Guest artist Dan Perjovschi



Art Co-operation Jiří Valoch
Curated by Zuzana Blochová and Michal Mánek
June 23 – July 30, 2011
SVIT, Praha, Czech Republic

Music at the opening by Milan Guštar

Jiří’s Valoch lecture, June 2011
Video, 13’14”.


I have to admit I actually hesitated a bit to come
to this opening because I was really quite busy
two days ago, at night, I was still on my way from Venice
this new experience of the current Venice exhibitions
has confirmed even more my opinion that Monika Zawadzki is really a very interesting artist
a very topical one at least from my perspective on
the relationship between geometry and conceptual thinking
It confirmed that she is internationally at least for me
who is fascinated by both conceptual and geometrical modes of thinking
hers is a very new, very contemporary, and very intriguing solution
bordering on the language of geometry and new semantics
and it is the basic and main essence of her work
it is a monumental installation, this monumental object
accompanied by a video recording and projection drawings
which shows that this is what interests her – a new use of the language of geometry
as a certain meaning-generating, semanticizing element and the relationship
between the genuine, impersonal geometric form and the possibility, at a certain moment to inscribe meaning into it
this is the case of the big object
where at first sight it seems as some kind of a new revitalization of minimal art
but in fact it is a very delicate introduction of a relationship between
a very primitive geometric form and a form that is absolutely empty
but already semantically identifiable – it is actually the relationship
between the two basic parts, between what we might say is “a hand”
as an element semanticized by the geometrical element below
and this brings a great many connotations, a great many allusions
at the same time we can read this geometrical element literally as a many-layered concept
the relationship between the two halves of her object
apart from that, there are more sophisticated spatial relationships taking place
this brings us to the point that her theme is space
but space also creates new relationships in many details of the object
by division, omitting, breaks etc.
but at the same time the whole is controlled by the basic, initial concept
the relationship between the two elements – the entirely impersonal bottom part
and what we can say is the absolutely pure form resembling a hand
and this connection between the two elements introduces
a whole lot of other very sophisticated relationships and connotations
but at the same time a great deal of other genuinely communicative relationships
take place in terms of spatial articulation
the whole really monumental realization
is spatially broken up further at several places
and even there we find possibilities for spatial articulation
either in that geometrical form or the pure form
but it is always the language of geometry – the strict one, the “minimalist” form
or the reduced, extremely simplified sign, let’s say
this sign that then plays a role here is actually this relationship
between the basic form, between the first impression
that what we see is another genuinely geometrical work
and then actually our discovery of the more complex semantic basis of the connections be it between the different
spatial relationships or – her fundamental theme
if not meta-theme – between the two basic relationships
similarly, but in an opposite way, in her video
the relationship of the geometrical element manifests itself
it is actually a depiction of a human face
with a geometrically defined, geometrically articulated eyebrow
which is being transformed
it is the opposite way of articulating the same problem
that is of the succinct geometry and the semantics
in this case it is the semantics of a human face
and how it can be changed or how one of its elements
the most basic one we can find, can act like a purely geometrical form
and, at the same time, in that film there is a great variety of differences possible
because there is an even more sophisticated play of forms
because the film allows for various transformations
so that the geometrical eyebrow moves and appears
always at a different face so that a sophisticated play takes place
between the different positions of the geometrical form of the eyebrow
and the particular face we perceive as the meaningful basis of the whole work
so I really think Monika is a very interesting and original artist
who brings something that is very topical today
a new meaning, a conceptual meaning of the geometrical form
while the language of geometry is somehow exhausted
we come across only patterns that are merely aesthetic
Monika, on the other hand, has found a very fortunate
so to say conceptual-geometric position, so that the relationship between
the language of geometry and the new meaning, new semantics
becomes her very interesting and original theme
of course, in her other projects, this problem is enriched
by the relationship of the invisible, hidden
have a look, it is implicitly present even in that big object
even that which is visible at first sight
which we see immediately as a part of the structure
its inner construction so to say, is, of course,
a part of a complex semantic relationship to the different solutions of space.
Is it enough? Was it ok?


Zuzana in the background: It’s great, thank you!


Monika Zawadzki. “Say Good Night To Daddy”, 2011. Video, loop, 32”. (Detail)

Elements of the installation


1. “John&Paul&Ringo&George” (1), 2011. Sculpture, 640 x 310 x 200 cm, substance (2), metal.
2. “Self-portrait With A Raven”, 2011. Photo Projection, black and white.
3. “Say Good Night To Daddy”, 2011. Video, loop, 32”.
4. “Glass Of Water” (3), 2011. Sketches of 3 complementary objects, print A4, black and white.
5. “Think At Have” by Dan Perjovschi, 2011. Drawing, unlimited copies, print A4, black and white.
Jiří’s Valoch lecture (4), June 2011. Video, 13’14”.


