Robert Gabris and Ľuboš Kotlár from the i pack* collective (formerly with Cat Jugravu)
mould mix melt stir break pinch SUGAR repeat *receipt against racism, 2022, performative installation
📍 Venue → Hospital
In the Mould Mix Melt Stir Break Pinch SUGAR Repeat, the artists — representing the Roma queer community — open the topic of sugar seen as the most charged resource in the postcolonial world. The “white gold” that fueled slavery for centuries has gone through different incarnations, from an item of oppression to a symbol of absolute power and luxury to a present day marker of absolute poverty. Highlighting its racist implications and dense history, the performative work opens a platform for sugar’s transformation. As we can read in the artists’ statement: “To engage in this procedure, one must recover the tools engulfed in the sugary sculptures exhibited as part of the installation. We must scrape, crack, tear, lick, break, and digest piece by piece to have access to the tools of healing.” The Šaloun Villa thus becomes a stage for performative actions, a deconstructed kitchen open for recipes and recipients ready to engage in the healing processes.
The production of the artwork was supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway (EEA Grants) as a part of the project “Center and Periphery: Cultural Deserts in Eastern Europe
i pack* as in a group of wild queers on the hunt for patriarchal, hetero-normative, racist biases in institutional spaces.
Ľuboš Kotlár (*1991) is a photographer, visual artist and curator. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava’s department of Photography and New Media. During his studies he did a student exchange at Aalto School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He is one of the founders and an active member of the dsk. artist collective, founded in 2012. His main focus is his own artistic practice, photography, and editorial and curatorial work. In 2022 he participated in the residency stay in Villa Romana in Florence, which is the result of mutual effort between the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and Villa Romana.
Robert Gabris (*1986) graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He works in the medium of drawing, which often extends into installation and performance. In his mostly autobiographical work, the theme of identity politics often appears. He is interested in excluded groups or queer corporeality in confrontation with the norms and boundaries of majority society. For him, experimental drawing is a form of resistance to racism and various forms of (social) exclusion. Gabris has presented his work primarily in a Central European context but also in Riga and Shanghai, for example. In recent years, he has also exhibited more frequently on the Czech scene, including at the Biennale Matter of Art (2020), Artivist Lab Gallery (2019), and Moravian Gallery in Brno (2017).