EDITA VOLUŠČUKOVÁ: LABORATORY
The exhibition project LABORATORY interprets the personal dilemma of the artist in relation to fine art and the natural sciences as a reflection of her unabated interest in and meditations on contemporary global affairs, their trends, and on the consequences which these “modern” events bring about. The exhibition is presented as part of the Profiles cycle of exhibitions.
The Prešov-based artist Edita Vološčuková presents a current selection of her diverse work (installations, object art, assemblage, monotypes, computer photography, video art, watercolours) which address the issues related to the interaction between art, science and nature. This ongoing and long-term project examines specific persistent social problems which are gradually mutating into unexpected forms. Vološčuková is interested in the issues of biodiversity and genetics, and her art reflects upon disruptions to these systems. She identifies parallels between the world of invasive species and bio-mutations and the human world, a world as cruel and ruthless as that of nature, where the noble or worthy can be transformed into the malignant and violent in the blink of an eye. The issue of genetically modified organisms and foods was of particular relevance to the LABORATORY project, as was the COVID pandemic of 2020 and the present-day conflict in Ukraine.
The artist works with living organisms which become part of her art, an approach which is very rare. Her current muse is the honey locust tree, an extravagantly exotic plant. The tree fascinates her as an example of an invasive organism which also shimmers with an abundant beauty. Its spiralling, twisting stems are reminiscent of the structure of DNA, while the branching thorns which serve several functions demonstrate a means of communicating between different organisms, between flora and fauna. Sections of the honey locust tree are applied into suspended assemblages inspired by illustrated school textbooks which provide precise and concise descriptions of specific themes; the artist’s efforts to grant her works the same appearance of precision is both subversive and ironic. The artist also likes to combine technical components with biological materials and jewels, thereby giving rise to the surprising vision of some type of cyborg. Her love for nature is matched by an affection for its counterpart – technical equipment and technological structures which she perceives as the essence of reason to which her creative approach can offer a spiritual aspect. She observes the visual side of computer motherboards and considers their potential for applications in artistic expression. She sees them as miniatures of some form of architectural model or urban structures where we can visualise the microprocesses running in nature.
Mgr. Jozef Ridilla, exhibition curator
Edita Vološčuková (*1951, Stropkov) has been creatively active in Prešov for many years. From 1988 to 2016 she worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Art Education and Art at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Prešov. She currently works as a freelancer. She works in graphics, computer graphics, painting and intermedia and has successfully produced several artistic and curatorial projects. She is also involved in gallery animations and leading workshops. She is a member of the C+S Art Group based in Košice and of the Slovak Union of Visual Arts.
She has participated in a wide range of plenaries, theoretical symposia, solo and group exhibitions both at home and abroad (PL, UA, HUN, D, CZ, IT, GB, N). Her works feature in the collections of Slovak and foreign galleries including the Regional Gallery in Prešov, the Gallery of Spiš Artists in Spišská Nová Ves, the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce, the East Slovak Gallery in Košice, the Novohrad Museum and Gallery in Lučenec, the City Gallery in Mukachevo (UA) and BWA in Krosno (PL). She is the recipient of several awards (winner of the International Watercolour Triennial 1999 and 2013 in Lučenec, the Rector's Award of the University of Prešov for Artistic Creation 2003, the winner of the President's Award, Nowy Sącz PL - Salon 2003 and the Honorary Recognition of the Miskolc Gallery for the Trojhraničie [Tripoint] international project.
Curator: Mgr. Jozef Ridilla
Special cooperation: Mgr. Lucia Benická
Production: Mgr. Kamila Paceková – GUS
Graphic design: Mgr. art. Ivana Babejová, ArtD. – GUS
Translations: Gavin Cowper