12.05.2021 - 14.08.2021
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curator: Barbora Kundračíková
Opening day: May 12 2021, 5 pm–9 pm
Even today, we still tend to understand a picture as an autonomous entity, a unique, final object which has a life of its own and naturally separates itself from the whole of the world. For that matter, we have spent a long time pursuing this, so it’s all good! However, there exists a close link between picture and word, including the inner ones. They belong to each other by their very nature, yet we seldom stress that the connection should be direct and, especially, generally accessible so that everybody can go through the same gateway. Then, however, there come moments when a picture communicates nothing but solidarity, shared being and one existence when the picture itself not only moves between horizons and transcends them but it is also absorbed by reality. This fully applies to Petr Veselý’s pictures. Their objectivity involves not only the time dimension but also a transcendental one.
Ernst Gombrich writes in his reflection on illusion that the power of interpretation can’t be overestimated, mentioning J. M. W. Turner whom he views as somebody who deliberately and in favour of what he sees suppresses all he knows about the world. Both are also relevant today, as we are moving on the same border of discernibility. Petr, however, turns not to what he can see but to what he can touch.
The moment of touch is magical, a touch has the power to take life and also to restore it. The laying of hands is an ancient ritual, hands radiate warmth and coolness, recognise, and in some cases also heal. The essence is always the same: the expression of craving for the original, the real, for what is genuine and to what we, at least imaginarily, return. Gombrich does that himself when talking about abstracted forms as a phenomenon of western visual culture which is certainly remarkable yet fatefully lacking any assessment rules. In Petr’s case, however, we move on the opposite side of the spectrum; a picture is an abstract, grey form, yet it is permanently striving at figuration, or evolves from it. At the sane time, what is abandoned calls for attention which is equally reversible, and the movement we perform during its recognition is thus cyclic and without memory. Echoes of objectivity are secondary, yet they have rules – and these manifest themselves in this way.
Petr’s work is about constants which regularly come to the fore. This regards both his poetry and what can be termed the natural life of things. As in a truly home environment things do not just appear but exist, they meander in forms and functions and their being has an order which also involves decline, so they are like this in the artist’s pictures, or rather, his pictures are like that. They show what a close link there is between them and the world if we deliberately insert them in the framework of our existence. Matter captivates.
Petr is aware of this, of course, otherwise he wouldn’t put so much effort into the bridging of the gap between reality and its image, between what has come to pass and what we expect. He also likes to enter this space, shaping it and summarizing it. Medieval altars in museums are the relics of other autonomous worlds, and the objects of the ordinary world devoid of their function are also like that. Naturally, this is an expression of reduction, but also concentration and (controlled) absence which, paradoxically, grows stable in its loss and thus resonates all the more its original function and talent. A hand frozen in motion, a shirt stretched in its bend moving from the field to the picture and beyond expresses this perfectly. As Ivan Blecha writes, “a reflection that the restricted position of the observer (…) leads to a restricted presentation of a thing is wrong and the statement about the necessary non-representationality of some aspects of reality, about its permanent distortion, is in fact unreasoned extrapolation.“ A picture is often the only thing left of something that once existed. It is a notch of a knife in a cupboard.
 E. H. Gombrich. Umění a iluze. Studie o psychologii obrazového znázorňování. Praha 2019, p. 235.
 In the last decades the formative task and nature of “things” has also been resumed by the western philosophical tradition, namely by Bruno Latour and object-oriented ontology (OOO).
 Ivan Blecha. Prostory zjevnosti. Dílo ve struktuře světa. Zlín 2018, p. 129.
Fait Gallery PREVIEW
Dominican Square 10, Brno
25/6 – 28/8/2014
Opening: 24/6/2014 at 6pm
Curator: Martin Nytra
The title of the exhibition is a play with words as well. The meaning of the words, but also their rhythm, timbre of sound, and their repetitive layering are important clues to deciphering the principles of individual artifacts, and also of the whole exhibition. A wet thing is a result of the contact of a solid object with a liquid substance – a material that is characterized by its fluidity and floating. The liquid may dissolve the solid object after all, same way as a photograph spreads into new imaginary shapes and becomes independent of reality. The layering of characters and symbols, mixing of textures, fragments and fractions of broken down depiction in a liquid process of changes is similar to visual poetry and a source of many associations. Only silhouettes of the objective world remain. Skinned skin, kimono and a flying carpet are forms that act as archetypes of a thousand years old civilization, but their content constantly moves, melts, is empts out and is filled again.
Weaving, that has appeared in the author´s work only recently, can be understood as a replacement of the camera for the hands of a weaver, who ties individual fibers into yarn and layers it into the prepared texture, a point, that forms the final visual impression. That is, indeed, an imperfect copy of the reality of the eye, but filtration of the author as a living person gives to the reality a qualitatively different value. Traditional photography and handicraft weaving stand in contrast to each other, both technically and semantically. However Johana uses their mutual relationship, by which they on the other hand support each other in the way she uses both media to deconstruct their original meanings, which could be characterized as their "inventive misuse."
In all these examples we see the duality of rationally and technically controlled production of objects versus physical gesture with signs of uncertainty, which interrupts their integrity. While this is predominant in the author´s works, we can still feel the hidden presence of a contrast, with which the gesture, often in a disharmonic way, fights. But we also face the question of whether the element from the nature is also natural for the environment of technology that we are used to understanding as unoriginal and unahuthentic.