SPACE OF THOUGHT
February 20 - March 13, 2020
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821 01 Bratislava
Hours: Wed - Fri 2 - 6pm
and by appointment
Michal Kern (1938-1994),
one of the few authors of the domestic unofficial art scene of the 70s and 80s, anecdotally influenced by its conceptual and actional origin. The nature around Liptovsky Mikulas, where he lived all his life, did not record by brush on canvas. He came directly into it by means of actions realized in solitude in nature, pointing to his ephemeral action. Traces of his presence recorded photos, drawings, and text. He contributed to the development of the specific form of art in nature and conceptual photography in Slovakia.
Michel Kern's creation (1938-1994) still offers new possibilities of viewing under the surface of his thinking and focusing on a clearly defined range of themes related to linking man's relationship to the natural environment. The discovery of a distinctive visual language was formed by coping with the artistic and human legacy of Father - Peter Július Kern, and establishing contacts with colleagues from Bratislava, where Kern began regularly in the first half of the 70s of the 20th century from the Močiare near Demanovska valley for joint meetings (Tomáš Štrauss, Rudolf Sikora, Peter Bartoš, Juraj Meliš, Dezider Tóth and others) as well as contacts with the Moscow unofficial scene (eg with Francis Infant). Kerna formed a deep and deeply rooted relationship with the nature that had been surrounded by childhood and the ability to carry on a continuous dialogue with her.
There are two poles in Kern's work in relation to the natural. The first is about the silent penetration and humility of the pilgrim; in the second nature becomes an enriching environment for interpretation, with frequent ecological and ethical messages. Kern's access to nature is both anthropocentric in both cases. Nature has always approached the position of a humble man restoring a lost contact with her. The trace of the presence of man is perceptible in his works, whether he is a hidden observer, a quiet pilgrim, or a direct actor. Nature, in its constant immenseness and staticity - the cave, the stones, the trees and the variable ephemeralness - water, snow, balloons, is contacted by man - a mirror, shadow, touch, prints and traces that become a mysterious ritual language in this two-way dialogue.