Maroš Rovňák (1972, Sobrance, Slovakia) is a multimedia and interdisciplinary artist.  In 2002 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the same year, he became a finalist of the prestigious Oskar Čepan Award given to artists under the age of 36, thanks to which he established himself on the Slovak art scene. In 2003, he completed a several-month residency at the Headlands Center for Arts Sausalito California as an artist in residence, where he premiered his multimedia performance, The Mother of Harlots, devoted to the suppression of sexual minority rights and criticism of church power practices.

In the following years, he created several similarly tuned performances, formally based on digital manipulation of his own voice, using a collage of original texts and texts by Europe’s foremost writers R. M. Rilke or P. Celan, accompanied by his own music and video. His performances are characterized by an effort to create a dense audiovisual environment in order to intensely influence the viewer’s senses. The viewer finds him or herself trapped in a space filled with sounds in several layers, while watching a suggestive video. His understanding of the work presented in this way thus takes place more on an unconscious than conscious level. The artist believes that thanks to this, his message gets to the viewer unmediated as the viewer’s inner experience.

Rovňák regularly shows his performances at festivals in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In parallel with the performance including video-art and sound-art, Rovňák also devotes himself to media such as object, installation and photography, and regularly exhibits at solo and group exhibitions in Slovakia and abroad. In 2011 and 2012 he also participated as a video-artist in two theater projects.

In 2013 Rovňák’s efforts in the field of performance with overlaps in theater and his interest in the theme of death and the associated rituals of mourning resulted in the theater project Asile de Nuit (Dormitory; the name can be interpreted as a hiding place before the night or death), for which he created a screenplay based on his lyrics, costumes, stage and music, and at the same time performed in it himself. In this piece, through several narrators, he tried to grasp death as a metaphysical and an intimate subject and at the same time pointed out the fact that contemporary culture had pushed death so much to the margins of its interest that it had become an attraction for the media. The following year, Rovňák founded an informal group called The Transient Theater (Pominuteľné divadlo), with which he presented his other similar project called 10,000. The Gospel for Roses. Here again he used several narrators, this time exclusively women, each of whom comes up with a different story and view of death. The project was, among other things, dedicated to the so-called femicides, the murders of women that have taken place since the early 1990s in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Rovňák remained faithful to the topic of death and in 2018 and 2019 he devoted himself to artistic research aimed at shift in the perception of death during the Enlightenment, which conditioned the birth of modern cemeteries in Europe, the output of which was an exhibition of photographs and the lecture.

Rovňák’s work is characterized by an interest in human as a being who is constantly looking for a justification for his being and his place in the universe. His latest project, performance and video entitled In Absentia (2019 – 2020) is dedicated to the young Slovak archaeologist Martina Kušnírová, who was murdered in February 2018 together with her fiancé, investigative journalist Ján Kuciak. Maroš Rovňák lives and works in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

