Skip to content

roman ondak

For the third project in TITAN’s solo project series, Roman Ondak presents Announcement, 2003, a work that seamlessly transits the invisible line between conceptual art, performance and instruction. In Announcement, a placard placed on all three sides of the kiosk asks viewers for their complicity in a performance of non-performing. Created from a collage of cut letters, pasted as ransom, it states: “As a sign of solidarity with recent world events, for the next minute do not interrupt the activity you are doing at this moment.” This invitation to passerby to suddenly become part of an artwork, is one of the many ways Ondak develops intimacy with people he will never meet, involving them as actors in his work. As a subtle intervention into everyday life, and imagination, Announcement blurs the line between creator, producer and a subversive sense of space.

Ondak’s work plays with ideas of relocation, representation, and the duplication of experience, shifting and sharpening the viewer’s attention to everyday life. Growing up under the communist regime of former Czechoslovakia, the artist became attentive to systems of inclusion and exclusion that ordered this particular society. Questioning the failure of the communist structure in his work, Ondak explores the potential for different orders—new patterns of behavior, and ultimately, alternative social and political possibilities. His work is often quite subtle, infiltrating the spectator’s surroundings in imaginative and quiet ways, suggesting a renegotiation with reality. Adopting an almost anthropological approach, he recombines aspects of the quotidian with his incisive artistic wit, opening up space to challenge the rules of the everyday through his poetic alterations. Ondak’s work is not only curious about the rituals and assumptions that govern our lives; he is playfully interrogative of the art system as well as society at large, urging us to greater awareness. Roman Ondak is represented courtesy of Esther Schipper, Berlin; GB Agency, Paris; Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna; and kurimanzutto Mexico City / New York. A variation of Announcement, as an audio intervention into a fictional radio broadcast, was previously exhibited at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne in 2002.

The second phase of TITAN, continues as a solo project series in a solitary phone booth, conceived by the artist Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker. Initially launched as a group exhibition, the TITAN project now begins a new stage, focused on a single kiosk, like a pin on a map, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 53rd Street in New York City. During the course of the year, six individual voices will each present a solo project, using the phone booth kiosk as they see fit.

The TITAN project takes as its premise that a gallery may exist as an open space, free for all viewers, at any hour, even in the middle of the night. It aims to open a space for experience, imagination, and dialogue during a decisive time of great potential change. Like a newspaper, or public bulletin board, the solo series of the TITAN project continues kurimanzutto’s ongoing dialogue with a broad audience in the public sphere. Since its inception in 1999, kurimanzutto has consistently promoted projects and exhibitions outside of a traditional white cube to stimulate cultural dialogue. Previous projects have included exhibitions and performances in local markets, floating gardens, parking lots and airports, alongside the recent billboard project Sonora 128, in Mexico City. TITAN marks the first citywide project by kurimanzutto in New York.

Content

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Installation view of Roman Ondak, Announcement, 2021 for TITAN, New York City, March 22 – May 1st, 2021
Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York 
Photo: Daniel Terna

 

Roman Ondak plays with ideas of relocation, representation, and the duplication of experience, shifting and sharpening the viewer’s attention to everyday life. Growing up under the communist regime of former Czechoslovakia, the artist became attentive to systems of inclusion and exclusion that ordered this particular society. Questioning the failure of the communist structure in his work, Ondak explores the potential for different orders—new patterns of behavior, and ultimately, alternative social and political possibilities. His work is often quite subtle, infiltrating the spectator’s surroundings in imaginative and quiet ways, suggesting a renegotiation with reality. Adopting an almost anthropological approach, he recombines aspects of the quotidian with his incisive artistic wit, opening up space to challenge the rules of the everyday through his poetic alterations. Ondak’s work is not only curious about the rituals and assumptions that govern our lives; he is playfully interrogative of the art system as well as society at large, urging us to greater awareness.

Roman Ondak studied graphic design and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava from 1988 to 1994. He also studied at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania (1993); Collegium Helveticum in Zurich (1999–2000); the CCA in Kitakyushu (2004); he has had grants from the DAAD in Berlin (2007/08) and the Villa Arson in Nice (2010).