Zuzana Zmateková: In-between

Opening: 11 July 2024, 18.00

Exhibition duration: 12th July 2024 – 18th August 2024

Extinction of the Planet, Hlavná 27, Košice

The digital and physical worlds have never been more connected than they are today. The advent of Internet 3.0 and the virtual environment of the Metaverse aims to achieve a perfect unification of digital and physical reality. This symbiosis of realities and virtual lifestyles is having a profound effect on the appearance of the offline environment. We are already witnessing a phenomenon called Digital-real, which explores the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds and how our perception of reality through screens changes our understanding of the physical world.

An important example of this trend in design practice is the process of designing products with an emphasis on their online presentation or creating design experiments that reflect digital forms in form and colour. Textile designer Zuzana Zmateková, whose work deals with the integration of new media into textile design, decided to explore the translation of digital design into physical form in her project In-between.

In creating a collection of three fabrics, Zmateková focused on exploring the colours and shapes that dominate the contemporary virtual environment. She then combined the resulting colour palette to create three sophisticated colour gradients. The gradient, as one of the most frequented elements of digital interfaces, was complemented by compositions of abstract shapes. These shapes are 3D representations of computer mouse drawings that mimic shapes popular in contemporary 3D aesthetics. The digitally designed collection was then transformed into textile form with the help of jacquard weaving experts. This exhibition presents a unique look at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds, showing how new media are shaping contemporary textile design.

Zuzana Zmateková (1989, Nové Zámky) is a textile designer, holder of a Master of Arts degree from the Aalto School of Art, Design and Architecture in Finland in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design as well as a Master of Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in Textile Design. During her studies, she completed study placements abroad at Lodz University of Technology in Poland and Nottingham Trent University in England. For her diploma thesis entitled "New Alternative Aesthetics" she received the Rector's Award of the Academy of Fine Arts in 2015 and the "New Face" award of the Bratislava Design Week 2015. Her project Data tex-styles won the Rector's Prize of the Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Poland at the Young Textile Art Trienal 2016 and third place in the category of innovative textile design. In 2019, the author presented her ConTEXt project at the prestigious German textile fair Heimtextil 2019 and at Bratislava Designweek 2019, where she won an award in the Product category. The ConTEXt project was also awarded the National Design Award 2019 in the Jury Prize category. In 2020, Zuzana joined the research team at Allto University for a year, where, employed as a research assistant, she designed a collection of woven fabrics suitable for the integration of solar panels. In 2020, the artist initiated the socially oriented Amenge project, for which she was awarded the National Design Award in 2021 in the Society and Environment category. The Tatrabanka Foundation subsequently nominated her as one of the three finalists in the Best Design Achievement 2021 category in 2021. The Amenge project also won the Design Without Borders Award at the eponymous exhibition in Budapest in 2022. In addition to various awards, Zuzana was selected to present her Maximum Glam fabric collection at the Trend Forum of the Heimetxtil Interior Fair in Germany in 2020. In 2021, the author exhibited the Amenge project at the East Slovak Gallery in Košice, the Real Virtuality project at Gallery X in Bratislava and the Sun-powered Textiles project at Helsinki Design Week 2021. In 2022, the author exhibited her Maximum Glam collection at the Finnish design fair Habitare, where she was selected by a special jury to present her work together with three other young designers in the Talent shop section. In 2022, the artist went on to exhibit her Sun-powered textiles project in an exhibition at 80W Gallery in New York City and Dipoli Gallery in Helsinki. In addition to numerous exhibitions, the Sun-Powered Textiles project was featured in an article published in the world-famous online magazine Dezeen. The Maximum Glam collection was also selected by Dwell magazine as one of the most interesting discoveries of the Habitare fair. The author has been dealing with digital aesthetics and the overlapping of new media in textile design in her work for many years. Her work also focuses on broader social societal issues with a focus on marginalised groups as well as innovation and sustainability in the textile design and production process. Zuzana is currently working as a textile designer for a fashion brand in Stockholm, while further developing her original projects focusing on the impact of new media on design.

The research was supported by a public grant from the Slovak Arts Council.

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