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



Vladimír Kokolia / The Essential Kokolia

17.10.2018 - 12.01.2019

Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
 
Opening: 17. 10. 2018 at 19:00
 
Curator: Miroslav Ambroz
 
To see nothing
For Vladimír Kokolia painting is an opportunity to reach things that one wouldn’t be able to get at well enough in any other way. Kokolia is the type of painter who wants to really see his subject.
 
Seeing
It might seem that Kokolia wants to be considered primarily as an impressionist, in the original derogatory sense of the term. He deliberately aims for the impossible: to be, as was quipped about Monet, “only an eye”. He does not, however, believe in a prepared innocent gaze — that would be a great affectation — but relies on an acceptance of the full torrent of visual sensations, or direct visual waste, when one doesn’t have the tools (and perhaps not even a reason) to distinguish illusion from the “overwhelming disorder of the real world”.[1]  He quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to this kind of view of the ordinary world is the knowledge about seen things that one carries in one’s head. Even the names of things are disruptive for the naked eye. Kokolia declares that information inhibits the image.
 
Seeing the seeing
Nonetheless, a painter wants to “see this seeing”. When seeing, how does a person notice that they are looking? According to Kokolia, this can happen only when we sacrifice meaning and simply let our view float. “I have the distinct impression that precisely such blank looking is the default setting of our vision. It is the most fundamental state, the ‘container’, the womb, the landscape, the pilot frequency, the Tao of seeing, only on account of which individual forms arise”, adds Kokolia.[2]  He believes that a lack of information brings astonishment. Truly, a lack of information? We know, after all, how James Joyce’s characters marvel at a sudden recognition of very fragile and evanescent moments, when a character experiences a sudden revelation about the “whatness” of a thing.
 
Similarly, for the nameless heroes in the hundreds of drawings from Kokolia’s Big Cycle, the inescapable mechanism of their actions is suddenly revealed to them at a single moment. Here, the vehicle of wonderment is an unexpected recognition of meaning. However, wonderment that is purely visual in origin is, in contrast to narrative epiphany, lacking in substance. The one who is experiencing wonderment just stares and does not actually know anything. Here, the intensity of not knowing shows the depth of wonder. It is as if the one in wonderment sees only one thing, so emptied that it can be considered null. For Kokolia, an example of such views momentarily without content are the squares and rectangles in Mondrian’s paintings. Here, they also have roots in Kokolia’s individualistic theory about cubism and in his thinking about the picture plane and “paintings within a painting”. For Kokolia, the view gradually became an independent entity in which it is possible to study only the visible content and to eliminate for the given moment both the observer and the observed thing.
 
Painting seeing
Why would the one in wonderment even paint at all? Isn’t it enough just to have the experience? A painter’s embodiment of what is seen is a passage from one world to another, and what was true in one world is not necessarily true in the other one. It is a completely new situation that presumes “the picture has the logical form of representation in common with what it pictures”. [3] A painting may be able to adapt to the form of depiction, but it also has its own special demands as a physical object covered with paint as well as an object with the aim of controlling how the viewer will see it. It must remain adequate, even if it has done away with the function of depiction. The same brushstroke is both a physical trace and also creates the ideal of an image that arises only with the viewer’s gaze.
 
Kokolia describes the realisation he had in the Hermitage Museum in 1980 while standing before one of Matisse’s paintings: “... something tells me that this is the genuine space, not the three dimensions out there; at the same time, it really and truly is on the surface, literally just oil paints on a canvas. I am looking directly at the union of the greatest abstraction and the greatest materiality…”[4]  For Kokolia, the idea of transferring images across different worlds might have its origin in printmaking. He has dedicated himself to this medium for almost as long as he has to painting (originally to be able to disseminate his drawings under the previous regime, when copy machines were under supervision). Since 1992 he has led the Studio of Experimental Graphics at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. The themes of a matrix, an imprint and a reversal of the image appear repeatedly in his written musings. He similarly incorporates his experience with Tai Chi in his painting. Both of his Chinese teachers, Gene Chen and Zhu Jiancai, taught Tai Chi to him in a completely matter-of-fact manner, without a pseudo-spiritual overlay, and Kokolia likewise leads his brushstrokes with a consideration for the precise transfer of strength.         
 
