Marek Kvetan at Nir Altman / Munich

Marek Kvetan

November 9 - December 22, 2017

Nir Altman Galerie
Ringseisstraße 4 RGB
80337 Munich

Images courtesy the artist and Nir Altman Galerie

The word "súsek" speaks little in Slovakia. At one time, it belonged to every household. The
young girls carefully prepared the equipment. With love and expectation they sew and
embroider. And they were dreaming. From time to time, the lid lifted. They picked the contents
before they touched very carefully with their hand, enjoying their treasures. They hid their
case to a safe space. Súsek. Hardwood, without a single wedge or other piece of metal. An
archaic shape unfolding from antiquity. Richly decorated with a geometrically ornamented
geometric ornament, rarely a figure or a plant motif. Engraved year of marriage. For life. Often
the most precious piece of new-wife furniture. Safe for the most valuable. Size was a matter
of social status. But the time has changed. The cases have been emptied. They were still
serving grain. It last remnants were finished by the mice. And then, somewhere, they wait until
the wilderness or rot, or in the best case they will fall in dust in the ethnographic collection of a
museum, or nostalgically to impose as an impractical interior decoration.
Or not. Several kilometers of optical cables, 15,400 light-years in Slavonic colors, revive the
original ornament in the modern arrangement. As in the new arrangement, the folklore
musical tradition is alive, two times: first in the form of new modifications in the compositions
of professionals, which later become the matrix for experimental electro-acoustic
compositions. Here even the musical-visual. But we still hear unique folk instruments. Voices
and motifs come to life, intertwine, and they hurt and go out. Even they are not totally alien to
the little human imperfection. Only the tooth of time has not yet fretted them.
The work is a counterpart to the author's older work Carpet (several variants have been
created). Rolled plastic IKEA rug, Oriental motif, roughly stained with colored bulbs, unlike
fine optical tissue, the gut of exposed sections. And to that strange musical herb. Soft Versus
Hard, Natural Versus Synthetic, Handheld Versus Machine Product, Old Authentic Versus
New Syncretic. The artwork of the carpet refers back to the past as well as to the present.
Ottomans Empire crossed the border of Slovakia, the boundary of the Christian and Muslim
world. The chain, mostly just the ruins of the guard castles, reminds that even then the
country had to be protected from the Muslim invasion. This richly decorated chest, made of
hand-sculpted wood, survived the difficult times, packed with electronics, which features
music that inspires archaic musical and visual motifs and instruments with a new one. All this
refers to another, more open and self-confident, past, presence. And so the future.