Reports

The exhibition DARKER THAN BLACK at SODA Gallery presents a selection of nine authors and one artistic collective, in whose work black appears more or less regularly. The selected artworks also reflect various ways and strategies how artists use and perceive the black colour in contemporary art practice.Black as a significant linear track carrying an expressive element is the basis of works by the Czech artistic collective Jiří Franta and David Böhm. Their art practice focused on drawing reflects a highly specific perception of this medium. In their perception drawing often emancipates from two-dimensional pictorial space, mingles with other media, becomes a performance or an ephemeral and transitory installation. On the other hand, in a series of large-format drawings entitled Artwork, a Slovak artist Martin Špirec handles this medium as painting and achieves inconceivable spatial tone of picture compositions.Artists like Josef Bolf /CZ/, András Cséfalvay, Lucia Dovičáková, Boris Sirka, Jan Vytiska are inspired by the traditional iconography and symbolism associated with this colour, but they combine it with other subjects such as folklorism, occultism, superstitions, subtle demonization of female perception of the world and the role of women, thematization of fear and anxiety bringing to the fore new narratives and a new repertoire of themes with a strong existential and emotional colouring. Many of these artists use comics stylization entangled with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, a certain vulnerability and nostalgia. Their works are full of melancholy, but on the other hand they reflect a neurotic vision of today’s world. Thus many of these authors, though not consciously, become the chroniclers, who record the characteristic atmosphere of today’s world. Jaroslav Kyša is represented in the exhibition by a video documentation of a performance in public space entitled In Oil We Trust. In the video a dense black liquid “springs out” from the artist`s mouth symbolizing fear, congestion and impact of omnipresent commercialization on our lives as well as the importance of oil and raw materials and consequences of their un/availability on the life of an individual. In the case of an installation of Pavla Sceranková and an object of Lucia Tallová the black colour becomes a means of expression in the formal way. The artists accentuate its expressivness, power of associations and emotional strength.

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