19. 7. - 2. 9. 2018 (opening: Wednesday, 18. 7. 2018 at 6 p.m.)
Julien Maire, Robert Vlasák
curated by: Miloš Vojtěchovský
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
During the exhibition opening GAMU will host a sound performance by Tonic Train (Sarah Washington and Knut Aufermann).
This exhibition sheds light (and shadows) on a hidden narrative of optical and kinetic apparatuses. It brings together five works by two artists who have developed a particular, media-archaeological approach to the aesthetics and ideology of the analog technology of the past, seen from the digital era.
French artist Julien Maire (1969) de-constructs and re-invents analog apparatuses and gives them a pataphysical slant. Usually, he disassembles and inverts the functionality of perception machines, such as projectors or cameras. At GAMU, three of his works are on exhibit. These include The Man at Work (2014), an installation based on the stop-motion animation of a sequence of stereolithographic three-dimensional figures running in a loop. A similarly maverick cinematographic machine is his Instantanées (1998). Instead of using flat images as a source, a slide projector adapted to project three-dimensional miniature sculptures is attached to a rotating mechanism that creates an animation of a falling drop of water. In addition, Step Direction (2015) is a variable set of kinetic structures based on the ancient principle of the pantograph, autonomously folding and unfolding in a space.
Robert Vlasák (1978) exhibits two assemblages: the sound sculpture Sirene (2017), an acoustic generator, based on an invention by August Seebeck (1805-1849); and a new kinetic sculpture entitled Vrtuloid (2018), constructed from a collection of car engine fan blades arranged on a shaft and suspended from the ceiling.
The machines at GAMU are propelled by serious playfulness and designed with an idiosyncratic touch derived from careful observations of our world.
Julien Maire is a French artist born in Metz in 1969. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Metz, and currently lives and works in Brussels. Since the mid-1990s, he has created works of performance art, media installation and cinema to produce live works that are hybrids of genres and media, exploring the physicalities of the moving image. Maire’s installations and performances, such as Exploding Camera, Low Res Cinema, and Demi-Pas have been featured widely and internationally at prestigious venues such as Ars Electronica, Digital Art Festival, European Media Art Festival, Film Festival Rotterdam, Sonar, Transmediale, ZKM, ICC (Japan), Empac (New-York). Maire was the winner of the NTAA.be (Update_2 biennial) in 2008 and was nominated for the World Technology Award in New York in 2009.
Robert Vlasák is a Czech visual artist and sculptor born in Kladno in 1978. He works as assistant professor at the Studio of Natural Materials at the Faculty of Art and Design at the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. Vlasák’s work is an inquiry into the physical qualities of different materials and situations. He is fascinated by the concept of equilibrium and the process of change, which he explores usually by means of visualisation or sonification. Vlasák is interested, too, in the mechanical, sonic and optical aspects of objects, sometimes implemented as electronic and sound-producing elements.
The exhibition is the result of collaboration between GAMU and Agosto Foundation, which has funded the residencies of Julien Maire, Sarah Washington and Knut Aufermann in Prague. The residencies take place with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture.
Production: GAMU & Agosto Foundation
Financial support: Ministry of Culture Czech Republic
Media partners: Flash Art, Artmap, jlbjlt.net