1. The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison.
2. Upcoming edition epoxy.
3. “Complementary object no. 1” previously was produced and presented as a part of the installation “Four Objects”. Curated by Janek Rous. Studio of Monumental Creation, English Courtyard of Letna Studio, Academy of Fine Arts / room 036, U Akademie 4, Prague. May 31, 2011.



Elementy instalacji


1. „John&Paul&Ringo&George” (1), 2011. Rzeźba, 640 x 310 x 200 cm, substancja (2), metal.
2. „Autoportret z krukiem”, 2011. Projekcja zdjęcia, czarno-biały.
3. „Say Good Night To Daddy”, 2011. Wideo, loop, 32”.
4. „Szklanka wody” (3), 2011. Szkice 3 uzupełniających obiektów, druk A4, czarno-biały.
5. „Think At Have” Dan Perjovschi, 2011. Rysunek, seria nielimitowana, druk A4, czarno-biały.
Komentarz Jiří Valocha (4), czewiec 2011. Wideo, 13’14”.


1. The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison.
2. Kolejne z edycji żywica epoksydowa.
3. „Obiekt uzupełniający Nr. 1” został wyprodukowany oraz pierwotnie zaprezentowany jako część instalacji „Cztery obiekty”. Kurator Janek Rous. Studio Monumentalnej Kreacji, dziedziniec Studia „Letna”, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych (AVU) / pokój 036, Praga. 31 maja, 2011.


I was initially contemplating whether I’ll manage going from Brno to Prague right after my return from Venice at night and a day earlier… But in the end I could not resist – and it was the right decision having this new experience from this year’s Venice Biennale because also there we could quite often see what contains, in my opinion, truly original essence – authentic creation by Monika Zawadzki, new re-evaluation and interconnection of two spheres, which are key for art of the 1960s and 1070s in a new and current context. Of course back then, they were the sternest images of reduction and dematerialisation, which included within the scope of sculpture first minimalist and shortly after even conceptual ways of articulation created in the most radical cases only by verbal formulation. Today these are classical solutions the repetition of which would be pointless. After all, even the founders of both spheres gradually added other certain aspects – for instance colour and some conceptualists also space.


Monika accepts the existing changes in art during the past several decades; she naturally accepts even the post-modern lesson and searches new possibilities of using the language of geometry (which has been quite exhausted in purely aesthetic designs). And she finds her own image of conceptual semantics adherent with a certain relation within the scope of each individual work. This way a “statue” which is at the first glance reductive, robust and quasi-minimalist and takes up practically the whole room, is the so-called “en detail” composition of spatial structures of several geometric elements, however its actual message is articulated through the relationship of a purely geometric form at the top and a conceptual semantics on the bottom part, created by an extremely conventionalised, character reduced hand form. The message of this artist is primarily the relationship between the purely reduced form and the semantic form. At the same time it is just the choice of hand that is truly the “significance par excellence”, because it is the hand that brings the maximum amount of connotations, references and relationships.


If during a large sculptural realization we perceive also this sui generis robustness as one of the connotations, then in its loop-like repeating video, we see, on the contrary, the most delicate possible intervention: in the anonymous, so-called “symptomless, generally human” face the only geometric form are the eyebrows accentuated in black – that shifts, however, from one sequence to another and this way this geometric form is maximally subtle. But perhaps exactly the subtle relationship of the “portrayal semantics” as a human face and its commenting by this free, minimally geometric intervention, is once again that exact relationship that the artist wants to thematise. And in an even more playful way she starts her subtle significance in a projection where one female body remains without a head – and this head, once again anonymous and symptomless acts as a bust on a pedestal standing next to it, once again with a maximum amount of connotation!


Another communicative enlightenment of the exhibition came about when the artist asked for “intervention” by an artist already internationally reflected – and Dan Perjovschi gave her one drawing for the time of the exhibition that she could use in any way she liked – hand out copies to visitors or perhaps have it printed on t-shirts! It is another implication of the important context for the artist alone and at the same time it is a reflection of her issues in the author’s lapidary drawing form.


In my opinion, the work of Monika Zawadzki (that is how the artist wants to use her name – and that also shows something about the context she wants to be perceived in!) is the current articulation of the absolutely contemporary and new issues – relationship within the scope of re-evaluation of applying the language of geometry, which is, without a doubt, one of the ways of how to newly update the current contexts and correlations of the
unportrayed and semantic…


Jiří Valoch (1), 2011


1. Born in 1946, lives in Brno. Poet and author of visual and conceptual poetry, photographic concepts, events, interventions in the natural environment, artists’ books and text installations. He corresponded with a number of Fluxus artists. In 1969 he organized the pioneering exhibition Partury-hudebni in Brno. Some of his scores are obviously inspired by the Fluxus artists and their events – he makes minimal interventions in everyday situations, which may be announced as an artistic piece or not. He was a member of the Klub konkretistů 1st and 2. Works as art critic, theorist and curator since 1966. He was a theorist and curator at the House of in Brno (1972-2001) and curator at the National Gallery in Prague.


