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The Biennial of Small Scale Sculpture Pezinok 2017

Exhibition title: The Biennial of Small Scale Sculpture Pezinok 2017 5th year (Trnava – Pezinok – Bratislava – Wroclaw)
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery, Synagogue - Center of Contemporary Art,
Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Roman Popelár
Exhibiting authors: Marek Dobeš, Mateusz Dworski (PL), Andrej Haršány, Roman Hrčka,
Katarína Kissoczy, Patrik Kovačovský, Bohuš Kubinský, Alžbeta
Lišková, Helena Lukášová (CZ), Robert Makar, Eva Masaryková,
Marcin Michalak (PL), Robert Mlčúch, Aino Nebel (D), Tomasz
Nièdziólka (PL), Tets Ohnari (JP/CZ), Štefan Oslej, Miroslav Pallo, Till
Pansow (D), Ludmila Pohlová (CZ/SK), Ivan Patúc, Karin Patúcová Lunterová,
Martin Ščepka, Jozef Suchoža, Robert Szittay, Michal Šuda, Rasťo
Opening: April 6, 2017 (Thu) at 18:00
Duration: April 6, 2017 (Thu) – May 10, 2017 (Wed)


The event started writing its history ten years ago under the name The Biennial of Small Scale Sculpture Pezinok. The idea was initiated in 2005 - 2006 by the academic sculptor Jozef Jankovič, the art historian Ľuba Belohradská and Viera Moravčíková, the project coordinator.

From the beginning year, the Biennial is aimed at 4 target ideas: first of all, it is a respond to a request of professor Jankovič to create a solid ground for the regular presentation of small scale sculptures after the years of stagnation; to create a dialogue of the authors - between generations and countries – and thus safe the potential talents from the isolation of their studios once their studies are finished. This should also include a dialogue of publicist and art theoreticians about the course of small scale sculpture in the present-day field of art. After ten years, the Biennial is the only regular event meeting these goals in Slovakia.

Also, the programme CHILDREN AT THE EXHIBITION is important – aimed at perception of art supervised by Mgr. Michaela Syrová, PhD. More than 2,000 children have attended the previous years.

This event was inspired by the Biennial of Small Sculpture in Murska Sobota. A small East-Slovenian town without any artistic tradition has managed to build a project on the premises of a regional gallery which considerably surpassed the country. (However, the last biennial event was in 2010.)

The first event supervised by Jozef Jankovič and the curator Ľuba Belohradská took place in 2007 in Pezinok, under the name Facts / Artifacts. As many as 42 authors participated and aimed to map the post-revolutionary years - to encourage the sculptors who remained active in the medium of free sculpture of small scale in Slovakia. It was a recapitulation year which also showed a potentially strong following generation. However, this and the following years revealed many weaknesses which our society often encounters also today: spatial, financial and logistic malnutrition that prevents organizing a generous exhibition beyond local conditions.

When I took over the supervision of the project, I had no big expectations. Nonetheless, I managed to put together an intimate collection of 12 authors in the beautiful non-gallery exhibition premises in Pezinok. Active Slovak sculptors took part in it with their new production (not older than 2 years), which is partially the programme content of the Biennial: to introduce new works or new authors. It was pleasant to find out that also painters tracked the intimate free project: at that time e.g. Igor Ondruš, later Erik Šille, Marcel Mališ or Filip Sabol, as well as the multimedialists (Juraj Dudáš) and graphic artists (Robert Makar). All of them took part in Biennial in previous years.

From 2011 the Biennial of Small Scale Sculpture Pezinok was characterized by next sub-names: in 2011 Parallels / Shifts – Classic and Experiment (the exhibition was re-installed for the first time in the newly opened Bratislava gallery STATUA), in 2013 Confrontations (SK, CZ, PL, H), as many as 21 authors took part in that year, a third of them was from the neighbouring countries of V4. The exhibition has been mentioned at the respected portal sculpture network.

In 2015 it went under the name (Inter)Generation Paradoxes and 23 artists took part. It became an official part of the international event Sculpture and Object in Bratislava and so it is in the current year.

The 5th year is asking How to Go On. The Biennial is still looking for its face and expression. Sculptors living in cultural centres of Europe, like Berlin or Cologne, have shown interest in it. The same reactions - based on previous years – also come from Polish Wroclaw. After a year, Tets Ohnari is returning to Trnava; he was the first to successfully present himself in the renovated synagogue with the monumental installation called Reflection.

The world and its everyday situation change rapidly; from many projects we have learned that the interest in the Central European region of (also renowned) artists from various countries has been growing. They will come if we manage to offer them standard conditions which are, however, considered above-standard in our country. We also know that it is not enough just to build a tradition, its continuous innovation is needed. The era of "salons" has been still alive in our country after 27 years, therefore a topical biennial is one of the future challenges. Nevertheless, in the era of stagnating domestic field of sculpture, there is a threat of decreasing number of domestic participants in behalf of the foreign ones...

The year-long exhibition starts on April 6 in the Synagogue in Trnava - Center of Contemporary Art; it will show, if we are able to pass the Slovak "limits", on which we are standing, in the future.

Roman Popelár

Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council




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