12.05.2021 - 14.08.2021
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curator: Barbora Kundračíková
Opening day: May 12 2021, 5 pm–9 pm
Even today, we still tend to understand a picture as an autonomous entity, a unique, final object which has a life of its own and naturally separates itself from the whole of the world. For that matter, we have spent a long time pursuing this, so it’s all good! However, there exists a close link between picture and word, including the inner ones. They belong to each other by their very nature, yet we seldom stress that the connection should be direct and, especially, generally accessible so that everybody can go through the same gateway. Then, however, there come moments when a picture communicates nothing but solidarity, shared being and one existence when the picture itself not only moves between horizons and transcends them but it is also absorbed by reality. This fully applies to Petr Veselý’s pictures. Their objectivity involves not only the time dimension but also a transcendental one.
Ernst Gombrich writes in his reflection on illusion that the power of interpretation can’t be overestimated, mentioning J. M. W. Turner whom he views as somebody who deliberately and in favour of what he sees suppresses all he knows about the world. Both are also relevant today, as we are moving on the same border of discernibility. Petr, however, turns not to what he can see but to what he can touch.
The moment of touch is magical, a touch has the power to take life and also to restore it. The laying of hands is an ancient ritual, hands radiate warmth and coolness, recognise, and in some cases also heal. The essence is always the same: the expression of craving for the original, the real, for what is genuine and to what we, at least imaginarily, return. Gombrich does that himself when talking about abstracted forms as a phenomenon of western visual culture which is certainly remarkable yet fatefully lacking any assessment rules. In Petr’s case, however, we move on the opposite side of the spectrum; a picture is an abstract, grey form, yet it is permanently striving at figuration, or evolves from it. At the sane time, what is abandoned calls for attention which is equally reversible, and the movement we perform during its recognition is thus cyclic and without memory. Echoes of objectivity are secondary, yet they have rules – and these manifest themselves in this way.
Petr’s work is about constants which regularly come to the fore. This regards both his poetry and what can be termed the natural life of things. As in a truly home environment things do not just appear but exist, they meander in forms and functions and their being has an order which also involves decline, so they are like this in the artist’s pictures, or rather, his pictures are like that. They show what a close link there is between them and the world if we deliberately insert them in the framework of our existence. Matter captivates.
Petr is aware of this, of course, otherwise he wouldn’t put so much effort into the bridging of the gap between reality and its image, between what has come to pass and what we expect. He also likes to enter this space, shaping it and summarizing it. Medieval altars in museums are the relics of other autonomous worlds, and the objects of the ordinary world devoid of their function are also like that. Naturally, this is an expression of reduction, but also concentration and (controlled) absence which, paradoxically, grows stable in its loss and thus resonates all the more its original function and talent. A hand frozen in motion, a shirt stretched in its bend moving from the field to the picture and beyond expresses this perfectly. As Ivan Blecha writes, “a reflection that the restricted position of the observer (…) leads to a restricted presentation of a thing is wrong and the statement about the necessary non-representationality of some aspects of reality, about its permanent distortion, is in fact unreasoned extrapolation.“ A picture is often the only thing left of something that once existed. It is a notch of a knife in a cupboard.
 E. H. Gombrich. Umění a iluze. Studie o psychologii obrazového znázorňování. Praha 2019, p. 235.
 In the last decades the formative task and nature of “things” has also been resumed by the western philosophical tradition, namely by Bruno Latour and object-oriented ontology (OOO).
 Ivan Blecha. Prostory zjevnosti. Dílo ve struktuře světa. Zlín 2018, p. 129.
“Exercises of listening” is a continuation of the project by Ewa Doroszenko and Jacek Doroszenko. The show consists of videos, graphic prints and sound installations in which audible and visible spheres interact with each other and the narration is based on the associations freely suggested by memory. Listeners find themselves more concerned with things than with sounds, which do not exist as visible matter. People often ascribe a meaning of a sound to object that created it. Putting these objects together makes some kind of narration and storytelling. This is the main reason that Ewa and Jacek Doroszenko typically use a representation of objects to reveal an audible essence of reality.
Video works “The same horizon repeated at every moment of the walk”, created during an artistic residence at the Fundació AAVC Hangar in Barcelona (2014) and “It’s hard to find a polyphonic body”, produced during an artistic residence at the Kunstnarhuset Messen in Ålvik, Norway (2015), shows the landscapes that becomes a musical notation system. In these short audio-visual compositions, an activity of moving figure determines the pitch on the scale of each frame, from higher to lower. Primary elements of a musical composition by Jacek Doroszenko are left to the determination of Ewa Doroszenko as a performer. Jacek Doroszenko creates also a combination of sounds that have been captured in an immersive environment. The installation consists of loud speakers. Each speaker emits different track and all together produce a high frequency sound wall, full of details.
Ewa Doroszenko confronts herself with acoustic environment through more remote references, attempting to translate selected audio events to the visual language. Her graphic prints illustrate the flow of sound material: collecting, archiving and reproduction in the context of digital times. As well as audio recordings, graphic collages consist of detailed layers, but the basis for these works is a connection to modern music notation systems. Ewa Doroszenko uses graphical language to articulate the characteristics of a particular sound recording: rhythm, pulse, progression are elements of each composition also in a field of visual expression.