StartPoint Prize 2016

Pavol Červeniak

A graduate of the department of graphic art and experimental work, and a heavy metal fan at heart, Červeniak pursues comics, illustration, and drawing, as well as multimedia work in which he articulates his vision through concept(r)u(r)al installations and projections based on his research of pop and other cultures. From cybernetic installations, he has gravitated towards alchemy and magic. His diploma work reflects issues of the myth of the medium, posing the question of how art should be contemplated and used. In a way it could be read as a critique of the institution, as the artist attempts to stage or evoke a situation where the institution of art would not be limited by academic approaches (and where man is not restricted by social programming) and to provoke a primary form of creativity. This he attempts via DIY tools (made using sticks, paper strip, plastic bottles, bubble foil, cardboard tubes, pipes, plastic foam…) or weapons (harpoon, gun, axe, bow and arrow), made of simple articles of everyday use (picture frame, computer keyboard, paddle, Styrofoam) which he then tries to utilize in the creative process (shooting arrows dipped in paint on a pristine, clean sheet, shooting pigment pellets out of the improvised gun, etc.) The resultant work consists of modified tools cleverly hung upon the walls and accompanying video screening, where he takes the tools down from the wall, and performs the act of processual abstract painting, as a manifestation of the primary creative impulse, the expression of which he finds in the primordial archetypal human products such as hunting equipment. The work as a whole can also be read as a creative struggle which often results in art. By combining magical thinking with avant-garde approaches the artist strives to achieve the constitution of a “creative Marxism”, where each is equal “not as a citizen but as a creative entity.”