Matej Krén (Slovakija). Instaliacija
Omphalos (detalė). 2000,
knygos, veidrodžiai, šviesa, 6500x275
Petras Mazūras. Instaliacija Citrina.
2004, medis, akmuo, 170x60x70
introduce the art of ten new members of the European Union, The Art and
Culture Foundation of Bonn launched a four-leg travelling exhibition
with stops in Duisburg, Vienna, Manheim and Ostende. The three
curators, Evelyn Weiss, Lorand Hegyi and the author of the article
selected a couple of artists from each of the ten countries. They
looked to include, alongside with the names well known on the European
stage, the middle generation artists who had established themselves at
home, but had not got a chance to gain recognition outside their
country. Young artists had to be part of the event, too. In contrast to
the numerous previous projects introducing the art of the
post-communist region, The New Ten
was not dominated by a political theme or by work of documental nature.
The focus was on art offering individual interpretations of social
developments instead of being just a record of these. Being a feast of
imagination, the event offered a fun experience to the viewer, who
responded a very positive way.
The sculptural-exotic plant compositions by one of the Lithuanian
artists, Petras Mazūras, struck a contrasting note to the accelerated
rhythm of on the region. The painstakingly grown (by the sculptor
himself) vines and pine-apple trees in the stone containers with
supporting metal watering systems sent multiple poetic-philosophic
Slovak Matej Kréno showed an installation of books, reminiscent of an igloo and titled Omphalos. Similar to a beehive or a
haystack structure spoke of the contrast between the universal values
an predominantly transient nature of human activity. Czech Ivan Kafka
filled up the approaches of the exhibition space with hundreds of
inflated plastic bags, painted in the colours of the national flag a
scathing comment on consumerism engulfing his country. Katerina
Vincourova, one of the most famous young names in Prague, on the
contrary, demonstrated her fascination with plastic as material. The
consumer world and its boredom, paradoxically, is the female artists
source of inspiration.
Hungarian Antal Lakner, Slovenian Dušan Zidar and Katarzyna Józefowicz
from Poland represent a different trend characterised by the reflection
of and the dialogue with the scientific world and the social sphere.
Yet among them, are obvious differences. The installations by Lakner
represent alternatives to research models (in biotechnology); Zidar
prefers a visual metaphor: his surrealistic sculpture pieces assembled
of chopped human parts alongside with geometric structures strike an
The young artists from the Famous
Five and Kristīne Kursiša presented the same work they showed in
2003 at the CAC in Vilnius. For them, the starting point is documentary
images, reconstructed, to engulf also the irrational world. Estonian
Ene-Liis Semper and Lithuanian Karolis Jankus pursue a similar agenda.
Their subjective video pieces fuse their interior world with reality.
The films by Jankus, in contrast to Sempers work featuring exclusively
the author, include multiple characters. Crime, poverty and
prostitution are his themes, while a surrealistic element contributes
to a depressive dream-like atmosphere.
The only link between the paintings by Polish Jadwiga Sawicka,
Hungarian Agnes Szépfalvi, Slovak Bohdan Hostinak, Slovenian Viktor
Bernik and Estonian Kaido Ole is summed up by the principle of
painting after painting. All of them integrate visual or textual
elements from other media into their paintings.
Though the nature of the works featured was hardly determined by the
regional or national associations, some regional features were there.
The work by Theodouloso from Cyprus tends to be static in the Byzantine
tradition, while the objects by Maria Loizidou call for parallels with
the artists in Athens.