Austrian novelist, Stefan Zweig, in his autobiography The World of Yesterday expresses a belief, that it is the international cooperation in the cultural field, which helps the most to bring nations together and is the best way to prevent misunderstandings.
Crazycurators Biennale is a contemporary visual art exhibition, from its founding oriented at interconnecting the national and international art scenes. From its very beginnings, the Crazycurators Biennale has been bringing progressive artists and curators from around the world into Bratislava. After the Biennale Danuvius (1968), which could not take place again from political reasons, the Crazycurators Biennale became the first biennale of contemporary visual art in Bratislava.
The Crazycurators Biennale is an experimental format of “non-exhibition” aiming to escape traditional view of art, artworks and its representation. It was founded in 2007 in the SPACE Gallery on Lazaretská street, then in the project SPACE on Františkánske square and the Danube embankment, Tyršovo nábrežie (2009), in Dom umenia (2011), and in the SPACE Gallery on Velehradská street (2013).
Crazycurators Biennale - Augmented Reality is an invisible exhibition; if you don´t have a smartphone or tablet with the installed application at hand, you won´t see anything, or you will see only, what the others can see – common reality. However, if you accept to take place, you will enter captivating world of contemporary art. Aim of the exhibition is to support and promote creation of new art works. Nevertheless, it should also encourage artists to use technologies developed in the most advanced laboratories in the world, which are soon to be accessible for public.
This year of the Crazycurators Biennale is titled Augmented Reality. Augmented, meaning expanded, reality requires from artists more complex approach then the virtual reality. While everything is possible in the virtual reality, augmented reality requires sensible complementing of the physical reality. High-end technology allows artists to use methods, which in the future may dramatically change the character of contemporary art. More and more companies nowadays have been intensely involved in developing eyewear that provides ability to see things, which do not exist in reality. Classic devices such as television, computer or telephone, will be supposedly replaced by images that will be visible on the wall, table or directly on the hand without the need to project them on the screen. What kind of possibilities will these technologies bring into art? In what ways will the artists (and also huge companies) use them – or misuse them? Goal of the Crazycurators Biennale – Augmented Reality is not answering those questions, but rather setting the artists and viewers towards facts, which shall become part of our lives, regardless of whether we like it or not. All around the world, researchers are independently developing artificial intelligence and it, almost certainly, is going to change our future fundamentally, more than any other theme, which we have known so far. How will the art react on these issues? That is the question we in the cooperation with both curators and artists would like to seek an answer for.
Erwin Wurm and his statues installed on public buildings and spaces has been direct inspiration for establishing Crazycurators Biennale – Augmented Reality. To overcome enormous financial and technological difficulties of similar realizations, we decided to use own application, so that the artists would install their new works on the buildings in the Bratislava center – The Presidential Palace, the Austrian Embassy and the Tatra banka.
As our PR manager Mirka Ábelová said: "With their smartphones, tablet and free app, people will be able to explore surroundings and to find art pieces, which do not exist in the real world. By pointing the camera onto those buildings, they will enter augmented reality of contemporary visual art."
How the app works
We invite you to use your smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android) and a free app to discover works of art that don’t exist in the real world. By pointing your camera on the Austrian embassy, Presidential palace and Tatra bank you enter augmented reality of contemporary art. The instructions for individual pieces can be found directly in the app. App will soon be available in both App Store and Google Play with links on this website
There was a moment in everybody's life, when you just stopped and in awe watched climbers hanging up high, cleaning the windows of a skyscraper. I even recall some movies, when such scene came up and the entire cinema went completely silent for a moment. During the Crazycurators Biennale, Stanislav Krajčí decided to provide the audiences with this special experience through augmented reality. Levitating window cleaners, this time on the building of the Austrian Embassy, were alternated by the astronauts, whom Krajčí titled nothing less than the Austrianauts. As the author, Stanislav Krejčí, says: “... in a second plane, this artwork can be understood as revealing the fact, that regardless of what power struggles are fought on the Earth, at the ISS station there always come or stay astronauts from different cultures and nations. In order to explore the universe, the countries are always able to unite for common progress.”
Stanislav Krajčí is not only a student at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and of the Curatorial Studies, but also a thought leader of “a public lounge of living topics” called the Kalab.
Dorota Sadovská is one of the most significant Slovak female painters of all times. Apart from painting, which she has always experimented with, she achieved extraordinary results in the medium of photography, video, installation and site-specific, too. She had the opportunity to work in the field of monumental architecture in the centre of Wien, on the Ringturm. For Crazycurators Biennale, she prepared a dynamic installation made from fingers of her own hands and feet. She created a sculpture of somewhat fictitious and unknown animal. “A building stands as a protective shell for human stories. Cold and closed architecture usually hides numerous pulsating lives,” Sadovská says. She also emphasizes “the spontaneity, savagery, and humanity of touches, of the new order as the opposition to the sterility, predictability, aloofness, severity and exactness.”
Jozef Vančo with his public art interventions radically crossing format of “the classic sculpture” was able to significantly enter on the Slovak art scene. Yet, he is still a student of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. For Crazycurators Biennale, he prepared a participative project, which requires cooperation of the audience. “Joseph Haydn, the Austrian composer and conductor, also known as the “Father of the Symphony”, incorporated various musical instruments into his composition and it was in the Grassalkovich Palace, where he conducted several symphonic concerts. At the west side of the Palace, there was a memorial plague dedicated to Haydn, but it was removed from unknown reasons; that being so one of the memorials of the Austrian-Slovak harmonized culture has faded from memory.” By pointing the mobile device onto one of three buildings, part of the composition begins to play (brass section, string section or similar). In order to hear full version of the composition, it is necessary that the other viewers join the application and in similar way play other parts of the composition, by pointing their devices onto other buildings. Accordingly, only joint start and shared place of three viewers makes it possible to play complete version of Haydn´s symphony. “The artwork accentuates harmony and, today little popular, human cooperation, but also focuses on the need of the mutual encouragement on a global scale.”
Clemens Fürtler is an Austrian artist, whose works fascinated me “at the first sight”. As a critique and curator, I am usually very alert when evaluating art works, which are intentionally decorative, as I define them as kitsch. Nevertheless, Fürtler is not a shallow, on purpose plausible, not even a strategic author. At one glance, his primary motivation seems to be a game, but that is far from truth. Furtler is a builder; slot car tracks and railroads for him are pieces of a building kit, which he uses to build new, often absurd, almost utopic architectures. Nonetheless, construction of new urbanistic structures is not his aim. Neither is his usage of light or movement of slot cars or trains to enliven the work. He intends to create an extraordinary experience for the viewer. Bypassing uninvolved observer, who is visually struck at the first sight. Illuminating cars running on the track create a light-art performance, where even more significant role is played not by lights, but the shadows. Therefore, Clemens Furtler for me is not a painter, photographer, video, light, sound nor an installation artist, but a multimedia-artist with skills of an architect and ambitions of a performer.
“In my project, I focus on the architectural design of the Tatra bank building as a total complex. Into visual of this modern building, I attempt to incorporate something classic, but the name of the building itself reveals, where its form is hidden and what the inspiration was for the architects, when constructing the building of the Tatra centre. Dominant roof from different angles reminds a top of a dump body of the Tatra 148 truck, which sets over the truck cabin, and its floor segmentation suggests the ribbing and reinforcement of the metal body. By visual intervention, I would like to make the viewers feel insecure and provide them with a view, different from what, they are used to, and use this virtual project to realise an oversized installation based on an unreal utopian concept,” Sebastián Komáček introduces his project. Sebastián Komáček is a student of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Department of Sculpture, Object and Installation.