Exhibition | Evergreen | Contemporary Art at Kunsthalle Kosice Slovakia | Kosice | Art Week

Evergreen

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Thursday, 13 August 2020 to Saturday, 29 August 2020

EVERGREEN

Artist: Katarína Balúnová

Curator: Denise Herz

The exhibition reflects the theme of dystopia in the immediate vicinity of the (Slovak) Paradise, while the title of the exhibition refers to an eternal song about the return to the home and at the same time to the increasingly pressing ecological issues of the present.

In the multimedia installation, the author draws inspiration from her native Central Spiš region which is the gateway to the Slovak Paradise National Park. At first glance the poetic country hides long-term unresolved social and environmental problems as a consequence of the development of heavy industry during the socialist era.

The Rudňany iron ore mines were the largest iron ore mining company and supplier of mercury in the former Czechoslovakia. After persistent problems, the factory ceased its activities in 1993, which resulted in an increase in unemployment and a general social decline of the surrounding municipalities. Decades of high production with outdated technology have created a large, ecologically dangerous dry tailings pond behind the factory, which is still unresolved there.

The audiovisual recording shows the tailings pond behind the non-functioning factory, the NPZ Ortuťovna, in the immediate vicinity of the village of Oľšo. Contaminated sand contains a high concentration of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium or lead, which get into the environment through wind or groundwater.

At the same time, there was a little research on the quality of the surrounding soil, the authorities do not want to deal with the issue and people are not informed about the danger. The village of Oľšo, which was evicted under socialism due to unsuitable living conditions due to the proximity of the factory, is coming to life again. People buy cheap land there to build housing. Also an entertainment park grew up in the area, which with its light-hearted atmosphere contrasts sharply with the nearby skeleton of the factory. The artist installs her swimming performance in the pool of the given entertainment park in the projection of the sludge pond in order to draw attention to the proximity of invisible or unseen danger.

Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.

Curator ( Name ):

Artist ( Name ):

Artist ( Description ): 

Katarina Balunova (*1982/ SK)

Her works include a variety of different media such as paintings, installations, objects, photography and video.

The main theme in her work is utopia – paradise – dwelling and oscillation between the past and future.  She actively exhibits at home and abroad (AU, CN, CY, CZ, EG, DE, FR, GR, IT, LT, LV, PL, RU, SK, KR, ES, TR, UAE, UK, USA). In 2013 she was finalist of Modessque Painting Contest by New Era Art Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. In 2014 she was finalist of NOlab Art Contest in Milan, Italy and Painting of the Year by VUB Foundation Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2015 she was selected to participate in the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale (National Art Museum of China). In 2015 and 2017, she was nominated for the Bloom Award by Warsteiner, Cologne, Germany. In 2017 she was selected to attend symposium Mark Rothko 2017 (Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia). In 2018 she won scholarship from Visegrad fund for Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary and in 2019 she received national Martin Benka Prize for 2018.

Venue ( Address ): 

Kunsthalle Košice, Rumanova 1, Košice, Slovakia

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