Crack Pipes, Glands, Incarnate, Life, Prodigal Son, Sick Af at National Gallery, Prague
As part of Jindrich Chalupecky Award 2018 (Laureate)
November 13, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Incarnatevirtual reality video, 10:002018Performers: Zuzana Jírová, František Mucha, Jan Bražina, Scott Hopper, Renata Dosdá
Lifepolyethylene net, steel tube, spray colors2018Matyáš Bernard BraunThe Prodigal Sonwood (facsimile)ca 1720
Lukas Hofmann, Scott Hoppersick afvideo, 26:142018
Hofmann's project for the national Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2018, that he became the Laureate of, included two equally important parts: the permanent installation at the Korzo and a spectacular performance held at the Korzo and below at Studio Hrdinů.
The installation does not have a hierarchic center, rather grasping the surrounding world with curiosity. The sculptural climbing holds make an impression of a space adapted for movement while resonating with corporeality due to their tactile and visual qualities.
We are disconcerted by the fragility of the experimentally processed glass; the changeable membrane of the suspended construction net intimately delineates the space, while also enabling the constant penetration of the surrounding reality. The three-dimensional video in virtual reality glasses mentally absorbs us, teleporting us to a certain interspace and timelessness with the help of the performers in anachronic costumes.
The core of Lukáš Hofmann’s work draws on very personal moments, whether they be relationships, conversations with friends, experiences with mind altering substances or current interests (such as discovering arts and crafts and acquiring handicraft skills). However, this autobiographical quality (most visibly revealed in the intimate video exhibited outside the Korzo on the 4th floor of the permanent exhibition of the National Gallery) does not aim to tell particular stories, rather becoming a source of ambivalent sensuality and anxious emotionality. It affects the present participants while following rules that are as unstable and uncertain as the present day.
The VR headset mediates a development of the refined scenographic and performative elements with which Hofmann so often works. Unlike common 3D modelling, he opted for a realistic sensuality, making the experience enthralling, not unlike the use of a high-quality “trip”.
The visitor stands at the centre, scenes taking place around them as if on a rotating Baroque stage, scenes which – rather than mediating a specific narrative – induce the feeling of living tableaus, heightened through the use of historical references such as Marold’s Panorama or the motif of the pseudo-kunstkammer.
VR technology itself reduces the viewer to pure visuality, representing their abandoning of the body, which however returns in a sensual adaptation. Performers in medieval costumes replay motives from the artist’s previous events – raising up a lifeless body, choking one another in a circle, biting hands, kissing (the juiciness of kissing is referred to in the author’s pseudonym, “Saliva”).
Text by Tereza Jindrova and Martina Poliackova
Pictures by Peter Fabo
The work was commissioned by Jindřich Chalupecký Society.