The site-specific installation Non-possibility of escape is an alteration of the project Joyous Lock (Kotolňa Gallery, 2021), which explored the limitations of relationships and movement (during a pandemic) and the horizons of individual human boundaries, with references to Franz Kafka's short story, The Burrow (1931). The installation's radical sign symbolism appeals to a reassessment of both the displayed and read work, framed by the viewer's subjective imagination and the (physical) space of the display case itself.
The metaphorical embodiment of the title can become a ladder leading nowhere (the way to heaven) or parts of warning tapes, deprived of their functionality to restrict a specific place and thus negating their primary essence. The pink colour of innocence or carefree (good times) takes on additional layers of interpretation in the context of the present, transcending fragments of prejudices and stereotypes. The plastic flowers, (recycled from the authentic environment of the cemetery) at the same time objectify the opposite of the impermanence of the human organism, they are a persistent ruin (a living and dead metaphor of paradise) in the utopia of a flowing world.
The author appeals visually and spatially to the reality of the present, to the issue of often non-verbalized, yet resonating events and phenomena in society. The latter, despite the daily intensifying warning signals, embodies an army of individualities (human organisms) in a constant cycle of consumerism (through their physical and mental activity) dancing in a circle of Uroboros, an uninterrupted ride on a gradually, but obviously worn-out merry-go-round of their own self-destruction.
Katarína Balúnová studied contemporary painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Technical University in Košice, she is a graduate of doctoral studies at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica and attended the Hungarian University of Fine Arts Budapest. She is the holder of several awards and actively exhibits in Slovakia and abroad. She is also engaged in curatorial and publishing activities. Her interest in reflecting on critical aspects of the present in her work and research confronts questions of urbanism, the boundaries of the public and private spheres, or man and his personal mythology. Although her primary medium of expression has been painting, she often works through installations transcending the boundaries of conceptual spatial-object environments, with rich sign semantics. The formal elements of painting tend to be interactively augmented by the mediums of video or photography, with an emphasis on a form of animate physicality. The artist's multimedia projects thus present narratives of significant artistic expression, symbolism referring to literature or specific events. This results in expressively diverse works and layered narratives, complicating elements of utopias, the human nature of existence, and current issues of problematic points of social action.
"The work responds to the existential situation of the present, being in the breeding cages of relative affluence that offers us false visions of freedom. Life between 'supply' and 'demand' is an empty search for happiness in the shop windows of consumerism. God is dead, says Nietzsche, it is up to us to find a new meaning of existence. A partial escape from the present situation is utopia, or retrotopia, which can be both the story of the heavenly Jerusalem and the project of a new society. But its implementation has shown the short life and malignant transformations of the original ideas. What then are the possibilities of escape? And to where? Man's problem is the inability to stay still. The need to escape from a fictitious enemy or, conversely, towards a fictitious happiness, is one of the fundamental characteristics of the human animal. The option would be to accept the place, time and condition in which we find ourselves. Inaction, however, makes us dead men who unwillingly participate in the play of others."
Curator: Viktória Pardovičová
Photoreport: Tamara Pavlechová
Graphic visual: Terézia Pisoňová
Postpost gallery, Orlí street, Brno