Jiří Procházka's one day solo exhibition at Berlínskej model in Prague.
Jiří Procházka: "Kreutznauer principle"
May 15, 2019 (one day event)
Berlínskej model, Prague
The sand and salty water had irritated his eyes so intensely that, for those first few minutes spent on dry land, he could see nothing at all. He vomited up the contents of his stomach once more and tried to draw a deep breath. With difficulty he turned onto his back and fixed his eyes onto the blue sky above him. For a moment he completely forgot the fact of the shipwreck as he pondered the use of the green screen technique. It always fascinated him when any kind of object positioned against such a background, removed from its preexisting context, came into being, left in the plain of symbolism to which it refers its visuality.
The endless blue sky, without a single cloud in sight, promised plenty of opportunity to reflect again upon this subject.
He propped himself up and tried to stand. The fine sand passed slowly through his fingers while his feeble body attempted to make any kind of discernible movement.
In 1659, Robinson Kreutznauer, better known as Crusoe, escaped the tragic wreck of a ship bound for Africa. His intention had been to purchase slaves at a favourable rate and secure their subsequent resale without the taxation required in his own country. As the only survivor of the ship’s destructive demise, he is left in eternal solitude on a tropical desert island.
The wind ceased and Kreutznauer, who was currently sitting on a sandy beach just a few meters from the sea, observed the wreckage of the ship caught on the rocks. He thought about how he could assemble a raft and if he could perhaps save all the barrels of orange juice which the ship had, among other things, been carrying. So he tightly tied chopped bamboo sticks together with rope and set off in the direction of the shipwreck. Luckily the collision on the rocks had only damaged a few of the juice barrels, which were now slowly leaking out of the boat. He secured the remaining barrels onto his bamboo floats and headed back in the direction of the sandy beach, which had now become his home.
Despite being brought up in the Christian faith, Kreutznauer was never a strong believer and only ever turned to God in his moments of greatest distress. In his first shipwreck he felt the nearness of death and the possible premature realization of his fate, his own doom, which he had been sure of his whole life and with which he was reconciled. In defiance of certain tragedy, young Kreutznauer flees home and sets off on his first voyage. After heavy storms this culminates in the evacuation of the crew into lifeboats and their subsequent rescue by a passing ship.
When he had taken all of the barrels out of the sea and to his cave (where he was storing all the food he had salvaged from the shipwreck), he gathered the bamboo floats into one place. He contemplated them intensely for a long time and considered their further use. He knew well that all the barrels had been rescued and were already cooling inside the cave. But their appearance captivated and fascinated Robinson. And so he hung them on the walls of his dwelling. Then each day he would use a knife to cut a notch in a stem and thereby keep count of his days spent on the desert island.
Sometimes, when a stronger wind blew in from the sea, these floats would whistle like pipes and the island would be filled with sweet music. In such moments Kreutznauer would pour full cups of orange juice from the barrels and, accompanied by the music, dance around his home.
The fact becomes crucial to Kreutznauer that, despite his precise record of the time spent on the island, he does not know which day is Sunday – the day around which he had been accustomed to orient himself during his civilized life. So he finds himself caught in some kind of circle, freed from the linear perception of time, left in a never-ending sense of the present, liberated on a sandy beach flooded with sunshine.
He walked along the beach holding a large barrel of orange juice in his hands. The sky was splendidly blue and a gentle breeze slowly lifted grains of sand and carried them away through the air. Robinson was intoxicated with the delicious taste of juice, which had achieved maximum flavour thanks to the cave’s temperature. He lay down in the sand and fixed his eyes on the endless blue sky. His eyes slowly closed and the blue hue slowly turned to green.
The wind picked up and Robinson awoke to the sound of bamboo pipes.