Zbyněk Baladrán's exhibition is curated by Daniel Grúň at The Július Koller Society in Bratislava.
Zbyněk Baladrán: Cartography of the Invisible (Necrology #2)
Curated by Daniel Grúň
3 March - 7 May 2023
The Július Koller Society, Bratislava
The complex circuits through which capital moves are abstracted, the elusive power remains unseen and misunderstood. Zbynek Baladrán's exhibition seeks to make some of these movements more visible. He examines the power practices of global capitalism, finds parallels between speculation as a mode of production of capitalist societies and the critical discourse of contemporary art. It shows that the institutional necros of art is only one of the extremities of the decaying corpse of capitalism. Necrology can be described as an author's para-science, which deals with the processes of decay associated with power practices, with perverse working conditions, or with adoration of militarization and killing in the middle of a world seen in black-and-white terms. At the same time, Necrology is fundamentally linked to critical revision of the apparatuses that established the institutional practice of the art museum — with its practices, dispositions, narratives and marketing strategies. Tools of cognition inspired by anthropology and archaeology do not turn to the distant past, but rather in form of atlases, maps, and diagrams become dispositives for new arrangements and visualizations of digital data. Zbyněk Baladrán's cartographies draw our attention to the extension and generalization of abstract financial chains to all branches of the global political scene (financial markets, arms races, investment, labor), social imagination and art. It is the visual presentation of invisible relationships and their rearrangement under the dictation of a different operating system that produces strange taxonomies, which is in fact the main focus of most of the exhibited works by Zbyněk Baladrán. What do these cryptic compositions of fragments actually say? Do they constitute a self-referential circle of analogies between the fragments and the index, such as could repeat without beginning and end the vacuity of our epoch? A unifying architecture is provided to the digital graphics by an installation made from recycled furniture boards. The way of linking furniture with maps is not only idiosyncratically marked by a certain poverty, but also functional, much like museum furniture. On the one hand, we look at the exhibited objects as things in a museum, but on the other hand, Baladrán's simulations strongly shake the sense of certainty: these installations are something other than what they seem to be. Thus, they create a contradiction between a convincing "framing", which is supposed to confirm the status of the exhibited objects, and "deviating from this type of conventions". The project is a continuation of the exhibition organized by the artist in cooperation with the curator Marika Kupková in the Brno Tic gallery.
Supported from public funding by the Slovak Arts Council.