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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.

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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).

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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