František Demeter at SODA Gallery

Artist: František Demeter

Title: What we used to be you are likely not

Curator: Mira Keratová

Venue: SODA Gallery

Photo​ Jan Kekeli

Thinking about the exhibition What we used to be you are likely not evolved from modernism, which created so-called white cube, in which Duchamp opened the view of the ceiling and floor (Brian O’Doherty). František Demeter is related to modernism. He stopped to paint a few years ago and started to create site-specific installations that more or less subtly or then even robustly referred to the innate structure of painting. He stopped painting because he has no studio and no apartment.

Having no physical space, he creates it by emancipating himself from the traditional medium, by expanding painting. He is not really interested in spaces deprived of place. From the position of modernist revisionism and punkery at the same time, he makes site-specific installations: in detail but also metaphorically, he deals with the studio of Academy of Fine Arts and Design at Koceľová st. in Bratislava, where he lives, but also with a gallery as an inherited system for the presentation of art.

He is interested in the aesthetically non-polished, kind of rough operating spaces and their individual elements, which he re-installs into otherwise stylized gallery premises. He is especially inspired by the leftovers of infrastructures and the so-called junkspace as defined by Rem Kooolhaas. Reflections on the installation in the Soda Gallery developed in this direction: from an old authorial painting with the same title as an exhibition, through a greenhouse-garage structure, to gutter-pipe systems linked to the external industrial environment and rainwater.

In the end, however, the final installation variant failed. An experiment of 200 meters of hydrant, fire hoses (interconnected 20 meter pieces) without beginning and end (Uroboros snake biting its own tail), pressurized with water and placed so as to articulate space in a sophisticatedly beautiful drawing, failed. The gallery was flooded the day before opening. Perhaps there will be another attempt.

Mira Keratová

FRANTIŠEK DEMETER (1975) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. In 2015 he was a finalist of the Oscar Čepan Award. Recent exhibitions include individual exhibition projects Diffuse Concentration (Brno House of Arts), Open form (Blansko City Gallery) “I have nothing” (Gallery ± 0,0, Žilina 2017), Large Canvas (Gallery 19, Bratislava 2017), “Nothing but the surface” (SPZ Gallery Prague 2014), “NO YES NO” (Krokus Gallery, Bratislava 2014) and other group exhibitions at home and abroad.​

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