Jiří Kovanda

Ten Minutes Earlier

 
Karel Adamus

Minimal Metaphors

 
Tomáš Absolon

RAFA MATA

 
František Skála

TWO YEARS' VACATION

 
Olga Karlíková

At Dawn

 
Pavla Sceranková & Dušan Zahoranský

Work on the Future

 
Selection from the Fait Gallery Collection

ECHO

 
Vladimír Kokolia

The Essential Kokolia

 
Alena Kotzmannová & Q:

The Last Footprint / Seconds Before…

 
Nika Kupyrova

No More Mr Nice Guy

 
Markéta Othová

1990–2018

 
Valentýna Janů

Salty Mascara

 
Jan Merta

Return

 
Radek Brousil & Peter Puklus

Stupid

 
Milan Grygar

LIGHT, SOUND, MOTION

 
Svätopluk Mikyta

Ornamentiana

 
Denisa Lehocká

Luno 550

 
Eva Rybářová

KURT HERMES

 
Christian Weidner a Lukas Kaufmann

ERASE/REWIND

 
Markéta Magidová

TERTIUM NON DATUR

 
Tomáš Bárta

EXTERNAL SETUP

 
Václav Stratil

LANDSCAPES

 
Ondřej Kotrč

TOO LATE FOR DARKNESS

 
Kateřina Vincourová

"WHENEVER YOU SAY."

 
Jiří Franta & David Böhm

BLIND MAN’S DREAM

 
Ewa & Jacek Doroszenko

EXERCISES OF LISTENING

 
Jan Poupě

SET OF VIEWS

 
Peter Demek

STATUS

 
Josef Achrer

BACKSTORIES

 
Radek Brousil

HANDS CLASPED

 
Katarína Hládeková and Jiří Kovanda

SIAMESE UNCLE & MONTAGE

 
Jiří Valoch

WORDS

 
František Skála

TRIBAL

 
Jiří Franta and Ondřej Homola

A BLIND MASTER AND A LIMPING MONK

 
Alžběta Bačíková and Martina Smutná

CARPE DIEM

 
THE SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

THE FRAGMENTS OF SETS / THE SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

 
Tomáš Absolon

MONET ON MY MIND

 
Kamila Zemková

THE DEAD SPOTS

 
Johana Pošová

WET WET

 
Ivan Pinkava

[ANTROPOLOGY]

 
SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

READY OR NOT, HERE I COME

 
Veronika Vlková & Jan Šrámek

THE SOURCE

 
Jan Brož

SSSSSS

 
ONE MOMENT / PART ONE: PRIVATE COLLECTION FROM BRNO

COLLECTOR'S CYCLE OF IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

 
Alice Nikitinová

IT WOULDN'T BE POINTLESS TO

 
Ondřej Basjuk

THE CULT EXHIBITION

 
Tomáš Bárta

THINGS YOU CAN´T DELETE

 
HE SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

FOR MANY DIFFERENT EARS

 
Katarína Hládeková

TO START THE FIRE

 
Marek Meduna

AMONG THE DOG THIEFS

 
THE SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

WORDS AMONG SHAPES / SHAPES AMONG NAMES

 
Lukas Thaler

THE PROPELLER

 
Krištof Kintera

Hollywoodoo!

 
Ondřej Homola

ARANGE

 
THE SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION FOCUSED ON THE YOUNGEST GENERATION

TETRADEKAGON

 
Tomáš Bárta

SOFTCORE

 
Richard Stipl

SENSE OF AN END

 
Lubomír Typlt

THEY WON'T ESCAPE FAR

 
Kateřina Vincourová

THE PRESENCE AS
A TRILL

 
SELECTION FROM THE FAIT GALLERY COLLECTION

OPEN

 
Christian Weidner
/ Vincent Bauer
/ Cornelia Lein

HERE AND
SOMEWHERE
ELSE

 
The selection from the FAIT GALLERY collection

THE SELECTION
FROM THE
COLLECTION

 
Alena Kotzmannová
/ Jan Šerých

A CHI-
LIAGON



Jiří Kovanda / Ten Minutes Earlier

08.10.2020 - 17.04.2021

Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno

Curator: Denisa Kujelová

Special opening day: October 8, 4 pm–9 pm

 

Jiří Kovanda’s work is typified by several trademark aspects which manifest themselves continuously, from early actions and installations through postmodern drawings and paintings, collages, assemblages and objects of the 1990s to the current interventions, installations and performances: inconspicuousness, efforts at contact, humbleness, simplicity, spontaneity, sensitivity, humour and manipulation with ego.

