Radim Labuda & Andras Csefalvay at Vaclav Spala Gallery, Prague
Radim Labuda: Case study
Case study - Radim Labuda – Laureate of Jindrich Chalupecky Award 2008, CZ
Curator: Jiri Ptacek
A year ago Radim Labuda became laureate of Jindrich Chalupecky Award, so he bought a car. The exhibition entitled Case Study is a momentary climax of his long-term project in which a used Rover 75 is an excuse for staging situations and examining their context.
In Britain it was called 'a poor man's Jaguar'. In Czech context Rover is an oddly ambivalent object, somewhat familiar, yet alien. Its design shapes do not clearly identify it, they only project a fetishist longing. Its British manufacturer went bankrupt and its intellectual property was – part by part – transferred to the hands of one Indian and two Chinese companies. Once a flagship of industrial capitalist production becames its own specter opening a roof to folclorization in alternative economic networks.
Radim Labuda had chosen a rather common way of importing the car (he drove the car from England and offered it for spare parts). Then he examined the nature and depth of people's relationship to the 'object', the area of individual fascination and mental identification with the 'object' and the nodal points of collective identity, today more special than ever, because after the car maker had become bankrupt, they became past relationships – nostalgic and sub-cultural. Labuda stages a performance in which a banal disassembly is elevated to reflected deconstruction. The car is a stage on which actors give an obscure performance about consumer fetish, European identity fading away and about looking for spare psycho-social parts and survival alternatives.
In search of north - Andras Csefalvay – Laureate of Oskar Cepan Award 2009, SK
Curator: Lucia Gavulova
Andras Csefalvay (1986) is the winner of 2009 Oskar Cepan Prize. Appointing him the laureate, the expert committee acknowledged his consistent, almost Renaissance, approach to his work as well as the ways of presentation that – despite the 'serious' nature of the selected final form – bring together irony, intelligent humour and unpretentious intellectuality. The artist mostly creates videos, but his works also include paintings, drawings, installations, texts and photographs. The author's reflection is mostly centred on himself as the creator of a work of art and an individual full of doubts at the same time.
In Csefalvay's video projections, the artist is often featured in a role of an opera hero, for example, one of the typical examples of gesamtkunstwerk. The form of a complex work of art is what best meets the needs of Csefalvay. He questions the meaning of artist's efforts, the meaning of artist's presentation, whereas, he often confronts himself with the feelings of disbelief or frustration, these are complemented by the typical 'Csefalvay' irony by which he comments on the phenomenon of art and on himself. At the second distance, the author's irony often hides criticism and poses questions that the author leaves unanswered for the time being as 'rhetorical' ones, he leaves it to the viewers to look for the answers, if they want to. Besides casting himself in the roles of different heroes who take turns in his videos, he is also the organizer and the one who stimulates things in the background, a narcissist hero changing the roles of a composer, playwright, actor (acting artist). The artist, Csefalvay, plays all these roles himself in his projects: writes the music, sings, acts, is the director.