Art on the Pavement

Art of action in the urban space during the period of Normalization in Slovakia

lecture & discussion
22. 04 2015, 6 pm
Beskydská 12, Bratislava

Guests: Ľubomír Ďurček (conceptual and action artist)
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová (sociologist, Masaryk University / Brno)
Ján Kralovič (art historian, researcher of AFAD, Bratislava)

The lecture and the discussion will be held in Slovak.

Lecture with a discussion on Ján Kralovič’s recently published book: The Territory of the Street (Urban action art in Slovakia 1965-1989). The discussion will focus on the contents of the publication, namely the specifics of public action art in urban areas under socialism, particularly under normalization. At that time, several Slovak artists were involved in action art despite the repressive nature of urban space and the panoptical city. Their actions were aimed at activating the viewer to confront the situation with situational gestures . The city as a social, contact and communication space shifts the selected actions and moves them towards specific semantic connotations (social, political, actuating, poetic, etc.). The city was perceived as a "stage", the artistic gesture a "game", the importance of which reshaped the event. On the other hand, artistic intervention in the public space is a critical review of broader social and public structures.

The discussion will explore the problem of public space from multiple perspectives with the participation of: Ľubomír Ďurček, artist, whose actions in the 1970s involved interventions in the space of the city, monitoring reactions and participation in the social environment, Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, sociologist, who deals mostly with urban studies, author of Meno mesto, vec, 2011) and co-author of Město - promenlivá ne/samozřejmost (2009) and Československé město včera a dnes (2011), publications relating to the organization of urban space and Ján Kralovič, researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, focused on action art in urban space as well as issues involving the unofficial art scene before 1989.

Image caption: Ľubomír Ďurček, Analytical Study of Relations. Man and His World. 1978. SNG Bratislava, bw photograph; 29 × 14 cm.

Ľubomír Ďurček, Analytical Study of Relations. Man and His World. 1978. SNG Bratislava, bw photograph; 29 × 14 cm