There is balance in all things, everything has its borders. Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines.


The picture on the left shows a recent 3D scan of the building. It might look a bit apocalyptic, but in reality it is different. The interior is clean, which means it is back, closer to it’s original 1931 look. Thanks to the first stage of the reconstruction the building has again, after 60 years, its original monumental look. What we expected was right – the building is fascinating.

Our intention is to transform the space into an exhibition place and to test it’s possibilities as a gallery. In June the building was used during Fest Anca – Richard Loskot installed a printer high below the roof and blanc papers were being printed and flying in the space. It was very interesting to watch the contrast between the paper movement and the destroyed interior of the building.

Now the Pre-opening was another part of the testing, it was not a real exhibition (for this we should wait until the Opening in 2014). It contained heavy stone from the mine in Lietavská Lúčka weighting more than 3 tones and again it was not a common exhibition, because it was combining different levels holding their distances.

There is balance in all things, everything has its borders. Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines.

The main point of the Pre-Opening was to show the interior, to present the architect Behrens. The Slovak-Mexican architect Laura Murguia and her husband Pavol Sabol installed the lights to make some of the building parts even more remarkable. The windows remain closed to keep the character of the project. We wanted to emphasize the intimacy and the silence of the space.

Another level – the documentation – was part of the exhibition too. The historical photographs from the archive and from the research done by Magda Kvasnicova, Peter Szalay, Ivan Pilny and Jan Hromada could be seen there. Photos from Marek Jančúch and Natália Zajačiková and videos from Peter Pikna on the other hand were presenting the reconstruction process. This part was installed on the panels in the foyer by the entrance and produced by graphic designer is Peter Liška. The special and probably the most important part of the exhibition was the 3D model of the reconstruction project. The author is Martin Jančok. It shows how the building will look in the future and hopefully this will help to rise more money in the public donation campaign. This campaign is the main source of the reconstruction financing. We collected more than 1.200 € of donations from visitors of the exhibition. There were more then a 1.000 people in total.

The future kunsthalle was also “pre-opened” by two site-specific installations by two young visual art designers – András Cséfalvay and Jakub Pišek.

Ándras Cséfalvay is the author of the installation where sounds are coming from the speakers. Strange sounds, but also human languages were talking to the huge stone, trying to bring it into life. “Coming moment of a Miracle we know little about and we don’t know whether it really happens or not” (author’s description).

Jakub Pišek’s installation called 5h48m represented the time of sunrise in Zilina on 24/08/2012, day after the Pre-Opening. Sunrise was projected on the synagogue wall. On the eastern wall, where the altar used to be. Projection was also evoking the old times when this building used to be a cinema and the future times of the “kunsthalle sunrise”.


New Synagogue: Pre-Opening

Peter Behrens
architect, model:
Martin Jančok
light design:
Laura Murguía Sánchez, Pavol Sabol
site-specific of the instalation:
András Cséfalvay, Jakub Pišek
Natália Zajačiková, Marek Jančúch, Peter Pikna, Peter Liška
Vladimír Makovický, Júlia Androvičová,
Jozef Vyšinský, Juraj Dubovec, Michal Hurtaj

The synagogue was pre-opened from 23. 8. till 22. 9. 2012, Wednesday to Friday 2 – 6pm. Big thanks to Nadácii IntendaERCO a BELLATRIX for their generous support.