Working across sculpture, moving image and site-specific installation, Jaroslav Kyša presents a body of new and recent work at Zahorian & Van Espen, Prague.

Jaroslav Kyša: Fifth Force
Curated by Lily Hall

26 October – 13 December, 2018

‘A team of physicists based at a lab near Rome are about to switch on an experiment that could fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe. Collecting data at a facility run by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, they are searching for a hypothetical particle known as a ‘dark photon’, which, if detected, would illuminate a mysterious, hidden realm that is thought to make up the majority of the universe. Currently, we cannot explain what more than ninety five percent of the universe consists of. As a result, scientists have proposed the existence of hypothetical ‘dark’ forms of energy and matter to help explain the vast gaps in our knowledge.’

- Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek online, 1 October 2018

Quests to fill the vast gaps that remain in our scientific knowledge of the universe – or, more specifically, recent international research into the existence of a new Fifth Force in nature – have been a catalyst for Kyša’s current practice, if only to open up ever-new spaces for poetic exploration.

Using minimal means, he playfully produces disruptions, slippages and gravitational flips, inviting us to question our received certitudes and core understanding of scientific principles. The work in FIFTH FORCE acts subtly as a metaphor for our contemporary geopolitical moment, signaled through meticulously crafted experiments with magnetism and mixed media in motion.

Hybrid objects held together by basic physical laws produce frictions between real, conceptual and fictional spheres. In this way Kyša opens up spaces to reflect on commonly held certainties at a time of increasing global precarity. Throughout the show, where multiple time frames coalesce, gaps, pauses and spaces in-between take equal precedence to materials in motion.

Thus the form and materiality of the work in FIFTH FORCE invites a reevaluation of our relationship with space and time; opening up gaps, cracks, and producing pauses in which to think of physical and psychological reality as more flexible, light and mutable than they might seem. Kyša asks, “Are we as terrestrial beings determined by the laws of physics? Are physical laws firmly fixed and unchanging, or do they evolve over time? How do these laws, as defined by science, relate to time as we experience it subjectively? What is the nature of our connection with the material world?”

The exhibition has taken shape via conversations spanning disparate locations, from Bratislava to Kremnica, Prague and London. It has been an experiment in ways of working and thinking across geographies, inflected by the geopolitical shifts taking place across Europe, whilst sharing inclinations towards the movement of ideas across borders and between disciplines.