Unnatural Selection

Michal Černušák

Friday, 9. October 2009 - 19:00
10. 10. 2009 - 19. 11. 2009

The exhibition entitled “Unnatural Selection” presents the current works of young, Slovak artist Michal Černušák.
In his work, Černušák explores current societal events and responds to problems with not infrequent political context. In his paintings, the following themes resonate: the day-to-day dangers and risks of political power, global industry, science and research, new technology and, not least, the information overload of the media, which in many cases works with strategies of manipulation and speculation.

On viewing the latest large-format paintings of the artist, the age-old truth appears to be that the greatest danger for humanity is represented by its own species. Čenušák’s monumental compositions are reminiscent of apocalyptic visions in which references to the past are mixed together with images of the future. 

As Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution based on the concept of natural selection 150 years ago, he was to shake not only the foundations of the natural sciences but the whole system of thought of western culture and religion. The idea that all organisms share a common genetic basis and form a great biological community brings with it a lasting responsibility

In his latest works, Černušák deals less with a direct discussion of the theory of evolution than with a reflection of the modern scientific “madness” that moulds our life and our environment.
He weaves open-ended stories whose protagonists are scientists, researchers, doctors and technicians. Instead of false moralising, we’re overcome by the fascinating blaze of colour and the formal diversity of his compositions which hover in a time-space vacuum.
 The harmony of colours, however, collides with the narrative fragments into which his depictions collapse. 
In the painting Biotech intervention (2009), three persons dressed in white investigate something indefinable which is being transformed into amorphous matter and threatens to devour the pictorial space, like the flames in Dante’s Inferno.  
One cannot help asking the question whether the represented persons know what they’re doing or whether they lost control of their object of investigation long ago.

In these paintings, the causalities of human actions are cloaked in a secret. The apocalyptic motifs are not accidentally reminiscent of monumental sacred painting. In Černušák’s portrayals, however, God’s order is replaced by the scientific and technical chaos of (post)modernity. 

Gabriela Kisová 

Michal Černušák

(Biografie Link zu Artist Seite von Cernusak)