• (Re)construction of the Presence. Young artists from Czech Republic

    Date posted: December 2, 2015 Author: jolanta
    ​Štěpánka Sigmundová, Private collection of precious objects from Treasure (1994-now), mixed media, dimension variable
    Opening on Friday 22th January, 2016 h 7:00 pm 
    January 22 – April 23, 2016 
    via Milano 128, Italy

    With modern communications, you can be anywhere – you have the world at your fingertips. This is also the everyday reality of the upcoming generation of artists in the Czech Republic. This is also a connecting element for the group exhibition “(Re)construction of The Presence”. All participating artists were born in 1988 (Jozef Mrva), in 1989 (Michal Drozen) and 1990 (Filip Dvořák, Max Dvořák, Iva Polanecká, Štěpánka Sigmundová, Adéla Waldhauserová), grew up in a fully democratic society after the fall of the Eastern Bloc. Therefore it is no surprise that their present artistic practice is on the same level as the rest of the current international art world. One can observe a return to traditional media such as painting and drawing, but also work with photography, video and audio. Their use of various action forms like performance or stepping out from the classical gallery situation is common for the young generation. The openness of contemporary society can be seen in their approach. One of the basic elements is the creation of “bridges” between galleries and other spaces (real or fictional) and time. Thanks to these “transfers” in their works we meet with criticism of a depersonalized society in the information age, but we can also rediscover principles stemming from art history and subject them to new questions corresponding to the current view of the world. There will be seven young artists presented at the exhibition, who were selected by the curator for their innovative ideas and a great prospect of further growth in the future, not only in the Czech Republic, but primarily in the context of the whole world.

    Michal Drozen, Indie hero, 2015, work in progress

    Michal Drozen, Indie hero, 2015, work in progress

    Artist Štěpánka Sigmundová proves the fact that personal memories of individuals can become part of the collective consciousness of the work. Her records of everyday life consisting of photographs (more than 20,000 photos) and also collection of souvenirs become her “external memory”. Her works are characterized by long-term observations and classification. This archive with strong visual aspects makes the individual parts become placeholders of sites and situations, in which they can reflect memories for each of us. The work of Michal Drozen uses another approach, not capturing the whole world, but mainly himself, using painted auto-portraits and figurative paintings. The author solves the theme of constant exploration of being with painting. The classic theme, however, is all the more topical in the context of current everyday life of changing who you are and how are you viewed in a social network environments. Filip Dvořák also explores painting as a medium, sometimes he moves from surface dimensions to 3D and also to video performance, where he puts himself in different roles. He is fascinated with the historical legacy of art, especially from Romanticism. He adapts his interest and translates it into contemporary art language. One can observe great themes such as truth, sensuality, sincerity, beauty, refinement – themes, which are missing in fine art today, perhaps because we cannot see it in our daily life. Jozef Mrva, like Filip Dvořák, cites art history in his work, but he examines, deconstructs and reconstructs modernist processes of work, with new points of view. His “raw“ style has roots in philosophy, music and underground culture. Mrva is not scared of grand gestures and political opinions. He also works with the world of computers, seeing it as a theme and material of the 21th century. Another artist, Adéla Waldhauserová, works with photography, not only with the immediate capturing of an image, but she also works with photographs as a physical material – as objects. She is interested in landscape and human environments. She recycles her own as well as found photographs and books, and by creating small changes she destroys the narrative style of reading the images and puts new meaning to them, for example social themes, such as the most current one concerning migration. Iva Polanecká also has a strong relationship with nature and the environment. She works on displaying the invisible and the imperceptible. Polanecká uses multimedia installations, video, but the main body of her work is connected with sound. She tries to rouse interest in the viewer about things, which are overlooked in everyday life. Her specialty is making situations for visitors not only in gallery space, but in non-gallery spaces and outdoor. These events are usually arranged as walks with audio guides recorded by the artist, which are given out to participating visitors. One can observe her endeavor to find balance, meditation and the spiritual essence of being. Conceptual video maker and visual artist Max Dvořák has a different way of working. His impersonal maybe even cold moving images and “proof materials” reveal the background of scientific experiments. Stories on the border of fiction and reality force one to think about his or her position as an individual in a society.
    ​Iva Polanecká, Prefigured of landscape, 2013, sound installation, 6 chanels sound records, speakers, aluminium object, 200 x 15 x 15 cm

    ​Iva Polanecká, Prefigured of landscape, 2013, sound installation, 6 chanels sound records, speakers, aluminium object, 200 x 15 x 15 cm

    Participating artists: Michal Drozen, Filip Dvořák, Max Dvořák, Jozef Mrva, Iva Polanecká, Štěpánka Sigmundová, Adéla Waldhauserová

    curator: Jan Vítek (born 1989)

    Jan Vítek is Czech young independent curator. Since 2014 he is also the co-curator of gallery Bunka, which is a site specific space for young art. He attempts to find new opportunities of presentation for young contemporary artists. He gathers experience across various cultural institutions: “(Re)constrution of the Presence” in Boccanera Gallery is his first exhibition outside of the Czech Republic.

    Courtesy of Boccanera Gallery, Italy.

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