Seeing painting
The concentration on direct, unprejudiced seeing and effort to see seeing was followed by the materialization of seeing in an artefact. Apart from this, Kokolia certainly does not underestimate the special moment when a viewer turns up in front of a picture. This is confirmed by the fact that at his exhibitions he examines in detail the distance between the viewer and the picture, their movement around it, viewing angles and orientation of the view, as well as the time spent before the picture.
For the sake of interaction, Kokolia occasionally resorts to popular or “discredited” forms. He styled one of his shows as a commercial sale in the course of which he lived, cooked and worked in the gallery. Another time he displayed “healing pictures” to which visitors were to “expose themselves”.
 
These and other strategies sought to provide viewers with sufficient time in front of pictures. Kokolia believes that the spent time itself causes that the mode of perception switches from a simple registration of visual information to abidance in a field of vision. The viewer, at least for a while, does not perceive a picture as a separate object, and the distance in the field of vision disappears. This situation can be generated, for example, by the induction of afterimages on the retina or by a view into the visual space of autostereoscopic pictures, as manifested by some of Kokolia’s exhibitions.
 
The image-in-itself
In interviews and texts, Kokolia speaks ironically about such common and seemingly problem-free terms as “communication”, “opinion” and “expression”. And he doesn’t even have the word “art” in his lexicon. So, if he isn’t just taking a position, what would he offer instead? I suspect that Kokolia has own sect (of which he is the only member) that believes in the “image-in-itself”. Meaning that images exist, even if they are independent of observation. Even if nobody has seen them yet. Perhaps it is this belief that helps him not to be perilously captive to changes in the contemporary context.
 
[1] Borges, Jorge Luis, The Cambridge Companion to Jorge Luis Borges, p. 209
[2] Kokolia Vladimír, Úžas, habilitační přednáška, 1996, Akademie výtvarných umění
[3] Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Tractatus logico-philosophicus 2.2
[4] S.M. Blumfeld, Prozření Vladimíra Kokolii, Vokno monthly, 1993, no. 27
                                                                         


JAKUB HOŠEK / CHAOS IS ORDER NOT YET UNDERSTOOD

-

Fait Gallery PREVIEW
Dominican Square 10, Brno
18. 3. - 30. 4. 2015
Opening: 17. 3. 2015 at 6pm
Curator: Lumír Nykl

 
„Why do so many new abstractions look the same?" - Jerry Saltz, critic and theorist
 
„He is known to absorb all the flyers, album covers, blogs ... and then he gets it all out of himself in the studio" - Jan Lesák, visual artist, photographer
 
„I have already said to Hošek that the most beautiful thing on the exhibition was the radiator." - Karel Císař, theorist and curator
 
„Eight golden rings as if I was Shab-Shabba Ranks" - Darold Ferguson Jr., rapper and singer
 
Chaos is order yet undeciphered" - that is the introducing sentence of Denise Villeneuve’s movie Enemy. This fits very well to the description of the contemporary art and the exhibition of Jakub Hošek.
The compulsive need to find the cipher to his work hangs in a shared gallery climate every time, the fragments of shapes (either texts or pictures), he has impounded, leave the comfort zone of their original carrier. The characters then occupy space stretched beyond the reserved dimensions and levels of meaning.
In the "auteur" movie Enemy Denis Villeneuve develops the idea of ​​Alfred Hitchcock, which touches film and imitation in general - „If you meet your lookalike, you should kill him." The promise of understanding to the well arranged order in a chaotic web of symbols in Enemy is subject to (self-) destructive, (self-) identification of the identical lookalike. In the case of Jakub Hošek this ambiguous relationship can be seen mainly on the level of the key process of transferring carved drawing templates to a canvas otherwise processed as a "painting". As an implication the key drawings give the final object a possibility to be created thanks to their distruction. The free ride on the hanging painting is what makes the three-dimensional object what it is. These characteristics of used techniques and media Jakub Hošek uses as a theme since the time of study at the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of V. Skrepl and J. Kovanda. The exhibition in the FAIT GALLERY PREVIEW takes place before his residency at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and subsequent scholarship in Tabačka Kulturfabrik – a cultural center in the eastern Slovakian town of Kosice.
 
