23.02.2022 - 14.05.2022
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Exhibition design, artistic collaboration: David Fesl
Graphic design of the book and pendants: Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Sonni Scheuringer
Text: Marek Pokorný
Opening: 23. 2. 2022, 7 pm
I’ll do something somehow
The most remarkable, for some perhaps somewhat old-fashioned but at the same time unusually topical aspect of Lenka Vítková's work is its emblematic nature. However, not in the art-history sense of the word when an image is directly linked with a text in a single sign unit which contains a gnomic title, allegorical representation and an epigram revealing the meaning of the enigmatic title and the even more enigmatic representation. In her case, the emblem is more appropriately understood as a metaphor for a variety of rather personal tactics and artistic strategies in uncovering meaning by obscuring it, and a multifaceted manifestation of the unity of poetry and image.
It is therefore not a literary extension of a work of art, or, conversely, of the imagery of texts but, first and foremost, a condensation of lived experience that allows the artist to perform meaning through a multi-directional exchange between the seen, the thought and the written, an exchange conducted through words, a spatial intervention, sound or moving image, a painterly gesture or the selection and processing of a specific material - in recent years, for example, plaster, which is not just the basis for painting etudes but also comes into play as a visually and haptically active thing-sign. The title of Lenka Vítková's current exhibition and the accompanying publication, First Book of Emblems, is therefore an explicit acknowledgement of the principle of her creative practice, as well as the artist’s suggestion of how the viewer (and the reader) could approach them.
Waving, circling, approaching and receding, leaning, walking, falling. Transformation. A meaning created by the movement of words and the action of the painted surface, by an image related to a sentence. A meaning emerging from the image following a sentence, from a sound or film sequence as a transposition of a word or image. Lenka Vítková's approach to her work is typified by a special kind of civility and ability to speak for herself in relation to the emerging whole of the world through subjects whose prospective banality is cancelled not only by the mentioned emblematic nature but in recent years predominantly by working on the painting, painting as a still-effective way of showing what I mean. Clues which are obviously distilled starting points include not only signs, abstract patterns and abstracted realities or objects and configurations of the seen - glimpsed, but also objects, body fragments and figures. Yet it is always about the whole. Indeed, the subtle objectivity of the subject with which Lenka Vítková is currently working is accompanied at every step by her ability to share much broader contexts, more like a condition than an explanation of the present ones, which make the choice even more significant. Or, last but not least, there is that unsentimental way in which the artist, through painterly means, lays out and activates the surface in order to keep in play the affective qualities of the creative process and their sources.
If Lenka Vítková's works and exhibitions sometimes make the sympathetic viewer feel slightly dizzy, it is due to the continuous stream of exchange between seeing and intellectual work. Her art (she is an exceptional colourist among painters of her generation and beyond) amplifies and intensifies the feeling of the viewer's physical presence in front of the painting or in its space, while at the same time giving meaning to the actual experience that the recipient is undergoing in a difficult-to-convey state of consciousness. One aspect of this type of artistic experience (emphasized by the tradition of modernism) is the result of long-standing exercises through which we still, albeit rarely, and then with a certain suspicion that we are definitely missing something, master the dialectical relationship in which the self and the universe, immediacy and mediation, subjectivity and impersonality, or tradition and its unique fulfilment, can be found. Although we can speculate about what the postmodern emancipation of the sign universe has made possible for the artist and which line of modernist subjective universalism she may be following, the artist herself has described her art practice most accurately: “I’m coming,/ don't know what I’m bringing./ I’ll start somewhere,/ I’ll do something somehow./ Some things the material will do on its own. The gestures I own.”
Text: Marek Pokorný
The project was financially supported by the City of Brno and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
Božetěchova Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
31/5 – 13/11/2014
Opening: 29/5/2014 at 7pm
Curators: Denisa Kujelová & Martin Nytra
For the entire initial plot and interpretation of an exhibition there are two important topics: the uncovering of layers and an archaeological approach to clarify the cause of our misrepresentive perception and a need to change the reality of things. However, the process of unmasking itself creates a new semantic line of depicting the reality and is a kind of narration in itself, a theater and multi-layered scheme of a sometimes absurd nature. The turmoil caused by a gesture of the revolt is a type of catharsis of the creative spirit and present reality. It is also an event that starts a myth to spread ritually in all different directions. The event of the stage forms the topic of the show, which is reworded by subsequent productions and interpretations.
The stage divides the action on stage from other events beyond its borders, it is a space where the attention and sensitivity of the stakeholders meet on the level of a different meaning to daily routines. The talent to imagine falls into a private place for both the author and the audience, while language and gestures and symbols fall into the common features of cultural identity. The polarity of the different ways of perception, however, collides with the accelerating rate of received stimuli of a hardly identifiable quality that is typical for the period after the release of freely available technologies spreading the material, which is losing part of its function as a means in a dramaturgically limited performance. The specificity of the subject is replaced by an ambivalent, open figure, rapidly changing as well as non-binding content of the ongoing conversation. The boundaries between stage and audience mingle with indefinite timing into never ending event.
In these circumstances, the demand for autonomy is a challenging task, as well as the skill to keep focused and a compact constellation of meanings and depiction. The composition of fragments and forms, scenery of day and night, scenes, figures, types of characters. The stage is filled with piles from the depositories props, assemblages, staffage, the thought and may be even unthinkable language games become real, the spirit transforms into a concrete object, the established sign bends. The meaning is taken away, the content is attributed, the grimace and sketches with a serious tone and a sincere consistency are presented. Displayed is what is and has been. The Shooting Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch finds itself in a difficult, yet magical situation, surrounded by the Surrealism and Dada in practice.