"When things happen too fast, no one can be sure of anything, nothing at all, not even themselves."

Milan Kundera, Slowness, 1995

The most important Czech writer of the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium, in his first novel written in French, published in 1995, asks through narrator the question – "Why did the pleasure of slowness disappear?" Today – almost thirty years after the publication of this work, it seems that Kundera's search for slowness takes on a new and fundamental importance for the development of human society. Slowness and hesitancy seem to have definitively lost their place in the ever-accelerating pace of life for individuals, communities and society as a whole. Hand in hand with the loss of slowness, however, we often also give up concentration, closeness, self-awareness and, in a certain sense, also the past, which is an essential part of our identity. Prioritizing constant and fast changes and reactions to them takes us away from ourselves – dynamism, infinite flexibility, virtuality, mobility, volatility, multitasking and reactivity are understood as strengths without them is impossible to succeed in today's world. Slowness, on the other hand, is understood as a sign of the past or perhaps ancient age, needlessness, defect or failure.

Despite this, or perhaps precisely because of this, a number of tendencies appear in today's art to counter the numbing speed of the surrounding world precisely by seclusion, coexistence, and patient persistence in the creative process. These tendencies are manifested both by the emphasis placed on the inclusion of performative and procedural principles in the structure of the work of art, and also by the rediscovery of classical artistic procedures and forms requiring long-term focused work performed in accordance with technological and material limits.

Such approaches to creation can be found in the individually formulated expressive approaches of trans-generationally selected authors represented in the exhibition titled in reference to Kundera's novel Slowness. Within this exhibition, in the individual works, it can be discover stories anchored in family or community histories, connected with the experience of specific places, focused on examining the limits of one's own physicality, or exploring the folds of passing time. At the same time, these stories are told with an emphasis on materiality understood as a tool used by the artists themselves and as a means that allows the audience to touch them in an almost physical dimension. Painting, drawing, embroidery, textiles, as well as gesture, body, hair, become representations of slowness, concentration, knowledge, which have the potential to open before the viewer a gap filled with hidden or perhaps forgotten unreduced meanings of our lives and their anchoring in the world that surrounds us.

The exhibition Slowness is organized in collaboration with the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts, the Czech Republic.

The exhibition is realized with the support of the Faculty of Art and Design of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic, Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Split.