The idea for this exhibition came up in the times of lockdown, because of COVID-19. While people are not allowed to leave their houses without essential reasons, shops, factories and companies are closed and the world is caught up in a lockdown, in order to avoid the virus, a group of four Slovakian artists started to remap the future.
They developed an own draft of the map of their future. Preparing the exhibition and even simple things as transporting artworks brought the four artists and the gallery to their limits, or lets say to the borders of their present mapping. Borders thought by humans are coming and going and coming and going, it seems to be an eternal circle. In the end of April 2020 it had been simply not possible to bring artworks from Bratislava in Slovakia to Vienna in Austria. Not the 60 km transport-way are the problem, but crossing the border. If you come back to your home-country, you have to accept a 2 weeks quarantine, in order to interrupt spreading the virus.
The artists and the gallery decided to accept the situation, there is no other possibility. But they can map their future and their life under the given conditions. The heart of Europe is still active, the Self-Responsibility. The guidelines of these days and of our future are, activity instead of waiting, finding solutions instead of resignation and looking to the future. The artists found a way to bring their works to Vienna, safe and under strictly following existing laws for hygiene. And the gallery find a possibility to introduce the works to art-connoisseurs and collectors. In a seldom way of spontaneous collaboration Europeans from Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Germany and Romania contributed to enable the exhibition. So the reality of Central Europe, and the world, in April 2020 and its consequences became the concept for the exhibition.
But honestly, the time of staying in our houses showed us that it is possible but not necessary to run around and travel like ants. It is possible as well to stay at home and enjoy the family as a safe harbour, and to respect and appreciate nature. This is the main idea in the works of Alena Adamikova. She points it out like that “The animals on the heads of the Infantas in my works represent the protectors from the nature, nature is here for us, we humans somehow don’t notice it”. In her lyrical work, Alena Adamikova is inspired by the Baroque paintings of great masters as Diego Velasquez. She leads us in a remapped future of family, harmony and fairytales.
As well the map of the structures of our daily behavior is changing. Everything is ordered with guide-lines as in the work of Maria Corejova. Even in Isolation caused by COVID-19 the life is more systematic, clear, clean, functional, but there is a window. The individual freedom to create your own life. It will get more and more important. This is one of the main thematics in the work of Maria Corejova, the understanding and meaning of individual freedom. Remapping the future, creating another plan of the future means nowadays to put this plan on the ground of a new understanding of freedom: The freedom of others and our-selves.
Kristina Mesaros looks in her works behind the mystery of time and space, in order to describe a magic phantasy world in a contemporary and timeless symbolism. Her work is different than phantastic realism, as it had been brought up by great Vienez masters as Ernst Fuchs. Her work is more than the continuation of surrealism but she develops a kind of magic realism, which is fascinating the observer, who is almost falling into the scenery. Her artworks are the kind of works you never forget.
In the works of Olga Pastekova we are coming back to the role of nature in our daily life. She is a figurative painter, but working and experimenting with wood and other materials. This rare combination expresses a certain myth behind her work. She is engraving, cutting, painting over it, filling the wood with color, painting with fire, burning the wood and integrating the black scars of nature into the expression of her reminder, that the real myths and legends in our life are those who combine reality and nature and look behind it. In her work black is not a color, it becomes a memory.
All four artists are representing a generation of self-confident and strong Central European women. In their diversity they are unified to be ready to remap the future, their own future, the future of their families, of nature and the future of Europe, even after the lockdown.
Thomas Emmerling, curator, Cisnadioara, Michelsberg May 2020
The exhibition “Remapping the future” can be seen at ART 9TEEN in Vienna’s Billrothstrasse 29, 1190 Vienna from February 2nd to June 6th, 2020. Opening times every Wednesday to Saturday from 4 to 6.30 p.m. and by appointment. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.