Roman Ondák - The Stray Man
2010 - Erwerbung ermöglicht durch den Jungen Ankauf
The performance The Stray Man by Roman Ondák (born in 1966 in Zilina, Slovakia) is the Young Acquisition 2010.
The Stray Man, 2006
The Stray Man shows a man repeatedly looking into a gallery through a window, but not entering it. What is the man doing there? Is he doing anything at all worth mentioning? Is there more to this than just a passing gesture in daily street-life? The man is inconspicuous, walks up and down in front of a building and occasionally peers inside through the window. It is an art gallery, but he does not enter it. He satisfies his curiosity, because this surely is what it must be, only at a distance. To do so, he must overcome a barrier (the glass) using an apparatus (the hands as a shadowing funnel) to eliminate the interfering reflexes on the windowpane. And then he walks down the road again to return at some point and repeat the gesture again. Indeed: nothing more than a “stray man”, a flowing appearance that only stands out from the normal scenery for a moment.
From the publication “Junger Ankauf”, Cologne 2012
Text: Julian Heynen
The staged action barely differs from everyday activity; it is transient and inconspicuous. The viewer only becomes aware of its artificiality after regarding it for some time. Some other people passing by also cast a glance inside the gallery, others don’t. By subtle irritation, Ondák encourages viewers to reflect about their own perception.
During Art Cologne 2010, the performance was presented twice a day at the museum.