Artist: Marek Kvetan

Curator: Vladimír Beskid

Opening: 28.11.2023

Duration: 29.11.2023 – 31.01.2024
Steinhauser Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia
Visual Full Moon Dreamers

The solo exhibition of Marek KVETAN (1976), a leading representative of Slovak intermedia art, entitled Red Horizon, brings together three major works from his current oeuvre.

In the multi-layered work of Marek Kvetan we observe a rich register of hybrid objects and a programmatic focus on borderline 3D realisations, absurd situations and objects. Kvetan usually concentrates on a fragment, a detail, on a „fractured“ situation that metaphorically speaks of the whole. Even a slight transformation of inputs or materials brings about a change of meanings and cultural con-texts.

A key role in this triple combination is played by Cornerstone 2020, a powerful sculptural installation of six „cornerstones“ in the middle of the gallery, which is presented in the Bratislava environment for the first time. These are 6 selected black stones on a larger scale – a meteorite, a lithic coal, a pitchblende (uranite), a huge quartz crystal, a rolling stone or an ordinary „rock“ from a field. Each of them is placed vertically on a specially chosen chair or pedestal (a miner’s chair from the 17th century, a school or peasant’s chair, chairs from the Jáchymov camp, from the mining office in Handlová, etc.). Kvetan thus metaphorically brought six black stones, 6 „glowing embers“, which refer to the geology of our planet, to political-geographical power games, to the prosperity of former mining towns and to contemporary climate change, etc. 

The opening wall was occupied by Restless Mind (2021), a block of 15 drawings of carbon beehives – compressed variations on an installation of enlarged fibreglass-and-textile beehives suspended from the ceiling with a soundtrack of mixed sounds, bits and noises ranging from folk tones to the mass-media noise of the big city (The Physical Impossibility of Silence in the Restless Mind, 2020). Presented at the back are Variations of Impact (2015) – 4 intimate overpainted drawings, metaphorical studies of the impact of a star from the perspective of a man in the sky. These are minimalist gestures about glowing, burning up and burning out at the same time.

The whole exhibition of Mark Kvetan is in the sound of black&white, the only drawing has a bright red colouring, it is just a small red thread that defines the exhibition „horizon“. Hence the overall title of the collection „Red horizon“, which refers to the restless or crisis atmosphere of today (the atmospheric phenomenon of the evening dawn, the megapolis on the horizon, the narrow band of light during a total solar eclipse), but also the atmosphere of threat or danger – from tungsten darts with a sharp point, a shooting computer game to contemporary war conflicts… It is this ironic and critical commentary on our past, but also on our present, that takes on a special charm in this refined gallery hall (stones from the ground, stars in the sky and a „sliced“ red horizon between them).