Intervention #13: Richard Loskot – Subjective Encyclopedia
Richard Loskot graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the Technical University of Liberec (Studio of Visual Communication). For two years, he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich (Studio of Magdalena Jetelová). The work of Richard Loskot is based on processuality and creating situations and environments addressing human perception. He employs sophisticated tools and modern technologies which may ultimately seem like an elaborate magic trick to the viewers. Richard regularly exhibits his work at solo exhibitions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (National Gallery Prague, Brno House of Arts and Prague City Gallery among others) as well as at collective exhibitions locally and internationally (Biennale Giovani Monza, Rotor Gallery in Graz and Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo). In 2013, he was among the finalists of Blumm Prize in Brussels. In 2007, he won the Exit competition (Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem) and was a finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2012, 2014 and 2017.
The Subjective Encyclopedia project is based on the long-term work on the authorial book Ideas of an Environment currently prepared by Studio UAII and its founder Richard Loskot. The publication will include 100 terms and illustrations defining the environment in the broad sense of the word. These include architectonic terms such as scale, symmetry and light as well as term seemingly unrelated to the perception of the environment such as feelings, memory and time. For an environment is not only a set of tangible elements and physical rules; it can also be seen as a complex system of human consciousness and values.
The term of an environment can be defined as a set of signs related to a certain center. However, what is this center: a human, an individual? What is their essence: the body or the soul, consciousness, or even information? We all more or less perceive the space in which we find ourselves. We keep moving the furniture in our apartments, we leave for the forest to clear our head when there is too much workload and other pressures, we leaf through travelogs in February to be carried away to the warm countries. The environment is forming us at all times, creating a constant tension which can be straightforwardly positive as well as furtively and piercingly unpleasant. These feelings are a result of many aspects and it is not always clear which are internal and external to us. For that matter, from Buddhism to Matrix, there is an indication that the world we see around us may not be telling of a general reality but rather be a reflection of our mental processes. The deliberation goes on. Can we determine where the space of our body ends and where the environment begins? Can we see the phone we keep close to our body almost 24 hours a day as a prolonged limb? How to define the meaning of the words closed and open, internal and external, how to imagine infinity and what does it mean to know?
Richard Loskot and Studio UAII (Rozárka Jirásková, Vítězslav Plavec) ask these questions and many others related to the physical and mental environments that surround and include us. They create a set of terms defined by carefully chosen words, each formulated in a neat paragraph. Thus they gradually compose an extensive encyclopedia going from one word to another. Within the exhibition, they let us look under the lid and join the creative process. We appear in a study room perhaps only just abandoned by its owner. We find a desk with models, sketches and a mental map of texts, images and ideas. Entering the process may be as puzzling as the formulations in the text saying that feeling is a place, the world is consciousness, ecology is behavior and structure is a moment. They make us stuck for a moment and only let us read on a while later. However, they are a relevant part of a subjective description, confirming a personal and clear look into the essence of things.
Beyond every definition, we sense a number of influences, whether philosophical or mathematical ones. At the same time, they are a result of a personal experience of spaces and an attentive observation of the world around us.