While reading this blog, try to listen to this.
Modernism, Postmodernism, Contemporary art. Kazimir Malevich, Ad Reinhardt, Daniel Vlček. What do these artists have in common? This question can be answered by the Prague’s Školská 28 Gallery, which offers us an exhibition Speed Index.
Reinhardt and Malevich discovered a beauty of blackness that can be depicted by art, and today’s society adds to this idea new sphere with the use of different types of technology. However, the blackness is not the only thing represented by the art of Daniel Vlček. This painter and musician has also invited other artists like Jakub Krejčí, Jiří Rouš, Lucia Udvardyová, and David Vrbík, with whom he brings our minds into the atmosphere, which is not dark at all.
We know it is not only about the aesthetic side, because at the first glance we can see, that this kind of art is not traditional at all. Modernism and Postmodernism brought a completely new approach to art, so the question “Where did the critical tradition of art go,“ may be applied not only to today’s society, but also to previous periods. It is important to mention that it “went into finance, it got privatized [and] democratized.” (Aranda et. al. qtd. in Moreno) However, it also means that this economic problem is not something new and we should look at the history to be closer to its understanding. We can therefore look at the art from the past and find out if we can use it for expressing our thoughts through the current society’s art.
The gallery Školská 28 which is, among other things, communication and multifunctional space, is now enriched by the art of different forms. Music, painting or light works “communicate” with one another to express various approaches to the space as such. Of course, the idea of these works is the most important aspect, but the selection of materials plays a big role too. The works are made of recycled products used for manufacture of tires.
This use of materials may evoke different feelings. The first thing that we associate with it is ecology and environmental protection. However, what else can we find here? As the title suggests, we deal with the speed and its hidden importance. The curator Karina Kottová mentions the term Fordism, which is explained through the description of German company producing tires. It leads us to the concept of acceleration like the main point of Speed Index.
The organizers of this project begin this exhibition with a look at the work by Jakub Krejčí, which has undergone a complex process. Krejčí tried to read certain materials’ surface, which he then burned and at the end he created 3D scans with the data changed into the sounds. And it is a nice way to start the exhibition with the work, whose one part comes from above, and the second one lies on the ground.
Another artist, who contributes to the significance of this project, is David Vrbík, who offers us a very unusual work, which complements Vlček’s black object. There is a laser beam in a form of musical instrument which is scanning this large work consisting of “black waves.” This scan then helps to determine the tones for sound synthesizer Yamaha DX7. This work leads us to the realization that we may find beauty in technical progress.
There is also another work, which develops the ideas of Daniel Vlček. He created his work which contains tire tracks on white paper. A wall with this work is scanned by the machine created by Jiří Rouš and the data are transferred into the synthesizer. This work brings us into the new galaxy, in which we can rest in the soothing play of different senses used in art.
These works make us think about the acceleration like a very important aspect of our lives. At first we are looking for the answer to the question if we really need to be faster in everything we do. If we associate it with an industrial production, we can perhaps considere it as a result of our lack of skills or the fact that “all of us want to work less.” (Williams, Srnicek) It is therefore becoming a philosophical or even psychological view on our desires. However, we have to realize that “acceleration […] has always had a robust aesthetic side.” (Moreno) Daniel Vlček and his guests introduce the acceleration not only as a clear message of contemporary art, but they also connect as many kinds of art as possible, to portray the idea of making a huge amount of products in a very short time.
Maybe, it takes more time to find a meaning of aesthetics in these works, but with the perception of sounds and visualization, this project allows us to enjoy the process of making art, which seems to be timeless. This exhibition was accompanied by Daniel Vlček himself and his special view on art showed us a light in the darkness.
And how fast are you?