26.02.2020 - 25.07.2020
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Opening: 26. 2. 2020 at 7pm
Curator: Miroslav Ambroz
In my past lives, I was a hunter and a gatherer. I would always start my everyday routine
with decorating tools, weapons and creating musical instruments for myself.
1) Even though you were considered as the creator of spatial objects, in this exhibition your major emphasis is on paintings. What was the impulse?
The new atelier, where for the first time in my life, is light, space and warmth, this helped me to finally start painting. An eternity of horizons was open in front of me, together with two big travels to Columbia and Australia, I understand this happy season as staying on an abandoned island, therefore the name "Two years’ vacation".
2) In 2004 you painted large format canvases "Roads of swifts" and "Mother Earth". In the sametime frame you also painted "Chaple of Karlin", and even before that, "Envelopes" were created, therefore in your own way you are continuing with something that was created long before?
Of course, I was already painting in the '70s during my studies. Back then I inherited very rare pigments from prof. Slánský, which I am using presently. The first time I used them was during my exhibition in Rudolfinum, when there was a need to paint something great for "Silent Hall" and a figure of the central deity arose, which is appearing in my works in different varieties. Connection with the material was always important for me. The type of work on the ground on the non-gesso canvas, together with water diluted pigments and acrylate bonds demanded this physical contact. Even in some places on the paintings, there are my footprints.
A wall painting "Chaple of Karlin" was in somewhat a cleansing exhibition after the floods in 2002, and according to an agreement I had to turn it white. The oldest envelopes date back to 1986. The style of their decoration is connected with the style of "Third rococo" and that epoch is accumulated in my works. In the '90s I created multiple large format envelopes, which I perceived as the object/pictures having multiple-meanings and it opened an inexhaustible line packed into certain cushions, similar to guitars. This is related to my favourite non-standard formats (ovals) and adjusting large canvasses "free" without the stretcher bar.
3) What was most interesting thing about Australia?
First of all never ending space and starry skies. Five weeks, every evening by the fire in the desert. Furthermore, colours and rock paintings as old as 60 000 years. This was the first time I have seen baobabs and eucalypti that were 800 years old, which existed way before the arrival of whites... breathtaking scenery. I brought back a lot of collected materials and natural clay, with which I am painting. Australians have a "story" for each god, they are mostly cautionary stories, which have helped to keep the tribes viable. It appears to me as there are various imaginary divinities, however, they were born from the transcultural backdrop. Something interesting is that the rock paintings and figures on it are very similar all around the world, but I am not the type who would study these things in much detail. On the other hand, I deliberately keep certain blindness, to be astonished, and I would recommend this to consumers. Those who ask too much will learn too much.
4) Some rusty images look a bit apocalyptic, did it have any specific impulse?
"Rusty images" are painted by some rusty mud from a forested swamp in West Czech. In fact, they are ferric nano-shells of microorganisms. I discovered this beautiful colour in the '70s, which came back to me now, to extract it artistically. Thematically, they partly follow the cycle of thermo-drawings "Landscapes from Timelessness" or the cycle of graphics "Giants", where the power of nature is personified into supernatural beings. People desire to witness a miracle or other paranormal acts, and we have this advantage that we can also paint them. Also, people are drawn to the aesthetic of natural disasters and the theatre of extinction. Towards the end however, the road took me elsewhere.
5) When you were in Columbia, did you try yagé -the most renowned shamanic hallucinogen?
I don’t need to check what I suspect. I don't need to meet God. I don't want to upset him. He
could stop passing me.
The interview led Miroslav Ambroz
Fait Gallery MEM
Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
15. 6. - 30. 7. 2016
Vernissage: 15. 6. 2016 at 7pm
Curator: Jiří Havlíček
In 1844, a British hardware store owner Charles Barnard introduced the first machine-made fencing mesh. For this invention he was inspired by the mechanical loom. Shortly after, the French engineer Joseph Louis Lambot used the wire mesh to reinforce concrete. In 1848 Lambot constructed a concrete boat and stiffened its bottom with wire mesh. The first one was three and a half meters long, over a meter wide and sixty-five cm deep. The second one was slightly smaller - three meters long and fifty-three cm deep. He tested the boats on lake Miraval, where one of them was photographed whilst being anchored by the shore.1 After more than a hundred years, two damaged pieces were lifted from the muddy bottom, one of them is still on display in a museum in Lambot's hometown, Brignoles.2 In 1901 the American inventor John C. Perry patented the method for welding wire mesh3. His original intention was a serial production of fences. Shortly after launch, however, metal bars found another use. First, they were used to reinforce roads and pavements, later served as reinforcement of concrete floors and walls of buildings made out of concrete. All floors of the Empire State Building, at the time the highest building in the world, are reinforced by wire mesh. Although the skyscraper is almost a hundred years old, and since its building it has undergone several renovations, the original reinforced concrete floors still remain unchanged.
Modifying a building requires some internal discipline from the architect. The outer design of the structure is a visible part of the surroundings, while at the same time it is pointing to the actual hidden purpose. On the facade of the house we can usually feel when the inside is without a heart. Our inner experience forms our exterior settings. We can feel similar tensions from the large-format drawings by Tomáš Bárta. They are internal messages in the form of complicated construction drawings. The drops of apathy are dripping down a pale forehead. Concentration turns into an impenetrable tangle of lines in the surface of a picture. Bright lines on a dark background penetrate and overlap each other. They point to what they hide. As Bruno Latour writes - the network is our ship. The network, which is a more flexible term than a system, older than a term structure, more empirical than a term complexity. Interconnection is everywhere, but more and more hidden. From time to time there is a break in a regular grid, a facade starts slowly to transform. Lines do not tie together with each other, the connection is interrupted. The ship starts to sink.
T: Jiří Havlíček