Artist: Katarina Balunova
Title: Personal Utopia
Venue: MŰTŐ Group Gallery, Budapest
Photo: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and MŰTŐ Group Gallery, Budapest
The exhibition deals with the idea of utopia as a search for an ideal form of architecture and society, childhood memories, paradise garden, New Age as a mix of different esoteric approaches or conspiracy theories.
Utopia lies in the tension between the criticism of the present in a search for solutions in the future made with reference to the past. Utopia is inherently ambivalent – it contains the discrepancy between the pursuit of perfection and an alternative to the current situation in conflict with the reality of human nature and emotions.
As Zygmunt Bauman writes in his latest book, the present is stigmatized by retrotopia – nostalgia for the future. “Five centuries after Thomas More gave the name Utopia to the Millennium Dream of Mankind about returning to Paradise or bringing Paradise to Earth, another Hegelian triad created by double negation is now approaching its cycle. Once the prospects for human happiness has been relaxed, detached from any particular topos, and individualized, privatized and personalized, it is now their turn to be negated by what they bravely and almost successfully tried to negate. Retrotopia is now emerging – its rejection followed by renewal: visions placed in a lost / stolen / abandoned but not dead past, instead of being tied to a still unborn and thus non-existent future.” Katarina Balunova is Slovak born cosmopolitan human-animal contemporary artist dealing with the theme of utopia, personal mythology, oscillation between the past and future. She works in a wide range of mediums such as paintings, installations, performance, video, and poetry.
She actively exhibits at home and abroad, her works have been exhibited in 20 different countries from Europe through the USA to Asia. In 2013 she was finalist of Modessque Painting Contest by New Era Art Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. In 2014 she was finalist of NOlab Art Contest in Milan, Italy, and Painting of the Year by VUB Foundation Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2015 she was selected to participate in the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale (National Art Museum of China). In 2015 and 2017, she was nominated for the Bloom Award by Warsteiner, Cologne, Germany and in 2020 she was selected for 2nd Dafen Painting Biennale, Shenzhen, China.