01 May – 20 June 2015
For his second exhibition at Johnen Galerie, Roman Ondák developed a sequence of older and new works that are presented in three rooms. As usual, Roman Ondák’s work evolves from a performative conception. All sculptures, installations, photographs, and performances emerge from interpersonal actions, like the fragments of an old door that are installed on the floor, arranged in the V-shape of a half-open door. A door grille blocks the approach to a corner in one room. A hand-painted tag attached to this found object indicates “Unauthorized access prohibited”. As the label for the work is located behind the grille, the viewer has to read the label through the fence. The third work emphasizes the performative sequence of four drawings: “Passage” (2007) refers to a work from 2004 about Japanese steel workers, who were given bars of chocolate to make little sculptures out of the silver wrapping foil. The second room shows an archive-installation about a journey of the artist and his wife to the Black Sea in Bulgaria in 1989, shortly before the collapse of Communism. Postcards, drawings by acquainted philosophers and writers, and other materials are merging into an installation from different time periods (1989 to 2015). Next to it, Ondák installed a lead water pipe that was excavated at his house, with its ends and bent point painted in the colors of the Slovak national flag. For the third room of the exhibition, the artist created a street situation between two houses. He deinstalled old ceramic mountings for electric cables in Bratislava and re-installed them at the gallery. The modern white cube blends with the lively street situation of another time.
Roman Ondák (*1966 in Zilina, Slovakia) has had numerous exhibitions, e.g. at Museum Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2013), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012), Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (Artist of the Year 2012), K21 Düsseldorf (2012), Kunsthaus Zürich (2011), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009), Czech and Slovak Pavilion at the 53. Venice Biennale (2009). Starting April 2015, Ondák’s works will be on view at Times Museum Guangzhou, China.
Roman Ondák lives and works in Bratislava.