The mystery of how people behave in general

Friday, December 20, 2013

Where is the artwork?

This might be one of the first things you’ll find yourself wondering when you encounter one of Ondák’s works for the first time. Performative works such as Swap and Measuring the Universe are non-object based artworks which are reproduced through a set of instructions each time they are exhibited.

Measuring the Universe transforms the presence of people in an empty space into a physical object, a portrait of a community. This way of seeing and experiencing art brings our attention to the experience itself, taking what is usually invisible and making it visible.

Although Swap focuses on exchanging material objects, they themselves are not the artwork - the ‘swap’, the experience of thinking about these objects and their value is Ondák’s creation.  

Participation – this means you!
You might remember a time when an art exhibition involved standing back and looking at artwork. As a spectator, your role was simply to look and not to touch. This is no longer the case! With Ondák’s works, the rules have changed and the traditional ideas of how we’re supposed to behave in an art gallery context are completely turned around. Instead of being careful not to touch the artwork, we’re drawing on the gallery walls and speaking to his living sculptures which constantly change.  

Ondák aims to make us question our own behaviour and to consider the social codes we live by in our interactions with other people.  The art here is the social encounter itself, in bringing the community together as more than just a spectator, to actively take part in something unexpected.  

‘Art as Life’
Most of Ondák’s work begins with everyday situations. He amplifies the recognisable world in ways that make us contemplate our own social and cultural behaviour. This is art that is about relationships, between each other and between our environment and us too. Ondák describes it as ‘the mystery of how people behave in general’. These works 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.