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Mančuška, Ján / A Middle - Aged Woman

2009

video installaton, 11:27 min.

purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

Middle-Aged Woman does not take the form of a suspended text; the work is “suspended” only virtually, in the form of a video projection. Here Mančuška works with structural progressions. The text is uncovered as a form of mosaic, gradually revealing its content. The principle of adding new words to the text field not only shifts (and thus also transforms) the narrative; above all it creates tension as a result of the ongoing lack of clarity and the absence of a complete text. During the video, our minds have a tendency to view the story as something permanent, rushing to complete the text in our desire to understand it as an entity. However, Mančuška only gives us enough time to keep us in a state of interpretative uncertainty, which is then immediately replaced by a further fragment of text.

MANČUŠKA JÁN

(7. 4. 1972, Bratislava – 1. 7. 2011, Prague) Slovak-born Czech conceptual artist. From 1991 to 1998 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in three studios – drawing (Jitka Svobodová), painting (Vladimír Skrepl) and graphic art (Vladimír Kokolia). He participated in group exhibitions while still a student, in the early 1990s, and in the first decade of the new millennium his work became known abroad. He was a member of the now-defunct ‘Headless Rider’ (Bezhlavý jezdec) group, along with Tomáš Vaněk, Josef Bolf and Jan Šerých. In 2004 he was awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize, and in 2005 he participated in the exhibition dramaturgy for the Czech pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Ján Mančuška was undoubtedly one of the most important Czech visual artists of the period around the turn of the 21st century, and his influence can be seen in the work of numerous younger artists who are now well-established (Zbyněk Baladrán, Tomáš Svoboda, Eva Koťátková, Dominik Lang). His work consciously draws on the conceptual art of the 1960s, taking particular inspiration from Joseph Kosuth, Joseph Beuys and Jiří Kovanda. Although he can be characterized as an intermedia artist, several different phases in his career can be distinguished. Initially his art explored the everyday world, transposed into everyday materiality by using threads, soap, wood and other materials. He then began working with texts and text installations, and in the final phase of his career (cut short by his early death) he focused on the media of film and theatre. His strategic methods comment on or completely break down established psychological patterns, opening up new, pluralistic approaches to “reading reality”.Mančuška’s work is represented in both private and institutional collections – including the Prague City Gallery, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and now also the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava. He also features in the collections of institutions based in France (the George Pompidou Centre), Germany (the Meyer Riegger Gallery), and the USA (the Andrew Kreps Gallery).
Laser-cut aluminium letters, steel cable, 185 × 500 × 300 cm; purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
2007

Mančuška, Ján / I Turn Towards the Corner Guided by the Walls

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1921
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Baruch, Josef / Memory of Christmas

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Bolf, Josef / At night

Bolf, Josef / At night

2014
Bolf, Josef / From Forest

Bolf, Josef / From Forest

2005
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