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POMERANZ COLLECTION

ROMAN ONDÁK

Casting Antinomads
2000
Series of 120 colour photographs
22 x 32,5 cm each
Edition 1/3 (+1 A.P.)
Inv. Nr. 128
Photo: Courtesy Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna

Born in 1966 in Zilina, Slovakia
Lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia

Roman Ondák belongs to the generation that experienced the opening of Europe’s borders after the Cold War – a context that can be interpreted as a strong influence in his practice, where he brings into play the experience of circulation in its broad sense. Through installations, drawings, photographs and especially performances and “situations”, the Slovak artist deals with contexts, their perception and our expectations towards them. He blurs the boundaries between the experience of reality and our aesthetic experience by capturing and bringing attention to mundane events restaged in an artistic context. With simple gestures, influenced by 1960s and 1970s Conceptual art, often coupled with a subtle sense of humour, he uses the processes of relocation, displacement, duplication and re-enactment of locations or events to unravel the structures of reality, especially the artworld’s, and more generally addresses the dynamics of vision. Ondák’s strategy to displace people, objects or situations echoes views about globalization and the Deleuzian concept of deterritorialization.

The project Antinomads started out as a survey among the artist’s relatives – family members, friends or acquaintances – to determine whether they considered themselves nomads or anti-nomads, i.e. home-loving people. The latter, who truly resist a mobility seemingly imposed by globalization, were then photographed in their favourite settings, comfortably seated on their couch, bed or armchair. Casting Antinomads assembles the whole series of pictures taken by the artist, from which he chose twelve to be printed as postcards and freely handed out in exhibition spaces. The images of these individuals standing for immobility and rootedness were thereby paradoxically disseminated randomly throughout the world.