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Spirituality, Secularity and Bilaterality

A Shadow of Faith in the Minds of Others

Exhibition title: Spirituality, Secularity and Bilaterality
(A Shadow of Faith in the Minds of Others)
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, Synagogue – Center
of Contemporary Art, Halenárska 2, Trnava
Author and Curator of the Project: Lenka Sýkorová
Jan Pfeiffer, Dana Sahánková and Adéla Součková
Opening: September 19 (Tue), 2017 at 06:00 PM
Duration: September 19 (Tue) – October 22 (Sun), 2017


The space of Trnava’s Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art has a strong genius loci. It is this saturation of spiritual atmosphere which contributed to the birth of the current exhibition interconnecting three Czech artists: Jan Pfeiffer, Dana Sahánková and Adéla Součková. The curatorial choice focussed on the issue of spirituality in contemporary society which is ever more often oriented towards atheism. This leads to disunity of faith and tolerance of faith of others. On the other hand, we are historically bound with the Jewish-Christian culture in the central European space. Its archetypes influence us more deeply than we are able to admit. Spirituality in the beginning of the 21st century is undergoing changes and people are often coming back to the roots which help them find the lost identity. The exhibition deals with two-sidedness of this issue - from faith to secularisation and back. Drawing within the framework of its contemporary understanding constitutes the means of expression. Jan Pfeiffer and Adéla Součková are connected by common perception of drawing in the context of drawing installations which are often amplified by a performative gesture within the framework of understanding of drawing as a mark in space. It is this physicality which is important for understanding of current visual art. Young generation of artists uses it within social-cultural-political relationships which strongly influence us. On the contrary, Dana Sahánková expresses herself through drawing in its classical conception. Her large-scale pen drawings bind the exhibition both in visual and contentual terms. She refers us to dailiness which is grasped in the traditional drawing medium.

In the exhibition, the drawing object of Jan Pfeiffer applying various media attracts attention. He explores morphology and by doing so he tries to uncover mechanisms which surround and influence us. He is fascinated by the relationship of man and space. In the synagogue, he works with a principle which has been important to him lately - monumental drawing created by graphite powder. The drawing becomes a spatial object which comes alive during the exhibition opening through entry of performers. Thus, the author virtually and physically draws in space. He evokes an illusion of divided landscape where “a double rule for a single land” applies. The dialogue is therefore a call over a hill. Two people in the same place are actually elsewhere due to different religious and political agreements. Author accentuates his personal experience from divided Palestine.

The forefront of the main hall is dominated by a textile installation of Adéla Součková who deals with the theme of Jewish spirituality. The author created the work directly for the exhibition with reference to a temple curtain separating profane and sacral spaces. Drama has been added by tearing the curtain. The author symbolically opens the door and poses a question about where the door leads. Golem stylized in a form of a pictogram representing emergency exit says “go away”. Its duplication and placement opposite each other symbolise some sort of conflict. This way, Adéla Součková analyses current situation in society. In Trnava, she bases her work on the statement that drawing is the most direct medium for social communication and she points out that drawing possesses an ability to reduce reality. Adéla Součková can masterfully translate a sequence of thoughts into a graphic form with richness of emotion and experience.

Dana Sahánková introduces monumental drawings with stress on their spiritual atmosphere of pulling the audience into the image field. Her drawings are characterised by a rich inner structure. In recent years, she has been experimenting with the base - namely with a wooden board or canvas with golden background which refers to Gothic board paintings in which artists employed this technique in order to create an illusion of perspective. Lighting in respect to placement and expected perception of her work is important to the author and it is also the case in the space of the synagogue.

The exhibition is part of a long-term project Post-conceptual Extensions in Contemporary Czech and Slovak Drawing. Since 2014, the curatorial and theoretical research has been focusing on the work of young Czech and Slovak artists up to the age of 40 years who incline to post-conceptual art in their work. For more about the project: www.aug.cz/postkonceptualni-presahy-v-ceske-kresbe.

Lenka Sýkorová

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


Media partners:

MTTMY trnavské novinytrnava-live.skTrnavské rádioRTVSDoMesta.sk


cnsTrnavská univerzita - Pedagogická fakulta
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