Natálie PADO Pešková & Jakub Pavlík / DEEP LONGINGS

21. 10. 2022 – 10. 11. 2022, opening 20. 10. 2022 6pm

Natálie PADO Pešková and Jakub Pavlík are connected by their self-portrait work, which for them is both a genre and a strategy. Their artistic stances are mutually juxtaposed between the poles of stylisation and diary entries. Self-portraiture in a certain sense represents a naïve and yearning desire to regard the world.

Predominant in PADO’s work is a documentary strategy of observing one’s own eroticism. In a raw presentation, stripped of unnecessary symbolism, it highlights the mutual interrelations between bodies, desires and feelings. And it allows viewers to stroke its fur.

However, on a second level it simultaneously reveals the social conditions of sexual interactions – digital platforms, as well as patriarchal patterns of behaviour in which the body succumbs to predetermined expectations.

PADO often finds the fulfilment of her theme in random Tinder conversations, and in the compositions of various bodily fluids on the bed. With drops of fascination, and also anxiety. 

Some people find sexuality intimidating until they experience it for themselves, others find the opposite to be the case. Somewhere in between are those for whom sexuality is a means of self-actualisation, a measurable factor of their identity.

Whereas PADO challenges, Jakub frequently retreats into a closed world of forests of nocturnal escapism. His photographs are an entry and exit from a cave, a black pupil in a field of white. His self-portraits sublimate on the contours of mist-enshrouded landscapes, dark forests and animal fur. Through these he seeks an expression of himself, the solitude of a fish washed onto the riverbank.

Using his photographic intuition and his body, he subordinates himself to the shapes he encounters on the journey between villages, in a rolling panorama of fields, altering their form according to the rattling circle of light from a mobile phone with a cracked display…, or perhaps he proceeds entirely in the dark. His masculinity is closed in on itself, yet at the same time riven. He wishes to present himself to the world, but only ex post, like a romantic hero. The mysteriousness of the scenes is a clandestine sensibility. 

In the work of both PADO and Jakub, the creative process is especially a documentation of a certain performance, which nonetheless in many respects inseparably merges together with their everydayness. This becomes both a springboard and a culmination. 

It is a bead hung around the neck of their desires.

Curator: František Fekete

Photos: Peter Kolárčik