10/11 — 1/12/2017
Let us look at the typical contemporary painter, meaning his work, and let us ask ourselves whether such a look is even possible, because nobody knows exactly under what conditions this artist creates his work – for he will never allow anyone to watch him work, not even his own cat. He is so poor that he cannot afford his own studio, and so he paints his giant canvases in a small room at home. Thanks to his exceptional dexterity, he is able to carry them through all the doors, experiencing his work truly and earnestly, but without wanting people to know about it. If we were to further follow this individual, we would certainly find that he sacrifices much of what his surroundings associate with the beauty or exceptionality of art only in order to focus on a game whose rules he stubbornly keeps to himself. He does not want art to be understood as a quagmire of ideas that people enjoy wading into, so that he may subsequently and willingly pull them back into the gardens of liberated nothingness. For his work, he demands that our attention be not only completely undisturbed, but also absolute, for if this attention is to be truly absolute then nothing that further promotes it is welcome. The value of his work rests in the fact that it has been created. It is a thing in and of itself. A thing like law during peacetime, and thus far, far removed from words. For him, words are a bleeding army on a battlefield. In his view, it is a crime to describe a painting (let alone explain it), and if we force him to describe a painting in words, he feels the urge to destroy it. He says so himself: It is up to others to find their own meanings. Best of all, let them invent meanings that are better than the one he came up with. On the other hand, it might happen that a particular painting has absolutely no meaning at all, that it is just a hollow symbol and silent principle. Again, in his own words: A work that has been gnawed away at by the outside world, – i.e., one with a certain self-awareness – can have catastrophic repercussions or it can open up the path towards voluntarily giving up one’s work.
curated by Michal Pěchouček