David Böhm and Jiří Franta’ s exhibition combines the presentation of the first two episodes of the short film, on which the artists have worked this year, with the installation including their sculptures and drawings. In all these works their interest in the moment by any restrictions affected shift in the perception of the world and in the feeling of otherness and strangeness is being reflected.
A French mathematician Bernard Morin has been blind since his childhood. Yet he excelled in the so-called mathematical topology, a discipline that does not work only with numbers, but also with spatial models. The subject of his long-time work has been continuous deformations, overturning models of spheres in complex and imagination demanding shapes. The ability to recall an object or a form is usually associated with our ability to see. It does not matter whether the object we see is before us, or in our imagination, it is still a visual activity. In human biology the retina is linked to the brain by such a dense network of links that a healthy individual can hardly imagine any other way to perceive the world. However, Morin when developing his hand-made mathematical models has not only used the speculation, but also the imagination, which represents an important tool for him. The ability to “see” in his case had another meaning. The absence of visual sensations of the outside world obviously has not deprived him of inner vision, and perhaps even the contrary, it strengthened his inner vision. He opened the door to concentrated contemplation of form through touch. What is the sculptor’s work in daily practice, thus struggling with the shape of a haptic activity, in the work of mathematician became an autonomous system.
David Böhm and Jiří Franta in their videos presented at the exhibition at Fait Gallery reflect the situation when the imagination is not associated with the experience from the visual perception of external reality. What can a blind man who has never seen dream of? Sure, it could be more a question for the cognitive sciences, however, the questioning itself is even more important because it forms a new creative space for the creators. Both authors are already known for the creative part of their cooperation, where they deal, often with a humorous playfulness, with the actual creative act as a series of obstruction. Thus as the process of creation is intentionally more and more complicated, it becomes itself a part of the work. At the present exhibition the moment of differences and obstacles pushing the normal functioning of a man in this world, has become the subject to which both authors bind their other presented work. The imagination of a blind man is for us just as impenetrable as the strangeness of the First World War soldiers’ faces reconstructed during the first plastic surgery. The feeling of a distance is associated with a grotesque fascination with otherness. The use of those inspirational sources, however, is not just a circus attraction, but it actually directs to the unexpectedly beneficial strangeness, revealing more diverse sides of humanity and its qualities than how it is defined by a commonly occurring norm.

Viktor Čech

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