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.
scroll down for English content
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
2019 – Ostrovy nikoho, Záhrada – CNK, priestor S2, Banská Bystrica, SR
2015 – Neverím, Galéria umenia Ernesta Zmetáka, Nové Zámky, SR
2011 – Súkromnákomunikácia, 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
2008 – Litánie, Europa Culture Center, Banská Bystrica, festival Intermedia.bb, 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)