Lea Petříková: The less I look, the more I see

17/2 — 19/3/2017

The relief of tracks in the snow, impossible to explain by reason. Two people meet on the threshold of not understanding. They scan its foggy margins, timidly soaking the tips of their shoes in the white emptiness. Some things cannot be explained in words, but we can feel our way into their state. They pull us in, they beckon and fascinate us. Those tracks seem to be the embodiment of that oldest of questions: What came first, the foot or the footprint? The footprint is alone, almost invisible, white on white. The two people go silent for a moment. Words have been exhausted, so there is nothing to do but be silent. They feel at once melancholy yet joyful as they watch the boundless landscape.

Our gaze is strangely mechanical, robotic. It is a subjective gaze that raises doubts. Is it a person, spirit, substance? We stand on the ground in order to take off and fly; we fly so that we may land.

To capture chance. It elusively churns the white space, mixing with snowflakes, turning the mountain. What turns the mountain? Three black figures appear in a cathartic abyss, seeking a new landscape. Their interest is the mountain before them. A mountain that is solitary at its peak, although who knows what paths it follows underground, in layers hidden to man which the figures cannot possibly imagine? We would like to be such a mountain – proud, dignified, solitary with a few faithful leaf-covered friends. It is winter. Persephone is hiding in the underworld, tears frozen in grief. People have a strange relationship to the landscape. It is a polarity – black and white. Who influences whom? Are the people filming the mountain with their strange machine, or has it beckoned them so that it may reveal itself to them from all its sides? Is it a ridiculous, a threatening, a pleading act? The creation of tension.

Man and his relationship to the surrounding landscape are a regular motif in the work of Lea Petříková. It is always slightly different, but at its core it is always a delicate and contemplative poetry drowning in timelessness. The people are without name, symbols whose origin begins and ends beyond the margins of the images. The motifs are inspired by literature, painting, nature. In Filming a Mountain (2016), the starting point is the artist’s eponymous poem and her personal relationship to the landscape where the story takes place. The Footprint (2017), which makes its debut at Galerie 35m2, is loosely inspired by the eponymous story by Karel Čapek in which two people meet by a solitary footprint in the snow after a storm but, unable to determine its origins, grow silent. Both videos evoke a frozen moment existing on the boundary between reality and dream, lightly flowing with an intimated narrative. The title of the exhibition, The Less I Look, the More I See, indicates that the true story takes place not in the image itself, but circles around it behind a semi-transparent veil. Both works presented at the exhibition seek a kind of undefined third agent hidden within an intangible haze, one that insists on existing in our imagination. To darken the tale, to reverse hesitation.

curated by František Fekete

more of Ley Petříkové

The less I look, the more I see UMA Audioguide