Reports

The SHAO Principle exhibition indirectly addresses the traditional situational cliché from the art world. Cohabitation and collaboration of two artists has been a recurring issue since ancient times and it has always been considered dangerous.Where to seek for boundaries if identical interests and “archetypal” experiences determine the both authors’ works? How to decide quarrels for territory or primacy? Can both artists take advantage of the situation and use it as an “accelerator” and propeller of their efforts?We can say there is a constant threat of conscious as well as unconscious adopting of expressive and topical elements, including general opinions of art.However, this problem is not our case. When we met we already had distinct and very similar opinions. It was actually the artistic accord that preceded the understanding in our relationship. However, this seeming advantage results in suspecting one another that it is simply not possible that both of us can think the same. That is the reason why we undertake many experiments. For instance, we go down to caves and observe them – separately and each of us with our own cameras. We both take pictures of what catches our eye and when we go through them, we see similarity once again, the difference being often only a few centimetres. The destructive mutual support in establishing and maintaining costly collections weds with great enthusiasm to understand the other’s problem and become also an expert in this field, or at least a sparing partner.The exhibition has of two parts. The anterior part consists of a foldable table covered with miniature works and – more importantly – with personal sources. Although these may seem different at first, they are actually identical in principle.The other part shows smaller pictures painted by both authors. If viewers have been attentive enough in the sector with sources, now it will be easy for them to decode particular works without looking at legends. The only large painting is a common work of both authors. The exhibition thus results in an experiment asking whether we are able to suppress our egos when finishing a motif and if the symbiosis is so strong that the painting gets the desired quality.Both parts of the exhibition are connected with symbolic doors (passages made of wooden construction representing the transformation of source inspiration into a part of the visual world of both authors), which can also be seen – since it is an element of wooden Baroque altar – as a specific reaction to the religious atmosphere of the Břevnov Monastery.As a simile from art history we can mention exhibitions by The Independent Group (Parallel of Life and Art, This Is Tomorrow). Although the arrangement is a significant aspect of our installation that serves a higher meaning (altar aesthetics, …), we are prone to combining sources – original ones as well as adopted ones.

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