Jaroslav Varga

Vysoká škola výtvarných umení, Bratislava

Academy of Fine Art and Design, Bratislava


*, SVK


In the work Komenskeho 1 (2009–2010), Varga presents 325 film images that he found inside a former primary school in the east Slovak town of Trebisov. The school, which he attended from 1988 to 1996 and which was closed and abandoned three years ago, has in recent years become the site of the artist’s urban surveys. In the meantime, the building has been completely plundered and the only items remaining, in addition to the actual skeleton of the building, were fragments of socialist-era didactic-propaganda films. The artist took the found material, projected it onto the walls of the building’s devastated interior, and re-photographed it using 35mm slide film. The gallery show presents a documentation of the “school” exhibit; attending school at a currently decrepit building at an address that no longer exists – its micro-history, the time, space, and ideology of the former institution, relocated within new spatial coordinates. The shift in color is caused by the walls’ structure and original paint. The films change into and abstrakt ornaments. The stories they show have ceased to be relevant; an entirely different story is playing out in the background, the story of a site that will soon be home to a shopping center. And finally, it is the story of a shrinking city that even the artist
himself abandoned long ago.