Selection from the Fait Gallery Collection

ECHO



ECHO / Selection from the Fait Gallery Collection

27.03.2019 - 18.05.2019

Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno

Opening: 27 March 2019 at 7pm

Curator: Denisa Kujelová

The presentation of artists of several generations and diverse artistic approaches is always an opportunity to revise established categories and the vocabulary of practice tested by history. The relations between the works from the most extensive selection from the Fait Gallery collection so far are thus showed in regard to the relative borders of defining terms, the works of art and the viewer. Although the attitudes of the individual artists differ at many levels, in most cases they share the reduction of shapes and their fragmentarization, the incorporation of letters and signs into visual compositions and experimental work, and the conceptual precision of ideas.

Owing to the extent of the collection, and despite the generous space, the selected works naturally make only a sample, not a comprehensive one but one that demonstrates its direction. The chosen categories of subjects, the borders of which are blurred with many of the pieces by their blending, serve to link the Czech avant-garde, Czechoslovak art of the second half of the 20th century and their reverberations in contemporary art. A major part of the exhibition is devoted to artists whose work features collage, assemblage and installation, or whose output often manifests the principle of layering and assembling different fragments, symbols and letters. The majority of the artworks thus employ the strategies of repetition, juxtaposition and dislocation of the original shapes and signs.

The shifting of objects or texts from one context to another generating new meanings is one of the defining characteristics of modernism and a procedure which was formerly only employed in art. At present, however, it is a process that has become a determining principle affecting social and cultural life, as well as man as an individual, his identity and personal integrity. Creative procedures of fragmentarization and appropriation have given art a great deal of freedom, which is also why collage and the use of graphemes have counted among the most distinct techniques and means of expression in art since the early 20th century until now, especially for their ability to find connections faster and more spontaneously through the use of reduction and paradox.

The discovery of the possibilities of fragment both in image and typography and its ability to produce metaphors endowed modern art with new possibilities of hidden creative potential such as work with coincidence in dadaism, automatism and free associations insurrealism. Typography only entered visual art in the early 20th century, first in the form of the use of fragments of letters in cubism, later in futurism, dadaism, constructivism, surrealism, lettrism, abstract expressionism, pop art and  conceptual art, and it finally became a natural artistic means.

Although the typewriter started to be used in typographic experiments with language as early as the 1920s, it was not fully used until the 1950s and 1960s during a worldwide wave of experimental poetry. Word ceased to be a semantic unit, being replaced by any sign on the keyboard including punctuation and diacritics. In contrast to the avant-garde and post-war neo-avant-garde tendencies, experimental poetry of the 1960s and conceptual tendencies were inspired by the linguistic system and the attribution of new semantic properties to grapheme. Conceptual poetry was in the Czechoslovak milieu enriched by further possibilities of the semiotic play with letters, and several artists developed in parallel the concepts of tautology, semantic shifts, associative links and complications, repetitive monotonous texts and semantic drawings.

In general terms, the discovery of fragmentarization opened new possibilities in work with symbols, archetypes and cultural stereotypes, and created a template for the redefinition of the existing constructs and the evolution of new approaches defying the previous ones. This possibility also points out the link between works on different levels, despite the fact that the artists represented approach all these creative strategies from different perspectives and with different motivation. The displayed works present the principle of collage, the use of letters, abstraction and reduction not only as means for the search of autonomous artistic form, often with apparent modernist morphology, and a point of departure rich in associations, but also as an element critically related through its essence to various manners of the isolation and separation of individual segments from a whole. Reflecting the origin of visual, verbal, and acoustic entities, the current selection aims at their reconstruction, thus closing a circle of subjects typified by their validity in the history of art and by a universal value in its introspective role.

Tomáš Absolon, Josef Achrer, Hynek Alt & Aleksandra Vajd, Eduard Antal, Alžběta Bačíková, Tomáš Bárta, Ondřej Basjuk, Nina Beier, Marie Blabolilová, Josef Bolf, Václav Boštík, Vladimír Boudník, Radek Brousil, Jan Brož, Robert Cyprich, Josef Čapek, Anna Daučíková, Peter Demek, Milena Dopitová, Markéta Filipová, Stanislav Filko, Emil Filla, František Foltýn, Jiří Franta & David Böhm, Milan Grygar, Pavel Hayek, Camille Henrot, Jiří Hilmar, Katarína Hládeková, Ondřej Homola, Vladimír Houdek, František Hudeček, Dalibor Chatrný, Matyáš Chochola, Magdalena Jetelová, Jiří John, Olga Karlíková, Krištof Kintera, Eva Kmentová, Vendula Knopová, J. H. Kocman, Vladimír Kokolia, Jiří Kolář, Stanislav Kolíbal, Eva Koťátková, Jan Kotík, Ondřej Kotrč, Alena Kotzmannová, Jiří Kovanda, Radoslav Kratina, Denisa Krausová, David Krňanský, Jan Kubíček, Alena Kučerová, Nika Kupyrova, Petr Kvíčala, Alicja Kwade, František Kyncl, Miloš Laky, Radim Langer, Otis Laubert, Denisa Lehocká, Martin Lukáč, Karel Malich, Pavla Malinová, Bohumír Matal, Marek Meduna, Juraj Meliš, Jan Merta, Svätopluk Mikyta, Vladislav Mirvald, Monogramista T.D, Marián Mudroch, Kamila Musilová, Karel Nepraš, Alice Nikitinová, Petr Nikl, Ladislav Novák, Markéta Othová, Marian Palla, Michal Pěchouček, Ivan Pinkava, Johana Pošová, Antonín Procházka, Rafani, Eva Rybářová, Pavla Sceranková, Rudolf Sikora, František Skála, Matěj Smetana, Jiří Staněk, Jan Steklík, Václav Stratil, Jan Svoboda, Tomáš Svoboda, Zdeněk Sýkora, Jan Šerých, Josef Šíma, Adriena Šimotová, Michal Škoda, Jindřich Štyrský, Jiří Thýn, Václav Tikal, Karel Trinkewitz, Lubomír Typlt, Miloš Urbásek, Jiří Valoch, Kateřina Vincourová, Lenka Vítková, Daniel Vlček, Jan Wojnar, Ján Zavarský a další

