The Real Emotions
Muzeul Naţional de Artă Cluj
Artists: Pavlína Fichta Čierna (with Mark Ther) , András Cséfalvay, Anetta Mona Chisa, Lucia Tkáčová, Lucia Dovičáková, Jana Kapelová, Ilona Németh, Viktor Frešo, Marek Kvetan, Matej Vakula (with Ashley B. Clark) , Martin Špirec, Tomáš Rafa, Jarmila Mitríková – Dávid Demjanovič
Curated by Lýdia Pribišová
The exhibition The Real Emotions reflects moral emotions such as empathy, guilt, embarrassment and shame, which are common parts of our everyday life. In the contemporary world, filled with human interactions as well as loneliness, these emotions are still present and alive because they are the very foundations of being human. This exhibition explores the world of emotions in the works of particular Slovak artists who make this topic central to their artistic exploration. Artists were and hopefully still are romantic heroes, who feel the responsibility for the others as they try to save the world. They interact with people, wanting to communicate some kind of moral message, to offer alternative views, and new meanings. They are often motivated by a range of emotions.
Artists as contemporary world saviors often feel empathy; and are interested in people’s feelings, in their physical or psychological state. Maybe more than others, they have developed the sensibility tuned to social issues, they want to help or share feelings of others.
The idea of helping others is obvious in Pavlína Fichta Čierna’s works, as well as in the video by Matej Vakula created in collaboration with Ashley B. Clark. Čierna is interested in the individual perceptions of situations that explore and confront our consciousness. Empathy and guilt are often common motivations for socially conscious behavior that tries to compensate for mistakes. Shame and guilt, considered private, are closely connected to our social context and environment. András Cséfalvay explores the feelings of shame and stagefright associated with public performances. Jana Kapelová’s Free work-time questions the issues of freedom and responsibility. Viktor Frešo, duo Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová and painter Lucia Dovičáková are known for the deliberate crossing the boundaries of social taboos. Ilona Németh offers a fresh view on the connections between major historical events and her own family’s small and revealing stories portrayed intimately, while stressing the ongoing influence of politics and power on the culture. Marek Kvetan explores ambivalent and emotionally charged relationships between neighboring countries. In his videos, Tomáš Rafa documents edgy emotional situations, accompanying mass demonstrations, protest marches and love parades. Martin Špirec creates absurd situations to bring attention to various uses of everyday objects. Pyrograhies by artists Jarmila Mitríková – Dávid Demjanovič contain the pathos of partisan heroicism, childhood book adventures, and new legends from Slovak mythology.