24.05.2023 - 29.07.2023
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curator: Pavlína Morganová
Opening: 24th May, 7 pm
We have worked since 2019 under the unconductive trash label, which is an anagram of our home towns - Duchcov (Michal Pěchouček) and Traunstein (Rudi Koval). This fatalism-tinged pun metaphorically expresses the internal aspects of the joint working method. Trash accumulates during every creative process and production. Trash is an important and familiar concept from the landscape of cultural values. The The retardation property of the unconductive rules out the regulation of trash and the control of the direction of creative energy. The brand is therefore our distilled manifesto - in art, we do not consider it important to finish things. What matters is the beginning of creative activity, not its completed result. The purpose of our collaboration is to remove the layers of the past and discover a new artistic identity.
The starting point of our artistic interaction is the easel painting - it proved to be a suitable and accessible means in a joint search for a new linguistic and content identity. At the core of our collaboration is the desire to shed the layers of our own past, i.e. to learn to forget our original artistic handwritings. We explore a new painterly handwriting through different materials and methods, including the space and time dimensions of art. In a pair, it is possible to discover new subjects for artistic retelling and new ordinariness. We experiment with artistic means while trying to "moderate" the intensity and interconnectedness of joint everyday activities. We include in art not only common knowledge but also ordinary experiences, situations that can be planned and experienced together. We focus on one-day and long-term challenges. We try to employ this experience of subtle everyday reality in robust wholes such as exhibitions.
The title of the current exhibition LARGELY OBSERVED is inspired by one of the terms of the European macroseismic earthquake scale. It identifies a degree of critical condition that is widely observed, but need not be taken fatally - for us it is a possible expression of the quality of the viewer's experience, the power of the inner experience of an artwork. The exhibition opens with our first collaborative works, burning daylight (2020), and continues with unconductive chronology (2023), a series of forty-eight paintings sewn together. At the centre are two extensive cycles of paintings, gold tint (2022) and virgin blue (2023), inspired by research into visual evidence of suppressed stories of the past. We have conceived the exhibition as a dialogue between two worlds: past and present, big and small. Through monochromatic work with colour and figurative detail, we attempt to tell real stories of the 20th century that resonate with our everyday lives today.
virgin blue (2023)
This installation of paintings and a monumental work close to architecture, design and large-scale relief painting is inspired by period photographs of one of England's first women football teams, Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C., which was formed during the First World War. Despite achieving considerable popularity and sporting success, the team faced strong opposition from the Football Association which banned women from playing on their pitches and stadiums for fifty years. The reason for the ban was to "protect" women who, according to the association, were not physically capable of playing football. The series of paintings thus refers not only to the pitfalls of women's emancipation but also to the period of the world wars, marked by many structural social changes.
burning daylight (2020)
The first works of unconductive trash were created as an experiment - the artists jointly modified paintings created by Rudi Koval in 2017. The burning daylight series thus captures the moment of the encounter of two artistic personalities and their incompatible handwritings. A dialogue between abstraction and figuration, the painterly approached surface and the drawing of a sewing machine, the removal of a canvas and its stretching onto a different format, the elimination of what already existed as well as the clarification of work with paint were all part of a search for new procedures and subjects.
unconductive chronology (2023)
The continuous series of forty-eight paintings is conceived as a monumental element in space and as a sequence of film frames for a motion picture. The individual canvases show an intervention that shrinks their surface through repeated stitching, thus creating volume. The fabric creases irreversibly even after stretching on a wooden frame. Unconductive trash works on two sewing machines simultaneously, with minimum checking of the result and according to specified conditions that are repeated. In doing so, they capture a personal unity in something that is both work and idleness, that is both festive and ordinary.
unconductive loop (2023)
The subject of this interactive installation is the mechanics of the sewing machine, its magical sound and its unsurpassed contribution to human civilization. It is the stepping mechanism of the machine that made the movement of the film strip in the camera possible. The driving force behind this work is the observing audience - without their presence the work wouldn’t exist.
gold tint (2022)
The gold tint cycle of paintings is loosely inspired by documentary photographs of everyday life of soldiers during the Second World War. For example, a series of reportage photographs taken in 1940 by John Topham while working in the RAF intelligence shows a home guard unit in Gravesend, England rehearsing an entertaining Christmas show - the soldiers performed in female roles and clothes. The rehearsal was interrupted by an alarm and everyone had to move to a defensive position, there was no time to unmask and change into uniforms. The whole story, including the rehearsal, is documented in several telling snapshots. They capture the desire of the British soldiers to forget the reality of war for a while, to have fun and to make present the missing female element - to let the yearning for it sublimate. The images were censored for a long time by the British Ministry of Information to prevent them from being exploited by the enemy as they placed the soldier-hero in a completely new situation.
Gender parody and cross-dressing common in the theatre are not unique in the military, either as evidenced, for example, in the book Soldier Studies (Martin Dammann, ed., Soldier Studies. Cross-Dressing in der Wehrmacht, Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2019), with amateur photographs showing scenes featuring German soldiers dressed up as women - scenes that were in direct contradiction to Nazi ideology.
