Intervention #22: Elements

Intervention #22: Elements

The Elements exhibition intervention presented artworks by four contemporary Czech artists. Selected and installed with respect to the specific space of the former metallurgical hall of František Glassworks, the works represent contemporary Czech video art and an experimental material approach to sculpture in the case of Tomáš Roubal.

Nikola Brabcová’s visual essay Water Lily Tea provides a comprehensive as well as extensive formulation of the holistic nature of the relations between various entities drawing their nourishment, strength and material sources from the soil. The video makes a poetic analysis of the growth of plants as an example of soil’s essential importance for all organic and inorganic life. The soil in which they are rooted represents a baseline from which all plants symmetrically develop their “bodies“ – downwards, towards the Earth’s core, and upwards, towards the sky and space. The example of plants is a telling illustration of the necessity of taking care of the environment we live in.

Alena Kotzmannová’s video My Cup of Sea combines recent photos made at the Sázava River and photos capturing navigation on this river on negative glass plates dating back to circa 1907 from the archive of the artist’s great-grandfather, a musician serving on the ships of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Heavy Heaven by Michal Kindernay brings us a message of the end of the world. The video shows our everyday view of the sky interlaced with trails left by airplanes. Despite the fact that the necessity to globally decrease the carbon footprint both in industry and in society is generally acknowledged, new airports are being built without any criticism, along with more terminals and runways. By his video, the artist points out the fact that air transport not only pollutes air and water and causes lead emissions and radiation but also represents a source of noise pollution which impacts all living organisms on the planet.

The monumental sculpture by Tomáš Roubal installed in the immediate proximity of the glass furnace is an example of the current experimental approach to sculpture in its most progressive form. The structure made out of molten steel by a manual process simulating the principle of 3D printing – gradual molting and applying individual layers of the raw material – is complemented with an installation of a protective welding curtain evoking the art studio and the workshop in which it was created.

Each of the exhibited works carries its unique message while also relating to some of the essential natural elements and materials resonating with the atmosphere of the glassworks. To produce this multipurpose material, fire, air, water and sand from the soil are needed; these motifs are also present in the exhibited artworks.