SHAPING THE PRESENT MOMENT

30 May - 6 July 2024

In my opinion, the reason behind this long-term collaboration between Jana Hojstričová and Palo Macho is founded upon several principles that have bound together the artistic duo in their creative endeavours for so many years. Both seem to yearn strongly for experimentation in artistic creation, and both are united in their deepening need for joint interdisciplinary thinking, not only concerning the artistic coordinates of glass, painting and photography, but also in the direction towards installation, architecture, the processuality of creation and its variability in constructional and installational recycling. The artist duo ruminates much more deeply on the exhibition space, its architecture, its luminous variability; and often such spaces appear as an integral part of their work. There is also a significant retreat in their collective work from a more artistic, perhaps individual treatment of glass towards a shared agreement on “cooler” conceptual strategies. Their aim was not to create a closed collection of works, but to affirm the importance of processuality and experimentation in creation. 

The two artists explore the essential characteristics of photographic and glass technology, such as light, surface, translucency and layering, but also the non-reproducibility of the work in the name of its originality and uniqueness and the focal point tied to the form of the work, which consequently defines the content. The authors’ artistic strategy is self-reflection, but also the taming of all that remains mere surface. Working with depth within the content is symbolically identical to the depth of a photographic image in a glass field, while the authors’ efforts to move the space into the area is typical even for the first phases of their collaboration. The placement of the photograph on the glass plate is particularly dependent on this; and they frequently underpaint the image in order to highlight details or the entirety of the photograph.

There is a specific shift in the collaborations of Jana Hojstričová and Palo Macho represented by their Tables. The focus here is on subtle metal constructs that create adjustments for glass objects, yet are sufficiently flexible to realise more complex constructions that go from closed, border crossing compositions to architecturally designed monumental structures. The latter is able to adapt to the exhibition space, to rebuild new systems in which individual works take on new or different contexts. A connotative image-object thus emerges, constituting a polysemous complex of signs open for possible interpretations. Subtle metal structures are predominantly placed high on the walls such that blown and sheet glass along with a layer of lustre casts shadows that become part of the installation. From the figures and the world of matter we get to abstract shadows that are volatile and unstable, but create an image of their own as an inherent part of the whole situation. Glass objects presuppose work with light, shadow and with reflection, and for photography working with light is essential. In both cases, it is a matter of the means of expression of the respective media. 

The staged light and shadows are not only perceived indoors, but also outdoors through the transparency of the windows. In this way, the theme of overlay and reversible image connects with architecture and extends beyond the exhibition space. At the very least, their collaborative installations are an attempt to create a spatial photographic image that pushes the boundaries of imagery. And this is when, in my opinion, the present moment is “being shaped”. 

Bohunka Koklesová
(The full version of the text can be found in the publication “Experimentation and Reversibility”, 2024.)

Past exhibitions

MIND GAMES 7 December 2023 - 24 February 2024