Reports

The Dog on the Roof and the need of solidarity

Modesty and allegory in meaning are typical of Ladislava Gažiová’s paintings. As if the author was making use of the reverse side of means of expression. She goes for introverted morphology which is related to her withdrawn and rather skeptical nature. There are neither effective colours, big gestures nor excessive proclamations. Instead of grand speeches just few words getting under the skin. Her paintings are at first sight uncoloured and united by a kind of disturbing “dirtiness” which changes into an expression, a part of what is being told through the paintings.

The basis of Ladislava Gažiová’s painting world is a metaphorical story. It is being created as a situation of selected and often from an experiment arising forms (spray paint, masks, objects). The morphology and the subject often mingle, sometimes they merge. They create a significant atmosphere where a movement comes up between a reference to an object, its symbol and an association which disrupts the original symbol and changes it into another context in meaning. For example treetops of palms in a jungle remind of human hair and thus of hidden or unconscious reference to a corporeality. Layers of soil which, in a fine art compression, make “history” present as a process of events settling down. It has a certain methodical logic and a retrospectively viewed order. 

In connection with her paintings we can speak of a peculiar relation to history or materialized time, a distinctive fusion of personal memory and history, representing the relation between various ideas and a social practice limping along. Several selected attributes (a shovel, a pick axe, housing estate, sheet metal) are enough to evoke the situation. A subset of memory databanks is the painter’s social awareness. The first at her values scale is a man and an animal as beings who worry. They are fundamental existential standing behind actions (game, fight, struggle, instinct and confrontation) occurring inside and between them. Such actions are well-founded but not excusable. Scepticism contaminates the picture. The artwork becomes the author’s personal confession and at the same time a critical instrument of everything which is in the society generally regarded as a lie, grievance, injustice and violence. Shining eyes in a jungle express anxiety. But who is afraid in fact? Animals to whom the eyes belong or the hunter they are watching? Both sides are afraid of the oncoming confrontation. The anxiety from what is going to happen, the fear from the “other”, unfamiliar, unknown so far, as well as from something which is fleeting in “the time”. These are pivotal moments of Ladislava Gažiová’s poetics.         
 A dog when afraid climbs as far as it can, up to the roof to have a view. But then there is no else to go and it attacks in self-defense, because it has no other chance. A seemingly fairy-tale motif changes into something which warns and disconcerts. The reality gets metaphorically into the picture.

Petr Vaňous

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