The only thing/Not the only thing

Krokus Gallery, 2019



A combination of two independent and somewhat different approaches to a creative process. They meet precisely in the exhibition space, where they look for their relations with each other based on the reflection of this physical space. The exhibition is about the possibilities of describing, revealing and hiding. It begins with two different approaches/concepts: Kubáňová’s emptied paintings (Traveling Canvas, Cast Plate) and Durkáčová’s paraphrasing of František Demeter’s installation (After Demeter). Materialised works become a tool to describe their immediate surroundings and the place where they have been located. Approaches to the exhibition site of both artists oscillate between their seriousness and disregard, descriptiveness and deformation of the described.

The Traveling Canvas is a concept that originated in the exhibition Attic, which began with the re-installation of Kubáňová’s canvas. It was originally created as a diploma, in situ project that made use of the marginal possibilities of its first exhibition space. The canvas is not an autonomous image, the absence of its own frame, stabilising structure, becomes a predisposition to its adaptability. By transferring it from one space to the next, the canvas enters yet another context. The convenience of reusing the same canvas compensates the impossible indifference to the space where it is to be repositioned. It is a direct response to current conditions.

The Cast Plate is another variation on the concept of emptied (distorted) painting, representing not only the lack of content, the shift of media  of painting in a formal way, but also the apparent indifference and ease of creating and using of The Traveling Canvas moved to the point of author’s absolutely dissociation from self-creating her own work. The board does not talk about the author's skills, but rather about her longing for what she would like to see. The epoxy surface was created with hands and technological knowledge of others. However, the convenience of someone else creating the work is necessarily tied to the impossibility of author’s control and dependency on the other. The Cast Plate is an experiment combining the material and its formal use and the original idea has been distorted. It’s not a self-supporting board interpreting the space, but a surface that cannot resist; not an ideal, perfect, abstract, empty white reflective surface diverting the attention from its own presence. The plate was being created at the spot, describing the space in the beginning, becoming a fragile surface reflecting its own limits in every detail and every bend in the end.

After Demeter is a paraphrase of František Demeter’s installation No matter what changes one makes, they are capable of being final (Medium Gallery, 2018) covering the floor of the exhibition space with metal CD profiles. By replacing them with office staples, Durkáčová takes the laying of the floor to the absurdity. Staple floor is a simple, ironic paraphrase. Everyday trivial object reassessed by its multiplication, the way it is used. The leitmotif of reliance and impossibility of control is also present in the staple floor. The original idea, simple gesture, becomes in fact a strict daily routine, a discovery of the inadequacy of the physical place and distressing measurement/tracking of time and of the resistance of one’s own body.

⏤Gabriela Smetanová