Potential Agrarianisms Will There Still Be Sugar After the Rebellion? 
Kunsthalle Bratislava / BRATISLAVA (Slovakia)
21.08.2021 — 31.10.2021

The exhibition Potential Agrarianisms, subtitled Will There Still Be Sugar After the Rebellion? is the climax of the major European project EASTERN SUGAR, which is implemented by the Slovak National Gallery in cooperation with its international partners and Kunsthalle Bratislava, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. So far, three international exhibitions have been held within the project, with one more to be held in Graz, Austria, in the autumn. “It is a good signal for our art scene that through cooperation, our institutions can generate a full-fledged international project. Larger affairs are much better organised in broader collectives, the good cooperation with KHB continues with the new management and together with the contribution of Ilona Németh's energy we have become a full-fledged stop on the map of contemporary artistic operations,” Alexandra Kusá, Director General of the SNG, says. The new exhibition at Kunsthalle Bratislava was curated by Maja and Reuben Fowkes - co-editors of the publication Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar, which is an integral part of the aforementioned project.
“Potential Agrarianisms situates industrial agriculture within larger transformations of economic, social and political systems across histories and world geographies. Agrarianism is about understanding working the land as an integrated way of life and worldview, while potential is a call to rediscover rural knowledges and soil relations in order to re-envision the farming of plants and animals,” described by the exhibition curators, Maja and Reuben Fowkes. The project organiser, Ilona Németh, adds: “The exhibition explores the inevitable systemic changes in agriculture, the man's relationship to natural resources and the provision of food for humanity. Twelve artists from various countries ranging from India to Spain will offer their perspectives on the old and innovative possibilities of agrarianism that will be essential for the global survival of humanity. In cooperation with the architect of the exhibition, Petr Liška, we modified the gallery space by reducing the accumulated building material.” “If the subtitle of the exhibition asks whether sugar will still be available after the rebellion, in direct reference to Orwell's Animal Farm, then it accurately describes the general curve of shift between ideals and the resulting reality, which often develops in a completely different direction. The whole EASTERN SUGAR project by Ilona Németh and her collaborators explores and maps these parameters, necessary for a conscious and critical understanding of the course of history. It is an extraordinary opportunity for local audiences and KHB as an institution to present and host the latest episode of this large-scale international project, the political potential of which has an unprecedented urgency in our turbulent times, far beyond considerations of an alternative agricultural economy," Jen Kratochvil, director of Kunsthalle Bratislava, concluded.

On the occasion of the exhibition opening, the English publication of Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar will be presented, issued by SNG in cooperation with the Sternberg Pres Publishers, along its new Slovak version, which is the first publishing collaboration between the Slovak National Gallery and Absynt Publishers.  

Curated by Maja & Reuben Fowkes

Courtesy of the artists and Kunsthalle Bratislava
Photocredit archive Kunsthalle Bratislava / Adam Šakový