In the movie Enemy we do not find out whether both of the lookalikes have a scar in the same place. The order to the chaos of their resemblances is brought by a sore imprint of a ring worn by only one of them.
The understanding is a mutual, time-consuming process compared to the privileged, distant decryption. When you decrypt the object it is subordinate to the colonizing hunter of the meaning. In the act of understanding the viewer and the image have a similar relationship to that seen between drawing and painting in Jakub Hošek’s work, between the flat painting and the three-dimensional object, between a sign and an ornament. As people say: we usually start to understand the text once we stop following it.
The flat hanging painting changes in the three-dimensional box. The cutter is thus connected by a brush stroke. The ring serves as a boxer. Acrylic tattoos the canvas.
The change is possible as long as the term period is replaced by a simple piece of information edited in the social networks.
 
The described characteristics of the Jakub Hošek’s art work explain the meaning of overlaping of the first and the second/the chaos and the order. The assumptions of his work can be compared to a specially conceived process of superimposition - covering of an already existing image by another. Jakub Hošek acknowledges this method by a conscious reference to this word in an otherwise unusual plural - Superimpositions, which is the title of the new album by the experimental electronic producer Lorenzo Senni.
The critic Alexander Iadarola (Quietus, dismagazine, Rhizome) notes Senni‘s sinister aspect of the superimposition. "Whereas with palimpsests one can see the traces of previous writers' markings as they're written the effaced over, with a superimposition there's no trace, no hint of what was before". The area of ​​design and fine arts have already overlaped a long time ago at least in the consensual label of the artwork - "a piece". In the global arts community the term piece is as popular as the term "track" within the club music scene. Piece sounds equally expressive and convincing, especially considering the nature of Hošek‘s images.
 
In the well arranged area of a white showroom a value of one piece corresponds with the value of another one. This isomorphic relationship is also characteristic for objects - forms on the picture - between them. The uniformity also establishes the relationship of the shown forms towards their physical carrier. Of a final piece and the cardboard models, sentenced to the fate of being waste material. The exhibition, understood in the general sense of exposing the objects to human view, actually begins and ends with a gallery shop window, where the residual cardboard represents a sort of preview of the author's main method, metaphorically also a preview of his studio and portfolio. We can remember his exhibition in Ostrava Industrial Gallery in 2013 and the installation solution of adjusting the preparatory drawings on paper to the level of works on canvas. But especially here  resonates his well-known project called Let me rule in Jiří Švestka Gallery, where the studio  chaos was scenographically transferred and copied in the ratio of one to one.
 
Style known from Let me rule dominates even in the (...) previously unrecognised order. Recognisable style that can be conveniently described by the familiar English word creepy.
Parts of cut hands are touching crooked, jagged, almost "crossed" wasters of the original shapes. Swollen and frayed tissue that has lost prosthetic drawing, are chaotically crawling over each other and seeking support in the precisely made and graduated surface. The degrees of the surface are being given to us in one lot and as tightly as barbed wire allows.
The paintings by Jakub Hošek behave like an evil twin and hurt even what is depict.
The quotations do not refer to the source, the cutter works as it should only at the final stopper.
The blending of the shapes is always an intersection at first, no form passes through the another one unscathed.
Hošek‘s often attributed comic abbreviation is associated with the image of the latent immobilisation of animated film sequences, where the chaos of a pair of images is moved to the proper movement by a human agent. He takes on the form of the hands, eyes, or a false frame as a trickish, crippled lookalike. And if he is not destroyed in the logic of Hitchcock’s quoted aphorism, he is trying to move the current viewer to understand and protect him.
  
Against what? Perhaps against the diffusion of the wild culture, ie unframed areas, "which do not have any denotation", as we are informed by the Bourriaudious Daily application. Adverse uncomfortable sensations and our memories jump at us from Jakub Hošek’s picture as spam, and a creepy adware ad:
"Eat this and you will never want to paint again. The doctors call this the cutter for the art. "
 
Lumír Nykl
 

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