In 2019, Slovak society celebrated its 30th anniversary of these revolutionary events and our exhibition, collaborated with NGO Post-Bellum in Nová Cvernovka, was one of many related events organised by numerous institutions.
This event obviously, created quite the overwhelming communication momentum, and one of the core problems was to present an event that was not redundant with so many other similar events of that time.. Furthermore, we wanted to skip the stale cliches and create a living experience for the visitors.
Our exhibition consisted of five parts. At the beginning of the event, we had a key input from Post Bellum, an organisation specialised in collecting and preserving memories of living witnesses of Slovak historical events. They provided a big collection of testimonies, recorded on a video that I have used in a video installation together with a slide-show of historic photographs, re-created revolutionary transparents and thematic sound-scape of Milan Jaslovský.
To bring a different context into our event, we have created a timeline of historic events, that were happening, simultaneously in 6 countries of the “Ost-blok” (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Easter Germany, Soviet Union) between the World war II to its collapse in 1989 and events from the early nineties.
To make that information “more human” and be more personal, we have decided to visualize these historic events in a socialistic living room consisting of period design products from the collections of Slovak Design Museum (curated by Maroš Schmidt).
The point was to revoke visitors' own experience with this socialistic era, because these products are still present in some Slovak homes.
We have designed a meta-newspaper of the exhibition for visitors to take with them as well. The newspaper was offering a selection of articles from various revolutionary and post-revolutionary newspapers, together with revolutionary thesis and a timeline mentioned above.
In the centre of the exhibition was a big art piece, created by a collective of Slovak visual artists. Its aim was to represent the various layers of perception of all the events from that time. Paľo Čejka have created a large collage with related historic prints, applied to the 4 installation panels assembled into the cube. The group of three artists, Dzive, made a critical statement by creating street-art drawings on it as an artistic intervention during the opening of the exhibition.
We hope that our project helped to preserve a sensibility for the political, cultural and social freedom, which drove the revolutionary generation of that time, especially with the re-animation of the dark totalitarian tendences in contemporary Slovak society.