Selected Czech Sculpture 1995–2005
gallery of the mezzanine, Veletržní Palace
Curator: Karolína Dolanská
They say new language, and they mean new words and sentences; I say new language, and I mean new letters. Anonymous
Sculpture in the traditional sense has in recent decades almost vanished from our awareness. Few sculptures were made, there was no prominent or distinct sculptural style, and it was not entirely clear what sculpture was or what was its subject.
“Selected Czech Sculpture 1995–2005” reflects such questions rather than answering them. Consequently, the exhibition has the character of a sketch. In a certain sense, however, it is a specific selection – all the works are somehow similar, and together they create an atmosphere that takes over the space they share.
It is possible to say that all the present works exist outside of the fashionable trend of the conceptual intellectualism, which came to dominate art of the last ten years, to the effect that the difference between art and language, work of art and idea, began to disappear. Works of art were replaceable by words (entire sentences, paragraphs), and became a virtuous illustration of a game with the language itself, where the concept existed independently of an art work.
The works on display here express the fact that the conceptual language used in art in such manner has been exhausted. That is, it got stuck on the level of mannerist tricks and a skilful manipulation of the already existing means of expression, acquiring thus the flair of a certain decadence.
Each of the sculptures here participates in a search for a new visual language, for new ways of expression. For such language to be fresh, free from stereotypes and ideological and philosophical baggage, it is necessary to look for a new visual alphabet.
As a response to intellectualized phrases, the art works displayed here – in their apparent and unconcealed naiveté – may be understood as the letters of a not yet defined pictorial language. It is not clear whether this alphabet will become the foundation of a new language and a meaningful communication. The search is merely intuitive. The works here declare nothing, make no claim to being avant-garde, and declare no war to nobody. They do not offend nor underestimate the viewer, neither do they tire him or her. On the contrary, the art works invite to meet, quietly, with no words, without a clear concept, and with no undertone of sophistication.