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 PREVIEW, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
opening: 23. 5. 2018 at 7 pm
curator: Laura Amann
Feel free to walk in.
Let the sun set on your face.
Everything is in transition.
Light becomes dark.
Your core body temperature sinks.
Words create imagery.
Let the sun guide your rhythm.
You realise the table is a chair.
Or was it a bed.
Can you even feel the frictionless surface?
“Your living room is a cinema.”
It is real but also surreal in its dream-like fluidity.
If you feel like it, think about the following…
Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and sunset with peaches Text > Image > Text
We are inclined to assume that images are by nature static and poetry temporal. Are you really sure about this? Isn’t it so, that all media bear traces of other media and therefore are inherently mixed? Maybe it is more interesting to focus on decoding the precise dosages and ingredients of those mixtures? Think about: What is a medium made of? How do we experience it? How does it manifest itself in time and space? Which main sign system does it use?
Maybe the differences do not always lie where we think they lie.
In this sense it is interesting to think about the way we describe an image. Do you visualise or verbalise? Are you static or dynamic in your style? Do you tend to focus on spatial perception, precise localisations, detailed descriptions and use mainly nouns? Or do you focus on temporal expressions, dynamic descriptions, in short the narrative, and lots of motion verbs? Does it make a difference if the image is familiar to you? And what if somebody else had already described the image to you before?
Ultimately it is your choice how to describe and therefore how to see.
One day, I saw the sunset forty-three times Consciousness > Unconsciousness > Consciousness
When we dream, or rather when we remember a dream we operate at the borders of consciousness and at times in the transitions between waking and sleeping. And though typically thought to be passive and unproductive, the worlds that sleep contains and performs are worlds that inform and influence our waking lives. Though we know very little about why we need sleep, we do know it clears toxic metabolic debris, consolidates our memory and helps us learn and reorganise information accumulated while awake.
So if sleep is a productive mode in itself in a different state of consciousness,
Is it possible that the imaginative labour of artistic practice is a form of public dreaming?
Public dreaming, that allows us to enter a liminal state of emotional transference, where we cannot differentiate intimacy from distance, ourselves from the other and familiarity from reality.
A beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn Ethics > Aesthetics > Ethics
If aesthetics has everything to do with sensation and perception through bodily feeling, good design has actually made us numb.
The smooth surfaces of modern design are there to eliminate any friction. Good design has become our anaesthetic, allowing us to prolong our liminal state of unconsciousness into waking ours. But good design was not only supposed to look like good design it was also supposed to make us ‘good’, to give us instant virtues. Good design is our antidote.
But who are we to need this smoothness so badly?
Your story left me with a bitter after-taste…
I hope your make-up is waterproof.