Anna Pleštilová: K. H. Mácha – Máj, 78 CZK / 100 g and other books

4 Jun – 1 Jul 2015

                                                          “Painting is always a thousand experiments.“ 

                                                                                                                  Jan Bauch

The exhibition takes place at the Art Archive at DOX.

During the opening on 4 June, starting at 6:00 p.m., an unusual presentation of the book by its author will take place.

As opposed to other times in history, today books don’t seem to be anything unusual, nor are they scarce; oddly enough, however, in this lack of scarcity there seems to be insufficient awareness of its most intrinsic reason for existence, which is to communicate. To transfer something – through words or pictures – from one person to another. Often something important. An idea.

One would think that we could think of ideas a little; maybe occasionally to go to the library for one… but in all that hustle and bustle, it would be a nice service to remind us, for example at the butcher shop – to go with 100 g of bloody headcheese, 100 g of words from the blood of a poet’s heart… An idea that comes from Anna Pleštilová. K. H. Mácha – Máj, 78 Kč / 100 g is her message, also through a book. Not through words or images, but through a conceptual act.

She chooses an author’s book as a means of expression due to its specific possibilities. A book as a physical object provides the artist the ability to use its properties of space-time sequences (Ulises Carrión). It can thus be used to express an idea not only through words and images, but also by simply handling it, through an activity.

Anna often uses author’s books to get her message across (even though their subject may not be books) and in them she uses more regular means – words and images, both very differentiated. Through mastery of various drawing techniques she utilizes very different styles (compare for example Ovoce Čok and Mangup-kale), always as  the means to an end, which is a message.

But more fundamental to her work is the awareness that communicating actually means making a not insignificant demand: by communicating we want the other person to pay attention to us, to perceive us – thus to literally ingest us. Anna is not someone who would burst in with an unshakeably complete message; for her, communication is primarily about sharing – the other person also plays apart through their comprehension, based on their own ideas, memories, and notions. She gives these their fair half of space. When she asks, she leaves space for the reply (her replies in the book of philosophical puzzles entitled Co je to? (What Is It?) are included on a separate page and are meant only as suggestions), when she tells a story she does it in a way that the perceiver can add himself or herself. But sensitivity doesn’t mean that she speaks in a way that won’t disturb us. On the contrary. One that will affect us.

Curator: Lucie Rohanová