Floor is Lava
Opening: 2023/09/01 (FRI) 19:00
In the frameworks of the opening, the curators will hold a guided tour in the exhibition.
On view: 2023/09/02 - 2023/10/22
Exhibiting artists: Hynek Alt, Petra Feriancová, Adrián Kriška, Marie Lukáčová, Martin Maeller, Ruth Novaczek, Anni Puolakka & Ellie Rae Hunter, P Staff, Iveta Schovancová
Curated by Denis Kozerawski & Jen Kratochvil
Floor is Lava, an international group exhibition borrows its title from an eponymous children's game common in the Western context, in our geopolitical environment familiarized by computer games and reality TV adaptations. Basically, since the floor is lava, one needs to walk only on objects above the ground. Touching the floor means instant death, or rather, disqualification. The idea of a game where one needs to jump from place to place, constantly avoiding obstacles and completely redefining rules of engagement with one's environment, serves as a direct metaphor for the clashes between conservative societal settings and current critical feminist and queer discourses. To unlearn heteropatriarchal oppression is a task with only one alternative, and that is, truly, death.
Critically deconstructing and reevaluating layers and layers of hard-encoded traditional ways of seeing, being, feeling, and relating to one another is often like walking on burning lava with no cooling islands to escape. The exhibition is not attempting to formulate a complex image of the problem, mainly because such an image doesn't exist and never will, since it is, out of principle, in constant flux, elusive and unattainable. Therefore the show focuses on little glimpses of the overall idea of such a fluid mental image. Following specifically, issues of unlearning biases relating to aging, dying, being in pain, mothering, conjointly existing within non-normative communities, queering, and embracing the uncertainty of endless fluidity.
The exhibition layers and folds one on top of each other a series of parallel conceptual lines of thinking and questioning relating to the difficulties of unlearning hard-encoded ways of understanding our identity and bonds to people closest to us. In simpler terms, the exhibition attempts to challenge normalized and, by generations, codified understanding of gender, emotions, or aging. Doing so not in an over-encompassing analytical and systematizing way, but in a queer and often out-of-line kind of way. The point of the show is that there is no point. The exhibition aims to present seemingly disconnected elements from a much larger mosaic of the current critical discourse evolving around personal identity.
Every artist in the show brings in a unique perspective, forming a life-size game board for everyone who enters to play with, to play at, and to think of a game and gamification as something inherently liberating. Each artwork touches upon different strata of a complex four-dimensional image which is never revealed in its entirety, mainly because the implemented critical approach puts in doubt any possibility of actually grasping the full image. Such an image is an ongoing process of formulation, reformulation, deconstruction, and restructuring. Basically, we don't know, and hopefully, we'll never know what the whole image looks like.
Denis Kozerawski & Jen Kratochvil
Supported by: National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Czech Center in Budapest, Slovak Institute, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Káli Kövek, Zsolt Honfi
Image cover: Martin Maeller: Untitled (burial soil), 2022, Photo: Jan Kolský. Courtesy of the artist
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 4-7pm, performance days 4-10pm.