The Bratislava’s new venue studio Bless on Medená Street 16 currently hosts an exhibition of (not just) designer Braňo Laho who works under the penname Emil Taschka. Its title refers to a, mildly said, non-correct Slovak weather lore „It’s March, off you go, old man!“ And not only because of its opening on 1st March.

Photo: Jakub Markech

The exhibition mainly shows an artistic grasp of a human face, its
materiality and the fact that age deforms it significantly, with contours
and firmness vanishing. The author, as a representative of a younger
generation, took a pragmatic approach towards this fact in his
collection. Laho formally builds on his old works made of metal wire
that he bends and welds to gain a desirable form. He practically
draws with the wire and the final works remain in 2D. It is vital to say
it is not simple, as he chose solid metal. He achieves the third
dimension by good adjusting and a slight distance from a wall. Light
and shade thus do the trick. Laho has mastered this technique with a
relative virtuosity, which is why it resulted in convincingly realistic
artistic shortcuts of different faces of elderly men. They are not
portraits – the artist was searching for his models on the internet. By
looking up the word “pensioner”, he intended to find typologically
distinguished forms. In spite of minimal means (the artist explicitly
worked solely with a contour and a white colour of wire), one may
literally feel the materiality of slackening skin. One also feels the
anonymity of the models and a sort of emotionlessness. Due to
emotional alienation, the artworks obtain a specific provocative feel.
The installation of the works underlines the expression. It is designed
in the way to enhance a thought of vanishing, transience. The author
reduced it to white areas that are behind the 2D „busts”, if they are on

a brick wall or directly on a white wall. “Raw” neon lights put on the
floor served him as a source of light. The artist completed the whole
with his own music composition – literally a composition of old songs.
The author’s remix lends them a different expression and in
connection with the exhibition also a different context…

Emil Taska with his 100 years old Grandfather at opening, Photo: Jakub Markech

13 / 3 / 2018
by Ľubica Hustá
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