On 15 May the White & Weiss Gallery will open an exhibition of Erik Binder, an expressive artist of the middle generation. His broad scope of work includes installations, videos, objects, paintings, drawings, prints and graffiti; he does honour to interaction with material and an unencumbered approach to media. He is one of a few Slovak artists who earn their living through their work. He is a respected European artist, who in 2003 together with the Kamera skura group presented in the Czech and Slovak pavilion of the world´s most prestigious survey of contemporary art – the 50th Venice Biennale. In his holistic work, characterized by his own special humour, he works with the relationship between text and context.
“Erik Binder has based his artistic program on an inversion of creative work,” notesLucia Gregorová Stach, the exhibition´s curator. “Rather than producing art, he allows his art to create him. For this reason, not only does he welcome chance like any proud heir of DADA, but indeed intuitively utilizes it as one of his means of production. The world of his creation is not desolate, rather it is inhabited by the people whose existence has woven its way into the tale of Binder´s art by way of communicating with him or of work for him; it teems with assistants, neighbours, friends, animals, birds, bugs… His new exhibition Transformers speaks of social insects and the relationship of individuality to the superorganism of the city. It came about as a total installation, utilizing material gathered from the urban setting, from specific people and known places – things that have been given a chance at a second life as transformed beings with new capacities.”
In the past, Binder has won acclaim for his use of car lights and other materials – plastics, electrical or waste material, and even drapery. His systematic transformation of everyday objects into art, with its intent of freeing them from purposefulness (we might call them remixes), is a counterpoint to his legendary explosively spontaneous creativity based on the principle of “some rules emerge during the game”. He excellently characterized his aesthetic notion in an interview with Jana Németh for SME in 2014: “We often talk to art nowadays as if to say – come here, art, sit, lie down, or go hang on the wall and be good and pretty. This is something like what women were fighting for in feminism, and it seems to me that art should sometimes fight to be understood, not to function only within some kind of economic aesthetic that whatever is selling is art.”
Erik Binder was born in 1974 in Hnúšťa-Likier. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, in the studio of Prof. Jozef Jankovič and Prof. Daniel Fischer, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with doc. Vladimír Kokolia. Since 2000 he has had 45 solo exhibitions in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland, France, Switzerland, Germany and the USA, along with dozens of group exhibitions.
The gallery’s exhibition program in 2018 has received support from the Fund for Art.