Michaela Šuranská (1993) is a young artist who, with regard to the balance of exhibition events and awards (finalist of the Strabag Art Award), has already established herself in the context of contemporary painting in Slovakia. She studied at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica, first, during her bachelor studies, in the studio of doc. Rastislav Podoba, she defended her master’s degree in the studio of doc. Ján Triaška (2018) and continued her studies in painting under his supervision during her doctoral studies (2023).
From her earliest works, the painter was characterised by her interest in history, cultural memory, myths and mythology, which she entered not only as if from the outside, but also through her own practical experience with the revival of Proto-Slavic rituals in a subcultural environment.
The interpretation of ancient messages, the fascination and enchantment was later joined by a critical-reflective moment, the concept of reinterpretation and reassessment.
The author’s natural interest in ancient cultures, myths and their reinterpretation was later extended to the study of exact fields dealing with the past and its philosophy. Knowledge in the field of archaeology, forms and concepts of archaeological research, connected with real relics, traces of cultures and their interpretation, led the author to a heightened awareness of the link between culture and landscape (anthropology of landscape).
Other dimensions of the artist’s research included the exploration of the possibilities of expanded painting and the diversity of the painting medium towards space. Here, landscape and painting as physical and landscape and painting as ideational space, which can be shaped and deconstructed – unveiled layer by layer, met.
In the present exhibition Of other traces, the artist presents the given theme in the form of a painting installation, its core are large-format paintings with the motif of cultural, humanly appropriated and transformed landscapes, with accentuated elements of inconspicuous banal and seemingly out of place and at the same time myth-making realities referring to a possible image of reminiscences of the past, the present or even of the future. Reversed time, which is represented in the researches of archaeology, is here mediated in painting, but also in the representation of ready mades, or objet trouvé from a specific location – from a gardening settlement near Levice (Tlmače), which in its lower layers, but also in its “outwash”, hides and shows the ancient past – a Slavic hillfort.
The author traces the transformation of Hrádza site (7th-10th centuries), into a world of traditional everyday life (a gardening settlement), and explores the coping of contemporary communities with the relics of the past (and the recent past) and with the needs of labelling and ideologizing representation. As she puts it – in the spirit of ” unburdened imagination” and “surrender to fiction” – she traces individual layers as representations of time (figures of memory): layers are superimposed, expanded by “accretion”, expanding into space. Akin to the methods of archaeological research, she treats all the items of painting – the ground (substrate), the material as a rudimentary but at the same time cultural layer, avoiding redundant aestheticization.
The artist’s painterly handwriting takes the form of a kind of expressive pixelation (structuring of the surface) close to the form of worn-out masses and layers disintegrating under the influence of time. The works, paintings, installations , environments as outputs of the dissertation research organized on the platform of the exhibition have the energy of a multi-layered cipher, a mystery and a new mystification on the border of fantasy
and in the spirit of a mythpoetic view of the subject motifs become a source of the effect of positive nostalgia. Eva Kapsová
- Foyer (entrance hall)
Of other traces, series of paintings, installation, oil and acrylic on cotton tene canvas, 2021 – 2023
- Underground (entrance from the courtyard on the right)
Archive, series of digital and analogue photographs, photographic and digital collages, found objects, wooden beams, secondary material, 2022 – 2023
Missing stone, installation, wood, clay – till from the vineyard, 2023
The exhibition presents Michaela Šuranská’s doctoral thesis with a connection to the collaboration of Central Slovak Gallery with graduates of the Academy of Arts.
Title of the exhibition: OF OTHER TRACES
author: Michaela Šuranská
curator: Eva Kapsová
venue: Bethlenś house, (Foyer/entrance hall, underground), Dolná 8, Banská Bystrica
opening: May 31, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. / Wednesday
duration of the exhibition: June 1 – September 10, 2023
The founder of the Central Slovak Gallery is the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.