February 10 – March 7, 2015: Private Nationalism @ Bratislava

Private nationalism Bratislava
February 10 – March 7, 2015
Open Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

4 exhibitions, 4 discussuions
Curated by: Ilona Németh, Fedor Blaščák, Rokko Juhász
Organized by: Kassák Centre for Intermedia Creativity and Open Society Foundation, Slovakia
Co-organizers: Approach Art Association, Pécs, Hungary
Photos by Tomáš Halász, Peter Sit
Facebook event

25 years after 1989 we are facing multiple inner as well as geo-political challenges deeply rooted in the inconsequence of the transformation processes after 1989.

The state’s proclaimed safety and the democratization of the society backed by the membership in EU and NATO is being seriously challenged by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which raises fundamental questions about the sustainability of the EU as a transformative power in Eastern Europe. The “Ukrainian crisis” has turned into a “European crisis”, which undermines the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries as well as the existing international regime of the post-Cold War era.

Viktor Orbán has recently announced his views on “illiberal democracy“ as an solution – at the same time the confirmation – of the current “status quo“ in Hungary.

Nationalism still prevails as an effective agenda of populist politicians, whose chances are enhanced by the consequences of the economic crisis after 2008. It has become increasingly difficult to view nationalism as a waning force in a globalized world, since reality has turned out to be quite the opposite. The hateful rhetoric and violent xenophobic acts that have recently spread throughout Europe have increased the need to keep a close eye on the stealthy comeback of an old phenomenon with a new face and a greater adaptability to the new conditions.

More than two decades after the Cold War and the collapse of the communist system, it is difficult to blame the difficulties of the transition for the rising nationalisms in the post-socialist countries. Nor is it any longer acceptable to locate nationalism at the margins and at the peripheries, given the fact that normative culture is on the rise throughout Europe, including the old Western democracies.

But still, nationalism speaks the language of images; it offers sensual experiences and feeling of belonging, in the name of praised symbols and signs; moments of a shared history commemorated by monuments and the “homeland” – a sacred space, well-defined by borders, for which the security of private lives is to be sacrificed. Art and culture are very much a part of the nation-building process as well as being the disciplines capable of detecting hidden elements, decoding messages and subverting the hypnotic mechanism by which nationalism becomes a part of our daily lives.

In line with its chosen name, the Private Nationalism Project does not plan to focus on moments of high political drama, but rather on the process by which these moments are so naturally absorbed and embraced by ordinary people.

10. 02. – 14. 02. 2015

Exhibition: Matej Kaminský, Szabolcs KissPál, Ciprian Muresan, Ilona Németh, Kristina Norman, Dan Perjovschi, Martin Piaček, József Szolnoki, Mark Ther, Milica Tomic, Jaroslav Varga, Artur Zmijewski

10. 02. 2015, 17:30

Laszlo Vörös, historian, Bratislava
Peter Salner, etnograf, Bratislava
Peter Hunčík , psychiatrist, Dunajska Streda
Martin Piacek, artist, Bratislava

Moderator: Fedor Blaščák

17. 02. – 21. 02. 2015
state symbols
artistic freedom
the scandal

Exhibition: Dalibor Bača, Anca Benera – Arnold Estefan, Mira Gáberová – Katarína Morháčová (Performance group), Guma Guar, Tibor Horváth, Jozef Jankovič, Szabolcs KissPál, Nemere Kerezsi, Tamara Moyzes, Rafani, Kornél Szilágyi (Igor Buharov)

10.02., 17:30

Daniel Grúň, art historian, Bratislava
Dalibor Bača, artist, Praha
Jiri Ptacek, art historian, Praha
Jozef Jankovič, artist, Bratislava

Moderator: Fedor Blaščák

24. 02. – 28. 02. 2015
the idea of statehood

Exhibition: Erika Baglyas, Csaba Nemes, Michal Moravčík, Ilona Nemeth, Lucia Nimcová – Sholto Dobie, Jonathan Ravasz, Societe Realiste, Bálint Szombathy, Rita Varga

24. 02., 17:30
Performance: Rokko Juhász

Discussion (in english):
Péter Krekó, political scientist, Budapest
Grigorij Mesežnikov, political scientist, Bratislava
Andrej Findor, sociologist, Bratislava
Szabolcs Kisspál, artist, Budapest

Moderator: Ábel Ravasz, sociologist, Bratislava

03. 03. – 07. 03. 2015
origins of the state
Russia – Ukraine

Exhibition: Anca Benera – Arnold Estefan, Daya Cahen, Izolyatsia – platform for cultural initiatives, Nikita Kadan, Svätopluk Mykita, Kristina Norman, Nikolay Oleynikov – Chto delat, Oleksij Radinskij, Tomáš Rafa, Joanna Rajkowska

03. 03., 17:30
Discussion (in english)

Misha Kapustin, rabbi, Bratislava
Tomáš Rafa, artist
Suzana Milevska, art historian

Moderator: Fedor Blaščák