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Forbína (Fore-scene)

Exhibition title: Forbína (Predscéna/Fore-scene)
Venue: Synagogue - Center of Contemporary Art, Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Richard Gregor
Autori: William Kentridge (Južná Afrika-ZA / USA), Martin Arnold (A / USA), k r buxey (GB), Jiří Příhoda (CZ), Anton Čierny (SK)
Opening:  14. január 2010, Synagóga - Centrum súčasného umenia
Duration: 14. 01. 2005 – 13. 02. 2005



Using the language of Voskovec and Werich, a forbína means an aside, a place of interruption in the discourse of the staged theatre performance, in which the actors may step out of character and through time. It is a place where the story enters into the present, and because the text of the aside is not considered to be part of the performance, potential censorship of the drama doesn't necessarily affect the activist (the actor) nor the commentaries of the piece. (This was an important form of political revolt in Czechoslovakia during the late 1930's and throughout the 50's.) This specific form of extension of the story is a metaphor for one of the possible interpretations of the relationship between film and video-art.

Forbína is a presentation of the artists, whose works are on one hand regarded as film and as video-art on the other. In this intersection the story's content may be emphasized or negated, but at the same time it retains the logical sequence of the film as well as the message or context.

The works of the participating artists are somewhat provocatively linked by their penetrative themes, which results in obscure relations within the actual pieces. For instance, the variability and surreal structure of Kentridge's narration is so interesting, that any concrete reflections on it would lead nowhere, even though we know, that his "set of characters" has its own hidden rules. k r buxey and Anton Čierny apply causality in another way. Both pieces talk about unfullfilled relations, but where there is at the same time no contact between lethargy and dominance (dominance and subdominance). k r buxey lightens this ritual in her works through music (aria Carmen works only partially), however, it could be said, that in her works the grotesqueness of applying this strategy has more low-brow characteristics - but still more critical rather than absurd. Martin Arnold pursues the same intentions by selecting film sequences. Arnold, through the medium of sexuality, loosens the chains which bind the film's protagonists, but at the same time chains them with new ones, those that originated in early situational comedies - in the impossibility to untie the existing relations. A high-pitched whine, reached by concetrating on a detailed gesture denies life to the protagonists. Moreover, it it reminiscent of carrousels, which is a radical metaphor to early American musicals. Last, but not least, Příhoda finishes what the others have hinted at. The penetration of the airship ends in its destruction, and the metal plate serves as a memory - projection screen.

Early Situational Comedies
In conclusion, what is important for this exhibition is the grotesqueness and situational nature of the pieces. During the 20th century this genre underwent dramatic changes in its expression as well as in meaning: from the initial phase of entertainment through to the continuously re-evaluated genre of silent film - it crossed historical boundaries. Of importance is the coup de theatre phenomen, which is on the other hand a specific pendant of gesture (both ideological and formal alike).


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