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Diana Cencer Garafová, Nikola Šušovicová: One without the Other

Artist, exhibition title: Diana Cencer Garafová, Nikola Šušovicová: One without the Other
Venue: New wing of Koppel Villa, Zelený kríček 3, Trnava
Curator: Marianna Brinzová
Vernissage: 4 April 2019 (Thurs.) at 18:00
Exhibition: 4 April – 2 June 2019


One without the Other is an exhibition of the works of two young Slovak artists: Diana C. Garafová (*1986), who received her doctorate from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, and Nikola Šušovicová (*1994), who is undertaking a master’s degree in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. In their work, both artists explore the spatial aspects of artwork, its placement in physical spaces, and optical illusions. The central theme of their work is memories stored in objects and in the environment that surrounds and acts upon them. An important force in their work is the perspective of the viewer and the viewer’s (in)ability to see and perceive. Both artists take the approach of the painter, but not in the classic sense—they strive to find and exceed the boundaries. Through various mediums, Garafová extends beyond the surface and enters the physical space, whilst Šušovicová works with fictitious space within an image. One stays on the canvas, the other expands off the canvas. The exhibition’s title, One without the Other, can evoke various connotations. It refers to the necessary presence of two interdependent forces that communicate with one another. In this case, the two forces are the artists themselves, with their differing formal approaches to the theme but with the tendency to always return to the ‘other’. Despite an inclination towards spatialization, Garafová still manages to be in contact with paintings, and Šušovicová, although remaining mostly on the painting’s surface, also intensely experiences spatial quality. A certain ambivalence is also sustained in their images, which cannot exist without space but which can retrospectively distort, overlap or defy it. In a similar way, even the memories visualised in their works cannot exist without a certain type of medium into which they are placed in a way that makes them again perceived and redefined. One without the Other could not function or even exist physically or by definition. One always needs the other, they complement one another, but do not always concur.

One may sometimes stand in contrast. Through their One without the Other exhibition, Garafová and Šušovicová are poised between two levels, between surface and space, between something concrete, tangible, and objective and something subjective and obscure. The strongest link between the two is established with the capturing of memories through reduction, distortion or deformation. In her capturing and presentation to the viewer, Garafová makes use of a variety of optical illusions, perspectives, distortions, and dubiousness on multiple levels. Šušovicová takes the captured memories and fades away concrete images of persons or solid objects, obscuring them yet at the same time drawing attention to them.

Diana C. Garafová and Nikola Šušovicová, presenting themselves in this collaborative exhibition entitled One without the Other, share a common speculative regard for reality, working with memories, archives, examining space and objects. Each of them has her own individual approach to the themes; Garafová applies physical and mathematical relationships and theories whilst Šušovicová works on a more intuitive and psychological level.


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