ministry of Culture of The Slovak Republic.

András Cséfalvay
was born 1986 in Bratislava, Slovakia. He lives and works in Bratislava.

Selected solo shows:
2014 On Peripheral Orbit, Chimera Project, Budapest,HU
2012 Pootvorenie, Kunstahalle - Nova Synagoga, Zilina, SK
2011 Lessons in the Vicious Art of Murder, Galerie Jelení, Praha,CZ 2010 2011 Answered Prayers, Galeria Medium, Bratislava, SK
2009 Salon with Ivana Smiljanic, ISCP, New York, USA
2008 Apollo projekte, Galeria HIT, Bratislava, SK

Selected group shows:
2014 Private Nationalism, Divus, Praha, CZ
2014 Rozmanitost nutná, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2014 Private Nationalism, gallery M 21, Pécs, HU
2013 1848, Stredoslovneska Galeria, Banská Bystrica, SK
2013 Romantic Apprehensions, metamatic:taf, Athens GR
2012 Emotioni Réale(Real Emotions), Cluj, RO
2012 Discovery of Slowness II, tranzit.sk, Bratislava, SK
2011 Prague Biennale 5, Slovak section, Praha, CZ
2010 Mobilinale 2, Tina.B Special, Praha, CZ
2007 Kunstlerhaus, Munich, DE

Ilona Németh
was born 1963, in Dunajská Streda, Slovakia. She lives and works in Bratislava and Dunajská Streda, Slovakia.

Selected solo shows:
2013 The Harpoon Project. Site specific for New Bedford, The University Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, New Bedford, USA
2013 Ilona Németh, Galéria HIT / HIT Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2012 Identity of the Space / Identita priestoru, Dum umeni / The Brno Haus of Arts, Brno, CZ
2011 Dilemma, Ernst Múzeum, Budapest, HU
2009 In The Middle of Europe, SPACE ON DOBBIN, New York, USA
2008 AS 220, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
2001 Invitation for a Visit (Surůvka, Jiří), 49. La Biennale di Venezia, Pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic, Venezia, IT
2000 Expo Hannover 2000, Hannover, DE

Selected group shows:
2014 Privat Nationalism SK, Kunsthalle, Košice, SK
2013 Good Girls. Memory, Desire, Power. MNAC-Muzeul National de Arta Contemporana, Bucharest, RO
2013 Out of the Museum and into the Street. Hungarian Contemporary Art after 2010, Steirischer Herbst & Pavelhaus/Pavlova hiša, A
2013 In the studio, Kunsthalle, Athena, GR
2012 Blood, Slovenská národná galéria / Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2012 The Hero, the Heroine and the Author, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, HU
2011 Public Folklore, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, A
2011 Prague Biennale 5, Microna, Prague, CZ
2011 Diorama, Oi Futuro, Rio di Janiero, BR
2007 Praguebiennale2, Karlín Hall, Prague, CZ
2006 Positioning, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, J
2005 Praguebiennale2, Karlín Hall, Prague, CZ

Zuzana Žabková
was born 1987, in Košice, Slovakia. She lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Selected solo shows:
2013 Pro Rrózu, AM.180, Prague, CZ
2013 Transcending cultures, Essl Art Award Cee 2013, Essl museum, Wien, A
2013 Rommantic apprehensions, Athens, GR
2013M(i)esto medzi pamäťou a nepamäťou, Turčianska galéria, Martin, SK
2013 Ich ruf zu dir, gallery HIT, Bratislava, SK
2012 Une élevation arrondi retirée, IDA, Prague, CZ

Selected group shows:
2013 Oskar Čepan Award, Pisztoryho palác, Bratislava, SK
2013 Mysl je sval, Meetfactory, Prague, CZ
2013 Essl art award, Gallery medium, Bratislava, SK
2012 Ich ruf zu dir, Halle 14, Leipzig, DE
2012 Slowness, tranzit.sk, Bratislava, SK
2011 Nuit Blanche, Košice, SK
2010 East Slovakian Gallery, Košice, SK
2010 Art Action, Monza, IT
2009 Hit gallery, Bratislava, SK
2008 Multimedial performance Quelquechose est rouge in coop. La Hors de, Lyone, FR
2005 Bazanto pintura acrilyco bizarre, Madrid, E