Robert Gabris (SVK)

Residency: April - May 2020

Robert Gabris, a contemporary visual artist who has been living abroad for several years (Vienna), represents a specific offshoot of contemporary artists who have successfully established themselves beyond their homeland in terms of presentation, market and institutional activities. 

“In my practice, I developed my own style, how to implement my thoughts into a real scale. I learned that the time during every residency is limited and the circumstances are completely different and new each time. That’s the reason why I never bring the whole complete idea into the residence. 

My concepts are mostly always circulating around the politics of body, fluid identity and gender. The critical discourse of my work related to my biographical stories told through my bodywork demonstrates a constant interest to resist systematic exclusion. 

My idea of participating is to search for new possibilities and materials which I would never find at my home in Vienna. I am very into experiments, to develop new worlds and realities, playful for myself and, the most important goal is to learn and exchange experiences with other people. 

You can see the outcome of my last residence at Villa Romana in Florence, where I tried to imitate the life of an insect. This playful game became a very strong political discourse about previous anthropological research, to homogenize minority groups. 

Here I claim: This is the only thing I can find after years of searching for a reference to the topic of Roma resistance. My identity has no significant ethnological attributes and I distance myself from previous anthropological research.

I don’t emigrate, I don’t assimilate, I don’t integrate. If you want to identify my fingerprints, you have to go through my Insectopia.

I would like to continue with my „Insectology in my body“ series and see, where are the limits of self-representation and demonstrative actions against normative society thinking through my body and the medium of drawing.”

Robert Gabris has studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Stage design and Costume and completed his master’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He has exhibited independently and in group exhibitions in Austria, Latvia, Germany, France, Canada, Slovakia, Hungary or Sweden, also has been an active participant in residencies in Italy, China, Sweden or Poland. 

The residency program is supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council. Slovak Arts Council is the main partner of the project.