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Janeil
Engelstad

Projects & Exhibitions

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Transformer © Matej Vakula, 2007. Responding to the embassy’s long-term plans to move to a secure location off the main square of Bratislava, Vakula designed a portable building based on the popular toy, Transformer.  With his plan the embassy transforms into an oil platform or a robot that can move to a new location whenever it is politically necessary.  The arms of the robots are guns that the embassy can use to protect itself.  The posters diagram how the building is transformed into a robot.  On the far right are models of the embassy, the robot, and the oil platform. Not shown, poster of oil platform.

Transformer © Matej Vakula, 2007. Responding to the embassy’s long-term plans to move to a secure location off the main square of Bratislava, Vakula designed a portable building based on the popular toy, Transformer. With his plan the embassy transforms into an oil platform or a robot that can move to a new location whenever it is politically necessary. The arms of the robots are guns that the embassy can use to protect itself. The posters diagram how the building is transformed into a robot. On the far right are models of the embassy, the robot, and the oil platform. Not shown, poster of oil platform.

Site-specific exhibition Embassy of the U.S.A. Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Produced with students from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design

Funding provided in part by the Embassy of the U.S.A.

During the 2006 academic year, as a Fulbright Scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovak Republic I taught arts administration to graduate and undergraduate students from 17 countries around the world. The course work included museum and gallery studies, public relations, development, all aspects of project production and the use of art for positive social change.

In response to an invitation from the American Embassy I worked with one of my classes to create a site-specific exhibition inside the public rooms of the embassy. The work produced examined real and imagined borders, democracy, war and peace. 

The title of the exhibition, I Have a Dream . . . za plotom honored the famous Martin Luther King speech and the student’s ideal vision of America. Za plotom, which means “beyond the fence” in Slovak, referenced the dreams that Slovaks have of transcending the literal and figurative post 9-11 security fence that separates the embassy from the main square and people of Bratislava.