September 8 – October 15, 2015
Esterházy Palace, 2nd floor
Collection curators: Petra Hanáková, Vladimíra Büngerová

The current situation of the Slovak National Gallery operating in a reduced regime and – in light of the unclear date of completion of the reconstruction – in a kind of a strange timelessness, has had an impact on exhibition operations. In addition to the fact that there is no place to exhibit (simply, there is no space for larger projects in the SNG), there isn’t even enough space for storing and documenting the artwork.
This was one of the reasons for our decision to conduct this type of working exhibition, which is rather a revision of part of our collections of newer art. In the short period of time between two standard exhibitions, we will change Rekonštrukcie / Reconstructions three times; we will quickly document the exhibits (even during the installation process) and, if necessary, we will reconstruct “amortized” works or their fragments upon consultations with their creators. Thus, it will be possible to return to this exhibition several times; its configuration will be changed and this process of re-installation and documentation will be open to the general public.

Don’t bother looking for a thematic or stylistic affinity among the exhibited works. This is not a curatorial exhibition, but a pragmatically motivated exhibition-improvisation. For us, it is an opportunity to organize things and for visitors it is an opportunity to have a picture of the traces of contemporary art in our collections, of its “status.” As opposed to the art of older periods, contemporary art is more ephemeral, and since it is existentially dependent on media, material or “environmental” support, it becomes obsolete and is more vulnerable to the ravages of time.

Furthermore, as a result of the extension of the reconstruction period, attention at the SNG has been focused on the digitizing process (the national Digital Gallery project funded from the Operational Program Informatisation of Society). While the Slovak National Gallery collections are huge and the European program funding periods are short, two-dimensional (classical) media are being documented first and more complicated works (in terms of space, time or installation) have been postponed. Thus, the digital image of Art History has been unwittingly reduced (from the aspect of discharges of contemporary art) to more conservative formats. In order to prevent this “reaction” – the reduction of our collections to 2-D images, the Rekonštrukcie / Reconstructions exhibition will be comprised of objects from the sculpture (S) and other media (OM) collections. The documentation of the works for digitizing is the primary motivation followed by the desire to reveal some of the processes of gallery work.

Some may consider this type of “exhibition” in the SNG Program as a kind of dramaturgical resignation; others will see it as an expression of pragmatism, and still others as a call for help. There is a bit of truth in all of them. Nevertheless, our aim is to make maximum use of the possibilities of creative temporary arrangements, to turn hardship into a virtue and to “bang the drum” for art under any and all circumstances.