Range16. 10. — 15. 11. 2013
Two conceptual artists, long exploring the potential of text, have entered the Sudek Studio in Újezd street, a place that evokes the life and works of the legendary photographer Josef Sudek.
Jiří Valoch and Lenka Vítková: Range
The Sudek Studio
Two conceptual artists, long exploring the potential of text, have entered the Sudek Studio in Újezd street, a place that evokes the life and works of the legendary photographer Josef Sudek. And it is not only text that they have been exploring. In a project entitled ‘Škála’ (Range or scale), Jiří Valoch (b. 1946) and Lenka Vítková (b. 1975) have been working together in a continuously expanding visual field, the space between signs and images. The name of the exhibition refers to the black-and-white, potentially coloured visuality of photography and to the original use of today’s gallery space as a studio, a kind of laboratory.
Typical of both Jiří Valoch and Lenka Vítková, who work in situ with text, is the close linking of artistic, curatorial, and theoretical work, which in itself considerably expands the potential field of interpretation of the emerging dialogue. Here, text is therefore not only text; it is also part of a larger semantic and visual set. It completes the appearance of the place, and by means of it a completely new space emerges, in which one can contemplate photography without it needing to be depicted, for it is present simply by being thought about. Both texts could stand on their own, but together they have entered the well-established context of a place, the Sudek Studio, and they relate to the way of seeing and reading the studio. They therefore consciously relate to the visuality of photography. Text, here, is not a caption. It is an agent that calls forth what can be seen and in a way determines it. Both texts are not clearly defined or finished.
One text relates to another
An artist, poet, curator, critic, musician, and collector, Jiří Valoch is still an imaginary moving point in the network of current thinking about art. He is a rare figure, who exists in a context that he himself has long been actively creating and experimentally and theoretically expanding. It is not easy for me to focus on a mere segment of his art and to extract it from the compact whole. That is why I wish to recall his early works, where the text overlaps with the photograph (or with a section of the image generally). This fact was the impulse for choosing a place to hold the joint exhibition Range. It was mainly Valoch’s Body Poems (Tělové básně; for example, Love, 1970, and Merde, 1971) and parallel text interventions in a landscape (Dream, 1970), whose fleetingness was recorded by the camera. In those days, the photographs were black-and-white. Rather than accompany the image as a caption or instructions, the text was its integral part, indeed the part that carried the load. To put it metaphorically, here, with Sudek, Valoch’s text again enters the ‘body and landscape of the Josef Sudek Studio’ when one looks through it, and it becomes both a picture inside and a part of the garden outside. Three words underscore the Zen atmosphere of this place in the courtyard, the magic of the gazebo in the garden, seen and concealed at the same time.
Three words, like a kōan.
To the text, which is a picture and a seal.
An impression about the ability to add colour to a black-and-white vision.
Like Jiří Valoch, Lenka Vítková has a remarkable scope and sensitivity of perception and expression, although she belongs to another, much younger generation. She is an artist of the post-conceptual context, stripped of the carefully declared barriers between media. Her works with text, like Valoch’s, do not compete with images. On the contrary, as fragments, the more or less rhythmic texts and pictures originate in the neutral milieu of the monitor, the paper, the canvas, or the wall. For Vítková, painting, text, photograph, and song are possibilities, inconspicuous little challenges, ways to link one’s surroundings to one’s intimate thoughts about art. I invited Lenka Vítková to the Sudek Studio on the basis of a strong impression from the exhibition They Were Standing and Waiting (Stály a čekaly) at the NoD experimental venue, where her texts and pictures communicated together subtly, yet intensively demanding my attention, and not only mine. Nor can I forget her levitating texts/quotations, which, as if in passing, entered into an independent ‘monologue bordering on a dialogue’ with Alena Kotzmannová’s photographs in the Olive in a Martini exhibition.
The textual, rhythmic, and almost musical series Radio Salt (2010), presented as a set of nine black-and-white photographs of a textual set that is several pages long, was what made me decide to invite Lenka Vítková and Jiří Valoch together to the Sudek Studio, so that here, as part of the Fotograf Festival / Between the Signs, they could together contemplate photography and, more generally, visuality.
