The exhibition entitled Mind Games stands as the third curatorial venture from the FOG gallery in this particular series. After the projects Bleyová/Hrachovinová and Csáderová/Ausgang Studio, this annual idea demonstrates the gallery’s determination to bring together seemingly different artists. Both in terms of their artistic mediums and spanning generational gaps, thus promoting a dialogue between the works that have evolved on the domestic scene during more than half a century.
This time the artists presented are Zuzana Mináčová, a photographer, and Dionýz Troskó, a sculptor. Through their artistic activities, both of them have participated in the debate concerning political freedom. On one hand, we have Mináčová, an important figure in Slovak photography since the 1960s, who stands out as an innovator in the field of fine art photography with many references to the past situation in the country. On the other hand, Troskó, a representative of the contemporary generation of Slovak sculptors, who contributes to the evolving artistic-activist narrative.
The overarching theme of the exhibition responds to the complexity of the interplay between personal and political freedom, cleverly veiled under the guise of a game. This thematic perception manifests itself in various forms, either through sculptures depicting delusional, seemingly meaningless climbing frames on a playground, or photographs that allude to the strategic moves in the chess games of dictators, or photographs of an egg, symbolizing the effort to break free from constraints.
Another common feature in the seemingly unrelated works of the exhibiting artists is a sequence. Zuzana Mináčová is one of the pioneers of thinking in a narrative series in the Slovak visual art. At this exhibition, she is represented by photographs that explore the concept of development and fragmentation of the whole. Similarly, Troskó’s works directly refer to the de-sequencing of his previous works and their subsequent re-assembly. The Deliberate tearing of a portion from the whole, encourages reflection on the ways in which the setting of order, periodic repetition, and the incompleteness of information can shape our collective understanding of reality.
The story of this exhibition captures the uncertain nature of freedom. It is depicted here as something that is certainly not free, something like a prize that can only be achieved after triumphing in a game of chess or solving the intricacies of a metal puzzle. Freedom that is neither self-evident or eternal, like the joy of being free that we see in photographs with a disappearing rocking horse, or in playground fragments trapped in small boxes. The central question posed by this exhibition prompts the viewers to consider whether the showcased works participate in a mind game with the audience, or directly encourage them to actively engage their mind and challenge the system itself to a game.