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Multimedia exhibition project by Oto Hudec on view at Kunsthalle LAB
The Archipelago is a multimedia exhibition project that studies the issue of migration of the Cape Verde citizens to Europe through the optics of their social standing on both sides of the ocean.

BRATISLAVA.- This year’s second exhibition in Kunsthalle LAB presents the project Archipelago by the Slovak multimedia artist Oto Hudec, whose artwork has been also cherished by the prestigious museum Centre Georges Pompidou as a part of their collections. The exhibition will run until June 11, 2017.

“People say that Cova da Moura, the immigrants’ district of Lisbon is just another of the Cape Verde Islands. Between the Cape Verde Islands and the diaspora there exists a lively connection. Mostly once a year the immigrants return home to their families, showing off their most shiny branded outfits and nourishing the dream about the rich world out there for next generations. Thanks to the money the immigrants are sending their families, the Cape Verde Islands grow. Immigration, though, also brings along stories of disappointment when in crisis-stricken Portugal the incomers fail to find work and eventually end up in illegal quarters gradually pulled down by the local authorities for the benefit of developers. The project and the exhibition Archipelago, for me, represent putting together fragments of two interconnected worlds, as well as a tribute to the traditional culture of Cape Verde.” the artist, author of the project Oto Hudec describes.

The Archipelago is a multimedia exhibition project that studies the issue of migration of the Cape Verde citizens to Europe through the optics of their social standing on both sides of the ocean. Nevertheless, it avoids a politically critical discourse. It does not pretend to offer any didactic prescription for grasping the issue either. It rather presents a poetic, often documentary, language. It represents the traditional culture and the way of life contrasting with the industrial and urban culture of thriving Europe.

Oto Hudec (*1981, Košice) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) in Bratislava. He co-organized the social artistic project “Karavan”. In 2012 he reached the finals of the Oskár Čepan Award. His artwork was presented also at museum of modern and contemporary art Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist’s works reflect especially the issues of migration, ecology as well as globalization impacts on the environment.

Within the intentions of his existing artwork he interconnects artistic activism with impressive visualization. A dominant element of the exhibition is formed by a couple of large-size water turtles created with the help of teenagers – children of Cape Verde immigrants living in the outskirts of Lisbon. A turtle represents a symbol of return to one’s homeland, which, similarly to immigrants, overcomes big distances before reaching home.

The objects refer to migration, but they concurrently carry along the idea of home and relations venerating ties with home in a live culture. The installation in Kunsthalle LAB also comprises the video of an immigrants’ quarter of Lisbon, a wall painting incorporated directly within the space of the gallery as well as other works, many of which came into being as a result of creative workshops with participation of citizens on both sides of the “borders”.

“What the artist articulates by his individual works are the relations of spontaneous creativity, cooperation and sharing of cultural habits, moderated in two diametrically opposing environments.” the exhibitions curator Daniel Grúň comments and adds: “Oto Hudec consistently expands the anthropologic model of art and his installations lead to self-reflection processes within our culture by means of accepting and deep understanding of the Otherness.”

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