The Mediumm is the message

DOT contemporary gallery

The mediumm is the message is a curatorial project that follows the mutual communication between the work of two contemporary authors Zuzana Svatik and Anna Mária Beňová. Typical characteristic features of both authors are irony, dynamism, action, thematic focus, linking symbolic and pictorial material, and they are their communication link, which we can observe at the exhibition. The curatorial concept is a selection of older and newer works that follows the dynamics, mutual connection and indirect communication of the authors. The intention of the curatorial text is to highlight their two-way interaction through a key work from each of them.

In the object called Sexyland on fire, Zuzana Svatik uses the visuality of sex shops or the porn business, for which a very uniform visual language is typical - specific work with font, lights, colors. Sexyland on fire – is the name of a sex shop that is on fire. Dynamic situation vs. passive acting characters blowupdolls. Inflatable dolls are made only with a specific facial expression, which completes the feeling of helplessness and passivity. They are used only for a certain action. The figures of inflatable dolls shown in the work simultaneously define gender stereotypes. The author put the characters in an unusual situation for them: the male character of the fireman should actively put out the fire, and the screaming female character should run away. However, they are passive. As if stuck in place, frustrated and even anxious about their own apathy.
The author uses the changing "trends in sex" as a commentary on social events and their transformations. Brick-and-mortar sex shops - as in the case of the mentioned Sexyland - are losing their power. Everything is moving to the online space - as the author herself calls it - "it's the end of the era of brick-and-mortar sex shops”.

In this work, there is a striking irony and the connection of symbolism and imagery, which we can also observe in the case of Anna Mária Beňová's painting. The text versions of the works of both authors are always accompanied by humor and irony, even in the case of depicting the issue of gender stereotypes, the position of women in society, interpersonal relationships or the influence of Christianity and pornography on sexuality.
The move to the online space and the emptying of time is the reaction of the painting The mediumm is the message by A. M. Beňová. She appropriated A.M. Beňová's (un)critical view of selfies with "deep" quotations with grammatical errors and typos and created her own self-portrait, a selfie in the form of a painting. An important aspect becomes the (self)irony and doubling of the letter "m", which is a deliberate grammatical fuck-up. The textual appropriation is Marshall McLuhan's statement from the 1960s, The medium is the message, which refers to the then new technologies of the 20th century. The author understands the medium as a tool, an extension of human sensory organs and functions, while media modify the way of perception and sharing through the form. Perhaps on this level, contemporary social networks could be understood as an extension of human functions that modify the way of perception. After all, isn't Tinder and other social networks an extension of us and what we want people to see?

Let's stay in the online space, but let's look back at the transition of brick-and-mortar sex shops to online, where the change is happening. Visualization and the product page are being moved and transformed in parallel. Brick-and-mortar sex shops cease to fulfill their original function and become rather "tourist attractions". This is how the era of outdated sex shops like Sexyland ends. Welcome to the new one?

Curator of the exhibition : 
Mgr. Katarína Jankechová