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.
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