Two texts were made.
Curator of the exhibition
Lenka Vítková*1975 , Český Krumlov
studios2010doktorské studium AVU, Doc. Vladimír Skrepl 1993Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Palackého v Olomouci, česká filologie – výtvarná výchova (1993-1998)
selected individual exhibitions2013Hra na levou a pravou stranu, Galerie Entrance, Praha 2012Malá odvážná země, Galerie 207, VŠUP, Praha 2011Rádio sůl, Café Steiner, Brno
Průhledná věc, Galerie Na shledanou, Volyně
Ať je to cokoli, má to své požadavky, Galerie Kostka/Meetfactory, Praha 2010Gravitace, Galerie Ve sklepě, Praha 2009A řekla:, Galerie Pavilon, Praha, Od A k A, Galerie Školská 28, Praha 2007Sběratelka kostí, Galerie 35m2, Praha 2005Obrazárna, Výstaviště Flora Olomouc
selected collective exhibitions201316–20 000 - Hz, Meetfactory, Praha, kurátoři Daniel
Vlček a Miloš Vojtěchovský, Praha
Flow, kurátorky Zuzana Blochová a Patricia Talacko, Prague Biennale 2012Současná česká malba, kurátor Milan Mikuláštík, Galerie NTK, Praha
Nezvaný host, s rtf, kurátoři Helena Blašková a Viktor Čech, Chodovská tvrz, Praha 2011Provazový most, s Pavlem Stercem, Fotograf Gallery, Praha
Barvy Colours Farben Colori, s Jiřím Valochem, Galerie Kabinet T., Zlín 2009Something of Myself, Huntkastner Artworks, Praha,
Hlava, Karlín Studios, Praha 2010 - Tape it, kurátorka Alice Nikitinová, OUI Gallery, Grenoble U dubu tu budu, kurátoři Markéta Kubačáková a Viktor Čech, Galerie Školská 28, Praha
Sebrané úvahy, kurátorka Edith Jeřábková, Galerie Entrance, Praha 2008Stály a čekaly, až se objeví, Experimentální prostor NoD, Praha,
Oliva v martini, jako host Aleny Kotzmannové v Huntkastner Artworks, Praha
curator projects2011Za hřbety knih, které jsem nečetla. Studenti Vladimíra Skrepla a Jiřího Kovandy, Letohrádek Hvězda, Praha 2011The Waste Land, Tranzitdisplay, Praha 2009Místo a formule, GASKartfest, Kutná Hora 2007Lovci lebek, s Edith Jeřábkovou, Galerie Klatovy/Klenová – Pardubice – Regensburg 200636, prostor pro současné umění v Olomouci (2006-2010)
studios1965Filozofická fakulta University J. E. Purkyně v Brně (dnes Masarykova univerzita v Brně), obory bohemistika, germanistika. (1965-1970) 1962Gymnázium v Brně-Husovicích (1962-1965)
selected individual exhibitions2006Jiří Valoch. Slova jako slova. Galerie U dobrého pastýře, Brno, CZ.
Jiří Valoch. Project. Galerie Jelení, Praha, CZ.
Artprojekt / Jiří Valoch. Instalace. Galerie Caesar, Olomouc, CZ. 2006Jiří Valoch. Instalace. Národní galerie v Praze – Veletržní palác (respirium), CZ. (2006-2007) 2005Jiří Valoch. Dvě instalace a několik projektů. Moravská galerie v Brně – Pražákův palác, Brno, CZ. 2004Jiří Valoch. Projekty. Pedagogická fakulta Ostravské univerzity v Ostravě – Galerie Student, Ostrava, CZ. 2003Jiří Valoch. Pro toto místo. Galerie Erasmus, Mělník, CZ.
Jiří Valoch. Pouze tři slova /instalace pro Dům umění v Českých Budějovicích/. Dům umění, České Budějovice, CZ. 2002Trojí koncept. Dalibor Chatrný, Nikos Armutidis, Jiří Valoch. Galerie Malovaný dům, Třebíč, CZ. 2000Jiří Valoch. Galerie Die Aktualität des schönen…, Liberec, CZ