Pavla Sceranková & Dušan Zahoranský

Work on the Future

Pavla Sceranková & Dušan Zahoranský / Work on the Future

05.06.2019 - 17.08.2019

Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno

Opening: 5. 6. 2019 at 7 pm

Curator: Václav Janoščík

Exhibition architect: David Fesl


In what way, within which conditions and relations do we lend shape to the world with what we actually do? Not only the world as we know it but also the world which we would like to share, which is worth working for. This is the “work on the future” in the title of the exhibition of Pavla Sceranková and Dušan Zahoranský who invited two guests to take part, Václav Janoščík and David Fesl. The exhibition is not a retrospective, on the contrary: it presents brand new works connected, on the one hand, with the subject of work and its sharing, and on the other with the issue of communication and its breakdown. Both work and communication are not just concepts but are materialized at the exhibition in the form of zones for work, relaxation and meetings. The exhibition is thus not only the largest one of both artists to date; it also invites the audience to a more intimate encounter with art while presenting the opportunity to enter the space of work and communication.

Alena Kotzmannová / The Last Footprint & Q: / Seconds Before…


Fait Gallery MEM, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Opening: 17. 10. 2018 at 19:00
Curator: Jiří Ptáček
The idea of their joint exhibition has circulated through the Czech cultural universe for at least a decade. From time to time, it floated close to the telescopes of major art galleries, yet was never described and named by their specialists. The complications involved in its non-execution are not interesting enough to deserve attention. However, they preceded a paradox that their joint exhibition, despite the lasting interest and a suitable opportunity, is not held this time, either.
How to understand the “+” between the titles of two neighbouring and yet individual shows? Is it just a sign for a formal coverage of two autonomous entities? Is it an atavism of the original, unexecuted intention? Both artists lead us, in a certain “unified direction”, towards speculations about the last days of mankind, to visions of the end of civilisation which does not come from the outside but is a consequence of its inherent dynamics. Like with authors of fiction, films and computer games on the postapo subject, with Kotzmannová and Q: it is also possible to place their “seconds before” and “the last traces” in relation to an imminent threat of an environmental disaster, including an ever more obvious fact that for a radical change of the course a social accord, political will or simply time are missing… Under these circumstances hope, the last resort that has got mankind through so many hopeless situations, turns against its host. 
Nonetheless, the idea of two parallel exhibitions can be understood slightly better when we take into account the temperament with which Kotzmannová and Q: approach their subjects. Alena Kotzmannová takes the stance of a melancholic observer, a traveller through a scorched landscape in which the finds of the relics of the human desire for beauty and social status resemble the finds of unusually shaped objets trouvés. The figure of the last human walking through a desert with a camera can be equally well replaced with the image of an automaton which, long after the disappearance of its creators, is still running its programme, mechanically sorting out its finds for a museum that nobody will ever visit. Kotzmannová’s relationship with the current environmental crisis is somewhat looser. It isn’t written anywhere that her photographs are not “aired” from a future so distant that the extinction of mankind occurred “spontaneously”, through wear and tear, as it were.
In contrast, Q’s attitude is different: he considers “here and now”, even “seconds before” raises the alarm, challenges the existence of plan B and the possibility of an escape. A monumental model of a rocket carrying “elsewhere” a message about mankind, as well as a diorama of a desperate family of astro-settlers are, rather paradoxically, intended as suggestive sensory perceptions, fascinating last images on the collective retina of the human race. Perhaps this is exactly what a memento should be like: visually powerful in order to emerge in the memory a second before a dystopian reality becomes the present so that we will try, for the one last time, to swerve in a final attempt to rescue ourselves.
The preservation of a certain autonomy enabled by the division of the planned joint exhibition thus does not reflect a personal (ideological or relationship-wise) dispute. It enables to fully demonstrate the difference between elegy (Kotzmannová) and lamentation (Q:), the introvert (Kotzmannová) and the extrovert principle (Q:). And yet, Kotzmannová at one point can’t resist and gatecrashes Q’s display to, at least partially, cool down his zeal. Or is the supplementing of “his” exhibition with fire extinguishers a symbol of a brake needed more by the civilisation living on Planet Earth?

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