Why Are There Boundaries?



Work was commissioned for the exhibition Here and Now! in The Brno House of Arts

The masks are torn to pieces as a symbol of the plundering of Africa by colonizers, the chips are held together in disjointness with thin plastic binding ties in a symbolic way the West corrects its own mistakes of the past – fast, shoddy, and messy. Finally, the masks are soaked in "white skin" as we would like to see the whole situation – presenting our Western practices, solutions and culture as the only correct ones.

The three herons are deep in asphalt. The work was inspired by images of birds and other animals suffering and dying in oil splits around the world. The message is about forcible and absolute human domination over the animal kingdom. Those animals that pose a risk to humans are already on the verge of extinction. Those that keep us alive as human food, together with humans represent 96% of all mammals on Earth. The others such as fish or birds suffer from a number of "manmade" materials, from human presence and different human activities.

The vase is half crystal glass and half Chinese ceramic. The object refers to our desire and efforts to cross cultures. We would like it to fit perfectly, but the shape is not the same, not to mention the material. So, let's take good old tightening plastic straps that connect everything. Maybe it is not an ideal solution, but we hope that over time it will heal like broken bones.

The solar panels and charcoal speak of the fact that although humans seemingly gained dominion over the Earth and its environment, we find that no ultimate victory has come. In fact and on the contrary: whatever that means to other animals on the planet, with global warming, we have unknowingly appropriated a system that we are not able to systematically control or tame. And not only that: due to our continued work, this system got out of our control even more. Nature is over, so it is in the "past", and at the same time it is all around us and in fact, it absorbs and punishes us - this is the main lesson from climate change, which we receive almost daily. And if global warming continues as it has so far, it will shape everything we do on the planet, from agriculture to migration, trade and mental health, and change not only our relationship with nature but also politics and history, and show us a system of knowledge that it is as absolute as "modernity". (David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, Guest 2020, p.196)

The charcoal, the flower, the head and the rabbit gnawed stick support the whole structure. They carry the whole small and the very shaky universe. Coal is a fossil resource that has acted as an engine of western development. Since the beginning of its use, almost every generation growing up in the West has been welfer than the previous one. Flower (in that case an aloe vera, a very livable plant surviving even in warm and dry conditions with curing ability) and vegetation in general as a source of livelihood and balance. And an antiquated head as a reference to the history and roots of our civilization. A bitten stick is a reference to long time "cooperation" between man and animal.

* When I talk about us, I primarily mean 10% of the human population accumulating 90% of all wealth, here Western civilization/culture

** All objects are fabricated as pseudo souvenirs, which are addressed for the strange collecting and aesthetic tastes of Western society

*** All objects  were created between 2019 and 2020

Group exhibition Here and Now!, The Brno House of Arts, Czech Republic, 2021 

Curators: Marika Svobodová, Jana Písaříková 

Exhibition view by: Polina Davydenko, studio photos by mfc