PR - PETER DEMEK / STATUS
3rd December 2015 – 28th January 2016
Božetěchova 1, Brno
Vernissage: 2nd December 2015 at 7pm
Curator: Michal Novotný
The word “reality“ in Czech contains “action“. Reality then is not something neutral and independent, but on the contrary it is a matter of action, strength and work. The fact that the reality is actually torn out of the world confirms also the word concept. In Czech the root of the word concept suggests a physical grip, separation and perhaps connections, such as the case with "accepting a husband or a wife".
In the same meaning, as reality is connected with action, Peter Demek‘s work is related to realism. The Slovak word used here (realism) is not chosen because of the nationality, but because of its better sound. Re-a-li-sm reminds us of the sound of the slitting saw cutting the iron. In realism you can not separate the "what" from "how".
The matter in realism, just because it's realism, always flows with the idea. The ability to see the ideal form, "how it's supposed to be," is indeed a matter of years of training, the growth of synaptic structures of neurons in the brain. A sudden understanding, a flash, as the word again suggests, is a release of energy, the reaction of electrical nerve impulses to the seen. A shape or rather a form, that Peter Demek sees in this flash in a specific every day life situation (such as the girl folding paper on the train or a speaker cord rolling down the stairs, or otherwise endless testing on paper or in a workshop), forms fundamentals, foundation for further work. One could almost say, that Peter in this flash peeks into the invisible structure beneath the surface of things. Realism can indeed be very mystical, just because Peter‘s objects are somehow more than just what we see - they have some sort of essential pre-matter aura. However the understanding of each man is always a sudden flash, that can never quite be replicated and simply expressed. Peter then, thanks to the years of training of sensitivity in compositions, forms and shapes, for a moment seems to understand how things forming the reality, which we don’t really notice most of the life, really are.
This inseparability of matter from the thinking and thinking from the matter continues also in the emphasise of processuality on the work. Fundamentals - theme - shape - a form that was abstracted, or rather made real, because in realism we can not speak about abstraction however was not fully grasped even at the moment of insight, and thus can never be made completely and permanently real. The tool helping to get closer becomes for Peter Demek on one side a sheer perfection of processing, which always faces the boundaries of material and tools - mediums, or vice versa - a certain roughness and brutality of the material used. The energy and time used for the object‘s creation then only further highlights the tension - like "revenge of the surface." However, the process must, because of the clear unavailability of the final outcome, continue outside the object. The motive materialised in the medium that Peter always places into a certain context, which is always a specific environment, whether it is in the gallery or the exterior, and at the same time into a physical mount, a platform, that helps to place them in this space. The situation created is then manipulated by performative actions. This leads to what might be called a "meeting" of an object with human activity or other objects. Because the never fully available result is just in the tension between the surface and the inside, the emphasis may take place both by covering and revealing, by changing of a part or the whole, or outlining or sweeping into and in all cases by an action irrecoverable or unrepeatable. All three steps however do not need to necessarily be present or implemented as it is not important, and not always entirely possible to distinguish them. They all rather just refer to what happens between them, or rather in the middle of a circle among them, like the invisible electrons that shoot by create the shape of the nucleus of an atom, which is not possible to see in the wavelength of light.
Peter Demek was born in 1980 in Prešov. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts (Brno University of Technology) in Brno, supervised by prof. Jan Ambrůz, he undertook internships at academies in Krakow, Mayence and Thiers. In 2013, he completed a residential stay at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire in the United States. Solo exhibitions at the House of Art in Opava (2006) and in České Budějovice (2008), at the Gallery die Aktualität des Schönen in Liberec (2011) and OFF / FORMAT in Brno (2013), and others. In 2009 he attended the 5th Bienale of the Industrial Mark with a solo project in Zlín. The author also participated at these group exhibitions My Europe in Prague's DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (2009), XIV. Biennale Internazionale di Scultura di Carrara, Italy (2010) or exhibition JUMP! Tales of (y) our City in Werkschauhalle, Leipzig (2013). Represented in the Fait Gallery collection. His work loosely relates to authors such as Alf Schuler and Hartmut Böhm and their specific conception of Art Concret emphasising the physical properties of the material.
Michal Novotný, curator