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Training ship

5. 4. 2013 - 5. 5. 2013

The exhibition will present brand new paintings from one of the most prominent character of Czech contemporary scene of visual art Michal Pechoucek (Jindrich Chalupecky Award, 2003) that was created specially for this exhibition. Michal's new paintings are inspired by sailing ships, sails and a sea-line. Alongside with Michal Pechoucek the exhibition will also present installation of Martina Hola - this year's graduate from Studio Intermedia II. at Prague's Academy of Fine Arts.

The photos of ILE DE SEIN I, introducing the entire School Ship exhibition, basically define the basic principles and rules of the game, forming the axis of the entire installation. Pěchouček's cycle ILE DE SEIN I, which was created on the coast of the Brittany island of the same name over the course of just ten minutes by regularly photographing the southern horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, captures a minimal transformation of the same view. On the resulting strips of contact photographs from motion pictures, hidden under a three-millimeter passepartout, the ocean horizon can be seen as a diagonal or as an element that often falls beyond the very edge of the visible. Shooting was done deliberately without the use of a tripod. These photographs represent three more principles that pervade the line of the exhibition - color, diagonal and the most important aspect of concealment.

The School Ship exhibition is spatially divided into two parts, the entire lower space is dominated by a spatial installation with a video by Martina Holé. The animation of the paper model thematizes all the above principles. The color monochrome video Waves depicts a diagonally moving sea wave through a fixed, unchanging landscape relief. The wave repeats cyclically and closes the time circle. However, the movement is visible only in a partial, elliptical section, defined by the incident light. Motionless, static and flat is permeated with inner movement.

The inner movement, like the real drama of painting, escalates in the upper space of the gallery, where Michal Pěchouček presents his current paintings. Pěchouček creates individual surfaces and relief structures on the paintings by successively applying many layers of basic spectral colors, overlaying, stitching the canvas with threads or using the proven technique of textile assemblage. The resulting relief paintings depict sailboat motifs, with an emphasis on details in the form of diagonally geometric outlines of sails, masts and rigging (the so-called rigging). However, the motif needs to be given a certain symbolic touch. The omnipresent circle or ellipse - as a solution - gives the motifs the character of a certain spiritual symbol and thus emphasizes the symbolic nature of the images. The ellipse also becomes a symbol of the framing itself, i.e. something that decides the hiddenness and the revealing, the "here and now" inside and outside the picture.

The joint project of Michal Pěchouček and Martina Holé thematically touches on internal dynamic movement, which takes on a rather recursive, cyclical character as constant visibility and concealment. The hidden thus motivates us to let go of the mere sensuality of surface aesthetic perception and invites us to the path of thought, the intellectual work that lies beneath the surface. Ancient philosophy calls this journey the "second voyage", i.e. sailing the seas when the wind has stopped blowing and it is necessary to "paddle".

text: Pavel Kubesa 

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