Floating Stones

The protagonists of Sikora’s similes are trivial animals, plants and mundane elements of material world in their simple state of being. He takes interest in marginal and repressed social phenomena and thinks about them visually. His are not nihilist, but rather affirmative reflections, and this is how he spontaneously verbalizes them: He describes an illegal dumping ground as “a lake full of elegant stones,” where he looks freely for a new assessment of local ready-made – construction waste of Ytong. He considers his focus to be perspective, since “there are certainly other places in the world, as well, that have been polluted remarkably.” (For the complete text please see Chapter 2: New Poetics of Puddle on a Sunny Meadow)

Mira Keratová

01 Floating Stones

02 New Poetics of Puddle on a Sunny Meadow

New Poetics of Puddle on a Sunny Meadow

Erik Sikora uses in his work uncomplicated, non-prefabricated, but also suspiciously marketed or widely adopted DIY methods. In the spirit of the contemporary music video culture he prefers, above anything else, working with video, often composed with epic sound poetry. His videos are records of live performances on the threshold of nonsense and poetic symbolism. He is interested in banality and its imaginative potential; shortly, an unbridled concept of life. His tool of research is creativity as a spontaneous situational activity that frees imagination of its inveterate habits and rules, allows an authentic being, and, potentially, can fire off the famous social bomb. From the perspective of contra-culture we can understand his method politically, too.

In contrast to art that sublimates abstract theories, Sikora’s work doesn’t expound any critical analysis of dominant ideologies. The punchlined institutional, environmental or social critique confronts mediated reality with the immediate one. Author comments the image of false mirror by his quasi-dilettante style. And from this uplifting position of amateur he creates maxims in a form of witty subversive musings and surprising rules of life. Many socially overestimated myths are being thus deconstructed up to very absurdity that is usually their essence (see punk videopoetry To the Homeless, 2006 about the inadaptable ones that parodies also the social art cliché, or a fable about a bunny and a dog Good Deed for Animals, 2006, presented as a liturgical song dealing with illusory care by restraining and control).

The protagonists of Sikora’s similes are trivial animals, plants and mundane elements of material world in their simple state of being. He takes interest in marginal and repressed social phenomena and thinks about them visually. His are not nihilist, but rather affirmative reflections, and this is how he spontaneously verbalizes them: He describes an illegal dumping ground as “a lake full of elegant stones,” where he looks freely for a new assessment of local ready-made – construction waste of Ytong. He considers his focus to be perspective, since “there are certainly other places in the world, as well, that have been polluted remarkably.”

A spectator gets situated within context of the video entitled Floating Stones, 2013 through the scene entitled Land of Floating Stones. It’s an inconsistent landscaping format that begins markedly with a view of an indeterminate landscape focusing on a swarm of flies. It seems like an anticipated parody of anonymous bevy of people and their deranged activity. The whole image of boring outskirts with air standing still gets opened by a veduta with an industrial chimney in background. The tableau of the housing estate then focuses on another esthetically cheap detail of weed. Both metaphorically and simple-mindedly it supplements information about the state of cultivation of greenery in this frequented, though seemingly vacated place.

Sikora has thus resolved to advertise this distinctive corner of land. There is an idyllic moon shining down on the collision of unrestrained construction works and wild nature; in the next forlorn scene there is a dragonfly sitting on a splinter of wood. In comparison to some uncompromising high genres that aim to use film music truly (that is, only when its source belongs to the story), the scenes of Floating Stones are underscored by a corny soundtrack à la Asiatic harmonizing melodies with the popular feng shui motif. Though the video distances itself from the standard of marketing shows, it draws on it elsewhere in a specific way.

Combining the author, narrator and caricatured anchorman in one person, he presents to spectators his thoughts and doings: “I have almost a recipe to everything and today it will be a hole in the world of house decoration and tourist tuning.” His outcomes consist of marketing products like Floating Stones on Tiles, Walking the Stones, Tourist Tuning, The Ritual of Stones in Love, Ytong Raft. They don’t come just from the commercial brainwashing concepts, but also from the very dynamics of life. The shift of the idea of mimesis from image of nature to being inspired by its activity is Sikora’s recipe how to create an attraction even out of non-poetic world (“… and day by day the humanity carries over here truckloads of construction waste and the water doesn’t sent it to hell, it doesn’t shrink from it, but takes those pieces of construction material and smoothes them tenaciously over and over in order to extract the beautiful, elegant shape of the rounded stones. And when even we can understand this and take this floating construction materials as an equally dignified elements like the rounded stones, shaped by river over thousands of years, then it can become a truly new poetics…”). The video is thus not just as an agreeable partisanship that thematizes landscape ecology but also contemporary esthetics.

03 Erik Sikora - Biography

04 Exhibition credits


Curator / Author of Text: Mira Keratová
Online Exhibition Concept: Lenka Střeláková
Realization: Lenka Střeláková and Janek Rous
Translated into English: Palo Fabuš
Published: 10. 12. 2014