I think everyone of us remembers star pupils from their years at school. In the context of Czech and Slovak art Pavla Sceranková (born in 1980) surely is such a star pupil or number one and this is meant without irony or contempt to which such schoolmates used to be exposed to. Sceranková is simply a high achiever. In her work we come across humour, playfulness, surprise as well as mystery and despite this none would say it was irrational or purely intuitive. Her work requires elaborate and well premeditated preparation in order to accomplish „trick-like“ effects which confuse the viewers.
Ranging from video-sculptures or photo-performances, in which her body played the leading role (e.g. Sacking, Boxing), to movable objects, with which viewers may interfere to a certain extent (Was ist das; Up! no.2; Caravan of love) or objects making use of optical effects and play with different angles of view (Forbidden sculpture, 1400 watts), over to objects which are too fragile to be touched (e.g. Visit at home, Fleeing Stag) whose movement is only mental – taking place in our heads. The whole series is based on the principle of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. However, it is not just an unemotional calculus – even what is seemingly purely mechanical is imbued with emotions (Go away. Come back.) or with the artist´s own memories.
Sound plays an inconspicuous but very important part in Pavla Sceranková´s work. In her video-sculptures the original sound is an almost disturbing element, however, it helps to perceive the work instantly and it also provides the videos with authenticity (Parking loop; Moving out. Moving in.). In some of her other works music makes the moving image so special that we are not sure what is more important and whether we are not watching a music clip (Seen through air, Kale, Klatov).
Sceranková´s work has recently become more literary – she has moved from literal rendition of „magic“ physical phenomena (Airfullness) to metaphors of processes on cosmic level (Woman on the Moon, Collision of galaxies). What is typical, is the fact that great, universal themes are linked with the common and useful (knitting) or with the local (painted pottery and china).
Sceranková´s work is often described by the adjective „fragile“. However, in case of this artist fragility is just one side of the coin – not only are the at first sight fragile objects surprisingly hardy and durable but we also feel the artist´s determination and firm thoughts taking her clearly forward towards the top and ranking her again among the „number ones“.

Tereza Jindrová

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