 

The austere rendering of low-key, almost indiscernible installations and interventions is already apparent in Kovanda’s early actions in which he examined the most elementary possibilities of nonverbal communication. Back in the 1970s, the philosopher and art theorist Petr Rezek pointed out an interesting fact, saying that Kovanda’s actions signified, above all, a desire for contact. At the same time, they are set not to be fulfilled: they were often conceived so that they forced the artist to work with his natural shyness and to go beyond this mental barrier. The participants were placed in unknown situations outside the framework of art, or situations which through their non-diversion from normal behaviour remained invisible for viewers, and were only made visible by their subsequent documentation by means of photography and presentations in gallery contexts.

Photodocumentation was crucial in the next phase of Kovanda’s work in which his physical presence was gradually replaced by mere records of his activity. With installations intervening in private and public environments without the presence of viewers,  photography presented the only possibility of recording the artist’s traces in the form of various objects of daily use and trivial materials installed completely inconspicuously in different places, both outdoors and indoors, also regarding the indiscernibility and ephemerality of these interventions. The artist already articulated his completely natural strategy of creating an unexpected context for an object and leaving a trace of his activity in his early works such as fallen leaves stuck to the ground with a sellotape, wooden wedges inserted between cobblestones and a pile of pine needles and nails in the forest, or interventions in  interiors, for example, a flower pot hidden behind a pillar[1], a string tied around the same pillar two months later and a white string stretched across a room in Kovanda’s home. 

Kovanda’s actions frequently involved banal situations, ordinary activities and mundane tasks that we do automatically, yet acted out in a shifted context. Likewise, in his installations and interventions the artist shifts ordinary, routinely used objects to a completely new, unexpected level by removing them from their original situation and taking away their primary utility function.[2] Thanks to his work in the National Gallery depository[3] Jiří Kovanda first started to use in his installations material related to installation practice in the everyday gallery run, for example strings, paper, glass and wooden wedges. He also employs things of daily use and household objects including foods in his current installations and interventions, along with objects typical of a particular place[4]. Through them he makes a space more visible and defines its individual parts, and thus also slightly manipulatively determines how a particular space and its layout is perceived by viewers and sets a new manner of movement in this space. Jiří Kovanda’s installations are not rooted in an idea of a certain place suitable for or adjustable to a particular work; instead, he executes an idea and the preparation of a situation which is to make up the base of a new project, or of the employment of some of his older works, directly on the spot. This is also the case with the central installation Gold Ring which, perhaps most of all the works on display, prompts a reflection of values, in a metaphorical comparison of a string and a ring, an ordinary thing and an exceptional object. Everything has the same value, all depends on context and interpretation. 

 

A virtual tour of Jiří Kovanda's exhibition - Ten minutes earlier can be found here.



[1] It was a provisional gallery space in Provaznická Street. The basement room of the Odeon publishers where Jan Mlčoch worked from 1978 was originally designed as an archive, and until Mlčoch’s resignation in 1980 was used by three Prague body artists (Karel Miler, Petr Štembera and Jan Mlčoch) as a meeting place. They staged there their own performances as well as those by their close friends, including Jiří Kovanda. 

[2] In this respect, a key role in Kovanda’s art was played by Marcel Duchamp’s exhibition in the Václav Špála Gallery in 1969, prepared by the chief curator Jindřich Chalupecký in collaboration with the Milan art collector, gallery owner and art theorist Arturo Schwarz. 

[3] In 1977 Karel Miler got Kovanda a job in the National Gallery in Prague; he was responsible for a depository housed in the Municipal Library. Kovanda worked there until 1995 when he became an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, in a studio headed by Vladimír Skrepl.

[4] Not surprisingly, the artist’s installations tend to be confused with ordinary things accidentally left in a space, and as such must be carefully protected from the over-enthusiastic cleaning staff.

