ROBERT FICO, Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), PhD (2010)
_tlačová správa

The very first project of the public-art gallery PUBLIC PEDESTAL was a bust entitled ROBERT FICO, Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), PhD. (2010) by a Slovak sculptor Dalibor Bača (1973). It was placed in a space of the removed bust of František Zupka (1988) in front of the House of Trade Union at Trnavské mýto in Bratislava. Bača created a portrait of the well-known politician – former Slovak Premier Robert Fico in measurements150 x 88 x 120 cm. Fico extended his agenda into unveiling the statues of Slovak national figures all over the Slovakia and was especially appointing artists, who were once promoting the ideology of so called „normalisation“ period in Slovakian 70s’ and 80s.‘

The bust opened a discussion about the idea of sculpture in a society, its media interpretation, political influence, and possibilities of becoming a tool for polical propaganda. Well-known face of the unveiler of memorials is invasively set on the high-ranking pedestal which was prepared by Ján Kulich – the author of the original statue at that place more than 20 years ago. Once again, sculpture is begining to function as a powerful political and ideological peg of the territory, it is becoming an instrument for declaring a dominant position of one opinion and at the same time, all this framework is serving as a rehabilitation process for pro-regime socialist sculptors. Thus Bača is using this context to kind of indicate the status of self–reflection in our society by declaring a mere fact, which is that the "unveiled" national figures are becoming hostages propecia online of interpretations and controversial politicians' wishes.The place, where once stood the “normalisation” – period bust becomes a representation, which is positioning the figure of politician himself. This controversial bridging, happening more than 20 years after the Velvet revolution is reflecting the development of Slovak society, as well as it is a test of historical memory of the country. On the 1st August 2010, shortly after the installing of the artwork, an owner of the pedestal – the United property fund and The Association of Trade Unions in Slovak republic called on the author to remove it. The bust was then covered with a sheet by employees of the House of Trade Unions and removed the next day. At the end, after the police investigation begun, it was brought back to the author. The disapproval caused by the statue of an ex-prime minister raises the question why our society allows erecting propaganda statues like the one of the Great Moravian king Svätopluk (reg. 871–894) in a controvesial artistic qualities and without proper public discussion and even without legal permission. What does it says, when at the same time it sort of "prohibits" a temporary and perfectly legitimate bust, which neither interprets the politician, nor his activities in an unambiguous manner.
Dalibor Bača na artyčok.TV