“Warhol’s prediction that everyone will once experience their fifteen minutes of world fame came true a long time ago. Many people now actually want exactly the opposite: to be invisible, if only for fifteen minutes. Even fifteen seconds would be nice. We entered the era of mass tabloid, information peak and exhibitionistic voyeurism. Glaring camera flashes turn people into victims, celebrities or both. By checking at cash desks, cash dispensers and other checkpoints, when our mobile phones reveal our slightest move and our photos are stamped with GPS coordinates – we don’t end up entertained to death, but rather pixelated into pieces.
I’ve been noticing for quite some time that many people actively start avoiding being seen in a photograph or a video and they secretly try to stay away from camera and camcorder lenses. … In the middle of omnipresent media landscape the visual representation – that was long considered a political privilege – is perceived rather as a threat.
In the era of digital native people, old magical fear of photographing has seen its resurrection. However, in this environment cameras don’t steal souls (the native people changed the digital ones for iPhones), but they suck out life. … It would actually be wrong to think that cameras are tools of representation: at present they are tools for disappearing”.
Labyrint Revue 35-36
“Stáť smiem” (approx. “I may be standing”), a song by the Slovak band eSPé, can be heard inside the Orangery of the Břevnov Monastery, the oldest male monastery in the Czech Republic where the Benedictine Order has its seat. We enter while a pianist is playing his part with other musicians around, out of our sight. Our aural perception is complemented with this visual fragment.
In another part of the world, a school for an evangelic mission is being built, the foundations were finished a long time ago, now walls are being built and basic features of the building are becoming apparent: windows, entrance, everything is starting to show the future function of the premises.
The school was actually built a long time ago, this is just a documentary photograph, a moment frozen in time.
Delicate moments of colonisation are a widely reflected history. Post-colonial studies analyse every single decent nuance of the expansiveness of western political power and culture to the rest of the world. Still, the question of evangelisation and conversions to Christianity under current mission remains unformulated.
The intimacy of a detailed view of the musician’s back of the neck and his inward feelings, evoked by his interpretation of the composition, causes embarrassment. We enter the deepest privacy of a man, his beliefs, his faith transmitted by his body moves.
Walking through the longitudinal space of the Entrance Gallery on its typical brick-red floor, connecting on an architectonic ground plan a monastery in the outskirts of Prague with a vision of a school under construction at an unspecified place in India, we get to another musician, the video now showing a full frontal view of a drummer sitting at the end of the building.
Losing boundaries of personal space in the virtual smog of infinite publishing still has its partial limits. Simple Google Search enables us to live through birth and death, natural or violent. We are resistant against the messages we are being told, in the same way as we are resistant against various forms of human being humiliation. Nevertheless, a view of young musicians may still make us shiver. The vision goes too deep. How shall we cope with it?
A young man called Dharm Nath from Jaynagar (a town in the vicinity of borders with Nepal in the very north of India) was freed from the presence of an evil spirit. Sahni describes: “Local preachers prayed for a long time, but the evil spirit did not respond, so I got a little angry inside. I seized him by his hair, held him and we started praying, then the evil spirit immediately left him.”
Despite the absolute interconnection of our virtual world we lack the ability to actually differentiate data according to their relevance, as it disappears somewhere in space and time. Virtual smog, criticised by Hito Steyerl’s words and works, may be identical to the evil spirit smoking over the wall. The smoke is changing its shape, dimensions, loses its colours and disappears, although it succeeds in overcoming the wall.
Daniela depicts something her very own that is close to her, carrying the most personal message, while being fully aware of the risk of losing the context, fogging the information into imaginary smoke that carries it on. A man behind the wall does not see the original shape of the ephemeral signal, same as its originators have no idea what may happen with their message as soon as it disappears out of their sight.
- THE EVIL SPIRIT BEGAN TO SMOKE THROUGH THE WALL DANIELA BARÁČKOVÁ00:00:09.202
- Welcome to the Entrance Gallery where we are opening the exhibition of Daniela Baráčková00:00:15.927
- called " The evil spirit started to smoke through the wall".00:00:25.795
- The title of the exhibition is slightly metaphorical, referring to Daniela´s thoughts about00:00:30.648
- the context of this place, the gallery and the entire area of the Břevnov monastery.00:00:43.725
- First of all I´ll explain what is displayed here and then I´ll explain the title.00:00:51.142
- I decided to make these two videos, recording two men, believers,00:00:57.528
- and these two men play music along with a Christian song of a Slovak band,00:01:04.450
- called Esper. The entire theme is connected with Christianity or faith, spiritual life.00:01:15.895
- This way I touch upon the context of this gallery in the area of the Břevnov monastery,00:01:27.961
- the first male monastery in our country,00:01:34.075
- and that´s why I chose two men to play the musical instruments.00:01:36.694
- First of all, I wanted to supress the genius loci of the allegedly problematic gallery Entrance00:01:45.315
- by blacking it out, and I chose two videos which somehow dominate the space,00:01:55.752
- and the videos are presented on the wall referring to the title "The evil spirit started to smoke through the wall".00:02:05.165
- The title also refers to a certain situation connected with the theme00:02:12.565
- but which occurs on the other end of the world,00:02:27.712
- and in fact this association line does not necessarily have to be voiced,00:02:31.453
- it is present in the title, in the architecture and in the thoughts related to the two videos.00:02:38.893
- It is also mentioned in the text about the exhibition,00:02:46.420
- but it is not of crucial importance for the project.00:02:51.601
- What I find interesting, apart from what we spoke about,00:02:57.815
- is the relationship to the current representation of the individual in a kind of virtual space00:03:06.311
- because in this digital era it´s a theme that does not need to be analyzed,00:03:15.203
- and Daniela comes with two shots, two static shots of two musicians,00:03:25.557
- who are fully absorbed in playing their musical instruments,00:03:32.810
- without feeling shy or uneasy of being filmed,00:03:43.474
- and in fact through the humility in their expression,00:03:51.978
- which is clearly seen in one of the videos and seen only through some gestures in the other one,00:03:57.118
- through this humility she creates a completely different commentary,00:04:09.315
- or a completely different level of digital representation00:04:16.907
- than the one that we are used to in this visually overloaded world.00:04:21.473
- I think this is crucial for this project. What do you think?00:04:30.187
- I think what you said was good, it was in my favour.00:04:37.089
- For me it is very emotional, a very intense, emotional video projection.00:04:43.205