In my work I deal with several topics: city, utopia, lost paradise, searching for a home.

I have been working with the theme of city and architecture for a long time – I perceive it as a space that bears not only specific physical features but also psychological connotations related to genius loci and subjective experience. The city separates itself from nature to become a living organism that grows and evolves. It is an area with accumulated layers of memories, thoughts and ideas of previous generations and random visitors. In the city I am interested in its statics in architecture and dynamics in movement, internal and incoming migration, projection of dreams and desires. The warning tape I work with becomes a symbol of an organized city / state system, a border, no entry rule and its violation.

The city can also be seen as a house or a home. It is a set of individual buildings, which we can call a home. Home is a place to which we are attached, which we cultivated. It becomes our personal paradise, our security, but at the same time it can also bear the burden of commitment, restriction of movement, emotional cage.

An important topic for me is looking for a home, looking for a paradise. It can be a physical as well as a psychological journey. I see economic migration as a part of it - the people that are looking for a home, a place to live, that can be a search for a personal paradise.

Paradise is a spiritual utopia, the mirage of humanity, at the intersection of which we live our lives marked by fear and uncertainty. Paradise is the past golden age of humanity, but also the promise of the beautiful life after death, eternal hope, the dream of a carefree living in the abundance of a blooming pink garden.

The aspiration to create a paradise on earth has made mankind create plans for ideal utopian cities. The ideal city is inhabited by perfect people who have lost their individuality and are under the constant supervision of the eye of God / camera. The specificity of the utopian city / state is its delimitation, boundary to the outside world, the prohibition of free movement outwards and inwards. The totalitarian establishment of the twentieth century was an example of an attempt to partially implement the utopian ideas into practice. These disaster programs were a clear example of how the ideas, when translated into practice, would be bent under the weight of a particular local situation and general human weaknesses.

Slovakia is a country that has been administered by the communist regime for over 40 years. The consequences of totalitarian socialist establishment can be seen today - not only in physical monuments of abandoned memorials and densely populated blocks of flats, but also in a society that is suspicious, low tolerant, inelastic.

In my work I try to capture some aspects of the outlined thematic areas. It is not a consistent description, but rather an ambiguous superposition of messages and meanings.

Katarina Balunova, 2017