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

 

As if the main contradiction of the present didn’t lie in the very problems we are currently facing, from climate change to the revival of populism and misinterpretation. Perhaps the most serious pitfall of today is our inability to share these problems and fears, as well as values, visions and solutions.

There is a name for our involvement with the world, its building and suffering — it’s simply work. We don’t necessarily have to understand it as an occupation but as a process in which our activities and ideas are given sense and co-shape the world in which we live.

By extension, art is not just the production of exhibitions and artworks; it enters our shared imagination, enriching it with images, visions and criticism. At our exhibition for the Fait Gallery we are trying to open up this process, to invite the viewer closer, to the podium which dominates the gallery space and provides the installations with a joint framework and context.

The platform is modified for art, as well as for work and leisure in the form of a co-working space and two in-built lounges supplemented with chairs from Pavla Sceranková’s previous art projects. The podium-table thus assigns the meaning to the individual installations while at the same time it also invites the audience to enter the process, the cycle of work and leisure giving sense to both works of art and our world.

Pavla Sceranková shows the human situation ruled by the current work culture. In a series of plasticine figurines created by the pupils from an art school (the work is called Klára) she lets us observe the dissolving of shapes and the blending and merging of matter. The number of endangered species becomes a metaphor for the current environmental issues, as well
as for joint and applied work which is inevitably multiplied, affected by social expectations, and still can be shared and useful and mediate values, including aesthetic ones.

Milada, again named after a person devising the particular project and working on it, combines an elastic suit with performance. It invites you to a flexible, enchanting but subjugating part-time life which enfolds you like tight-fitting underwear. In contrast, Miloš, a figure rooted in the gallery podium, seeks a base and anchoring, perhaps even the return to reflections on nature and the corresponding rhythm, harmony and deceleration.

Our presence, be it social time or personal experience, seems to develop in loops intersecting the show, as demonstrated by the Ilja installation. It is not just a suspended loom, the return of working techniques to the space of a former factory, the picking up of the threads of work which was interrupted. It also manifests the cyclic nature of work as such, the circle of knitting and undoing, work and leisure, creation and destruction.

Dušan Zahoranský incorporates in his work the subject of communication. In a series of fake phone calls written on dummy cell phones (Mária), he comments on the overwhelming presence of (online) communication today, as well as on the isolated, private, almost absurd dimension of the possibility of instant communication.

The monumental ring (Libor) encircling the gallery ramp brings to the space office furniture and the issues of the stereotypization and commodification of work, or semiocapitalism. Our work environment and application are often subordinated to phenomena such as open space, home office, flexitime, as well as the necessity to be constantly available on email, mobile phone and social networks. In this way, capitalism does not only appropriate our time and work but also the creation of meaning and sense.

In addition, Zahoranský views critically the idea of a universal, non-specific or fully transparent language. In a series of coloured grids of digital characters, Mirek and Kateřina, he stages a combination of type, communication and digital culture, while in the central installation entitled Dušan he symbolically “stole” the letters “o” from his own email communication.

The artist works in similar fashion with the sharing of films on the popular server uloz.to (Artur series). He cut one minute from each film and uploaded the files again; not only to alter the films circulating among the server users, but also to work further with the “stolen” time. This time appears to represent the negative of work time and circulation, the possibility of hiding (as an artist) and working outside the affective loops of digital communication and the capitalist order.

 

Project was created with financial support of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and
Statutory city of Brno.



Šárka Koudelová / Our Bodies So Soft, Our Lives So Epic

-

Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno

Opening: 5. 6. 2019 at 7pm

Curator: Laura Amann

 

In 2011, on average, one piece of Pandora jewellery was sold every second. At this point Pandora had already become the world’s third largest jewellery company, after Cartier and Tiffany & Co. Mainly thanks to their affordable and customizable charm bracelets — a product that quickly became an omnipresent sight, gift and advertising subject.
Degrees of Love.
Picking daisies.
 
But Pandora had of course not invented the charm bracelet. So what is the history and meaning of this popular item? What kind of power, symbolism and meaning do we attribute to it and jewellery — loyal companion of humankind, transcending countless epochs and even more generations.
Faith over Fear.
Land that I Love.
You’re My Favourite Chick.
 
In ’Our Bodies So Soft, Our Lives So Epic’ Šárka Koudelová creates an installation based on the eternal contradiction of the transient and fragile nature of our bodily presence and our desperate attempts to achieve lasting proof of a grandiose life by banning it into a piece of jewellery.
You belong to me.
My precious.
 
Seductive, play- and masterful, yet also uncanny at times, we are reminded of the complexity these emotionally charged objects bear. A pendant passed from mother to daughter, a lover’s eye commissioned for a secret paramour, an intricate mourning ring made of a child’s hair, a simple yet unequivocally claiming wedding band — it is easy to relate one way or the other to these small scale sculptures, which are only activated by the wearing and tearing body.
I can’t bear your death.
Maybe, if you gaze into my décolleté...
 
Worn in Ancient Egypt, they played a crucial role in preparations for afterlife. Egyptians obsessively arranged for a prosperous life after death and it was their belief that charm bracelets would help the Gods identify the wearer and his righteous position in after-life. Somehow fitting that Tiffany’s would fit their trademark heart tag bracelet with a “Please return to Tiffany & Co, New York”.
I know I promised but...
I simply won’t fade.
Only you know, you are my secret.
 
In Georgian times mourning jewellery had focused on ideas of the ‘memento mori’, a concept created to constantly remember that everyone would have to die — obviously this reminder can be read in two ways, namely either inciting to enjoy life to the fullest in light of its finite and fragile nature or to lead a correct and good life in order to achieve entry in heaven — so ask yourself which one will it be?
I will never forget you.
But still, I have to remember to die.
Shape of Love.
Sparkling Snail.
 
In either case the tension between jewellery and the human body is clear. The ephemeral shell of the body, is made of a material where the slightest influence will leave a mark on it, be it a pebble stuck to the palm of our hands as we sit on the ground, a blade of grass cutting into our finger while picking a wild flower giving way to a droplet of blood or a wedding ring that has become to tight with growing age.
I will love you forever.
If you focus on the curve of my earlobe.
 
Jewellery on the other hand achieves two crucial things our mortal vessel is not capable of — it transcends time and it has the ability to formulate and constantly communicate messages so pathetic, so exaggerated or so tasteless that
we could not or would never do so in person. Our Promise.
True Uniqueness.
 
As if the current insecurities and constant angst we experience would not be enough, Koudelová introduces a further message into her installation: following the art-historical painterly tradition of ‘world landscape’ where the hierarchy of subject and setting is forcefully inverted, what we usually regard as mere backdrop is expanded to an overwhelming presence, further emphasizing
the minuteness of the dwarfed subjects. We
are invited to experience a delightfully anxious journey without actually leaving the spot. So take a moment. Take it in. Our Bodies So Soft... Our Lives So Epic?
Adventure Awaits.

Go back