The scenes in the pictures captured through specific gestures and situations symbolically touch upon many aspects of today's discussion on gender stereotypes, human desires and various forms of identities. The artists want to emphasise, among other things, that men are capable of absolute empathy and that femininity is inherent to them. The search for normality and everyday ordinariness is natural for human beings, even in the chaos of war.
macroseismic scale, 2022
A figurative transcription of the European macroseismic scale which, unlike the older Richter scale, takes into account the intensity of human perception depending on physical changes. For example, the degree of largely observed defines the critical condition that is largely observed inside buildings. At this level, no one can pretend not to notice anything. Earthquakes inside buildings are felt by many, but only rarely outside.
you have no power over me, 2023
The textual intervention in the gallery window involves the line used to break the curse at the end of the fantasy film Labyrinth (directed by Jim Henson, 1986). Here, it is intended as a possible analogy to the figures of soldiers, or rather, to their experience of chaos and their desire to get out of it.
Fait Gallery PREVIEW, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curator: Pavla Sceranková
Opening: 24th May, 7 pm
ELLIPSE the first sign of pressure on a ring and the defence of deformations.
Iron is formed inside stars as the last element that can originate in this way. Its presence in the nucleus of a star will eventually cause a gravitational collapse and a supernova explosion, which will scatter it and the other elements into space. It is the same iron that then becomes part of the organometallic compound of haemoglobin, which plays a key part in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and is therefore essential for breathing. Despite the immense distance between a supernova explosion and respiration, they are partly conditioned by the same element. The complex interconnectedness of the events around us can cause anxiety and amazement at the same time. Mia Milgrom reflectson it intuitively and as if unconsciously through her passion for the material.
The starting point of the exhibition was an interest in "the language of tension that arises in disturbed situations" Mia observes these from the perspective of a geologist who can glimpse into "the system, the support structure that maintains the local equilibrium... layers of organic deposits alternate with human footprints and objects that accumulate and gradually decompose, seeping down into deeper layers and contaminating the soil".
The exhibition consists of minimalist situations that are spatial metaphors for the support structure just before the fall, equilibrium maintained by a defective component. Although they are all predominantly made of iron, it is the details of the joints that draw attention to themselves. At first glance, the embedded wooden or ceramic parts are an illogical weakening of the structure. The unsustainability of the systems we live in is another thing Mia is thinking about. The whole, however, is not weakened by the material of the joints; it only starts to fall apart when we want to organise it, explain it, control it. "By creating nonsensical moments, we may approach narratives that offer non-linear recourses.“
It takes calmness and inner peace to perceive the potential of the non-linear recourses that promise relief. We spin in circles. We sense a way out of exhaustion, but we are too tired to reach for it. Mia lends us a hand in the form of a bump that disrupts the expected trajectory of movement. A sculpture is a thing that acts. The action is initiated by its physical presence; the action itself happens elsewhere. I am drawn into the exhibition space by a steel shape wedged between the ceiling and the floor. It raises an unspoken question. Is it an ellipse that fits precisely in the gap between the ceiling and the floor, or is it a circle deformed by the pressure of the ceiling? I am aware of the question, but the answer is irrelevant. Thoughts are distracted by viewing the embedded segments. I stick with them.
The distorted trajectory of an ellipse reminds me of a combination of words from the book Pedagogy of the Oppressed: to be more. It stands as a call for emancipation, an opposition to the imperative: you are less. Words derived from Freire's complex analysis appear a bit awkward in this way. I ask how to be more; how to want less; how to want less so that I can be more? I return to the embedded segments. My thoughts get blurred, as if their presence was an obstacle. I get used to the feeling and start to enjoy it. I think of Jane Bennett. In her essay The Force of Things, she writes: "Perhaps the very idea of the force of things and living matter asks too much of us: to know more than it is possible to know." In an essay that discusses, among other things, the similarities between Adorno's non-identity and the force of things, between "concrete materialism" and vital materialism, she mentions in a footnote Roman Coles's interpretation of Adorno's concept of non-identity. As Roman Coles writes of Adorno, "objects are not captured by concepts completely, and thus life will always defy our knowledge and control. The negative dialectic is a 'morality of thought' that nurtures generosity towards others and towards non-identity in the self.“
To want less, to be more, to find a way to alleviate the suffering caused by trying to control all things.
 PADRTA, Jiří. Pracovat v souladu s kosmem a živly. In: KUJELOVÁ, Denisa, ed. Karel Malich & utopické projekty / Karel Malich & Utopian Projects. Brno: Fait Gallery, 2021, p. 23. ISBN 978-80-908446-0-5.
 Železo. In: Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia [online]. San Francisco (CA): Wikimedia Foundation, 2001- [cit. 2023-04-25]. Accessed from: https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BDelezo#
 Mia Milgrom, exhibition concept.
 FREIRE, Paulo. Pedagogika utlačovaných. Prague: Neklid, 2022. ISBN 978-80-908247-9-9.
 BENNET, Jane, Síla věcí, p. 122. In: JANOŠČÍK, Václav, LIKAVČAN, Lukáš and Jiří RŮŽIČKA, ed. Mysl v terénu: filosofický realismus v 21. století. Prague: Akademie výtvarných umění v Praze, Displey, 2017. ISBN 978-80-87108-72-7.
 BENNET, Jane, Síla věcí, p. 123. In: JANOŠČÍK, Václav, LIKAVČAN, Lukáš and Jiří RŮŽIČKA, ed. Mysl v terénu: filosofický realismus v 21. století. Prague: Akademie výtvarných umění v Praze, Displey, 2017. ISBN 978-80-87108-72-7.