Ingrid Hoffstädter Višňovská: Blindness

Ingrid Hoffstädter Višňovská: Blindness

Author, Exhibition Title: Ingrid Hoffstädter Višňovská: Blindness
Venue: Záhorie Gallery of Ján Mudroch in Senica, Sadová 619/3
Curator: Vladimír Beskid
Exhibition Opening: March 22 (Friday), 2024 at 6:00 PM
Musical guest at the vernissage: Dalibor “Stroon” Kocian
Exhibition Duration: March 22 (Friday) – April 30 (Tuesday), 2024

Organized in cooperation with the Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava.

Blindness of Our Days

(visual environments of Ingrid Hoffstädter Višňovská)

Since her student days, Ingrid Višňovská (1978) has favoured a unique sculptural mindset based on dematerialization, utilizing new technologies, and unconventional physical and artistic means (laser, UV light, neon, steam, lenticular printing, etc.). For the Záhorie Gallery, the author has prepared a series of her latest works that map the current visuality (and blindness) of today’s times. It involves a visual crossroads not only of motifs but also of meanings and possibilities of reading visual context. The theme of blindness or eyes facing darkness has been a subject of the artist’s exploration before – for example, the floating projected eye on disappearing steam from atomizers (Eye, 2007-8; NG Prague), or the magical levitation of eyes in UV light (Silence, Bratislava 2008, Synagogue GJK Trnava, 2010).

The pivotal series is “Without Comment” (2023-24). It involves paired images within a single entity, presenting a powerful confrontation of war reportage photographs from Ukraine and paintings by world authors. The artist employs a new lenticular printing based on Stroop test principles. This results in a unique “flip” effect – as the viewer changes their position, they see different images from different viewing angles. Thus, we perceive a frightening “clash of civilizations” – the overlaying of Caravaggio’s image “Death of the Virgin Mary” with a dying pregnant Ukrainian woman on a stretcher in Mariupol, or the scene of Ivan the Terrible’s dying son from the Russian classic of I.J. Repin with a depiction of a bombed Ukrainian city…

The second exhibited cycle “True Colours” (2024) is a continuation of lenticular foils presenting a simultaneous perception of image and text, which diverge. Monochrome surfaces emerge by introducing a different color than one of the known symbols (red and black Helvetica cross; (blue) EU flag on a pink background, red star on green, etc.). As aptly stated by the author herself: “The Red Cross is an international symbol of health aid (life) versus the black cross (death); the European Union and its blue flag turned into pink – as naivety; the Nazi symbol ‘soaked in yellow’ – a reference to Judaism and the emblem of the yellow star introduced by them. On the other foil, a Jewish star bathing in red – that is blood, violence, war, and so forth…”. In the series “Stamps” (2024), computer-modified faces or body fragments are depicted, embedded with burnt “seals” of other people’s faces. These become their scars (a different form of scarification). An anonymous array of marked people emerges, where body destruction, highlighted healed scars, and damage occur. This opens the stigmatized theme of negative influence from the environment or self-harm – in this case, as an excessive tolerance of the negative impact of surroundings and specific individuals. Several works refer to religious motifs and their critical interpretation in the contemporary world: a standing, originally Gothic statue of Christ made of soap in a chapel, referring to the offering of the host from Christ’s body, but also a possible “washing of hands” in many scandals in today’s church (Jesus, 2024). The likeness of the Madonna’s face overlaid with a collection of euro coins (Patroness, 2024), or the characteristic series “Blindness”, where small Madonna figures with reflective signaling foil covering their eyes are arranged. This is followed by a series of works that elaborate on models of contemporary world blindness: the intimate object “Sleep” 2024 – a child laid in thumbtacks as a metaphor for motherhood and life; unreadable “stone” faces, without a hint of thought flow or emotions (“Poker Face”), or hybrid creatures/forms in the form of silicone human faces combined with other objects or materials – drafting paper, a toilet plunger, a metal structure clutching a small body (“Tick”; “Finally”; “Breathe” – all 2024). The overall theme of the exhibition revolves around the blindness of today’s times, as well as a certain kind of visual diagnosis of individual perception or group reaction of society. Finally, simple letters appear, clearly defining white on white “together and lonely again and again” accompanied by a glowing neon brain (“I won’t think, I won’t think, I won’t think”, 2023).

Vladimír Beskid

About the Artist

Mgr. Art Ingrid Hoffstädter Višňovská, ArtD. (born in 1978 in Michalovce), lives and works in Bratislava and Kuchyňa, where she also works as an educator. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in 1998-2004 (Studio of Spatial Communications, Doc. A. Čierny), where she also pursued doctoral studies. Study stays: Academy International, London (GB); Ecole des Beaux Arts, Saint Etienne (F); Ars Electronica Center, Linz (A). Awards: 2005 – finalist of the Oskár Čepan Award; 2005 – Map XXL – winner of an international competition for the Ars Electronica Center, internship at the Ars Electronica Center Linz; 2007 – Finalist of the Essl Award (SK).

Peter Decheť: Powered by Power, 2020, olej na plátne, 75 x 100 cm

O autorke

Ohlasy v médiách


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