Reports

Lukáš Hájek has already offered his reaction to the technological character of contemporary art and the world in general several times in the past.In his works, modern technologies embrace the more archaic ones (a monitor showing a traditional heart-shaped gingerbread and a willow stick, to name but one example), and everything that is hi-fi has to accept the invasion of its less progressive sibling, the lo-fi (such as in the projection set in motion by ordinary household fans). Hájek is also the author of installations made of reams of paper which were thrown away as trash by other artists and curators, representing a group of their own.

It is convenient to mention Hájek’s previous artworks at this precise moment as they reappear, albeit in a slightly different form, in the objects that Hájek created for the G99 gallery. The most visible among them is the paper model of a four-lane highway in 1:1 scale. This structure symbolizing movement and performance, this pride of our motorized civilization, acquires here a rather personal character because the activity of creating paper models, being highly individual and intimate, goes beyond the scope of activities of giant corporations and paper lobby groups.

Hájek’s lo-tech and the affinities he sees between sorted waste, folklore, and DIY, or between fishing and hiking, do not represent a specifically defined artistic and political program. It goes without saying that these themes enrich his works with popular humor and serve to take the artist and his art down a peg or two. In this respect, Lukáš Hájek is a typical Czech author. However, the main goal of his using this platform is to perform poetic operations changing the symbolic content of concrete motifs, materials, and procedures. This results not in conveying new facts, but rather in a blur that offers enough space for free associations.

This might be why Hájek’s works either draw on a wide range of possible personal experiences, or – as in case of the paper highway – transfer the experiences into the personal sphere.

The objects exhibited at the G99 gallery have one thing in common: the emphasis on the shifts of appearance made possible by our omnipresent awareness of the rules of perspective. The motifs of tourism and traffic are seen from a certain point of view – and with the point of view as the determining factor, more importance is given to the form. This does not apply exclusively to the world of art, although it needs to be mentioned that it was European art that started to build everything around the rules of representation of the viewed object, and later to reinforce, adjust, or even undermine this approach. Hájek’s attitude is not destructive – he merely transforms what is seen based on two pillars. The first pillar is represented by traffic structures and signs offering innumerable themes, whether ingenious or not, while the second one is the widely accepted esthetic effect of geometric, minimalistic sculpture. Hájek’s work is intuitive and form-oriented, but still unpretentious and knowingly insignificant.

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