Sustainable Empathy


Szilárd Cseke & Stano Masár
13. 09. 2022 – 30. 10. 2022 @galeria_jana_koniarka Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava

The artistic programmes of a duo of visual artists from Hungary and Slovakia are combined in this curatorial project. In the distinctive space of a former Jewish synagogue, the urgent question is posed of whether and to what extent there is sustainability without empathy. Via the exhibition situation, where two impressive artistic positions from different countries and contexts communicate and cooperate, the project calls for empathy as a condition of any kind of sustainability, durability and development. 

Szilárd Cseke’s dominant interactive installation is a visual allusion to the unremitting flow of civilisation, the evolutionary “machinery” of life including its heroes and trendsetters, and also its dissenters. Dynamic, in places clamorous, industrial movement, as a metaphor of existence, may be decelerated and refined by leaving one’s own message on one of the pingpong balls. The universal situation thus becomes exceptionally human. 

The essence of Stano Masár’s interactive game consists in an idea of individual action and responsibility. Every shot at the billiard balls introduces a unique series of relationships, meanings and constellations. Love, time, illusion and reality play together. Masár’s game, however, has neither winner nor conclusion. The subjective situation thus changes and becomes universal, or indeed philosophical. Both these artistic approaches, together with other works, call us to become more sensitive and empathetic, and to reflect on the values of contemporary existence. 

The exhibition project is dedicated to the victims of Russia’s invasion and continuing war in Ukraine.

Nina Vrbanová, curator

collective - general project partner