Hungarian artist Veronika Romhány, currently Agosto Foundation artist in residence, will present the multichannel video installation Please Do Not Touch! The event will also include performances by Marek Hlaváč, with audience participation.
The product of Veronika Romhány’s artistic residency takes the form of another mystifying “collaboration” with the fictional Russian artist Věra Nimova. A multi-channel video installation uncovers other dark and unpredictable facets fo Nimova’s problematic personality.
The artistic practice of Veronika Romhány is something like multi-layered research, if the term “research” can describe this half-conscious, intuition-based method of working. Working in 3D, she has begun using rawer, less aestheticized forms – fewer rendered images and more of the anti-aesthetics of working software-space; more machine-like expressions with less theoretical background. Working on the topic of a flexible personality has become more of an inner journey – a self-analysis. It is possible that the counterpoint of Prague’s brutalist buildings and its strong art nouveau heritage have reinforced these tendencies.
I find the image of a human body as a bio-mechanical sculpture really interesting; a processor which transforms impressions, feelings, commands, food, liquid – a lot of data and chemistry. This alienation is the key metaphor for my residency in Prague. I was always curious about the internal mental processes examining the boundary that claims to be (or rather represents) a gap between “inside” and “outside”. The aim has been to examine this deeply Western heritage of dividing the body into social and individual (Durkheim) parts in the age of the virtual, social media, and automated control. The more I focus on the exact mental processes, the less I can define this demarcation. I have made use of a phrase I used during my presentation at the Skautský Institute a few weeks ago, giving the presentation the title Thick Skin. This thick skin, this shield, is Vera Nimova. And here in Prague, I began focusing more on its functionings, with the result of taking her apart day by day through this analysis, more like a transformation, or sublimation. It has already been internalized, so the persona itself is no longer as interesting as its function. It is less schizophrenic, more abstract and less focused on gender or identity, like the cyborg of Donna Haraway. And it plays with the word and concept of entropy.
This multichannel installation is part of an evening program organized in cooperation with the Punctum collective. Before a presentation of Romhány’s work, there will be a series of participatory performances by Marek Hlaváč.
7:00 PM – A series of performances by Marek Hlaváč
9:00 PM – Opening of Nedotýkejte se toho, prosím / Let’s entropy by Veronika Romhány
Performances by Marek Hlaváč:
Collective playing of a single instrument, where the goal is not to produce sound, but rather on holding it back, which will require discipline and collaboration.
Collective electronic music with normalization / Boring Music
A collective improvisation with some of the same instruments. One of the players is the computer, which modifies and normalizes the unrestrained gestures of the participants. It learns their playing, codifies it, and replaces it with its own playing.
Pseudo-random noise vs. chaotic oscillator vs. drums (drummer: Ondřej Doskočil).
Marek Hlaváč studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Prague in the Intermedia Studio of Tomáš Vaněk. His sound performances are often participatory, and explore vocal and electroacoustic soundscapes of a border area between 18,000 and 20,000 Hz.
Veronika Romhány studied at the Academy of Art in Budapest. She is a member of the Studio of Young Artists FKSE and is represented by the Horizont gallery. During her residency, Romhány continues the research and development of the Nimova project, a nominal co-op — or perhaps a brand name — with one person behind it. The project was initiated as a way to escape responsibility through the use of a fictional character (the Russian artist Věra Nimova). The government-funded MMA (Hungarian Academy of Arts) today represents a closed, stale and nostalgic, but ultimately official, statement about art in Hungary, mostly outside of the contemporary art scene and its discourses. The Nimova project is a reaction, offering feedback to bring about something new. It aims to bring an outsider’s artistic perspective on the complex tangle of art communities: the government; the progressive (opposition); and the amateur. With this symbolic act, the Nimova Project focuses on different kinds of manifestations of the authoritarian personality in order to research how power, shame, and greed can deeply influence the self. It targets the complexity of the existential and financial pressure placed on a person, and how this can alter their behavior, and even their personality. Various technologies, such as video, 3D animation, and sculpture may be used to condense this phenomenon into a form of visual expression.