Roman Štětina manages to capture a strange situation of perception, when authenticity – for example a joint display or synchronisation of image and sound – is seen as „out-of-place“. He records the hidden apparatus of radio broadcasting – studios, technology, radio staff – in other words of everything listeners „do not need“ to see. This leads to a reverse problematisation of our reception stereotypes – instead of the image and sound being asynchronous they are in surprising harmony. The broadening and transformation of perception may be compared to the transition from silent to sound films. Unlike this example in the author´s videos and films there is no „adequate“ adaptation of the original medium to the innovated one. It is as if we simultaneously released a spontaneously recorded audio recording of the entire filming into a film projection.
The exhibition presents Štětina´s latest videos called Tongue-twister and Untitled (Response), of which only the Tongue-twister was shown on a large screen in the cinema. By the way this constellation – a reflection of the medium of the radio by a visual artist shown in a classical cinema – creates a scrummage of media and professional apparatuses, which continuously makes us want to try to untangle it.
The artist does not only aim to show “the invisible“ but he also stages radio professionals doing absurd activities, showing their routine virtuosity in out-of-place situations. Watered-down automaticity of common actions thus acquires the character of a performance.
The radio editor Jitka Borkovcová does not edit an authentic radio recording but she „pointlessly“ cuts out slips of the tongue in the recording of a tongue-twister. We can see the tape with the flawless recording coiling onto the reel of the tape recorder on the right, however, we do not get a chance to hear it again. In the video entitled Response we can see the radio editor and speaker Tomáš Černý, who happens to be also the person who recorded the Tongue-twister, trying to pick up some radio station signal in a radio studio. Since the building of the radio is of reinforced concrete he can only pick up some buzzing noise. We become witnesses of an unsuccessful effort to return the final signal intended for the listeners back to its beginning, back to the radio studio. This is also an illustration of a long-lasting problem of radio workers – a lack of feedback. The repetitive rewinding of a recording on an editor´s desk, picking up a radio signal in a radio and finally the design of the installation suggest more general meanings of endless communication flows.

Marika Kupková

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