Původně jsem se rozmýšlel, zda zvládnu přesunout se z Brna do Prahy hned po návratu z Benátek v noci o den dříve… Ale nakonec jsem neodolal – a udělal jsem dobře právě s touto novou zkušeností letošního ročníku benátského Bienále. Neboť i tam se jako aktuální objevovalo poměrně často právě to, v čem je podstata podle mého skutečně originální, autentické tvorby Moniky Zawadzki – nové přehodnocení a propojení dvou sfér, klíčových pro umění šedesátých a sedmdesátých let minulého století v novém, aktuálním kontextu. Tehdy to byly samozřejmě ty nejstriktnější podoby redukce a dematerializace, to jest v rámci sochařství nejprve minimalistické a brzy poté dokonce konceptuální způsoby artikulace, tvořené v nejradikálnějších případech pouze verbální formulací. To jsou dnes již klasická řešení, jejichž opakování by bylo nesmyslné, koneckonců i sami zakladatelé obou sfér postupně jisté další aspekty zapojili – třeba barvu a někteří konceptualisté i prostor.


Monika akceptuje dosavadní proměny umění v posledních desetiletích, přirozeně přijímá i postmoderní lekci a hledá nové možnosti užívání jazyka geometrie (jenž se již v ryze estetických záměrech hodně vyčerpal). A nachází svou podobu konceptuální sémantiky, spjaté s určitou vztahovostí v rámci každého jednotlivého díla. Na první pohled reduktivní, robustní quasiminimalistická „socha“, zaplňující skoro celou místnost, je tak říkajíc „en detail“ skladbou prostorových vazeb několika geometrických elementů, ovšem její vlastní poselství je artikulováno vztahem ryze geometrické formy nahoře a konceptuální sémantizací dolní části, tvořené krajně stylizovanou, znakovou redukovanou formou ruky. Poselstvím této umělkyně je tedy především vztah mezi ryze redukovanou formou a formou sémantizovanou. Přitom samozřejmě právě volba ruky je skutečně „významem par excellence“, protože právě ona přináší maximální množství konotací, odkazů, vazeb…


Jestliže při veliké sochařské realizaci vnímáme i tuto sui generis robustnost jako jednu z konotací, v jejím jako smyčka se opakujícím videu naopak vidíme zásah skoro nejsubtilněji možný: v anonymní, tak říkajíc „bezpříznakové, obecně lidské“ tváři se objevuje jako jediná geometrická forma černě zdůrazněné obočí – to se ovšem posouvá z jedné sekvence do druhé a tak je tato geometrická forma maximálně subtilní… Ale možná právě tak subtilní vztah „sémantiky obrazu“ jako lidské tváře a jeho komentování tímto oproštěným minimálním geometrickým zásahem je opět oním přesným vztahem, jejž chce umělkyně tematizovat. A ještě hravěji rozehrává svou subtilní významovost v projekci, na níž zůstává jedna ženská postava bez hlavy – a tato, opět maximálně anonymní, bezpříznaková hlava pak figuruje jako busta na vedle stojícím soklu, opět tedy s maximálním množstvím konotací!


Další komunikativní obohacení výstavy bezpochyby vzniklo, když umělkyně požádala o „intervenci“ umělce již internacionálně reflektovaného – a Dan Perjovschi jí na dobu výstavy věnoval jednu kresbu, kterou může užívat jakýmkoliv způsobem, kopie rozdávat návštěvníkům nebo třeba vytisknout na trička! Je to další naznačení kontextu pro samotnou umělkyni důležitého a zároveň reflexe její problematiky v autorově lapidární kreslířské podobě…


Podle mého přesvědčení je tvorba Moniky Zawadzki (tak si umělkyně přeje užívat své jméno – i to něco svědčí o povědomí kontextu, v němž chce být vnímána!) aktuální artikulací naprosto současné, nové problematiky – vztahovosti v rámci přehodnocení uplatňování jazyka geometrie, což je bezpochyby jedna z cest, jak nově aktualizovat právě stávající kontexty a souvztažnosti nezobrazujícího a sémantického…


Jiří Valoch (1), 2011


1. Born in 1946, lives in Brno. Poet and author of visual and conceptual poetry, photographic concepts, events, interventions in the natural environment, artists’ books and text installations. He corresponded with a number of Fluxus artists. In 1969 he organized the pioneering exhibition Partury-hudebni in Brno. Some of his scores are obviously inspired by the Fluxus artists and their events – he makes minimal interventions in everyday situations, which may be announced as an artistic piece or not. He was a member of the Klub konkretistů 1st and 2. Works as art critic, theorist and curator since 1966. He was a theorist and curator at the House of in Brno (1972-2001) and curator at the National Gallery in Prague.


November 2011
Text by Markéta Stará


Monika Zawadzki’s fascination with the relationship between amorphous matter and the various forms it takes on was the point of departure for her exhibition “Blackbird.” The vastness and mutability of matter, its transformative potential, and its capacity for memory (new objects and shapes are not free of the traces of their predecessors) are key concerns for the Polish (...)