Juliana Höschlová (CZ), Rudolf Samohejl (CZ/B), David Vojtuš (CZ), Natalia Trejbalová (IT), Mia Goyette (USA/GER)

Although it might seem like the work of American artist Mia Goyette is poetic, it is extremely critical in its approach. Almost a certain oxymoron of the living creature mirrored in fresh flowers, bearing the colour white as a symbol of intactness and purity, gradually absorb water and thus transform into colourful flowers living in the gallery environment. The water is coloured by artificial colourants whose use in the food, cosmetics, and textile industries are entirely common. However, this absorption effect, in which the change is effected through a different colouring of the water, is invisible in the human body. From childhood onwards, we absorb so many harmful substances, we do not even think about how many of them settle inside us. Our bodies are excellent barometers, but do we perceive it? Recent studies have found that plastic bags and packaging contributes to the development of illnesses including cancer, infertility, and immune system diseases. Invisible chemical reactions are active in our bodies too. Miniature samples come loose and we unwittingly consume them. Plastic garbage and individual bottles of mineral water, juices, or alcohol are thus problematic especially when they are amassed. The work might look like a great party. But the clear, pure liquid (water) with its minerals is lost in the chemically coloured liquids we consume. Are we not in fact a sick society? It seems that each of us must go to the notional battleground ourselves and choose – based on our own personal preferences – our involvement in our world’s operation.

Another author who looks critically upon plastics is Czech artist Juliana Höschlová. She often asks after the question of recycling in relation to exhibition production, trying to lead both herself and the institutions in question to deeper reflection. The plastic waves which fight their way to the surface in the gallery reveal not only the mass of waste, which – despite being continually recycled and disrupted by the artist – also display absolute stability and invulnerability. Höschlová has worked this way since 2017, when she amassed 246 plastic bags at an art’s residency. Through gradual layering and disruption, the plastics take on an amorphous consistency, a kind of paraphrase of human skin. In general, Höschlová responds to a media who ignores these topics, or show only one point of view, which not only broadens the chasm between humanity and its environment, but also disrupts a certain trust.

David Vojtuš is the opposite of the two authors. He understands the function of plastic as a technological development we can hardly think away. He expresses a need to understand the material. Here, form can conserve, as in biological waste. Even so, we can assume a critical position – are we living in the plastic age? How much excess waste does our society produce? The fillings of fragile white granulate cannot be recycled. It is created by casting various forms such as a computer mouse, the computer itself, and various other electronic devices. These ephemeral remnants of plastic which can no longer be recycled are the greatest problem in rivers, seas, and oceans.

Natalia Trejbalová also takes a positive view of the situation. In her work, she approaches the precise creation of a certain organism, bringing up questions of the cloning of reality. The visitor can only estimate based on their natural perception whether the thing in question is alive or artificial. They have to be very attentive not to miss what is happening inside the test tubes, in this merging of natural and modified environments. Trejbalová knows that speaking of technology and nature separately is no longer feasible. This fact has long been overcome. Currently, certain experts divide landscapes into various technological patterns, marked by the determination in their foundations. The artist presents a “new model” – a complete simulation of an artificially designed environment. The test tubes can be unsettling in their feeling of artificially created in a lab something that once had the opportunity to live in nature. The tube conserves a memory of part of the real world of nature, one we will soon only admire if we do not begin acting systematically.

The last artist presented is Rudolf Samohejl – the only one viewing the situation from the neutral internal point of view; himself. He neither criticises nor judges the situation. On the background of gradually discovered and interweaving threads from various parts of the world, he began searching for two contradicting directions. On the one hand, the “idyllic and poetic” Nordic model, which is in its own way pioneering in environmental technology, sustainability, and strategy, focused not only on the well-being of people, but also on respect for nature. The second model is then the opposite. In poor countries, often with uneducated governments, wasting, consuming, and polluting one’s own environment is much more marked and visible, whether this is in the increase of garbage dumps, waste, but also in the absence or ineffectiveness of recycling. The mix of threads can be seen as a noose for society, but also as a symbol of variety and firmness in incompatible unity.

Opening, February 14, 2019

Opening, February 14, 2019

Opening, February 14, 2019

Opening, February 14, 2019

Opening, February 14, 2019

Opening, February 14, 2019


City gallery Pardubice

Příhrádek 5, 53116 Pardubice
T: + 420 730 524 909
E: info@gmpardubice.cz
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News

Opening of the new exhibition Ředění soust (Diluting Mouthfuls) will take place on Wednesday April 24, 2019 at 6pm. Looking forward to see you there!


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