concrete, steel, wood, adhesive

sound /6min. 35sec./


The installation "I was the source of discord, the owner of dissonance," acts as a contemplation on the post-generational perception of a past regime.

As Mátyás Zagiba points out in his analytical discourse „during the normalization period in Czechoslovakia (1968-1989), state funding greatly supported art in public spaces, interiors, and socially significant buildings, driven by the building industry's growth. The goal was to promote a so-called lifestyle through monumental art. Despite aiming to bring art to the working class, these efforts often failed to cultivate cultural awareness, as the works were mechanically placed before an unprepared audience. The dissonance between the work and the viewer stemmed from a lack of reflection on the audience's needs and the strong ideological content.

The high production demands led to a phenomenon of invisibility. Many works were seen as propaganda, not art, resulting in negative reception. Carrying the phenomenon of invisibility to the post- socialist period led to the unconscious destruction of cultural layers, undermining cultural identity. The lack of reflection on recent history explains the absence of professional discussion and societal apathy toward socialist-era public art. The growing nostalgia-driven interest of this period’s art raise questions about the ownership and protection of these monumental works, meant for everyone yet belonging to no one.“ *

At the centerpoint of Gašparová’s installation, the architectural form features a mosaic referring to socialist public art in Czechoslovakia, stripped off its stereotypically prevailing ideological mannerism. Using 3 700 hand-poured concrete tiles and industrial materials such as steel, the author plays with the notion of relocation and recontextualisation by entrapping the object in an interior space, imposing restriction to the movement of the viewer which encourages close engagement on a rather intimate and haptic level.

The author’s use of a billboard panel construction indicates a critical commentary on the contemporary Western fetishization of brutalist aesthetics, frequently insensitively divorced from the oppressive contexts of their origins. The accompanying drone sound piece by José Darío Fernández Mora narrates the viewer in the physicality of low frequencies and an immersively repetitive industrial ambience.

 "I was the source of discord, the owner of dissonance," is a sculptural intervention that poses questions on the distortive decay of historical layers, phenomenon of museal representation and the duality of collective memory in its contemporary contexts.

* Zagiba, Mátyás. “Ako ďalej. Nepripravený divák: reflexia vzťahu diváka k monumentálnemu umeniu počas socializmu a po ňom“ Slovenské Centrum Dizajnu, 13. Feb. 2024.


Sound: José Darío Fernández Mora

Project assistance: Dorota Molčanová, Dara Karadjova, Ádám Magyar, Nadia Madej, Lev Davydov, Hana Spillerová, Andon Bakarov

All photographs taken by Dorota Molčanová