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7x7. Seven Liberal Thoughts on the Arts

6. May 2021 — 3. June 2022
Esterházyho palác, Bratislava
Curators: Dušan Buran, Lucia Gregorová Stach

Project Seven Liberal Thoughts on the Arts, a collective work by curators at the SNG, responds to the flourishing of online culture during the quarantine measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even prior to that, the SNG's digital footprint was relatively pronounced, and therefore under the new conditions it came naturally to us to expand our online range.

The radical transition of many forms of culture to the virtual setting has, however, become a new challenge and posed totally new methodological questions. In museums and galleries the principal problem is presentation of the artwork in the original versus its (digital) copy. The authenticity of the viewer's direct experience stands against the unlimited virtual supply of projects on the internet. Where museums and galleries are concerned, the reverse side of this coin is the huge competition from other collections, not to speak of the dismay of the bewildered viewer, which the great quantity of accessible art without relevant curatorial framing may provoke.

This present exhibition project is a response to the successful cycle of thematic curatorial articles, accompanied by samples of works, "7 things about..." on the online platform of Slovak Substitute Gallery. We would like to subject the seven chosen collections to a special "cross-check": we will try to make a live reconstruction of the sets familiar from the internet in collections of the originals, which are predominantly from the SNG's holdings. Since there have been many more collections on the internet than we can possibly exhibit (and new collections continue to appear), we are giving preference to historically cross-sectional and displayable groups in our selection. The seven micro-exhibitions will highlight the possibilities, and also the limits, of online curatorial work, and at the same time, in terms of content they will to a great extent reflect the current state of the institution and the society. Where circumstances are favourable, we will continuously change some of the collections, in this way also adapting the exhibition to the liquid dynamics of its virtual base.

In the individual exhibition rooms viewers will be able to see works that comment on various themes or aspects - Eyes Only (Katarína Bajcurová), On Artists Who Are Health Workers (Vladimíra Büngerová), On Food in the Gallery (Katarína Chmelinová), Seven Graphic Views of the Theatre (Martin Čičo), Seven Masked Thrills about the Complex Relations of Soul, Body and Cloth (Lucia G. Stach), Gold and Art (Dušan Buran), On the Health-giving Power of Nature (Lucia Almášiová).

The articles "7 things about…", associated with the exhibition, may be read on the platform of Slovak Substitute Gallery in the section on Exhibition of the Seven.


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