Reports

“sjezd”, 1. a gathering of people who have come together for a common purpose; (political, organizational) the supreme body making decisions concerning the crucial issues and leadership of the organization: 2. downhill ride; descent 3. a road or a path on which one descends;
The Czech language offers more meanings than English and therefore the title of the exhibition was not translated at all. To the strangely sounding word under which we can imagine practically anything in accordance with the definition above Martin Kohout has added a slightly melancholic subtitle “video memory of summer”. The video presented to us by the author has a summer break feel: summer, water, beaches, resort, holiday, unknown place somewhere in the Mediterranean, perhaps – in the speeded up sequence we try to catch something that would be at least faintly familiar to us, because we all know this mood. But it is not so easy, because the image is distorted by the frantic motion of the camera that slides on the surface of everything that comes its way. It slides over the railing, rattles on the asphalt, glides over the wire fence, stumbles over the banister, ploughs through the bushes, clatters across the chain, leaps above the stairway, boats on the sea, walls, fences, and the beach… all of which is accompanied by the harsh sounds that are caused by all that jumping, rattling, ploughing, clattering, sliding, gliding and leaping… In this way, the visual experience becomes physical. The rhythm of the noise is related to the objects on which the camera grinds, a new composition of noise originates where sonic aggression, distortion and noise together form an infinite, space-time gateway. The arrhythmia without continuity or concept is filled with tracks of absurd reggae remakes and a modified voice which recites, rather incomprehensively, something about global warming. At one point a shadow flashes by, which clearly elucidates the principle of the shooting: a silhouette of a figure with a mobile phone, the ever present device with which we capture our everyday reality. How do these disparate elements actually come together? What does unite them in this somewhat banally named video? The banality is underlined by cinematic language characteristic of skateboarding videos. The simplicity of the individual video channels is subverted by the expressiveness of the whole – perception is interconnected with the necessary extreme loudness (which is, besides, typical for noise recordings) and also with an apparent moment of chance. Martin Kohout constructs in a precise fashion. He works with sounds as if with words, edits intently, the structure is planned and carefully prepared. He disrupts it purposefully with a few spams of digital figures that shoot by the video sequence, unobserved. A touch of irony, few contradictions, some references to contemporary themes, all form a very successful, aggressive, and poignant “sjezd” which gets right under your skin.

Markéta Vinglerová

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