curated by Edith Jeřábková
interpretation of M. John’s sculpture: Luděk Rathouský
photographs: Hana Hamplová, Jiří Popelka, Jan Ságl
opening Monday September 20 at 7pm
21. 9. – 17. 10. 2010
The exhibition of Jiří Kovanda, Martin John and Vladimír Skrepl took place in 1988 in Malá výstavní síň (Small Gallery) OKS in Liberec. Exhibitions of unofficial artists in regional cultural centres, such as this one in Liberec, were one of the few possible forms of uncensored presentation during that time. Their existence depended entirely on independent activities of individuals – curators and gallerists – who used to manage those few galleries back then. One year earlier they all exhibited together in the Cultural Centre in Opatov thanks to the initiative of Jaroslava Krbůšek. As Jiří Kovanda and Vladimír Skrepl recall both of these events were very intense which was also documented by Hana Hamplová‘s exhibited photographs from the Opatov vernissage. A catalogue was published for the exhibition in Liberec; Jana and Jiří Ševčík were the authors of the texts.
The reasons for the origins of this exhibition are simple; it is not some great curator’s speculation. The documentation materials of the paintings from this exhibition evoked some sort of curiosity in me as well as the need to “see it” with my own eyes. However, certain feelings of reverence disappeared during the process of the origin and together with others we decided to recall this event through an un-rigorous reconstruction. I am of the opinion that at least one level of the exhibition – its form – has the potential to exist on its own even in the present. Of course most of the motivations, contents and meanings have shifted, therefore the final presentation should be some sort of a stretch between current form and historical substance. The fact that the emerging gallery SVIT, which focuses on contemporary Czech and international art and curators’ approaches, has commenced its existence by communicating with the past may evoke some tension. It is not a coincidence. An important component of this “experiment” is the recollection of the work and character of the untimely deceased artist, Martin John, who was part of that progressive generation and whose work has been practically forgotten. Since his last presentation passed twenty years. This is unfortunate because the 1980s are still in sight. The emphasis of the exhibition will not be put on the past, nor on the retro form, nor on documentary integrity, it will be placed somewhere outside of that where these lines could potentially intersect.
Special thanks to Karel Babíček, Pavel Brunclík, Hana Hamplová, Ludvík Hlaváček, Jana a Jiří Ševčíkovi, Martin Polák, Adriena Šimotová, Jindřich Tutsch, Tiskárna Libertas, a.s.