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 PREVIEW
Dominican Square 10, Brno
13/11/2013 – 10/1/2014
Opening: 12/11/2013 at 6pm
Curator: Michal Pěchouček
Katarina Hládeková focuses her work on the magic of depicting, the conditions and mechanisms of vision, which she closely, but still intuitively, reveales through photographs, sculptures and installations. She deals with relationships between the subject and the technical image using only minimal resources. For her frugal and clear visual pieces she typically discovers clever ways to assess the potential plastic qualities of the plain white Bristol-board that she uses for producing most of her models for direct presentation or subsequent documentation.
For the Fait Gallery Katarina Hládeková has prepared an open cycle, where, as the name of the exhibition suggests, the phenomenon of fire rules. It is not an objective study, but rather that of uncovered poetic dreaming about the dangerously ambivalent, but mainly creative element. Hládeková respects fire as a dynamic and archetypal power. Her dreaming turns, with a certain nostalgia, to a fight, which seems to be finished a long time ago, to the very history of the technical image, the techniques of film and the dawn of the photographic media. That’s why the greatest emphasis in the images and objects is put on the localisation of the light source, shadow and it’s reflection, and also on the mechanism of imaging, photo montage, or the projection of moving images by praxinoscope. The references to pre-cinematic technologies, however, never become more important than the depicted object itself. Into the imaginary and carefully closed lab of this artist the outer reality penetrates only marginally through a small and carefully open gap. The depiction is as if defined by changed perspectives and the shifted scale of the whole item and details. We can see it all in a sort of closed environment where we find traces of the running processes and open forms.
Through this exhibition Hládeková steps slightly aside from the principles of museum or definitive framings and adjustments, that we, as her audience, are used to. It offers us a more authentic insight into her current creative workshop, because this time she has arranged the exhibition with much more spontaneity and left the relationships between objects in study in the germinating stage. Despite the conscious possibility of some disorder, her view remains acute, revealing and complete. Chaos is omitted. In the long term Hládeková sees chaos as a quality of a rather extreme nature. In words of the poet Paul Valéry: Any diversion is fatal, the artifact is destroyed. If the fire is too moderate or flames too much, it brings disaster on it’s whim .....