Katarína Hládeková and Jiří Kovanda / SIAMESE UNCLE & MONTAGE

Katarína Hládeková and Jiří Kovanda
Fait Gallery & Fait Gallery MEM
Božetěchova 1, Brno
3. 10. - 19. 11. 2015
Opening: 1. 10. 2015 at 7pm
Curator of exhibition Siamese uncle: Pavel Vančát
Curator of exhibition Montage: Marika Kupková
Technical support: Ivan Svoboda
The unusual format of the exhibitions of the two authors Katarina Hládeková (1984) and Jiří Kovanda (1953), having been prepared in parallel to each other by two curators and in two connected Fait Gallery areas intentionally reflects the possibility of their cooperation in different ways. Whilst being a classically approached exhibition the Siamese Uncle by the curator Pavel Vančát is of an expected retrospective nature disturbed by the mutual paraphrasing created by their existing art works making the identity of the artists mingle and almost merge. The new joint project of the second exhibition Montage, in cooperation with Marika Kupková, does, to the contrary, clearly display the separate roles of the authors and their mutual intersection is defined by the specific concept of video installations.
Denisa Kujelová, Head Curator of the Fait Gallery
Siamese Uncle
Katarína Hládeková and Jiří Kovanda are connnected not only by Hládeková’s PhD studies in Ústí nad Labem, but also by a sense of tranquil atmosphere and frequent emphasis on surreal detail. But while the very existence of Kovanda’s art works is always a bit of an unpredictable and uncertain nature, Hládeková is a storytelling perfectionist; while Kovanda is a grandmaster of improvisation, Hládeková, on the other side, constructs whole microuniverses. Their joint exhibition in Brno takes up a series of Kovanda’s various collaborations with other artists in a radical way: both artists completely give up their solitude and indeed the exclusive authorship of their artworks and allow them to coalesce, but also be seen in stark contrast to one another. The new and old works by both artists do not only communicate together here, but also merge and morph into collective new formations. Some of them are a result of a joint debate, others were a unique intervention by one of the authors, and some were created during an improvisation in the gallery space. All of this allows us to see the works of both authors through the eyes of only one of them, but also to see the moment when the approaching magnets start to repel or attract. This creates a strange Siamese duet of the two artists (and through a wall of two curators) , a fun nonverbal dialogue between two generations about different bases, mutual influences and pure joy of the game and surprise, but also a small study about the principles of contemporary art and its elasticity.
Pavel Vančát
Technical cooperation: Ivan Svoboda
The title of the exhibition combines several levels of meaning. First, it refers to the formal design: at the present  video we watch how the original complete picture has been divided into fragments that are reassembled into new constellations. Katarína Hládeková is the author of the initial picture and Jiří Kovanda is the one who newly composes, reedits. This "division of labor" respects the general creative features of Hládeková and Kovanda – her orientation to constructing the space, to a model and media transfers, and its conceptual practices and performance. The initial image has, however, a multilayered quoting background. This is a photo of a model created by Katarína Hládeková according to at its time a famous painting The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel (1824), which was according to his own dioramas painted Louis Daguerre. (Yes, that famous inventor of the photographic process, who was also constructing dioramas, which were supposed to bring to the audience a more realistic picture of the scenery.) Between Daguerre’s diorama and the quoting video installed at the exhibition there exists a system of media transfers, that create a hyperreality par excellence. And it is characteristic, that it is not known whether Daguerre personally visited the ruins of Holyrood temple or not. This, however, does not close the media multiplication. The author cut the photograph of her model of the ruins into 24 frames, which is another quoting feature, this time aimed at the film medium; similarly "operating" hands of Jiří Kovanda reminding the viewer of cutout animation film combined with acted scenes. Returning to the explanation of the title of the exhibition: another, more symbolic level is "a montage" authorial and institutional. On the occasion of this exhibition there was a unique connection of two artists with different creative approaches, who do not typically work together. There was therefore an attempt to mount dual thinking, the dual authors personalities with the aim to create a coherent work which, at the same time, would not break their individuality. Finally, the montage is actually also a situation formed by the curators, who, in close proximity, created separated exhibition units, which, in the final audience perception must necessarily intersect. Just like the two film shots, viewed closely after each other, can create one common meaning.
Marika Kupková

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