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Vlasta Žáková: Nostalgia for tomorrow´s pains

Author, title of the exhibition: Vlasta Žáková: Nostalgia for tomorrow´s pains
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art, Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Vladimír Beskid
Opening of the exhibition: 28. 5. 2020 (Thurs)
Duration of the exhibition: 28. 5. 2020 (Thurs) – 3. 7. 2020 (Fri)


In The Black Forest... 45 x 75 cm, textiles, 2013

The exhibition in the Synagogue – Centre of the Contemporary Art, Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava introduces Vlasta Žáková (1981) – a significant figure of the Slovak scene in an original experimental work with the textile material – from the hand thread drawing and fabric collage landscapes through soft sculptures to Jacquard digital patterns and their intermedia overlaps (towards clothes design, masks, photographs, and performance). On the one hand, her retrospective presentation shows her way through the textile world of art during the last decade (2010 – 2020); on the other hand, it confirms her unique characteristic position in a combination of plastic foam, fabrics, ribbons, and threads (also supported by her studying the clothes design at the Svidník secondary technical school).

First troubled textile landscapes with various surfaces and textures, with often inset grey flora of a “barren meadow in a black forest“ (Reflection of perception, 2007; Safety of sadness, 2010) were replaced by a strong line of endless dances, celebrations, and exuberant parties of the juvenile (the wide-ranging cycle Party from 2006). Gradually, there was on the increase almost life-sized soft textile plastic art picturing people after a great party, pressed to the corner of their solitude – sitting, lying, crying figures who “when they stand up and go home“ (Crying, Smoking; both 2010). This stepping out into space, entrance to the 3D world brought to the author also a shift to creating revived figural environments, to motion, and performance. All this lit by the UV light brings an ultraviolet world absorbing the white and creating an alternative imaginary world (All-seeing, 2012; The Crowd, 2013). Especially, the cooperation with young photographers models a new “hybrid” of media with the stage-manage form of a resulting work – engaging hand textile works and their filtering by the technical apparatus (photographs, clothes, masks).There appear mysterious night beings, “black swans“ – with a little dramatization, every-day magicians introduce us to a safe port of sadness, nostalgia, and perhaps also to the world of terror, horror (Sisters of Mercy, 2014; Adam, Adam and apple, 2015; In trees, 2018). Just a combination of the introvert soft plastic art and mysterious textile reliefs nourishes Vlasta Žáková´s peculiar melancholic atmosphere of promises of tomorrow´s mornings and also the opening of new and old pains...

Vlasta ŽÁKOVÁ, born in 1981 in Rožňava; she lives and works in Bratislava and in the municipality of Malá Lúč. Studies: 2000 – 2006 – Department of Fine Arts and Intermedia at the Faculty of Arts TU in Košice and at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2013 – 2017, ArtD.). Awards: 2008 and 2010 – finalist of the Prize 333, National Gallery in Prague; 2009 – Jury Prize, Biennial Scooter II GJK Trnava. In the year 2013, she completed the residence stay in the Red Brick Gallery in London followed by an exhibition. Solo exhibitions (selection): 2018 – Sawn- together girl, Gallery in Levoča; 2017 – White doe has flown away, Atelier XIII Bratislava; 2017 – Copy Error, the Vojtech Löffler Museum in Košice, 2017 – Sweet darkness, Schemnitz Gallery in Banská Štiavnica; 2016 – Shadows in Eden, GMB Bratislava; collective exhibitions: 2018 – „Maľbou vanie, sochou mrazí“ (Blowing in painting, freezing in sculpture) Gallery of Spiš Artists in Spišská Nová Ves; 2017 – “Ko-shické metro”, Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem; more info at: www.vlastazakova.com 

Vladimír Beskid


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