21.02.2018 - 05.05.2018
Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Vernissage: 21.2.2018 at 7 pm
Curators: Denisa Kujelová & Jiří Zahrádka
Return is the movement of the Tao, yielding
is the way of the Tao. Ten thousand things
in All Under Heaven are born of what there is.
What there is is born of what there isn’t.
In a distinctive visual style rooted in his personal memory, Jan Merta transforms real-world subjects into specific projections of his own experiences. This unusually sincere approach is in its intensity and truthfulness towards the viewer remarkably transferrable and communicative. In most cases, the artist chooses as the subject matter of his paintngs, drawings and objects things and situations on the edge of ordinary attention that, however, are personally highly important for him. By removing them from their original context and by their free processing he fills them with new contents. The pure essence of seemingly ordinary objects demonstrated on a monumental scale with the use of unconventional; spatial structures provides Merta’s paintings with a strange tension, which is in some works even intensified by the refined employment of light and the atypically approached relationship between object and area when an accentuated background creates an illusory perspective.
All of Jan Merta’s works have their own raison d’etre in particular stories, and his art is so closely linked with personal experiences that it could be understood as the artist’s diary records of events, experiences, memories and reminiscences of people, objects and places. Every new painting is for him a return in thoughts, and it is therefore hardly surprising that he has chosen this word for the exhibition title. However, it should be viewed at several levels of meaning: apart from the tite of a sculpture, the motif of return also refers to the show itself, organised in exhibition rooms to which Jan Merta returns with his new project after eight years. First and foremost, it refers to regular returns to the artist’s key theme circles, as well as to particular motifs which are, nonetheless, always approached in a different way.
Within the Return exhibition, sections such as Liberec are important; the artist returns in it to the places associated with his childhood and has worked on it, on and off, for several years, as is the subject of civilization threats and cultural codes as homage to Old Masters and specific works of art. One example is Goya’s painting Third of May 1808 (1814) from which Merta borrowed the motif of a lamp. The lamp as a source of light is a vital element of the picture, not only in its form but also in its content, and Merta has utilised it several times. Last but not least, the exhibition presents works referring to the artist’s penchant for Eastern philosophy. In 2010 and 2013 Jan Merta designed the book Laozi translated by Oldřich Král, and his close friendship with this extraordinary figure reinforced his interest in Chinese philosophy. In the Fait Gallery exhibition project this leading sinologist agreed to incorporate into the LAOZI installation his sound recording of the book accompanied by Merta;s paintings with fragments of cups and saucers. These symbolize clay vessels: according to the teaching of the Tao, the meaning and purpose of their internal parts only come from emptiness.
Fait Gallery MEM
Božetěchova Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
Opening: 5/4/2012 at 7pm
Curator: Martin Nytra
The motif of the exhibition of Christian Weidner, Vincent Bauer and Cornelia Lein is the source, starting point, complex phenomenon, human being and the basic element of matter in interaction with the world, of which each of them creates their own idea. They influence it and what they receive is constantly being evaluated, depending on situation in which they currently are. In the case of the authors themselves it is mainly self-reflection of their own work and their innate self in an environment of constant changes, stimuli, vague forms and illusions. It is also about a reflection on the nature of communication, originality, free will and sense of time throughout cooperation process. The search for the starting point of a message, the initial situation from which it arose, or the furthest point of the last recorded contact with an object; it is motivated by a desire to recognize and again to experience the taste which faded from memory.
Interaction between subjects is possible under conditions which are typical for most of the forms of cooperation. The instinct to act, intuition and conscious will to speak with the world, leading to specific changes, to the movement and the perception of time in the entire process of action as a confrontation of memory with a concept of future, taking place in a concrete situation of space. Thinking about the future, our desire is being formed; it activates our ability to construct possible scenarios and anticipate the consequences. We are aware of the fact that our speech must be articulated if we want to avoid unwanted circumstances of misunderstanding. All this is connected to the basic problem of the way and form of representation, how to express the content of our message in a way that would be understood by the viewer as well. In the distance communication there is a possible limit: blindness or mutual invisibility of a sender and a recipient. All around us there are lots of messages of unknown origin and in this situation is our ignorance, depending on a situation, extremely unfavorable. Therefore, the anonymity of the author and the unknown identity sending a signal serve as a stimulus of our natural curiosity. But there still remains the question of substance. What is the cause of interaction between world and life within?