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29.06. - 29.08.2005


Excellencies, , Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Colleagues
Please allow me on behalf of the organisers – ARTlines and the capital of the Slovak Republic – Bratislava, and on behalf of the old town district of Bratislava – Staré Mesto, to extend the warmest possible welcome to you to the official opening of the tenth anniversary of the international exhibition SOCHA a OBJEKT .
I am extremely glad that the humble project from 1996 has gradually grown in stature to become a major international event, which has not only become an integral part of the annual summer programme of Bratislava, but which has penetrated cultural awareness also beyond the borders of Bratislava. .
The inspiration to organise such displays of sculptural art came at a time when the face of Bratislava, and particularly its central core, was gradually transforming from a grey morose environment touched by the lengthy period of devastation and disinterest of the representatives of the former communist regime, to become an attractive city, which by its distinct atmosphere now draws in a growing number of visitors from both home and abroad. I can proudly say that this astonishing transformation of the city was advanced also by the creative arts, this also in the semblance of the exhibition SOCHA a OBJEKT .
The core idea of this event has remained constant since its inception - to put works of art into direct contact with the audience, to build up and develop their relationship to creative art, and to cultivate their aesthetic sensation and awareness.  Even though this year the focus of the  Bratislava audience on the values of serious art might be somewhat limited thanks to the grazing hoard of painted cows throughout the city,  I firmly believe that the sensitive art comprehending soul of the art lover will discover and savour the experience of more than 120 works of art from 52 artists of 14 countries presented in this year’s SOCHA a OBJEKT X.  exhibition in the various galleries, open-air spaces of the old town centre, and also in Bratislava Castle.
I wish you a precious artistic experience.

extract from his address at the exhibition opening


When we put the first object on show outdoors in the city ten years ago, passers-by would stop in awe of the boldness of such a project. At that time, as the district mayor of the old town district Staré Mesto, it was an honour for me to be present at the birth of the idea to “liberate” sculptures from the clutches of galleries. Over time the sculptures have gradually become an intrinsic part of the streets and courtyards of the city in the summer season.
The warm rays of the sun arrive hand in hand with authors from around the world, who by their works of art give the capital a new dimension, a reason to take a moment and absorb beauty. These works of art have contributed in their own way to the beauty to this historically dominant young European metropolis.
The past can be sensed and felt in every façade of the city. Genius loci is not born here, but merely revived. The city streets seeped in the summer atmosphere and pulsing with life are proof of an altogether different dimension. It is thanks to these new sculptural works of art that the city is given a fresh opportunity to become the stage for a unique atmosphere, for inspirational initiatives and to reveal its spatial potentials.
Just as the beauty and fullness of the works of distinguished poets lose their worth without readers, the beauty of the artistic sculptures and objects would not fully attain their true potential behind the closed doors of galleries. The sculptures give the city a new dimension of life. Aesthetically they re-awaken in us a forgotten world of fantasy.
I am particularly glad in this the tenth anniversary year, to be able to move forward together with the exhibition SOCHA a OBJEKT as one of the dominant events to take place in Slovakia. The premises of Bratislava Castle are not only brought to life thanks to the mastery of prestigious and dramatic craftsmanship. These premises seeped in pathos were given the opportunity of exuding the atmosphere of spontaneous beauty and grandiose gesture also by way of fine sculptures and artistic objects.
I am very pleased that nowadays in the city streets we no longer see an expression of wonder on the faces of visitors and locals at the displayed works of art. Such wonder has been replaced by unashamed interest, admiration and recognition of the new beauty of the city. The vivaciousness of the SOCHA a OBJEKT project is proof of the fact that we do not intend to be satisfied with mere essentialities. The adoption of sculptural artefacts in the city as a symbol of summer, beauty, and the art of life, is testimony to our own cultural awareness.
My brief thanks go to everyone who refused to be discouraged in the early beginnings of this wonderful concept, and also to those who understood the need to take initiative, to be creative and to assist not only the city itself, but also the city’s culture.
Thank you.



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