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2009 – doktorát na Akadémii umení v Banskej Bystrici, Katedra audiovizuálnych médií
2002 – magisterský titul, Vysoká škola výtvarných umení v Bratislave, katedra grafiky
2000 – bakalársky titul, Vysoká škola výtvarných umení, katedra maľby
samostatné výstavy
2019 – Ostrovy nikoho, Záhrada – CNK, priestor S2, Banská Bystrica, SR
2015 – Neverím, Galéria umenia Ernesta Zmetáka, Nové Zámky, SR
2011 – Súkromná komunikácia, Subterén, Michalovce, SR
2010 – Duchovné cvičenia, Dom fotografie, Liptovský Mikuláš, SR
2009 – Hydrophobia, Galéria Medium, Bratislava, SR
2009 – Locus solus, Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SR
2009 – Izba pre jedného, Stredoeurópsky dom fotografie, Bratislava, SR
2005 – Limpieza di sangre (Čistota krvi), Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SR
2004 – Duchovný život zvierat, Slovenský inštitút v Budapešti, Maďarsko
2003 – Farba tekutiny, Galéria Subterra, Nitra, SR
výber zo skupinových výstav
2019 – Moc bezmocných. Politické aspekty v slovenskom a českom umení po roku 1989, Kunsthalle Bratislava, SR
2018 – Fetiše súčasnosti, Nitrianska galéria, Nitra, SR
2017 – I Feel Weird Again (Modelová realita II.), galéria Krokus, Bratislava, SR
2017 – Príbehy (o) smrti, Nitrianska galéria, Nitra, SR
2013 – M(i)esto medzi pamäťou a nepamäťou, Turčianska galéria, Martin, SR
2013 – Transgender Me 2013, Galerie NTK, Praha, ČR
2012 – Krv, Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava, SR
2012 – Oltáre súčasnosti – súčasné oltáre, Turčianska galéria, Martin, SR
2012 – Transgender Me 2012, DOX, Praha, ČR
2010 – Nepokojné médium / Slovenská fotografia 1990 – 2010, Dom umenia, Bratislava, SR
2009 – 3. kapitola zo slovenského výtvarného umenia, Galerie kritiků, Praha, ČR
2007 – 3. salón mladých tvorcov, Théâtre de Montrouge, Paríž, Francúzsko
2007 – Nemoc/subdominancia, Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SR
2007 – Czechpoint, Považská galéria umenia, Žilina, SR
2006 – VIII. trienále drobnej plastiky a kresby, Galerie Lehalle, Paríž, Francúzsko
2004 – Slovenská digitálna a elektronická grafika, Kultúrne centrum, Pécs, Maďarsko
2002 – Finalisti Ceny Oskára Čepana, Galéria mesta Bratislavy, SR
2002 – Madona v slovenskom výtvarnom umení, Nitrianska galéria, SR
2002 – On je rád feministka, Buryzone, Bratislava, SR
2002 – Privat Frei, Open Gallery, Bratislava, SR
2019 – In Absentia (s Petrou Kriváčkovou), premiéra na festivale Žižkovská noc, Cross Attic, Praha, ČR
2018 – In Absentia (work in progress) s Petrou Kriváčkovou, Kasárne-Kulturpark Košice
2017 – Item reus, na otvorení výstavy I Feel Weird Again (Modelová realita II.) galéria Krokus, Bratislava, SR
2017 – Červený dialóg / Item reus (work in progress), Kunsthalle Košice, SR
2010 – Duchovné cvičenia, Divadlo Ivana Palúcha, Banská Bystrica, SK; Alte-Schmiede Kunstverein (s Petrom Machajdíkom), Viedeň, Rakúsko (2011)
2009 – Smaragdové mesto, Kulturpark, Košice, SR
2008 – Litánie, Europa Culture Center, Banská Bystrica, festival, SR; festival Multiplace, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Žilina, SR
2007 – Hyaena, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, festival Jeden svet, Žilina, SR; divadelný priestor D44, Štátna vedecká knižnica Banská Bystrica, SR; festival Malamut, Ostrava, ČR
2003 – Matka neviestok, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, Kalifornia, USA; festival lesbickej kultúry Elbefest, Nultý priestor A4, Bratislava, SR (2004); Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SR, na vernisáži autorskej výstavy (2005)
iné projekty
2014 – 10 000. Evanjelium pre ruže, divadelná hra (autorský scenár, scéna, kostýmy, hudba, réžia), Záhrada-CNK, Banská Bystrica, SR
2013 – Asile de nuit, divadelná hra (autorský scenár, scéna, kostýmy, hudba, réžia), Záhrada-CNK, Banská Bystrica, SR
2012 – Videli sme veci, videoprojekcia k divadelnému predstaveniu Téma Palach (scenár Ľuba Lesná, réžia Viera Dubačová, Záhrada-CNK, Banská Bystrica)
2012 – videoprojekcia k tanečnému predstaveniu Lososy, Divadlo Štúdio tanca, Banská Bystrica, SK
