Sans titre (Empty Gallery)

Roman Ondák


Drawing, 400 x 250 cm.
Materials: 24 frames

Collection: Courtesy FNAC 00-000, Centre National des Arts Plastique, France.

Untitled (Empty Gallery, 2000) is a collection of twenty-four drawings. In this piece, Ondák plays with ideas around the perception of an empty gallery, a motif that recurs throughout his oeuvre. The artist gave some friends and family members the task (on the basis of his personal description) to draw an empty gallery without actually seeing it. The whole work plays with the idea of a double perspective on the sense of space.

On the one hand, every framed drawing has its autonomous status, owing to each having been drawn by a different individual.

On the other hand, the separate drawings are comparable to a film-frame from an animation film, a phase of an evolving décor. The subtle variations between the various drawings play with our gaze as viewers.

The whole cluster looks like a configuration of a storyboard. This triggers reflections about the notion of a gallery space, particularly the ideal of the 'white cube' - the pure, so-called neutral context that would be ideal for art presentation. This idealization becomes manifest in the subtle suggestions relayed via the drawings of the various contributors, hoverig through the ostensibly identical, empty spaces. And because the viewer instinctively looks for connections among this ensemble of drawings, the spaces between the frames inevitably are interlaced with new levels of meaning.

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