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22 Oct 2010

Evzen Simera: Zero Gravity paintings at Kressling Gallery, Bratislava

@ Evzen Simera

Evzen Simera: Zero Gravity paintings
Kressling Gallery


04. 10. 2010 - 11. 11. 2010 Monday – Friday 14.00 – 18.00

Viktor Freso

Kressling Gallery
Zamocnicka 8
Bratislava 81103

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Zero Gravity paintings at Kressling Gallery, Bratislava

Evzen Simera comments about his project:

'In my approach to painting, I try to manipulate factors that influence the final visual form of the work. In this case, I try to suppress the earth's gravity, which is otherwise fundamental to my earlier approaches to the medium of painting (New Dripping). Here chance is maximised and artistic expression minimised. I present canvases that might seem familiar to viewers, but their physical form is deceptive. The key to figuring them out is the video that is part of the project.'

Evzen Simeras art is typical in that we can not stop thinking about applied design in his case. That is the matrix of his games: to make gallery exhibits that do not exhaust themselves inside traditional definition of free art.

Here are some examples:
For his diploma thesis at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (AVU), he presented five square frames – hanging paintings - objects covered with dichromatic decor - dense even drawings made from flowing thin streaks on a monochrome base. Through space installation, which was deliberately tributary to minimalistic thinking, he created maximum formalistic shape. Fractional colours of frames and streaking shifted this minimalistic excercise one level 'away' - metaphorically said 'somewhere into a shirt or furtnire shop.'

On the vernisage of the actual exhibition in Eskort in Brno, he told the visitors to cut up cloth according to sketched designs and subsequently sew clothes from it. And this materialized. The leftovers of the fabric were left hanging on blindframes and for the duration of the exhibition could create an impression of a highly non-descript aesthetic intention.

Also the project for the Umělec magazine instigated him to action. The readers were able to tear out of a magazine that had grey printing on it and crease it into an authentic, obviously paper, golf ball according to instructions.
The clothes and the ball were meant to be designer products for which Simera created a logo from six colourful dots.
For other purposes, he created four grey cubic objects. They would be guaranteed to stand out in the discourse of free art, although this would not, however, satisfy Simera. He moved them to a skateboard zone in Letná and rendered them as unusual barriers. He then exhibited the scratched and dirty objects, together with the videorecording of their use.

If the word 'usage' does not sound appropriate, let us say, that Simera is interested in utilising things and artistic works. The area of design is de facto related to utilisation and wearing-out much more, than art created for galeries.1 Simera_s works should finish in galeries of contemporary art. In spite of that (and exactly because) they invariably should allude to an experience reaching beyond them - to an experience that from one respect is close, and where aesthetic features of objects likewise play a role, but in respect to function and traditional context of both fields, is distant.

It is not only about this tension. I believe that Simeras games with function, expedience or usage have deeper reason and if „reason' is a strong word, then at least propensity. It is a propensity to polemics with fetish, with the dimension of the strong, almost religious relationship to capitalistic objects of symbolic exchange, where design belongs, same as art with its production systems, business aspects and constitution and preservation of values. With each of his works, Šimera seeks out the relation, where he disputes with the deification (cult) of artistic works, design, commodity, brands… Sometimes through ironic affirmation of the fetish, other times through the act of its negation.

You would have to know Evzen Simera, to realise that he is fascinated by the world of commodity fetishes. If we approach his deconstruction, then it is a self-denial to certain extent, coerced by the awareness that as an artist, he cannot completely submit, and he has a duty of a certain distance. Pleasure and disgust merge in his artistic persona.

It was him, who during one discussion mentioned the oft-spoken sentence, which he recollected during preparations for the re-photographing of Markéta Otthová_s black-and-white photographs into 'colour'. 'How would it look like, if Markéta took colour photos?', allegedly people asked, presumably themselves, although loudly, and I remembered hearing them several times, too.

Regardless of whether we consider this question naive, it reflects the irrationality of desire and power, that her photographs possesss over some people. Šimera brings polemics into the relationship to the photographs - which opened a new perspective into utilisation of the photographic medium and became objects of untouchable value in the Czech culture - in the most primitive way with the presence of aura, its perseverance and possible sublimation.
Simera certainly did not want to fulfil anyones wishes, when he 'coloured' Othovás photographs. Same as in his other works, he discovered (in my opinion rather intuitively and not with a rational intention) a jag with which he taunts into the fetishization of artistic works, history of art, commodity and culture.

(text by Jiri Ptacek)