Mark Ther – Jesus Maria, Fire

opening: May 16, 2019, 6 p.m.
duration: May 17, 2019 – September 15, 2019

East Slovak Gallery, Hlavná 27
curators: Ivana Komanická a Juliana Sokolová

Mark Ther’s exhibition “Jesus Maria, Fire” reconstructs and confronts the wiped out pre-war aesthetic experience and housing culture of the architectural style of Heimatstil and Heimatschutzarchitectur. The artist continues to confront historical and sexual taboos and materialize the experience and historical memory of the Sudeten Germans, which was primarily reflected in the designs of family houses, landscape architecture and monuments protection. The function of the exhibition is to contribute with its narrative to the romantic strand of Modernism, while contemplating one specific local version with all its miniature details and political and historical consequences. The installation of an interior space full of furniture, art and various accessories reminds the viewer of film studios and the atmosphere of computer games, in which, according to the artist: “something is either happening or not. Somebody may not be looking, just airing the room. The person who’s looking is a stranger”. “Jesus Maria, Fire” speaks in the idiolect of the Sudeten Germans, therefore the interiors are ready and waiting for an apocalyptic event.

Mark Ther (1977) is a Czech artist. He inherited Sudeten German roots from his paternal grandparents and has repeatedly expressed his stand on the expulsion of this ethnic group from Czechoslovakia in his video films. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1998 – 2005) where he moved from painting (art studio of Vladimír Skrepl) to New Media I. (Michael Bielický). In 2004, he left for New York where he studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He has been engaged in video production for more than 11 years and his work has been presented in a great number of exhibitions. In 2011 he became a laureate of the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize with his video film Das wandernde Sternlein (Wandering Star), which revived an extinct dialect and tackled the issue of Sudeten Germans and homosexual paedophilia.

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