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Roman Ondak

"Adam’s Keys", 2016, adaptation for mezzaterra11 - flat gallery

Coutesy of the artist

October 26, 2018 — January 31, 2019

mezzaterra11 – flat gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the Slovak artist Roman Ondak (b.1966), presenting “Adam’s Keys” (2016). Borrowing from everyday experiences, found objects and situations that are often related to his personal history, Ondak creates margins of subtle and philosophical links and narratives between reality and representation. Most works of Ondak bring viewers’ active engagement in which interaction between the audience and his work is generally a key role in re-placing their quotidian attention.

Here Ondak re-presents a doorknob and keys, which once belonged to his older son. Adam was a teenager when his father appropriated this set of keys with a keychain from him. The situation showing the key in the door knob’s lock is shifted from Adam’s reality to an exhibition context. With physical and temporal displacement and poetic alterations Ondak’s work evokes slumbering memories and a sensation of empathy, and draws back to the spectator’s surroundings in quiet and imaginative ways using its great impact of simplicity. Ondak plays with ideas of relocation, representation, and the duplication of experience, conceptually and socially re-contextualized, and combines aspects of the quotidian with his artistic wit, urging and awakening the viewers to awareness to mundane life and society at large.

Roman Ondak represented Slovakia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, participated in dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, and was named the Artist of the Year by Deutsche Bank in Berlin, 2012. His notable solo exhibitions include: Based on True Events, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regenburg (2018); Objects in the Mirror, BASE / Progetti per l’arte, Florence (2018); Man Walking Toward a Fata Morgana, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago (2017); History Repeats Itself, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (2017); The Source of Art is in the Life of a People, South London Gallery, London (2016); Roman Ondak, Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney (2014); Some Thing, The Common Guild, Glasgow (2013); Escena, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2013); Roman Ondak, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris /ARC, Paris (2012); do not walk outside this area, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2012); Within Reach of Hand or Eye, K21, Düsseldorf (2012); Time Capsule, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2011), and Measuring the Universe, MoMA, New York (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: Pompei@Madre. Materia Archeologica, MADRE, Naples (2018); WAITING. Between Power and Possibility, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2017); Ellipsis, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis (2016); Wanderlust, The High Line Art, New York (2016); the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); and the 6th Berlin Biennale (2010). Furthermore, his work is held in many public collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Tate Modern, London; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and MoMA, New York.

mezzaterra11 – flat gallery is a conceptual project space that opens up new interpretations on documentation images of contemporary artworks, by creating meta-linguistic translation as a white cube is compressed to be flat. International artists are invited to present their work with one image that is selected, adapted, and ultimately, printed for the space as a format of a solo show.