Smells like your hair burning

artists Lenka Glisníková, Tania Nikulina
place Czech Republic
tags housing design textile
category Audio-visual Art
published 19. 7. 2019
duration 0:10:21
language Česky / English
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Treat yourself to some sweet doing nothing! Don’t wait for your presents till Christmas Eve and reward yourself after the big Christmas cleaning! Fill your tub with hot water and set several scented candles nearby. Relaxation of both body and mind is guaranteed! Those who do not dare to use candles can safely scent their home with the electronic wax heater Wax Melts by Air Wick. Christmas time is best complemented with the “Mom’s pie scent” aroma.

While lifestyle magazines and their instructions guarantee relaxed body and mind, something keeps watching us, scanning us, revealing torsos of our movements, the insufficient harmony between body and design, the lack of attractiveness of the space under the wardrobe and between the bed and the nightstand. Horror? While scrolling through Facebook or Instagram you suddenly discover a photograph of someone unknown to you sitting on your sofa in your living room. Sufficient interchangeability of these photographs and interiors makes you not even think about the possibility that somebody broke into your home and took a selfie at a place you deem highly private. We don’t need a real break in to our private lives, the actual break in has for a long time been the visual framework of what we call private lives, forced on us from the outside. Its sharing then creates icons, substitute images of our lives sold as masks in design trends.

Burning hair might not be available on the scale of instant scents yet. They bring critical unease into the reading of Lenka’s and Tania’s environment. Just as the camera work in a strangely voyeuristic video in which the loudest emotion besides breaking into the private zone is hopelessness. The authors gave up direct control over the camera shots and gave it to a vacuum cleaner that moves through the space on its own and cleans up. Conscientious yet comfortable (dreamily automatized) care for the household’s cleanliness meets the barrier of a full space inhabited by people- unpredictable shots of a hopelessly rotating device unable to fulfill its catalogue mission.

In the authors’ view, the symbol between the outside public and the inside private are slippers. Even though home shoes are an applied product, Tania and Lenka create them as artistic artifacts, remarkable material creations that are wearable but at the very least eccentric, which, besides other things, refers to the concept of private life as a sort of a theatre set, a design mask, winning over our need for intimacy and comfort. Questions of the passability of another border between the so-called fine and applied art are asked together with putting up a wallpaper whose decor was made my multiplying photographs of slipper artifacts. Insider quarrels between artists and designers about “hight art”, superiority of certain values are thus another between-the-lines level of the installation.

What Lenka’s and Tania’s work has in common is their interest in communication and relationships. They articulate them as “situations”, live meetings in a visual and social framework defined by the authors. Physical installation or performance thus serves rather to reveal the image on a certain social structure, at the same time it uses a distinctly artistic arsenal that throws the critical note off balance and mediates the artistic experience as primarily ambiguous and multileveled. Join our artists and try out Primalex Plus- great for bedrooms and other commercial and living spaces of medium difficulty, it smells like your hair burning!

Petr Kovář

The project was supported by, based on the opencall for a new audiovisual work in 2018.

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