 



Nika Kupyrova / No More Mr Nice Guy

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Fait Gallery PREVIEW, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
 
Opening: 17. 10. 2018 at 19:00
 
Curator: Václav Janoščík
 
Art projects by Nika Kupyrova don’t have a unifying or stable meaning; instead, they open before us an opulent universe of materials, objects, references and languages.
At the current exhibition the artist makes use of a series of sci-fi novels by Iain M. Banks taking place in a futuristic civilisation known as The Culture, and of his symbolic or ironic names of starships that are in fact living creatures. We can observe works and objects that use their names as a process of creation, control and manipulation of meaning and sense. The artist draws us into suspense between the comprehensible and the unclear, an object and an artefact, the human and the extraterrestrial, between signs and surfaces, truth and fiction, the present and the future.
Such is the role of aesthetics, from Immanuel Kant to Iain M. Banks. We must constantly change and find new forms and languages enabling us to see more than just these dichotomies; we might discover affects and details deeper under the surface of phrases and ideas - and possibly also beauty.
 
"Serious Callers Only"
 
I am Václav and you, you are called Nika. When I was little I was quite dissatisfied with my own name; it seemed too conservative. The Czech national patron is Václav and so are the two Czech presidents after 1989. 
 
My name is exclusively used in the Czech cultural context and is basically impossible to pronounce or substitute in other languages. And your name – Nika – immediately brings up an association with Eastern Europe to me.
 
We are all being called callers, but we ourselves are the callers. We use names to comprehend the world, we cover things up with words to create or solidify their meaning.                
 
“No More Mr Nice Guy”
 
The problems get even deeper if you come to be labeled not only by you real name but a nickname or a metaphorical expression. Let’s say you are being called “Mr Nice Guy”.
 
In folk psychology and these self-help manuals this stands for being overly helpful and positive, always trying to avoid conflict and resorting to a compromise or a consensus. 
 
"Kiss My Ass"
 
Sounds pretty fine at first, but involves a lifelong problem, believe me. While we usually accept the whole idea of democracy rooted in tolerance and in seeking consensus, sometimes you have to decide for yourself.
 
Sometimes you must simply step out and act against the odds. Sometimes you might need to swear and tell to "kiss my ass". I mean – so much for subtlety. Sometimes you must fight for your name.
 
"So Much For Subtlety"
 
Don’t worry, I don’t mean to imply any sort of chauvinism, machoism, egoism, resentment or indifference. The opposite is the case. Even if we fight [fait] for emancipation, for feminism and equal rights, we should take names seriously.
 
E-mancipare – means “to step out” in Latin. You see – no more Mr Nice Guy. It means to use your voice and claim your own name, a banner to fight with. So don’t worry – of course we still love you.
 
"Of Course I Still Love You"
 
Speaking of love. I always have this restless feeling. Sometimes I cannot help but simply love you. To crave your presence, words and sometimes even touches.
 
And I wake up. Still called the same. And I have to confront this limit to my aspiration in life, with my civil and somehow boring name. An awkward fact or a situation I would like to disregard.
 
“A True Disregard For Awkward Facts"
 
This is the game we call naming. Yes, indeed – giving a name can be a thrilling, lavish procedure. It might not just give you an account of what or who someone is. It might also trigger a narrative, a perspective; a joke, pun or a twist.
 
Frankly speaking, and finally explaining our little game with names – we refer to Iain M. Banks and his series of sci-fi novels based in The Culture. Where every piece of spacecraft is an actual sentient being, endowed with their own witty name. 
 
"Nervous Energy"
 
The point being – it’s not just about us; it’s not just the fucking humans who matter. It’s the animals, the fictions, the world itself or a spaceship that can be brought to life, soaked with meaning and endowed with a name.
 
Paradoxically enough this super-anthropocentric phenomenon of giving names can present a process through which we do away with human self-centeredness. A process through which we are getting closer to the nervous energy of art and things.
 

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