I am an artist working with digital media, installation and sculpture. My native tool is computer because of its ability to translate reality into code, re-code it and make the final output. At a certain point in my career i started to translate what I created on screen into real objects and I switched from the pc keyboard to hand-held tools like angle grinder, circular saw or computer driven cnc tools.
Reality is a fragile entity we cannot rely on. In each of my projects, there is a certain matter of disconnection, inconsistency of reality. In other words the reality contains errors, glitches; the agreement between reality and its perception is broken so there is a gap which can be easily filled with meanings I choose ( violence, memory, manipulation, desire, visibility to name a few). In my work I never give answers what we can rely on. I work as a scanner ( in many cases of bleak urban spaces). As an author I try to be invisible. I present facts, things, environments. In most cases I don´t create anything, I just take what is already done and I re-arrange it to a different context. I recycle things, images, words. I never give any instructions, so the answer is always on the viewer. I work with the surface of the visible world. Where to hide the depth? The best place is on the surface. What is important to me, is to build an artwork like a house with several floors where you can freely move from one level to the other via elevator or gloomy staircaises, up to you.
What I work with are the spaces which we daily move through – their social context and common memory they contain. I moved my interest from the disintegration of large housing estates to the disintegration of the interiors: the office, the waiting room etc. Often I am choosing the spaces which Michel Foucault define as heterotopy or Marcel Auge calls non-spaces. („In any case I believe that the anxiety of our era has to do fundamentally with space, no doubt a great deal more than with time. Time probably appears to us only as one of the various distributive operations that are possible for the elements that are spread out in space,.“ (M. Foucault, Heterotopias in Of Other Spaces)I finished university in 1989, but the beginning of my current work started around the year 2000, when I found for myself a medium that enabled me to realize my visions: the medium of computer-generated moving images. At that time, I deliberately did not use the term „video“, which for me was associated with the classic pioneers of video art of 60’s, concept, performance, Nam June Paik, Vasulka,etc. My interest was in a similar direction as the artists who moved between electronic music, Vjing, advertising and experimental short films which were based on the use of computer graphics software. My interest was much more on the visual, than intellectual impact of moving image, the tight connection between sound and visual was fundamental; any frame you paused the video it had to look good: 25 pictures per minute. The moving image was presented mostly at digital film festivals (which at that time could be counted on the fingers of one hand, such as onedotzero, resfest, bitfilm), in clubs and MTV. Around 2000 there was a dramatic drop in the prices of computers, graphic cards and video cameras, so I was able to create my work from start to finish in the DIY conditions that became defining for my work and which I basically stick to till now. I had no computer skills at that time, I had to learn it from the scratch. Windows 95 and After Effects 4.1 was my interface as far as I can remember, and one chip camera and scanner my tools, but I had clear idea what should be the final result. Hardware and software passed, but my direction was set. The authors whom I compared myself to at that time were artists on the edge of advertising, design, electronic music and free art, visual storytellers: Chris Cunningham, (his video clip could have be seen both at the Venice Biennale and on MTV, Johnny Hardstaff, Alex Rutterford, Quayola, Jake Knight etc. And of course artists established in the gallery spaces, such as Bill Viola /time shift/ , Steve McQueen /physical effect of the moving image/, Isaac Julien /use of multi-channel video/, Mark Wallinger… And these videos projected on large-screen projections in the galleries determined my next direction. I did my first video exhibition Heterotopia in 2002. It was a two-channel video processed from two VHS players, which was followed by another – also two-channel – video Shopping (2003), shot in Tesco supermarket in the middle of the night on two synchronized cameras. The next video was a certain milestone in my early work, because it was selected for the prestigious Onedotzero moving image festival(ICA London,2004), and subsequently it won 1st prize at the Bitfilm in Hamburg, 2nd prize Animago Stuttgart. At that time, I was deciding whether to go towards the world of commercial video, or towards independent work presented purely in a gallery environment. The decision was swift: gallery is definitely the space to present my work.
I turned my attention to large and unsuccessful architectural projects and after a short hesitation between Bijlmer in Amsterodam and the Bucharest real estate Rahova, I chose Bucharest. Video Rahova /2008 – 2012/ is based on the records taken in Rahova housing estate. It was chosen as the place at the end of utopia. Not just the failure of certain way of urbanistic thinking, but the failure of reality itself, the non-place, the limbo. It meets all the features of Baudrillards definition of simulacra: fake, mass production and simulation. The precast 70’s architecture – figting with its own decay – is facing the digital desintagration. Camera slowly flows through the the blocks of houses, the place is empty, just the surface of the concrete housing machine turned into a the fragile dreamy dystopia. The making of it occupied me for almost 5 years, because I worked as a one-man production and I had to learn completely new tool for me, 3D animation.
After that I turned my interest from urbanism „on a large scale“ to interiors, and I shot another work in the film set that I built in my studio. The Sleepless video (2015) was since the beginning meant as a 3 channel video with sound tightly corresponding with the picture. For the first time the exhibition was divided in two indepent parts: the video and the installation in separate rooms. The installation was made out of furniture used in video. The exhibition was well received, but anyway, my production, thanks to the style of work I chose, was rather pathetic in terms of quantity: three projects (exhibitions) in 10 years.
In the following years, I felt that the complicated work with image manipulation was exhausted for me and I moved towards simple visuals, based on working with recording media, camera and microphone /video Blind Spot, 2016, shot in office in former STASI prison in Berlin/ and creating installations. I think turning point was the site specific installation Miss You /Luxfer gallery, 2018/: instead of showing a video I modified the gallery space and worked with the movement of the visitor, the transparency, „stopped time“, permeability and memory. One of the essential componets in this installation is a projectile shot through the several glass walls. Since there is a straight line of works leading to the installation Limbo Hardware (2023) which was representing Czech Republic in Prague Quadriennale and was awarded the prize for the best concept and the prize for sustainability.
Currently the main focus of my work are installations, but i can move freely across the media, choosing what fits my idea the best.
I turned myself from the artist standing little bit off-road into – despite my age – an “emerging artist”. As the Sleaford Mods frontman Jason Wililamson says: “ I am doing the same what people 25 years younger do.”