Nina Fránková: 18+2

16/2 — 16/3/2018

This is Nina Fránková’s first introduction to the Czech art scene. Although she began her studies at the ceramics and porcelain studio at Prague’s UMPRUM, she soon moved to the Netherlands, where she studied ceramics at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and fine art at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In her work, she has long explored the phenomenon of ceramics as a sculptural material. Her approach to making art transcends our traditional understanding of ceramics or porcelain. It rejects the classical form used for design and instead approaches the material wildly, expressively, and intuitively, the way people used to work it long ago – before, it seems, humankind forgot and lost direct contact with the Earth and with nature itself.

Freedom, and not the utilitarian nature of the given material, can take on the meaning of a historical archive of a place reflecting not just memories but also the material’s natural origins. Through the accumulated matter, it becomes a place of our future. Fránková knows very well that form results from the physical movements that mold an object’s existence into life. This movement is reflected in the importance of the creative process, which Fránková considers a part of the unfinished version of an artwork. So that viewers can understand the mysterious relationship between the artist and his or her art, she documents her work to provide a glimpse into the complexity of the creative process. Fránková’s works express her opinions, beliefs, and feelings about our values and about life itself. She uses her art to communicate with the viewer through the help of metaphors.

In 18 + 2, Nina Fránková works with the archive of sculptures that she has been adding to since 2015. It has undergone many changes since then, and it will definitely continue to change after this exhibition. The exhibition’s title is based on numerical chance, which is closely associated with the unique evolution of her series of ceramic sculptures. Although at first glance it may seem that her sculptures are in some way alike, they represent individuality in togetherness. Each has been subjected to certain touches, has received attention or special care. We delicately observe a personal ritual that promotes our desire and curiosity to open the various containers. Though unconsciously, Fránková’s work contains certain references to the critique of museums by authors such as Piero Manzoni, Annette Messager, Hans Haacke, and Marcel Duchamp. And, as Walter Benjamin said, “an irretrievable image of the past […] threatens to disappear in any present that does not recognize itself as intended in that image.” The exhibition thus reflects the obsessional relationship between the artist and his or her work as a critique of museum presentation.

curated by Tereza Záchová

more of Nina Fránková

18+2 at BlokMagazine