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Dusan Kochol – Self-portrait with the Hammer of Annunciation

10 October – 3 November 2017
Opening: 10 October at 7 pm

Dušan Kochol is an artist who has been around within the Slovak photographic scene since 2005 during which time he managed to create many relevant photo series that he showed in Slovakia, USA, MEXICO and South America. Since the beginning of his career he has been choosing topics that had an effect on an individual or the broader society. Each of Kochol´s projects undergoes a detailed study of the topic, turns it all upside down and creates his own profile, which he compares, studies and tries to immerse himself in it.

„It is every time about the ego“, says Kochol. In the Self-Portrait with the Hammer of Annunciation he reconstructed an incident from nearly half a century ago when a thirty-three year old man attacked Michelangelo's Pieta claiming he was the new Messiah. Kochol identifies the St. Peter's Basilica incident »with a certain characteristic pattern of behaviour that usually accompanies the emergence of new leaders. The project is a parody of the ego of self-appointed saviours, who in return for loyalty usually do not offer more than a shaming of the ego of prior saviours“, he claims. Being the same age as both male figures (attackers and Jesus) artist is performatively presenting „an observed model of self-centred annunciation, becoming yet another embodiment of the martyr defeated by visions of the new world, in which he is the lord“.

However, the final issue is not the reflection of the artist´s ego or his mind only but the philosophical interpretation and the example of the times we live in as well. Kochol answers all the questions with the self-portrait or portraits of others that he himself identifies with. The specifics of Kochol’s work is also the conceptual presentation of the project, where the artist uses different self-made objects and other media, through which he further questions the viewer’s perception of and at the same time connects himself actively with the submitted “questionnaire”.

Dušan Kochol is a photographer, curator and the founder and director of the OFF Festival in Bratislava. He graduated at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava, attended photography courses at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and London College of Fashion, completed his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University in Czech Republic. In 2016 he received the Photographer of the Year award (given by the House of Photography in Bratislava) for the significant contribution to the quality, development and promotion of Slovak photography at home and abroad.

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