Visual Arts

28. 07. 2021

DobraVaga Gallery

Hydra PACE: Co-existence

Zaključna Predstavitev

We cordially invite you for the final presentation at the end of this year’s international project Hydra PACE – Platform for Artistic Collaboration and Exchange. The artists presenting their projects in conclusion of their two months long residencies will be Michaela Nagyidaiová and Jana Zatvarnická from Slovakia and Abed Alrahman Shabaneh, author from Palestine. The event will begin with an artist talk, followed by the exhibition opening.

19:00 Presentation of projects

20:00 Exhibition opening and drinks

Michaela Nagyidaiová, Moulding

In this ongoing project Michaela Nagyidaiová finds Moulding to be the common denominator for her way of observing and documenting her time and encounters in Slovenia and for the socio-political processes in motion in a country that has only been independent for the past 30 years.  The artist observes and photographs with a certain empathy and understanding that are only possible because what she sees is strangely familiar to her. Indeed her native Slovakia shares in some of the transitional processes of a post-communist state. With significant differences still in both countries’ past, the question remains: how to connect or understand the continuity between past, present and future from a position of someone who is in fact younger than both countries?

If history can be subjected to manipulation and still seems to have a prominent role in daily politics, it is nature on the other hand that concerns the younger generation and bad environmental policies are the trigger that makes young voters take full advantage of the democratic state. This relationship between past and present struggles shows in Michaela Nagyidaiová’s work from a unique position of a “not too foreign outsider” and someone who is at the same time looking for signs of what the future may hold and attempts to connect them seamlessly to the visual timeline. 

Michaela Nagyidaiová (1996, Bratislava) is a Slovak documentary photographer based in Bratislava. Her work analyses the connection between landscape and memory, the aftermath of socialism in Slovakia, Eastern and Central Europe, as well as identity, and ancestral heritage. Documenting places, people, or objects that she has a connection with is what drives her to take photographs. Her projects examine historically significant landscapes that have over time become forgotten or hidden in our contemporary society. This way, the intention is to revive the past, discuss it, and draw connections to our present-day events or issues. She graduated from MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2019. Michaela has been a member of the platform Women Photograph since 2021. 


Jana Zatvarnická, Burnt Landscapes, Conflicting Cultures

The spatial installation Burnt Landscapes, Conflicting Cultures, created during the artist’s residency in Slovenia, consists of several monumental paintings on fabric. These were intentionally made outside of the privileged institutional space, in uninhabited caves and forests, using soil, ash and natural pigments. The paintings, imprinted with traces of the artist’s body, were subsequently burnt and installed in the gallery. 

Determined by a profound interest in prehistoric art and culture, mythology and ritual, the artist intertwines her autobiographical stories, her own cultural background and its traditional ritual materials with those of the given place. Alluding to the guilt, imbedded in Western history and present times and, relating to its oppressive and exploitative heritage, she is rethinking responsibilities of her position within the present and proposing other possibilities of coexistence, another future that could succeed, even transcend the pervasive antagonisms of the exploitative anthropocene.

Jana Zatvarnická (1988, Slovakia) studied painting at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. By exploring the spiritual-historical processes in our society, and thus often referring to various theories and studies from scientific and cultural disciplines, her work emerges through physical experience of the environment and material she works with. Her paintings, drawings and installations are defined by immediacy, performativity, corporeality and experimentation. Since 2015 she has been taking part as a volunteer on various archaeological projects and collaborating with speleologists from Mexico and Slovakia. So far, she has participated in numerous international residencies, solo and group exhibitions in Germany and worldwide. In 2019, she received a 3rd place award for painting for young artists in Slovakia.


Abed Alrahman Shabaneh, The Living Room of the Absentees

The Living Room of the Absentees is a curatorial research project that aims to challenge the concept of co-existing and test the assumptions attached to it, its romanticization, and its prospects. The idea of a room was used to think about the problem – co-existence, without fail, implies the existence and often exclusion of others. Author Abed Alrahman Shabaneh researched existing academic literature on the topic, lived experiences of marginalization as well as artworks that explore such concepts. The initial stage in the project’s development here took the form of a zine, a format historically often used by artists, dissidents, and members of socially marginalized groups to communicate and express themselves to the public.

Abed Alrahman Shabaneh (1988) is a writer and art curator who aims to investigate the dynamic nature of society through arts and literature. Shabaneh studied Architecture at Birzeit University in Palestine. He started his professional career as an urban designer before committing to art curation, alongside experimenting with writing. He has participated in various art exhibitions and cultural events in Palestine. Currently, he works as an independent writer and curator.


The project is supported by Anna Lindh Foundation.

The project is co-funded by the European Union.




Entry into the venue is permitted only with a negative PCR or RAT test result, a medical certificate of recovery or vaccination, in accordance with the instructions of the National Institute of Public Health and the decree in the Official Gazzette of the RS, no. 73, p. 4392/May 13, 2021. 

The event will be filmed for archival purposes and will later be available online. Visitors are consenting to possible publishing by attending the event. 

Now playing...