Intervention #15: Tomáš Kajánek
In his work, Tomáš Kajánek addresses the issue of (virtual) manipulation of the human body and its relation to objects, tools and situations testing its limits. The current form of corporeality and its extreme positions are closely linked to the system setting of late capitalism. They are co-determined by the time of liquid virtual worlds and media post-truth where “solid“ values such as authorship, morals and responsibility vanish and blur into entities that are hard to grasp. Who is the author if an artist “borrows” a video freely distributed on YouTube, which itself draws on other sources whose authors cannot be traced at all? Who is responsible for the death that became an unexpected result of a dangerous call for massive collection of clicks and likes? Who can address other people, often disadvantaged ones, for the purpose of creating online content, and with what mandate? Last but not least, how to approach the “DIY entertainment industry” based on similarly uncontrollable principles? Who consumes its products, and how do the consumers co-create the reality of the products as well as their own? Tomáš Kajánek’s exhibition at Liberec Regional Library is presented as part of the Interventions realized in collaboration with Jindřich Chalupecký Society. The project loosely continues Kajánek’s work created for last year’s edition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award; a duo of “automatic YouTube clicks” where the artist introduced a disturbing diptych of live streamed videos addressing anxiety, death and the spectacularization of reality.
Tomáš Kajánek studies at the Studio without a Master. In 2016, he attended the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria and participated in residency programs in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Antwerp, Belgium. Kajánek works primarily in the media of photography, video and performance. In his work, he enters the gaps he finds on the edges of social phenomena. In his actions, he accentuates particular issues of contemporary society – for instance the relation of the majority society to minorities and the usefulness and risks of publicly accessible new technologies. His frequent inspiration sources include YouTube and other platforms for creative content sharing. His performances often include an element of exposing his own body to a difficult physical act or even physical endangerment. He also thematizes the medium of performance as such and addresses the question of human and artistic involvement. In 2018, he was a finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award.