2009 – Doctorate from the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica, Department of Audiovisual Media
2002 – Master degree, Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Department of Graphics
2000 – Bachelor degree, Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting
solo exhibitions
2019 – Islands of Nobody, Záhrada-CNK, space S2, Banská Bystrica, SK
2015 – I don’t believe, Gallery of Art of Ernest Zmeták Nové Zámky, SK
2011 – Privat Communication, Subterén, Michalovce, SK
2010 – The Spiritual Exercises, House of Photography, Liptovský Mikuláš, SK
2009 – Hydrophobia, Gallery Medium, Bratislava, SK
2009 – Locus Solus, Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica, SK
2009 – Single Room, Central European House of Photography, Bratislava, SK
2005 – Limpieza di Sangre (Blood Purity), Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica, SK
2004 – Spiritual Life of Animals, Slovak Institute in Budapest, HU
2003 – Colour of the Liquid, Subterra Gallery, Nitra, SK
selection from group exhibitons
2019 – The Power of the Powerless. Political Aspects in Slovak and Czech Art After 1989, Kunsthalle Bratislava, SK
2018 – Fetishes of the Present, Nitra Gallery, Nitra, SK
2017 – I Feel Weird Again (Model Reality II.), Krokus Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2017 – Stories about Death, Nitra Gallery, Nitra, SK
2013 – Space Between Memory and Forgetfulness, Turiec Gallery Martin, SK
2013 – Transgender Me 2013, NTK Gallery, Prague, CZ
2012 – Blood, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2012 – Altar of the Present – Contemporary Altars, Turiec Gallery, Martin, SK
2012 – Transgender Me 2012, DOX, Prague, CZ
2010 – Yeatsy Medium / Slovak Photography 1990 – 2010, Art House, Bratislava, SK
2009 – 3rd Chapter from Slovak visual arts, The Gallery of Art Critics, Prague, CZ
2007 – 3rd Salon of Young Creators, Théâtre de Montrouge, Paris, France
2007 – Disease/subdominance, Central Slovakian Gallery, Banska Bystrica, SK
2007 – Czechpoint, Považská Gallery of Arts in Žilina, SK
2006 – VIII. Triennial of Small Sculpture and drawing, Galerie Lehalle, Paris, France
2004 – Slovak Digital and Electronic Graphic, Cultural Center Pécs, HU
2002 – Finalists of Oskár Čepan Prize, Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2002 – Madonna in Contemporary Slovak Visual Arts, Nitra Gallery, Nitra, SK
2002 – He Likes to be a Feminist, Buryzone, Bratislava, SK
2002 Privat Frei, Open Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2019 – In Absentia (with Petra Kriváčková), premiere at Žižkov Night 2019 festival, Cross Atic, Prague, CZ
2018 – In Absentia (work in progress) with Petra Kriváčková, Kasárne-Kulturpark, Košice, SK
2017 – Item Reus, at the opening of the exhibition I Feel Weird Again (Model Reality II.), Krokus Gallery, Bratislava, SK
2017 – Red Dialogue / Item Reus (work in progress), Kunsthalle Košice, SK
2010 – The Spiritual Exercises, Ivan Palúch Theatre Banská Bystrica, SK; Alte-Schmiede Kunstverein (with Peter Machajdík), Vienna, Austria (2011)
2009 – Emerald City, Kulturpark, Košice, SK
2008 – Litanies, Europa Culture Center, festival, Banská Bystrica, SK; Multiplace festival, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Žilina, SK
2007 – Hyaena, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, One World festival, Žilina, SK; Theatre space D44, State Scientific Library, Banska Bystrica, SK; Malamut festival, Ostrava, CZ
2003 – The Mother of Harlots, premiere at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California, USA
other projects
2014 – 10 000. Gospel for Roses, theatre play (screenplay, theatre set, costumes, music, direction), Záhrada-CNK Banská Bystrica, SK
2013 – Asile de Nuit, theatre play (screenplay, theatre set, costumes, music, direction), Záhrada-CNK Banská Bystrica, SK
2012 – We’ve Seen Things, video for the theatre play Téma Palach, Záhrada-CNK Banská Bystrica, SK
2012 – video for the dance performance Lososy (Salmons), Divadlo Štúdio tanca Banská Bystrica, SK