Richard Nikl, Adam Vít

24. 7. – 15. 9. 2024
opening: 23. 7. 2024 from 6 pm

curator: Marek Meduna
collaboration: Zuzana Blochová
graphics: Jan Šerých

Once upon a time, in an exhausted era in which nothing could apparently happen. Every exhibition is a small battle in the heat of the culture war. Individual skirmishes both consolidate and undermine constellations of opinions. Their rhythm and harmony is the heartbeat of a warring community. The culture war is both portend and sublimation. It is easy to escape its roar. Opinions can be circumvented. The edges are rounded for user comfort. Excesses seep into online news bulletins, where they are quickly digested by the machinery of individualised feeds. Shapes are blurred, masses and colours are re-interpreted. The gaze penetrates even where it is not invited. Individually invented expressions (řasokoule, zooludie, ableism, mallogic, post-irony, wokerarti, herderizza) with indistinct meanings may be a symptom of our prolonged immaturity, dangerous exuberance or cultural schizophrenia.

In the polyrhythm of rhymes and consonants, more than one cultural heritage with its tendency to moralise has been dumped, like a lump at the foot of the simply boiled flavours of sauces and the thick stock of soups. Several warnings hang on the fence of the wild apple trees. Their compliance warns that the murky rivers of culture move towards dissolving in the sensation of an ocean. The brackish water slowly evaporates, leaving the cargo collected on its way down the continent and like a raincloud heads for revival in a clear mountain spring. It is not for nothing that the word Mohan (Main) is derived from the Indo-European mei or water and the word Alps from the Latin albus (white) or altus (high). The hedonistic response of contemporary art is articulated both in cycles and fractures.

Once upon a time, the cinema Bio Oko had a programme for children called Little Eyes. Each film begins with a look into the projection booth with an introduction by the projectionist. Children are shown the limits of illusion, fiction, its technological contingency. The distancing effect is intended to break their incipient alienation, fiction is to be sacrificed on the altar of authentic life. The sacrifice is decorated in the same way that a Christmas tree is festively adorned after it has been slaughtered and sacrificed to the winter solstice.  Sacrifices must be offered. The death of art is a sacrifice for a better life for a growing array of artists. Just as patriarchy must be exorcised, so too must old art forms be ritually discarded on the compost heap of history. Legal frameworks and repositories slow down the process of decomposition, but the heat rises nonetheless. The protagonists of the art world are waiting in the antechamber of immature and simultaneously collapsing memory institutions. Meanwhile, pruning or trimming back is practiced in the surgery.

Beyond the mountains and fords, Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno once said that to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. Milan Uhde interpreted his words to mean that the verses of those who invoke hope but pass over shadow no longer stand the test of time. However, poetry continues to thrive on Instagram, in rap bars, even in advertising claymations, despite the large-scale farms of pigs and chickens, despite the existence of the fictional fence of the Jurassic Park. In the adjacent visitor centre, we flushed a genetically modified triceratops turd down the porcelain toilet. The crap disappeared down the drain. But then a sizeable chunk of it returned to the clean water of the siphon, just as the draught of plain painting returns to our handsome prison of the imagination.


Adam Vít

It was raining. The wind and rain leant into the window panes. The beef broth had been simmering away on the stove in his kitchens for two hours. Clouds were piling high over the mountains. He got a call from Czechia that they had already stowed his painting in turmeric. He liked its dusty surface, so different than the shine of an iPhone, more appealing than the distracted attention-seeking Instagram. He went out into the garden. He walked around it. For some unknown reason, its layout pleased him. The seeds of weeds that he had brought back from Socotra were already sprouting from the soil of the casually laid out beds. Meanwhile, the paintings upstairs were slowly drying out. The smell of turpentine mixed with the broth and the odour of spices. His notes said to grate the soil all afternoon and then cover it with a wet rag. He proceeded step by step. He stepped back, his gaze penetrating or lingering on the mass itself, invasively and sparingly. He wondered where Polke would be without Picabia’s gravel, the excavated foundations covered with a layer of randomly found moulds. He did not take good care of his tools. The suffocating qualities of care were not to his liking. He tried to bend his tongue, which was saturated with tailored advertising, to touch the tip of his forehead, his frontal lobe. The rice soaked up the oil and gradually softened in the strong aromatic broth. The sky brightened up and the shadows lengthened. In the early evening chill, they set forth together to the sea, down the serpentine paths to a small pebbly beach. The water was cold. The sea horizon was strangely empty, an indigo blue square with no container shipping lines. Geometry was an idea to him, not drawing. Laughter. Running. Goose bumps. The inevitable is what cannot be avoided. After every delay comes a sequel. He didn’t care about development or progress, the moments clustered in time like clouds over the horizon in any case.


Richard Nikl

It was already Monday morning. He was lying on the carpet with the children. His long hair tickled the back of his neck. The two little kids were jumping around him and throwing plastic toys at each other. Only yesterday he had been soaring in a slender aeroplane fuselage high above the Atlantic Ocean. High above the clouds, between one and the other. His mobile telephone was switched to aeroplane mode. You said it. No, I didn’t. I didn’t do it. You did. I saw you. You didn’t. It was. It wasn’t. The children’s voices were becoming more and more tearful. The imagination of the modernists was shattered by the supple and light shapes of stylised animals. The hardened polyurethane felt good to the touch, the wind tunnel of the world rounded out shapes and reconciled the inanimate with the organic. An endless column rose just above the treetops of Târgu Jiu. Every time he imagined bending his head closer to the ground, the column rose higher. The children climbed up the wall of the fictional garden where they watched a fairytale on the iPad.  Discord turned everything in Ponnyville on its head. Confusion reigned in the cultivated symmetry. The first notes of George R. R. Martin’s A Dream of Spring drifted from the clock. The soulful melody mingled with the soft shapes of melting Emmental cheese that kept re-entering his thoughts. The ponies, through their shared friendship, overcame the contagion of asymmetry. In spite of malicious promptings, they and their children had dismounted, their knees scraped, on the other side, where a tangle of cause and effect, a shadowy dome of useful and weedy trees, near and far, opened behind an iron gate. The rustle in the undergrowth was a puzzle to them, as is the art of Ithaca, a green eternity without all miracles. A cry and spittle trickling from the corner of his mouth snapped him out of his reverie.

(transl.: Phil Jones)

The program of the Cursor Gallery is possible through kind support of Ministry of Culture of the Czech RepublicPrague City CouncilState Fund of Culture of the Czech RepublicCity District Prague 7
GESTOR – The Union for the Protection of Authorship
Media partners: and ArtRevue

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