David Mozny's solo show curated by Pavel Svec at FAIT Gallery MEM in Brno.

Curated by Pavel Švec
May 12  - August 14, 2021
Fait Gallery MEM, Brno

Obstinately precise technical rendering accentuating detail. Emphasis on direct, sensory experience and an almost physical effect on the viewer. Continuously developed expressive handwriting inspired by personal fascination rather than by an interest in the latest trends and tendencies in contemporary art. Spectacularly shared doubts over the distinction of the borders between reality and illusion, between machine algorithms of a virtual environment and a fluid realiy which surrounds us outside the reach of the monitors and displays of our smart devices. These are the main attributes in the work of David Možný (*1963), an artist who has earned recognition thanks to his digitally animated videos and video installations.

In the artist’s series for the Fait Gallery, the core of his oeuvre shifts closer to the classic approach to a work of art, whereas in the selection of topics Možný remains consistent. An almost ubiquitous film narrative gradually becomes a mere predictor and a fragment inviting the viewer’s active participation. As if it now were the viewer that is the hero of the film and the only one able to untangle all its metaphysical, latently criminal plots. However, like, for example, in David Lynch’s films, their solving is far from unambiguous and involves an emotional level intertwined with the feelings of oppression, emptiness and pointlessness. Through his well-considered and carefully elaborated interventions into the perceived reality or its modified visualization, Možný leads the viewer out of illusory certainties and balance and reveals the disquieting fragility of our ingrained conceptions of the world which, however, defies stability. The props here do not serve as a backdrop for a plot but become the main carrier of information, the content of which oscillates between an intimate representation of a mental and emotional state and a visionary report about the state of our civilization and the world in which we live.

The moment of disquieting disjoining is encountered at the very entrance to the exhibition, as the imaginary base of what is before our eyes is not found on the floor on which we stand: the space before us splits into two alternative worlds. Somewhere in a gap between them there arises a question of the cohesion of the props in which our lives are staged, the paradoxical nature of which we have come to denote reality. Možný’s fiction thus takes us via a detour back to the problems of reality, or more precisely, to the question “where does reality take place?”. The mentioned tendencies culminate in the installation LIMBO, whose title refers to the purgatory or in a broader sense, to a state of the separation from the conventional structures of the world. Our bipolar inclinations and thought schemas collapse here before our eyes, as does the flimsy spectrum of our rational thinking.

Nonetheless, the method which Možný often employs in his works and which could be compared to the construction of theatre props is seen elsewhere at the exhibition, completely reversed. A random viewer might overlook that instead of something posing as an ordinary cardboard box (provided with the mysterious and again somewhat disquieting inscription FEAR GOD) they are in fact looking at a polychrome bronze sculpture – an exact copy of a package in which the artist, when providing material, received one of his orders from China. While props are usually mere substitutes, imitations of more noble materials and more sophisticated work procedures, here we witness the factual opposite. Our perception and reality thus clash again.

One might get the impression that the imaginary content intersection of all the pieces on show is thus a poignant conflict relationship between two (or more) parallel levels, yet we find among them one that also offers a kind of catharsis. LOVE – the last word in the diary of the writer W. S. Burroughs – is transferred here into three dimensions and accentuated with the state of permanent burning. The bluish flame seems to indicate that in a sense sharing exceeds the categories of life and death on the interface of which Burroughs’s diary entry was created. Love as the only thing able to reconcile permanent and omnipresent conflict. Neither wisdom nor experience, no holy grail, no satori, no solution... And if love doesn’t last forever? Well, then we are left to make do with anything between eternity and the blink of an eye.