Group exhibition curated by Tereza Spinkova at Pragovka Gallery Rear in Prague.
Artists: Střešovická kramle: Václav Girsa, Tomas Hruza, Tom Kotik, Brian Tyler Noble, Daniel Vlcek, Karel Lavír, Michal Mariánek,
Victory Nox Art Division Team: Jindrich Max Pavlicek, Jaroslav Schejbal, Michal Tošner, Petr Vyšohlíd
Curated by: Tereza Spinkova
May 26 - July 19, 2020
Pragovka Gallery Rear, Prague
In 2019, we had two exhibitions with the Střešovická kramle band – in Chaos Gallery at Veronika Bromová and in CoCo Gallery in Dobrš. The first one was called Pijeme herbicidy / We drink herbicides and the second one was Pijeme herbicidy a kouříme smog / We drink herbicides and we smoke smog. The exhibition at Pragovka gallery follows the first herbicides, however, we got rid of the destructive future vision in the title and the concept – this was the link and the clue for both previous exhibitions. We found it unnecessary to describe current situation, especially while talking about humans’ behaviour towards the Earth. Besides, a newshas been talked in the media lately, a news stating that 80 % of Czech population considers climate change to be currently the biggest issue. At the moment, nobody knows when and how the planet will stop rotating in the rhythm we are allused to, of course. The apocalyptic visions are necessary, but they can also lull and keep humans in the lethargy. Time goes by and since theexhibition project was composed, we have realized that crying over spilled milk is not helping the situation. From herbicides, we have moved to a slight hint of help. Though we do not know if the LAST AID is indeed the last one, and what comes next: the end? The next sequel? Although we do not have the answers, as well as many before us with a vision of tomorrows that may not be better than today but they will be, we still organize exhibitions, concerts, we create new traditions, languages and possibilities of partnership.
A concert should have been part of the exhibition too, as it is the music that creates the interconnections and is –softly and quietly – blending with the installation. However, because of the quarantine, it was cancelled and postponed until autumn. If it goes as it was planned, apart from Střešovická kramle, also legendary music bands SLUT and Mad-House Chicago I.R.A. will perform.
The interconnection with the I.R.A. band from Hradec Králové got us in touch with the performative-visual Victory Nox Art Division Team band that arranges one part of the LAST AID exhibition at Pragovka gallery. The bands from Hradec Králové follow the artist Milan Langer even today, Art Division Team introduces itself as a “pack”. Jindřich Max Pavlíček is represented at the exhibition with his prints of a lifeboat and recordings of Jindřich Max Pavlíček performances. Absurdly-realistic robot – Jaroslav Schejbal’s dog dominates on the front wall and in paintings installed in space and on digital prints. Also, anthropologist Michal Tošner and artist Petr Vyšohlíd participate in the video record of performative lecture.
Operation on a certain elemental principle is also one of the Střešovická kramle characteristics. Performativity, some improvisation, but also authentic and unique experience passed onto audience - those are the characteristics of our musical performance. Us working together, not only as a musical body, has turned into our Dogoss silenzare video. It was recorded at the beginning of March, just before a state of emergency was announced. The video is basically a modified record of our performance, showing possibilities of creating new rituals, and the importance of existential tongue that everyone can understand, even though it is unintelligible and,like music, created by improvisation. We do not have to expect the end of the world in inaction – on the contrary. We can determine the rhythm, use its existence for new, common events in harmony not only with humans, but also with animals, trees, myths, and supernatural forces. We have also “brought” (from our antiatomic bunker in Vršovice) our studio to the gallery. The studio dominates the installation in its way and is bounded; we have installed Karel Lavír’s geometric paintings on the inside walls. Contrariwise, white walls are the only places outside where the paintings are – on one side, three Daniel Vlček’s paintings made by vinyl records, and on the other side, one little “waif” by Václav Girsa. Those large-format paintings of Daniel Vlček and Václav Girsa are not hanged up the walls, but up the ceiling,“un-gallery like”, as billboards. It provides dynamics to the space and offers many perspectives on how to look at the paintings. There is also a certain rawness of the industrial space, panelling, the backs of the paintings, and old televisions with one-act videos – Tomáš Hrůza’s situations. Onthe frontof the gallery, we have managed to put geometric, monumental but subtle painting of Tom Kotik who is in New York and was not able to come. Sound and light interconnect Dan Vlček’s objects that illuminate the paintings around them in the rhythm of stroboscopes. Unstable light (sometimes scene-graphic, other times natural), blending sounds, and specificity of the installation offer visitors a synesthetic and multi-layered experience.
In conclusion, let me quote my grandpa Jiří Pilka – a musical scientist and populariser of classical music. In his Sonáta o hudbě (Sonata about Music) book, 1972, he stated as follows: “Basically, I believe that music is a way to overcome human loneliness. It is a force that enables human to make friend with oneself. Maybe it will open doors to understanding others, maybe it will opendoors to society or humanity, maybe even further to nature. Where next? I do not know for it is the realm of the invisible. But music is the tongue of this world, it is the tongue ofintelligibility where we do not expect it. It is the very music that rediscovers our abilities we forgot we had.” (Jiří Pilka, Sonáta o hudbě, 1972, 6)
Photo: Marcel Rozhoň, copyright: Marcel Rozhoň and Pragovka Gallery