23.05.2018 - 04.08.2018
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
opening: 23. 5. 2018 at 7 pm
A grid becomes a symbol of organisation in the most general sense of the word, a kind of order of things, and at a symbolic level also a world order.
- Jan Nálevka
The A4 format paper is the most widespread kind of paper in both households and offices. We use it to print ordinary documents, for photocopying, notes and sketches. It is also used for the printing of formal court decisions, meals of the day in cheap restaurants and university theses, as it is the only format with which one can be sure that the diploma work will be bound in covers imitating leather as late as an hour before the deadline. Files for this size are available from any stationery shop, and millions of sheets pile up in millions of metres of office archives. Text editors now offer the digital version of A4… The standardized A4 format is guaranteed by the ISO 216 international standard for paper of the A, B and C categories. The first attempts at standardisation go back to France during the Revolution in the late 18th century. The main advantage of this proportion of sides is the simple division in halves after which the sheets retain the same proportion of sides. The major benefit of the adoption and dissemination of the standard was its compatibility and coordination of the manufacture of a whole spectrum of products. Nowadays, when you ask someone to picture a “common sheet of paper”, they will most probably visualize paper of the A4 format.
When lining A4 sheets, Jan Nálevka adjusts the drawing to the standard. He opts for a neutral handwriting, and steps back as an artist. He uses blue ballpoint pens in order to emphasise office work where the compliance with prescribed administration procedures is essential. Reams of paper covered in lines and square grids are virtually indiscernible from mass-produced prints. And since Nálevka further segments the paper with lines and square grids, while in fact still preparing it for writing and drawing, he can talk about the creation of “standardised blankness”, a blankness achieved through work. Its volume, as well as the time it requires, are not proportionate to the result. However, in their reflection there is always space to realise the absurd nature of this activity. Nálevka’s drawings can thus be considered implicitly critical, yet at a more general level they are abstract visualizations of an order introduced into art, or into a work activity as such. And in its ultimate form, the segmented A4 paper format is a symbolic representative of standards predestining our factual possibilities, shaping our perception and behaviour, and providing a basis for our imagination in the private and social dimension of life.
The And now, finally, let’s finally turn the page exhibition can be understood as a public audit due to which the material that in the previous decade had progressively emerged at preliminary, autonomous and semi-autonomous presentations was gathered in a single place. And although the show exclusively presents drawings from the years 2009—2018, it captures Nálevka’s thinking concerning the external conditions of the organisation of human life. It is divided into three basic sections. The first one observes the subjects of the basic organisation plan and “standardised blankness” as the consequences of the adopted art-work load. In the second section, the issue of the time invested in the drawings, and lost, comes to the fore. Finally, in the last section Nálevka abandons the point of view of an individual and with plans drawn over reproductions of books on modernist art comments on the historical and possible future social orders.
Fait Gallery MEM
Božetěchova Street 1 (enstrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
23/5 – 12/9/2013
Opening: 23/5/2013 at 7pm
Curator: Martin Nytra
Lukas Thaler's exhibition titled The Propeller / Vrtule specifically refers to a scene from Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, where due to a subjective interpretation the propeller becomes an object of quite a different function. This interpretation is redefining the object as an object of an aesthetic and ritual nature. The author borrowed this situation as a pattern to explain the method of his own work, for which it is significant, in addition to the interest in the subject and it’s status (as mentioned before), also conceptual reflection of a painting and a picture as a media and minimalist elliptic form that specifically incorporates and follows the visual characteristic of prefabricated materials creating an impression of rather a sophisticated art object.
In his installations Thaler treats the picture as an unstable concept, in which the painting loses its depicting qualities, and on the other hand, some subjects acquire certain characteristics of the image. By this he tries to deconstruct the relationships of objects to their symbolism and free the process of painting from its dependence on the concepts of visual representations and illusion of reality. The transcendental engagement of the subject into a situation within the frame of painting is replaced by a simple perception of shapes, volumes, textures and colors. The reason for this approach is not only the attention paid to the relationship between the sign and its meaning (which is not a valid permanent reality for the subject), but also the effort to prepare a situation in which the perception of the audience takes place on a purely emotional level.
The actual experience, purified from a symbolic reading, allows to create independent space to play with form and basic means of painting in relation to the classical requirements of abstract painting. However, the scale and resources which the author uses, rather declass the iconic sovereignty and balance the position of the audience. The tendency of ourselves, who are able to see and feel, is to decipher and define this experience, which establishes the hegemony of sign and intellect again. Efforts to forget the learned language and return into a “prenatal stage” of experiencing the reality in a pure, sensual level become a virtually utopian dream. We return back to the propeller.