Almost Beautiful Life


Exhibition: March 11 - May 28, 2011






The works by Pavlína Fichta Čierna, presented in the project ALMOST BEAUTIFUL LIFE, represent the intrusion on the artist´s privacy. As a result, a viewer may sometimes feel as an uninvited guest.The artist, as both the actor and the observer, examines the limits of empathy and the sensitivity in a triangle of participating subjects: actor (family members) – artist – viewer. As a matter of fact, her latest works vindicate the consideration of R. Gregor,"Čierna has projected her feelings onto the protagonists, finding in them a great part of herself, I suppose". 


Pavlína Fichta Čierna is born in 1967 in Žilina, Slovakia, before Czechoslovakia. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (1987 - 1993). Winner The Oskár Čepan Award 2002 (Center of Contemporary Art, Bratislava). As an artist she is involved with media art and film. In addition to her conceptual projects stressing aspects of public participation, the artist has found a unique style in interactive installations and video art, typified by a penetrating view underneath the surface of perceived reality into the inner reaches of the human subject. In many of her pieces, she pushes beyond the artistic into the realms of sociology, psychology and medicine. In recent years, her dominant line has been quasi-documentary videos and video films that render the micro-stories of individuals with complicated lives. Most of these take the form of video-portraits: the artist concentrates on their psychological territory, even as she places her subjects, in their essential form, in real, socially-defined environments. Čierna usually finds her video-portraits’ protagonists in the urban periphery, at the edge of most people’s interest and beyond the media’s attention.


Pavlína Fichta Čierna - CV (pdf)

Home Identity, 2011

video, sound, color, 9'59" ed 5

The work has been strongly inspired by a modern perception of a complex empathy (mentalization). The artist has mentally touched her relatives, and the video can be considered both the consideration and the tribute. As the video is the intrusion on artist´s privacy, a viewer may, from time to time, have ambivalent feeling of being an uninvited guest. The artist, as both the actor and the observer, examines the limits of empathy and the sensitivity in a triangle of participating subjects: actor (family members) – artist – viewer. The video is like a picture of a journey, fixed memories, identification... A strong moment is the phasing of a sentence from Zygmunt Bauman´s book The Art of life, which has been used with a shifted context. The video is unedited, shot from a difficult position, and tinged with special sounds. In terms of the artist´s oeuvre, the video very logically and in a prosaic manner vindicates the consideration of R. Gregor, "Čierna has projected her feelings onto the protagonist, finding in them a great part of herself, I suppose".

Casi como un beso (Almost like a kiss)

2011 video, sound, color, 3'29".ed 5

During her short stay in Mexico City, the artist recorded many situations in the streets of the largest urban agglomeration in the world. For the purpose of the exhibition project, she has selected and manipulated a short video with a seemingly playful and slightly ironising implicit meaning, however, the message can also be read in the context of urgent political, social and environmental problems of the city that are hard to solve, as a typical example of all the consequences of a negative globalisation.


…The very idea is important for Michèle Sylvander’s workin so much as it is at the heart of her photographic work!.Frame the world, cut images ,assemble them, déforme them. There is a réal obsession whit "seeing"within her work,her own as well as whit that of the other. Here it’s the photo-souvenirs .Her images!don’t document an action.

They are more concerned with composition,nearly pictorial,with the need to give form to an expérience either personal and intimate or generic and ordinary Ultimately, Michele Sylvander’s way of working is violent. Not a brutal, noisy violence but a silent,inescapable violence!stretched!towards the attempt to give form to the impossibility of accepting the world the away it is.
Her work is the refusal to abdicate for the pleasure of simplified things… Philippe Vergne*
*director of the Dia art foundation.


Born, live and work in Marseille, France

Michele Sylvaner - CV (pdf)