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Anton Čierny: My Homeland is a “Wet and Misty Country”

Author, exhibition title: Anton Čierny: My Homeland is a “Wet and Misty Country”
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art, Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Roman Popelár
Opening of the exhibition: November 3, 2017 (Fri.) at 6.00 pm
Duration: November 3, 2017 (Fri.) – January 14, 2018 (Sun.)
Music guest - Longital unplugged

Duration of the exhibition is extended to March 25, 2018.


In February, it has been 20 years since Anton Čierny introduced himself by a monumental installation titled Dawn (Svitanie) in the Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art. It was a part of the set of eight exhibitions titled Memory of the Place (Pamäť miesta) held in 1997-98 and curated by Jana Geržová.
A major breakthrough in the career of the author, who holds a degree in Sculpture, came as early as in the first half of the 1990s. As a graduate supervised by prof. Juraj Bartusza at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (AFAD) in Bratislava (1991), he tended towards cross-media compositions. At that time, he saw a sculpture as an artefact set in a landscape (Land Art), an intervention in the existing architecture (Art in Public) and focused on creating so-called site-specific installations for various art galleries and other premises in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Dawn is undoubtedly one of the highlights of his artistic work in the 1990s.

Since 1999, Čierny has been working as a university teacher at the AFAD and he has been gradually taking interest in video installations, video documentations and happening records. He has created pieces of this type of art at various locations in Western and Eastern Europe. His artistic work, inspirations and tendencies, as well as exhibitions of his artworks, are elaborately recorded in the monograph published by the Art Gallery of Považie in Žilina in 2012 (authors: Zora Rusinová, Mira Sikorová Putišová and Daniel Grúň).

Twenty years later, Anton Čierny – currently holding a professor degree – is coming back to the Synagogue in Trnava. As is known, he gets the inspiration for his projects mostly from atypical places, situations and themes. This time, the artist has chosen the exhibition premises in the spirit of the quote “No man ever steps in the same river twice” as they have never been used for exhibition purposes (until now): the interior of the two of the synagogue’s partly reconstructed towers, which bare traces of various decades of the past and present. Its architecture, which underwent a sacral, profane and even artistic period in the 20th and 21st century, has become, after a partial reconstruction, a foundation for the artist’s presentation of a still current topic in our history: extremism, which has been over the past few years sneaking into our lives and politics. Čierny’s concept is in the first place based on the unfinished state and “crudeness” of the interior that was unused both before and after the reconstruction. He has completed the premises in his own way and opened it for public. He used minimalistic, low-cost solutions – be it the towers’ entrances or a form of the presentation of videos. It has resulted in a coherent architectural video installation, which indicates that approaching a sensitive topic of the past is not straightforward. We have to make an effort to come to a conclusion (ascending – the way upwards), to confront it (e.g. in the form of a movie or video) and find a solution through the present.

Roman Popelár

Anton Čierny (*1963, Bojnice)
1980 – 1984 High School of Industrial Arts in Bratislava
1985 – 1991 Academy of Fine Arts and Design (1989 – 1991, Unrestricted Creativity Atelier led by Juraj Bartusz)

1992 Martin Benka Graduate Award
1997 Young Slovak Artist of the Year (currently titled Oskár Čepan Award)
2004 Nomination for the Orange award (Giant exhibition – European Conversation Pieces), Haag, NL

Solo exhibitions (selection)
1995 Road (Cesta), the State Art Gallery in Banská Bystrica (curated by Alena Vrbanová)
1995 Anton Čierny – Installation, the Art Gallery of Považie in Žilina (curated by Milan Mazúr)
1997 Dawn (Svitanie), Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnave, Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art (curated by Jana Geržová)
2001 Second Hand / Gene Art, Vojtech Löffler Museum in Košice (curated by Richard Gregor)
2002 House (a Secret Place) (Dom (utajené miesto), Bratislava City Gallery – Pálffy Palace (curated by Richard Gregor)
2006 One Day I Mecided to make a Trip – Song for Europe (Zahrajže mi Európa), the Art Gallery of Považie in Žilina (curated by Mira Putišová)
2008 Jan Štursa – DELTA, Šaloun Villa, Prague, Czech Republic
2010 Manuals for Creation of Necessary Things and Impressions (Návody na vytváranie potrebných vecí a dojmov) (with P. Fichtová Čierna), Gallery SPACE, Bratislava (curated by Katarína Slaninová)
2011 Manuals in a Nutshell (Manuály v kostce) (with P. Fichtová Čierna), Kostka Gallery, MeetFactory, Prague, Czech Republic

Architectural Solutions of Exhibitions
2003 Realism and Reality – 100 Years of Reality (Realizmus a skutočnosť – 100 rokov reality), Permanent exhibition of the Slovak 20th century Art in the Bratislava City Gallery – Pálffy Palace
2006 22´50,28´´, Exhibition of Slovak Art by R. Gregor, Caisa, Helsinki, FIN
2009 A place where people get a pat on the back, where they shed tears… (Místo, kde se poplácává po zádech, kde se roní slzy...), Šaloun Villa, Prague, CZ (in cooperation with Ivana Moncoľová)

Committee Membership
2010 International Film Festival WIZ-ART, Lviv, Ukraine

Slovak Arts Council is the main sponsor of the project.
Supported using public funding by 



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