 

                                                                                    


ALŽBĚTA BAČÍKOVÁ AND MARTINA SMUTNÁ / CARPE DIEM

-

Fait Gallery PREVIEW
Dominican Square. 10, Brno
28/1 – 13/3/2015
Opening: 27/1/2015 at 6pm
Curator: Martin Nytra

 
Carpe Diem: a dance on the ruins of a museum
 
Returning to the recent past is not unusual in the practise of contemporary art. The effort to cover the period immediately preceding their own lived experience has become an observed symptom of the art work of the generation that knows the reality of the normalisation era only indirectly, but grew up surrounded by its artifacts. The fragments of the past in everyday life miss their original context, are irritating by their nonconformity and therefore they provoke to a new interpretation.
The ceramics by Olga Hudečková was largely created at this time - in the 70s and 80s of the last century - and its relative availability in the stores of Dílo has made it a common decoration of households built in the times of real socialism. That is where our experience with her objects begins – by looking at the shelves in the living room. When visiting a gallery you can leave and forget, but the motionless presence of a strange object in the family household will gradually become a part of personal history.
Therefore, we went beyond the lines of our own past, but the generational gap was still kept in front of us. First, we regarded Hudečková‘s vases and candlesticks awkwardly, with a light touch of antipathy to the demonstration of a specific period taste. In order not to slip to quick resolutions, we firstly tried to understand the work in an historical context. The absence of any critical discourse from its time (there are available only a handful of non-critical articles in journals about applied arts and housing about the author) led us to search for a more current art history reference of her work. In the collected works about applied art the author’s name is not mentioned among the important authors of her time. In the collections of The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague Hudečková is not represented, in the deposit of the Moravian Gallery in Brno only one vase, donated in 1984 by the Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia, rests. In the archive of Czech Television, you can find a few TV clips, but they are rather personal lyrical portraits, in which she always appears alongside her husband, the sculptor Miroslav. The main topic is always the tragic fate of the creative couple - a painful loss of both children. The materials we found spoke about the author's life, but not about her work. There is currently no clear institutional establishment approved opinion on Hudečková’s work. Maybe it's too soon, maybe she will forever be lost in the junkyard of the history of Czech normalization art. Because of the author being completely forgotten by history she is in our eyes a subject to which we relate much more personally. We visited the artist in her studio. In the interview, she avoids any judgements of her vases other  than through the 'timeless' aesthetic criteria. Neither is our request for a time indentification of each ceramic object fullfilled. They are all very similar to each other and Hudečková‘s memory fails to recall. In her studio, they are all together and therefore they together become a metaphor for a type of timeless zone that surrounds Hudečková - a metaphor for the grey zone for art works that are beyond any interpretation.
With our learned need to have a distanced look at our own work and its context, we face a completely different approach. The author's resistance literally "moves us out of our concept". Instead of abstract evaluation we rather try to reconstruct  Hudečková‘s world from the inside.
Martina Smutná starts to study formal components of Hudečková’s ceramic objects. She tries to find the roots of the morphology vases. She examines the the folds, that make folded flags from the objects, she explores the erotic (or a lyric?) crinkles and multiple layered plates. Martina's main interest is a vase from the 70s, that she always observed in her family household, just being on view, without ever been used. She tries to copy her in ceramics several times. Sitting behind the potter's wheel, where she competes with Hudečková in an uneven contest in which she fights not only with clay, but also with the perfection of the original. The heat of a ceramic kilns is swapped by the warmth of dissolved wax and the fear of failure becomes replaced by playfulness.
Menawhile I take the original of the vase from Hudečková into Prague's Museum of Decorative Arts, where they are about to finish the preparation for reconstruction of the historic building. A permanent exhibition of decorative art is already closed and the last show ends in a few days. The offices of the museum staff are emptied and collections are packed into boxes. The archives lie neatly packed in wooden boxes and wait to be moved. After many years of residence inside the museum the collections are moved. In the musem a turntablist Petr Ferenc puts the vase on a gramophone. It rotates in a circular motion, that, once in a ceramics workshop, allowed its creation. Gramophone records with recordings of Smetana's My Country from the years 1963 - 1990 serve both as a physical and musical background for the ceramic object. The musician deconstructs a pathetic melody of Vltava River and connects it to playing a vase itself. Instead of the nostalgic playing of records, that were in our home, always placed on the shelves of living room furniture, emerges edgy sound journeying across their circular tracks. Everyone needs to get out of their interpretative comfort zone sometimes, even the authors of what is in fact a slanted exhibition.
 
Alžběta Bačíková
On behalf of the authors

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