Ivana Šáteková: Hate-Slovaks / Hejtslováci

Slovak "traditional values" like xenophobia, chauvinism, misogyny, racism or anti-Semitism have much deeper roots in our society that we are willing to admit. The author does not moralize or judge in this difficult issue, instead she comments on the social malady with humor, irony and with perspective. The exhibition will present the latest works - mostly interactive installations and objects.
27. June 2018 – 30. September 2018
Vernissage 26. 6. 2018 o 17.00
Omar Mirza

The Central Slovakian Gallery is kindly inviting you to the opening of the exhibition Ivana Šáteková: Hate-Slovaks / Hejtslováci

On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, at 5.00 p.m.
Bethlen’s House
Dolná 8, Banská Bystrica

Artist: Ivana Šáteková
Curator: Omar Mirza
Duration: June 27th – September 30th, 2018.


            Like, dislike, hate, hoax, fake news, trolling, cyberbullying… All these relatively new expressions have not been yet codified in Slovak language, though we come across them every day. And despite knowing their meaning we do not know what their impact on our society will be in the future.

For many, hating becomes a new national sport and the possibility of unlimited self-realization. Internet anonymity provides a comfortable space for expressing opinions based on vulgarisms, threats, and hatred. Slovak “traditional values”, such as xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, chauvinism, racism or anti-Semitism, are fully reflected in comments under the articles and posts of socially engaged people on social networks. There is no place or time for a decent discussion. Emotions fed by conspiracy theories win over rational arguments.

What can be done about that? Should it be banned? Censored? Ignored? Should we react to that? Should we lead discussions with the Nazis and conspirators? Persuade and educate them? How does contemporary art perceive this?

            Ivana Šáteková is not indifferent to what is happening in our society. She can express a critical view, take a stand. In her work, she tries to respond and point to various problems, but she does not moralize or judge. She comments on the problems with perspective, humor and irony. The exhibition Hate-Slovaks / Hejtslováci at the Central Slovakian Gallery in Banská Bystrica presents her latest works created specially for this occasion.

            The series of objects titled Untouchables displays a subjective selection of well-known personalities who often encounter hating comments and cyberbullying for their publicly presented views, often in the form of physical harm or death threats. These include Ján Benčík, Juraj Smatana, Monika Tódová, Zuzana Kovačič Hanzelová and Ján Gordulič. The author has modeled from clay small busts of these activists, journalists, or a screenwriter which she presents fenced with the red rope partition columns – similar to how the precious objects are protected in the museums from their possible damage by the visitors.

            Installation Hate-Slovaks / Hejtslováci is a selection of the most hatred-filled statuses and comments from Facebook or from the personal correspondence provided by the above-mentioned people. The black-and-white prints in fancy frames hanging on the wall create a bizarre freak-show of Slovak verbal creativity.

            Wailing Wall is an interactive installation where visitors can vent their frustrations from the exhibition. The visitors can write down any negative and hateful reactions in a large-scale visitors’ book resembling an advent calendar.

            Multimedia installation Hey you wearing the slippers! (technical cooperation Ján Gordulič) presents hate reactions to the exhibition from people who have not even visited it. Reactions downloaded from the Internet are projected onto the wall and provide a view into a world where it is not important to read the article, to know the person or to have relevant information about the problem, but to respond instantly from the comfort of home, to comment and to let a free flow to their negative emotions – the worse, the better.

            Alone against everyone is a series of small-format paintings from an internship in Sweden, from which the author returned only a few days before the opening of the exhibition. The paintings depict small figures face to face with a large, uncompromising crowd. They are reactions to various situations in which the majority refuse an individual solely on the basis of his or her opinions, belief, sexual orientation, or skin color.

Ivana Šáteková (* 1984) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. In 2013 she became the finalist of the Essl Art Award, and in 2014 she was awarded the Tatra banka Award. In her work she uses painting and drawing inspired by comics and photographs found in books or on the internet, but she also works with other media (embroidery, object, interactive installation). Her typical feature is her uncompromising humor, irony and perspective that she uses to express her opinion on topical social themes. She likes to combine history, folklore and folk traditions with the contemporary world, commenting on the deeply rooted paradoxes and absurdities within Slovak society. She is a member of the Dzive drawing trio and collaborates with the Bublina (Bubble) children’s magazine.

Omar Mirza


Ivana Šáteková: Hate-Slovaks / Hejtslováci

Artist: Ivana Šáteková

Curator: Omar Mirza 

Venue: Bethlen’s House, Dolná 8, Banská Bystrica

Duration: June 27th – September 30th, 2018.

Opening: Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, at 5.00 p.m.