The Time is Now

2023, exhibition project

SNG commissioned the artist Kristián Németh to create a project relating to the position of LGBTI+ people in Slovakia. In three installations, he visually comments on the past, the present and the (desired) future, which might be closer than it seems. With this site-specific exhibition project, SNG joins Rainbow PRIDE Bratislava.

The intervention in Rudolf Uher's sculpture The Couple (Earth II), located in the gallery's courtyard, responds to the continued indifference of both legislators and the majority to the demands of queer people for equality and respect. The climbing plant enveloping the sculpture symbolises forgetting and marginalisation.

On the other hand, the artist's coloured foils on the windows of the Water Barracks symbolise an embodied vision of living together in love and mutual respect. The uplifting light environment in the interior, which can evoke the light in a Gothic temple and the experience of expanded consciousness, creates an atmosphere of acceptance and a safe space, which is what the Slovak National Gallery desires to be.

The third intervention is a discreet, intimate memorial for Juraj and Matúš, young queer people who died in the terrorist attack on Zamocká Street in Bratislava. A drop on one of the windows of the Bridge is a symbolic tear, crying for the lost lives.

The evolution of LGBTI+ rights in Slovakia has been slow, and one step forward is often followed by two steps backwards. The exhibition's title refers to the fact that the phrase 'now is not the time' is often used to silence pioneering ideas. However, history teaches us that positive change happens because of people who are not discouraged and choose to act. We invite you to step into a reality where change is within reach. Because there is no other time but now.

Alexandra Tamasova