Jan Šerých profile


I think there are no intentional or rational decisions behind my artwork, or that I would like to get from
one point to another, it is always more an illustration
or description of a situation. The Role of an Artist It´s partly therapy because
it´s so personal and it´s partly because I became an artist and I simply still enjoy this role in society. Naturally, it is also a way of communicating, and I don´t want to be defensive, I think my work is not non-political,
in the broad sense of the word, because it refers to something, naturally, I can never set a target, follow it and reach it. Or I can´t imagine even the slightest social
change that might be caused or brought about by
my art activities. “Paramnesia” is a video based on an audio recording, or a scrummage of soundtracks, which I downloaded from the Internet, they´re all outdoor recordings, which I tried to organize into
a kind of constellation to create a sort of abstract narrative. The visual part of it is just a map or a picture of the way I arranged
the audio tracks. “Rorschach” was commissioned by Bonner Kunstverein for an exhibition
called On Altruism. It´s a chessboard painted on a wall, which makes a game unplayable because the coloured squares gradually change into
the opponent´s colour squares. “The Celebrity´s Telephone Number – I don´t know
whose” those were three pictures,
which looked very similar, with a set of numbers flickering in an 8 bit
mode. All of them had a kind of doubtful value because they belonged to famous people who might be interesting to talk to but I didn´t know their identity. One of the pictures was on show
at the Prague City Library and caused a minor scandal, because funnily enough it really worked and the person whose number it was
responded. He insisted on taking the picture down. It was Stefan Margita. Sources and Impulses I find it hard to localize sources of creativity. But I try to because I know
the things are obsessional, and so am I, of course, and I feel it wouldn´t be right
if I did the same things although I know I´ve been doing
similar things for a couple of years now. At least I try to come up with a different
interpretation because the visual side seems to be just
a variation of the same. The Artist and the Viewer For example as far as viewers
are concerned, you try to shape them,
you have specific demands, and that´s the closest group, then comes another group of people
who more or less understand art, you can divide them into groups –
knowledgable and partly-knowledgable, and completely ignorant viewers. I think this phenomenon is dealt with in
the world of art, in a hermetical way, since it´s a kind of
exclusive thing, and perhaps it´s to a certain degree
a political thing, because I´m not satisfied with the situation,
of course, because I would like to be
well-educated, and to be able to tell everyone everything, but I know this is not possible. Firstly, some people are not interested at all, and that´s their right, or others don´t understand it because they haven´t got the key
to understanding it, which reflects the fact that we were brought up
in a specific social group, educated at schools, and although we all keep
meeting each other, and exchanging certain type of information, so we can´t expect the general
population to follow all this. So it´s not an exclusive matter. I made these drawings during
my residency in Bern. I spent two or three months there and
didn´t have much to do there. So it was a kind of meditation,
what you´d normally call telephone drawings or doodling, automatical scribbling, but this wasn´t pure automatism because
I used some instruments, but at the same time I had no concrete target. The only thing, the only information
I embedded into the drawings were fragments of my telephone number. I named these google photos,
perhaps a bit pathetically, “true image” – vera icon after a couple that
drew my attention. It was a photo from both sides
of the Wenceslas Square. On the one side there´s a huge
billboard covering the whole building, and thanks to the software which
automatically erases faces two faces are blurred but this did not work in the reflection
in the shop window on the opposite side. What I liked the best was the failure
of the software which is expected to work perfectly. I don´t know if it is possible to still call
it a photograph because it´s a kind of photographic stew, you don´t really know where it starts and
where it ends, perhaps it starts and ends with the
format of the monitor, as a kind of output facility. Otherwise it´s still panoramatic, it has a certain depth, perhaps I tried to return it back to
a medium which I understand better than the application. At the same time I was looking for
some errors but not the obvious ones. The Computer and the Internet In a way, I´m dependent on the computer. Well, quite a lot. I use the computer also partly
to earn my living and because I´m quite disciplined so I feel that as soon as I sit down
in front of the computer that – ora et labora – I start working properly. Until I sit down in front of it
I just relax and do nothing. Even if I do absolutely nothing on the computer
I still think I didn´t waste my time. When thinking rationally, it´s quite the
opposite. Well, I think many people are trapped
by this medium. Visuality One of the possible answers is that for me
it is a kind of selection from a dramatically large number of possibilities and the fact that I have to
somehow process it physically is so annoying that I try hard to do things
I am in harmony with. But that´s a self-justifying reply. Because I find the things on the Internet,
which is a hard to identify environment, so I try to give them a kind of physical base or something that works like an anchor. Perhaps it was important for me
in a smaller series, where I quoted menus from
porno websites. The individual categories there
were in alphabetical order, and there were numbers in brackets, giving you the number of photographs. And when you went back there
after some time, so everything changed. In fact everything changes on the Internet, and because it looks the way it looks, so the pictures are black-and-white and for me they are sort of tombstones, like monuments of something which, I don´t know, doesn´t exist. I don´t know how much it is macro. It´s a micro and macro relief of the Moon the photos were taken from a satellite, from the height of several hundreds of
kilometers and this is also the principle of the picture which is composed of perhaps more than
a hundred images or screen-shots from the monitor, in a certain resolution, which are then arranged like a mosaic.>From the center further,
the seemingly coherent or consistent picture, resembles a work of
the In-formalism movement, and loses in some respect its credibility. This happened because I tried to experiment
and do it properly but it just couldn´t be done that way. Exhibition in a Commercial Gallery I must say that if you display your work in
a non-commercial gallery you feel a bit more freedom, although I was never put under any
pressure by anybody, but it is myself who feels a bit bound because I´m supposed to create an artifact, which might be possibly evaluated. This belongs to the rules of the game
of the gallery. Although in my case this doesn´t
really work much. Perhaps I would have made these pictures even
if the exhibition was in a public institution. But here I tend to meet the expectations. I feel better than I did a few years ago. I think I´ve given up a couple of things, or I have abandoned some illusions, this surely doesn´t refer only to art, you suddenly realize you can´t do everything, you can only do something, and there are less and less variants
of what you may do, and finally there is just one thing.

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