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.

 

                                                                                    


Václav Stratil / Landscapes

-

Fait Gallery 
Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
21. 9. - 19. 11. 2016
Vernissage: 21. 9. 2016 at 7pm
Curator: Jiří Ptáček
 
The further extended continuation of Stratil’s exhibition Landscapes shows the next chapters in the life work of the Brno painter, illustrator and performer in relation to his friends, colleagues and students. Besides the older and often legendary works (legendary because they are brought to the younger generation by the memories of the older generation) we also introduce the artist's current work with photos and text. The main theme of the exhibition Landscapes, however, is the relationship to others and showing yourself in "analog" social networking and communication.

Resumption of the second, further extended completed version of Stratil’s exhibition will, in addition, become an opportunity to release the author’s new music album "Láška" (translation note: play on words, seems to be pointing to the word ‘Love’), which was created with the contribution of the Fait Gallery. "The album „Láška“ with old as well as new songs is the second set of Stratil’s musical production.
________________________________________________________
 
"It was not just a repetition of the act of usurping of the classic works and reproducing them under his own name, because objectively and for Stratil's also subjectively it could have worked just with Boštík with all aspects that this exact option has, starting with the fact that Stratil is Boštík‘s younger friend, who really loves him, despite the fact that just Boštík’s works really have the spiritual quality that makes them something extraordinary, to the the fact that Boštík is now primarily a subject of a market and a victim of our fast newly rich."1 A passage from a text by Jiří Valoch, written a year after Stratil exhibited photographic enlargements of black and white reproductions of paintings by Václav Boštík2, seems to be an appropriate introduction to the topic of the exhibition Landscapes. On the one hand Valoch mentiones basic statements that led to its organisation, but using specific examples it points out the layers of meaning, which in our case, are specifically because of the chosen concept, suppressed. The semantic and contextual diversity of Stratil‘s works here is suppressed by the conceptual key of the exhibition, which is observing the artist's creative approach to other people and their work.
 
Should the key fulfil its purpose, it is necessary for it to unlock the room, or at least the door of the house. At the exhibition, where we, next to Boštík‘s reproductions, present a photo album from the second half of the nineties, in which Stratil handled the personal and family history in different ways, or album created by his father and exhibited by the artist as ready-made, but also for example the "mutual monochromes" with Jan Nálevka from the end of the same decade or recent, partner-painted paintings with Martin Helán, however, we can still trace Stratil’s continuous interest in "authorial connection". Provided Jiří Valoch in his text says that the usurpation could work just with Boštík,3 he covers the aspects of intimacy and intensity that Stratil is attracted to in the long term. If we mention, for example, "stealing" of the principle of symmetrical portraits from the photo collection by Jiří David Hidden forms (1991-1995) and their use for self-portraits (1998)4, or the colouring in of his father's teaching tables (Latin, 2009), a strong personal relationship was always a fundamental dimension which preceded the creation of such works. The variable in this direction was (and remains) only the level of articulation of the relationship and of course the role of collective work, citation or appropriation in the context of contemporary theoretical debates. Should his works, in the nineties, be seen as a commentary on the identity of the image and the importance of authorship, or as movements in quadrature proximity-distance-originality-non originality, ie within the intellectual horizons of this phase of Czech post-modernism, with the transition into the new millennium there has been increasingly promoted the perspective of personal involvement.
 
Stratil‘s motive may be based on the relation to another person, but also on a specific artistic collection or an individual art piece. It can not be strange to him, it must catch him, he must be interested, or at least be irritatred. "The combination of modernism and postmodernism," thus happens somehow unusually - as calling the personal commitment and intimacy back into the spotlight.
 
The title of this exhibition is derived from a photo collection Czech landscape (1998-1999)5. That was arranged by Stratil as a map of his professional partners and friends. If these photos appear alongside other series, such as photographic Couples (2002-2003 and 2015-2016), we want to emphasise this very level of personal maps. The thoroughness and persistence of drawing through out is the first aspect that does not have a competition in the Czech art scene. The second and even more important aspect for us, is the increasing need for an intense relationship. Without wanting to prefer its psychological interpretation, we need to realise that we see Stratil as a solitaire focused mainly on the investigation of himself. The exhibition Landscapes does not deny this dimension of his artistic work, but reminds us of the importance of establishing a relationship and its public manifestation of a coherent and distinct line within his work. I would not be surprised, however, if you would have, besides intellectual game, passion, humor or pathos, also noticed loneliness that fatally follows those who so strongly urge for the other person.


1. Valoch, Jiří: The art combining modernism and postmodernism. In: Daněk, Ladislav (ed.): Václav Stratil / Drawings 1955-2000. Olomouc Art Museum, Olomouc 2000, pp. 65.

2. Václav Stratil. Collective exhibition, Nová síň Gallery, Prague 1997.

3. Also important was the resemblance of the enlarged reproductions of Boštík’s pictures with Stratil’s ink cross-hatching drawings from the second half of the 80s.

4. Václav Stratil. Hidden forms. Behémót Gallery, Prague, 1998.

5. In the enlargements of the publicly presented one only once so far – at the exhibition with the same name in Malá galerie Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague (1999).

T: Jiří Ptáček

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