14.3. – 18.4.2009
Opening: Friday, 13 March 2009, 6 pm
“Unusual Possibilities” is the first solo-exhibition in Switzerland of works by Slovakian artist Svätopluk Mikyta (*1973, Čadca,former Czechoslovakia). He was, however, the holder of the 2006 scholarship of the Swiss “PROGR artist in residence program” in Berne. Currently, he is taking part in the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York.
Mikyta’s works make reference to the political iconography of socialist mass movements and to the nationalist and religious symbols of Eastern Europe. By means of over-drawings and collage-like alienations he “doubles” their seductive aesthetic and exposes the political manipulation of images, the impact of which is still being felt today. Sometimes his interventions, with a pen and often with red paint, are scarcely perceptible, sometimes they are so refined that they give rise to something totally new in terms of both composition and theme. Mikyta usually produces cycles of works which are intended to be hung in groups and conjure up associations with history and personal stories due to their open-ended correlations.
Parallel to these kinds of works, the artist has recently been producing landscape drawing: „… Mikyta discovers a new poetry of landscape. He shows how objects are integrated into the terrain, how the work on of man blends surprisingly with the perfection of nature’s non-artificial beauty …“ (3). Yet this quotation or commentary is from a book published in 1964 (Über die Tschechoslowakei, Prague 1964). The artist added his name to the text at a later date. The quotation „anticipates“ his drawings and reads like instructions for manipulating photographic models, the truth of whose content is thus subtly undermined.
Mikyta also produces diary-like sheets in DIN A 4 format which show him to be an attentive observer of his home country. In the drawings they contain, mostly in the national colours of Slovakia, namely red and blue, he focus es on current events, on the issue of cultural identity, on nationalisms, and on general socio-political topics.