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Project    BLAF 2015 — Deck of Cards

The value of artist is relative and changes constantly

Brano Matis   196   297cm

BLAF ( 2009 — 2016) stands for Bratislava Art Festival, and in Slovak it means “to bluff” — to deceive someone into believing that something is going to happen and thus provoke a reaction to it — mainly in card games. 

During the Bratislava Art Festival, a few dozen local galleries were open for free, and in addition to their art exhibitions, they offered special programs, such as performances, meet-ups and interactions with the artists, concerts, discussions, and so on.

I was a part of the team, serving as its communication designer in 2014. During my first year, I developed an educational concept based on optical illusions, and by 2015, the concept became more ambitious — at least in the terms of content-creation.

From the beginning, BLAF was, quite successfully, aiming at both general audiences and the local cultural scene. That had to change in 2015, when the well-known event Biela Noc (White Night, Light Night or Nuit blanche) was introduced to Bratislava. It started in Slovakia in 2009, the same year as BLAF, and after proving to be a success for five years in Košice, it was decided that it was time to bring its light-weight-art-as-an-outdoor-attraction to the capitol. Unfortunately, it was scheduled for the same time as BLAF, and it was naturally dividing its audiences. The team decided to increase its focus to insiders, rather than compete with the intentionally crowd-pleasing and much better funded Biela Noc.

Lucia Gavulová developed the topic — “Symbolic Capital / What Creates The Market Value of the Artist?”  This subject appeared to be complicated and inconsistent it was more subjective than objective. This specific value appeared to have both stable and moving parts, including: engagement with related institutions, artist’s pieces in collections, her/his public image, schools of graduation, and obviously career and current activities. With an ambition to reflect it rather than resolving it, the multitude of visuals appeared to be cooler. Inspired by the emerging post-modern “frame-set” aesthetics, a deck of cardswas created.

Fun fact — in Europe, the print production of playing cards (so-called “Devil’s images” in Slovak folklore) preceded printing of the Bible. It appears that book and the playing cards are diametricallyopposed , at least in terms of their  uses.

A book, with its strict and linear flow of consolidated pages, traditionally protected by a hardcover brings order. Card decks are held together temporarily, only in their passive state, designed to spread out and mix in many combinations during the game —partial chaos, organised by number and suit — in concurring hierarchies of lesser-to-higher-cards rows. In other cases some cards are>

author of the text: Brano Matis
license: Licenced by author of the text, please contact author personally.




Brano Matis


21–12–2018   01–01–2015

The card deck consisted of 32 cards of 4x8, each “slashed” into two topics.

author: Brano Matis
license: Copyright

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