Boris Ondreička’s testimony is a midnight reading-performance of his text BLACK BIRDS & BLACKBIRDS. A “stroboscopic case study,” as he describes it, “an ignis fatuus of puerility/crepusculum made of smog, absorbation, satiety, multipolarity, mobility & peregrination, ravings & rave, lostness, water & aqua vitae, Richard Rorty & Raymond Carver & Mark Kozelek; walking on the wild side at it’s very end.” As an artist, writer, musician, and singer, Ondreička experiments with both the form and meaning of words across a number of languages, seeking ways of expressing his concerns through emotional connection. Taking place in the dark of night, in his performance he recalls his childhood aspirations of freedom, which were inspired by listening to the rich, melodious nighttime songs of blackbirds, singing to establish and defend their (temporary) territory before migratory patterns took them elsewhere. Through numerous linkages to art, philosophy, and politics in this text, Ondreička brings to the fore a number of cultural connotations of the “songbird,” from danger to vigilance to concern to careful attention. After the performance, a poster with the text is left behind in the Roma Pavilion. (Maria Hlavajova)
BORIS ONDREIČKA (born 1969) is an artist, singer, and curator. Ondreička graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava, and his diverse and active practice has made him one of the central figures in today’s Slovak contemporary art scene. As the director of tranzit.sk he has produced contemporary art activities such as symposia, lectures, exhibitions, happenings, and concerts that span across several countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Recent exhibitions include: Blondiak & 00, Etc Gallery, Prague, 2011; Watchmen, Liars, Dreamers, Galerie le Plateau, Paris, 2010; Interval: TYPOPASS, Dorottya Gallery, Budapest, 2009; and NOMAD, Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Bruges, 2009. Recent co-curated exhibitions include: Manifesta 8 (with transit.org), Murcia, 2010; and Symposium, The Event 2011, Birmingham, 2011. Ondreička lives and works in Bratislava.