“Mine, Come on, I’ve got it, Mine, I’m on it! 2012 is a multimedia installation, a recording of a group of young people performing a physical activity in an indefinite time and space. In their own characteristic way, they represent an event, a game, a performance, some kind of “break”. Here, positive group energy is the motivation for integrating an individual into society. Absence of collective confrontation and communication can elicit emotions such as insecurity, the loss of self-confidence and of faith in the formation of one’s own opinion not only at a young age, but also across generations. The project is a performance by kindred souls, a ritual dance by young men – 21st Century shamans. Attack, defense, the strengthening of the body and the mind, these are the elements forming the basic line of the overall result.
The project employs holographic technology with transparent foil, enabling a specific perception of audiovisual projection in space.”
Milena Dopitová has been an influential personality on the Czech art scene since the start of the 1990s. Beginning with her first exhibitions with the group Pondělí (1989-1993, with P. Humhal, P. Lysáček, M. Nesázal and P. Písařík), the themes of her artistic practice have been universal and simple; sometimes they are embodied in large-scale installations that strive to maintain a certain abstract detachment, at other times in intimate assemblages thematising the confrontation of the prefabricated and the handmade, the public and the private. Dopitová’s practice often also takes the form of dream-like symbolic performances documented with photographs and video.
Dopitová’s latest project entitled “Mine, Come on, I’ve got it, Mine, I’m on it!” (after the signals exchanged between boys-young men) essentially consists of the bracketing of a commonplace activity not normally perceived as a precedent or ritual. The performance of sporting activity pared down to the bone, to the synchronized movement of bodies, allows both the awkwardness and the grace of the maturing almost-men to emerge. The display of joyful, unbroken solidarity, created and strengthened for the purpose of pursuing a shared goal – victory and gratification – is here in fact an allegory of an ideal, utopian society.
In her technologically and choreographically most radical project to date, Dopitová reveals herself to be an artist with an inner concern for the world and those close to her, striving for hope, a prerequisite of the future. We are all moving – some more quickly than others – towards defining ourselves; it is all the more interesting, then, to observe this process in Dopitová’s laboratory conditions.
By describing the whole project as “a recording of a physical activity”, Dopitová points to the social aspects of every shared activity that integrates us into society and teaches us its rules. Boyhood here represents a transition from joyful movement (a test or a challenge) to a productive movement with fixed motivation. This fragile, fleeting moment between naivety and the routine, between innocence and maturity, is the pivotal motif of this dark drama.
In the catalogue accompanying Dopitova’s major exhibition in the Moravian Gallery held last year, Marek Pokorný makes use of the word “unostentatious”; here we can make the assertion that in fact the artist has no apprehensions about ostentatiousness, she is merely watchful that it does not become a parasite feeding on superfluous pathos and descriptiveness. The artist’s “femininity” – sometimes mentioned with respect to her practice – is of course evident in personally defined themes of love, the family, old age and death, as well as in deliberately selected technical approaches, but it never crosses the thin line between urgency and tenacity; the allusions of feminism in her work are always elegantly emancipated. In fact, the main constant of Dopitová’s artistic practice is the distillation of emotions into forms capable of preserving them credibly, without selling them cheaply.