Jozef Suchoža (Slovakia)

About the artist

Jozef Suchoža (1978) lives in Borsi and teaches at the art academy of Besztercebánya (Banská Bystrica). The works of Jozef Suchoža have been shown in several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary.


Exhibited works

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Slovak visual artist, Jozef Suchoža (1978) belongs to the generation of the 21st century sculptors. His style stems from neo-conceptualism that he shifts into expanded forms of the object, installation, and video- installation. In his creations everlastingness of the cultural history and the problematic presentness are encountered. They express mainly the borderlines of spiritual and physical character of social being with references to the crisis of culture and current threats of the civilization. The newer creations of Suchoža are concentrated to installations with elements of multimediality and objects based on manipulated ready-made. The artist is inspired by collective memory that the post-modern culture breaks into individual mythology, preferring value personalisation and scientific interpretation of the world.

For the exhibition premises KIBLA Portal in Maribor the author prepared installations, video-installations and a solitary object. They are connected by an ideological background, as well as by the method of appropriation and reinterpretation. The installation titled Immaculatam (2018) appearing for the
first time, includes 50 manipulated copies of the sculpture of the praying Virgin Mary. The author controversially changes her attribute that had been coded for centuries, thus reflecting the escalation of violence of which source is religious extremism. Instead of a white scarf Mary wears a Muslim niqab. The „reincarnated“ figure of Mary offers the way of reconciliation, but also the attacking defence. At the same time her replication expresses the loss of auraticity and purposeful „production“ of idols.

The installation titled Personal Dome (2016) reacts on extinction of local population and loss of the home as consequence of migration. A dominating element is the crowd of levitating “figures” (gum raincoats) and a protecting dome for the “outcasts” that the author created by flow of air and light into a goldish isothermal foil. A newer sculptural object of Suchoža Altausse (2018) is a manipulated, author- created copy of Michelangelo’s masterpiece Madonna of Bruges (1501–1504). It was found and retrieved in 1945 by American soldiers at a salt-mine in the Austrian town Altausse, where it was hidden by Nazis and planned to be destroyed. This renaissance-style pretty and gentle Madonna’s face is covered with a veil. The author’s copy in 1:1 creates paradox by contrast of white plaster and black barrel – pedestral, expressing religious extremism at the background of post-human society.

The newest work of Suchoža – video-installation Untitled (Summer kitchen project) (2018) contains
a black and white author’s video with a motive of women’s hands preparing a dough – an ordinary, almost day-to-day work of housewifes in the past. The video is processed in negative images. The flour is black as if the woman would spread ashes or sand in order to obscure something. The dough that she is patiently rolling is gradually fills the entire area of the picture, until it is entirely veiled in darkness. The symbology of processing the dough and the women – mother (hands of the author’s mother) represent the connection of the Christian symbology and contemporary„devouring“ and consumption.

Suchoža’s works are attempts of the author to evoke the spiritual message of the art with intention to permeat the media. His path is the modeling of sacralized areas and paradox objects. Through elements of own mythology indicates crisis and instability of human nature. While pointing out his era, its collision situations and threats, addresses the viewer through images on the meaning and value of existence.

Alena Vrbanová, curator of the exhibition