Curator: Silvia Van Espen
For Jiří David, art is the most natural means of sharing the news of his own existence together with interpreting what he is thinking about and what he is living at that very moment. He is a complex author, but not in the sense of complicatedness: his complexity is that of mapping the diversity and reaching for the wholeness. The range of media he has used in his creation only proves it. He begun his career as a painter, and he has been using this medium ever since, while exploring and testing it, in short, taming it (let us quote such series as Black and White, Home, Return, Brutal Abstraction; or the latest one entitled Pictures Made of Concrete). The world of art, not only in the overseas, has known Jiří David as a photographer (his cycle called Hidden Image, 1991-1995 achieved international success, being exhibited for example in Jack Tilton Gallery in New York in 1995). In Prague, he chose to install such spectacular neon installations as Crown of Thorns (2001) over the Rudolfinum, or red Heart over the Castle (2002) towards the end of Vaclav Havel´s presidential term. One should not forget to mention Daniel - a several-year-long series of photographs of his own son, or his self- portraits entitled Debil 1 and Debil 2 (Moron 1, Moron 2), or a kind of memorial to Velvet Revolution of 1989 called Klíčová socha (The Key Sculpture)... To be brief, Jiří David has authored plenty of forms.
Jiří David is a regular reporter and interpreter of his own attitudes and views, among others on public affairs. Nevertheless, the place and function of art in the contemporary society is what keeps his mind busy permanently and tenaciously: “Nowadays, there is a sort of (en)forced idea in our cultural milieu, somehow grown into the trend, that it is necessary to dissolve forms of art in the so- called common life, or - in other words - everyday social reality we encounter, and moreover, to find meaning within such dissolution. By this, among other things, the issue of an artist´s existence and function is strongly accentuated, with the following answers mostly: what we have believed that art is, has no meaning, or negligible meaning in and for our life anymore. Consequently, art acquires different meaning which we will have to denote differently as well...“
Jiří David´s list of solo and collective exhibitions is extremely long. Despite this fact, the author approaches each new exhibition in almost a virginal way. As if for a very first time, and over and over again, and repeatedly, he lets his creation be bombarded with (self-)reflection and (self-)criticism. Another proof of this statement is an exhibition “Too light ... Vertigo ... Panic ... Stendhal Syndrome ... Local Anaesthesia ... Geopornography“ reacting at its author´s personal commandment Do Not Succumb to the temptation to simply exhibit the works completed some time ago. David´s installations Pred pôvabom (Before the Charm, 2009-2011) and New Artmasturbation (2012) do originate in his older works (for instance, the story of a statue called New Artmasturbation begins in the work entitled Imunní (Immune, 2004, combined technique on canvas), and in this beginning one can recognize the authorial “manuscript“). However, it is in a totally new representation that these works are exhibited - thus for the first time. The same goes for the canvas named Proč je tak legrační, když holky hážou kameny ((The Reason) Why It Is So Funny When Girls Throw Stones, 2011). Other works exhibited, like drawing on the wall in black and white, and metallic ground plan of a gallery hanging from the ceiling are “tailor-made“ for ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY.
The oncoming exhibition “Too light ... Vertigo ... Panic... Stendhal Syndrome ... Local Anaesthesia ... Geopornography“ in ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY is an attempt to introduce Jiří David in the space limited to several square metres, with an effort to present a genuine account of his latest work.
Jiří DAVID (1956) lives and works in Prague. He is a visual artist working with various media: painting, sculpture, installation, photography... A co-founder and member (1987-1991) of a group Tvrdohlaví (The Stubborn/Obstinate). He has been a regular author at Galerie MXM in Prague since 1990. He worked as a head of the Studio of Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts (AVU) in Prague (1995-2002) and a head of the Studio of Intermedia Art at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VŠUP) in Prague (since 2004). Nowadays he is working at the Department of Intermedial and Audiovisual Work, Faculty of Fine Arts in Banska Bystrica.