International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
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Cankarjev Dom
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Roman Ondák
  *1966, lives in Bratislava

Common Trip, 2000, works made by people to whom I described the most remembered places I have ever visited

The art of Roman Ondák deals with changes in the perception of reality, since human perceptions are conditioned by the temporal dimension, the filtering of memory and the transcription from the visual into the verbal language and vice versa. In his work Common Trip, Ondák builds a specific relationship with people who have lifestyles rather contradictory to that of the artist himself. After having travelled intensely throughout many places (searching for thoughts, ideas and visual understanding of these localities), Ondák meets people who do not share the same experience. They are told stories from different journeys, listen to descriptions of cities he has visited and people he has met. His companions are then asked to visualise them. Remembrances of such distant realities - both in time and space - have a logic of their own, and efforts and abilities to articulate them bring new meanings to visual interpretation by the others. Ondák's exhibited "second-hand" works of art become the media for transforming reality, thereby replacing the artist's unconscious redesigning of reality "according to (spontaneous) memory". We can view them as a kind of Ondák self-portraits, or as a psychological profile which presents itself through the view of someone else. The very concept of realising the project, however, also demonstrates the archaic method of transferring information and cognition. This method is, for example, suggested by the pre-historic cave paintings, when the collective consciousness and perception of the universe was preserved, first through narrative (verbal language), then through the imagination of the listener (transformation of reality) and the subsequent image (visual language).

Address: Manifesta 3, Cankarjev Dom, Prešernova 10, SI - 1000 Ljubljana. Slovenia
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