Talented Slovak artists show Brussels how to 'search for beauty'
“Europe's future, including aesthetic values, is in the hands of a younger generation. That's why we have come in searching of answers about a European artistic future to a talented pair of Slovak artists, Michaela Čopíková and Veronika Obertová,” said Minister Lajčák in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Sylvie Guillaume, representatives of the European parliament, diplomats and other guests.
The minister added that the exhibition has two dimensions – an interactive dimension in the Parlamentarium building and a web dimension, which enables people to participate in the project and become a part of searching for their own version of beauty. “Beyond doubt it will be at least as varied as the European nations themselves. However, it also gives EU citizens total freedom of expression. And that's precisely one of the values which unite us in this great cultural diversity,” he added.
“Europe's future, including aesthetic values, is in the hands of a younger generation."
One curator of the project, the director of the Slovak Design Centre, Mária Rišková, said: “Not just because of our country's presidency of the Council of the EU, but also in the context of recent hectic events in the European Union, it is important to focus on positive approaches to changes and to communicate the possibilities that our Union membership also gives us. Our exhibition talks about a need to search for new beauty that we can identify with and about human themes that we have in common and that go beyond politics.” The exhibition sends a message that our visual culture perceptions have recently incorporated images of the new environment in which we live. These images do not depict idealised pictures of Slovakia, but rather work with the real environment in which people live and to which they are emotionally tied. That's why the Searching for Beauty exhibition, and a web GIF gallery pertaining to the exhibition, work with a concept of beauty as a part of everyday realities, but also as a positive power of the present day.
The authors of the Searching for Beauty exhibition have taken as a starting point a favourite digital-graphics format known as GIF. A principle of easy creation of short animations composed of static images forming a time loop is used in interactive paper objects on display. These objects, operated by visitors, work like historical devices for making optical illusions – zoetropes, dioramas or praxinoscopes. Thanks to ingenious revival of objects by means of electronics, executed in cooperation with artists Ján Šicko and Roman Mackovič, every visitor has the opportunity to put the objects in motion or make his or her own choice of what he or she considers beautiful.
The Searching for Beauty exhibition also includes a website, where you can generate and publish your own GIF. In this way the authors have invited the Slovak public as well as the European and global public to participate. “We believe that themes brought about by various people through their GIFs will help us to understand what the inhabitants of Slovakia and other countries consider beautiful,” said artist Michaela Čopíková.
The exhibition runs until 18 September in the Parlamentarium, the European Parliament visitors' centre, which is visited by thousands of people every day. The exhibition will subsequently be mounted in Amsterdam and Linz. At the end of the presidency, i.e. at the beginning of 2017, the exhibition will also be shown in Bratislava.