The introductory exhibition for the Projektor web gallery, In-Memory-I-Am, looks at the subject of memory as the process of storing information. The function of memory is often insufficient and the preserved information inaccurate. Any attempt at reconstructing the past will always produce new interpretations. Recalling stories by re-enacting them creates a narrative enriched by an additional layer of time.
Combined with the distance of time, this layering is continually removing us from the facts themselves, but at the same time it offers unlimited room for reinterpreting past events and thus the possibility for a more thorough understanding. One result may be a more vital connection between past and present.
The curated selection of works presents artists born between 1972 and 1986 who all share the need to reflect on their early life in the former Czechoslovakia. Each of these artists has had a longstanding interest in the phenomenon of personal or collective memory, the traces it has left behind, and remembering and forgetting; and they have recorded their artistic ruminations on film or digital video. Ján Mančuška presents a seemingly unbiased description of an event, but the confusing, complicatedly constructed context of his testimony completely marginalizes the weight of reality itself. Zbyněk Baladrán touches on the mysteries of art as the materialization of reality (history) from the chaos of an infinite number of potentialities. Mark Ther sketches an impressive historical fresco of relationships. Adéla Babanová stages a documentary tale of human immortality. Pavla Sceranková and Petr Nikl compile a mosaic of memories from a family archive. The youngest artist, added subsequently to the exhibition, is Jiří Žák, who explores the subject of manipulating the records or images of the past and present created by our memory.
In Night of the World, Baladrán engages in an analysis of an additional aspect of human consciousness – the exciting and somewhat mystical moment of genesis of a creative act within the human mind. In this two-minute video contemplation, Baladrán explains why his videos always start and end with several seconds of darkness.
The work of Ján Mančuška combines elements of film, theater, and performance art. It is an attempt at rediscovering a pure form of art without genres and at finding a way of understanding, all of which postmodernism has lost. The medium for presenting this new experience is the phenomenon of body language.
The Villa? presents a spectacular but this time exceptionally impressive and intimate sketch with a strong sexual and existential subtext. In terms of subject matter, The Villa? reflects some of Ther’s earlier work exploring questions of gender (a dominant theme for Ther) and an equally frequent subject in his work: the interwar and postwar period in the Sudetenland, which forms the aesthetic and semantic backdrop for many of his films.
In her documentary about the non-aging actress Eva Weber, Babanová touches on questions of time and its denial, and shows the timeless human desire for immortality, eternal beauty, and youth...
In Jiří Žák's early work, Second Person Singular (2015), he works with fiction only in part – he explores the possibility of presenting a real image as well as the reasons not to take advantage of this possibility: “After all, no medium is a neutral channel for transmitting information.