Lucie Drdova Gallery is a Prague-based contemporary art gallery with a strong conceptual portfolio and a distinctive curatorial approach to open up dialogue between local artists and the international scene.

Anu Vahtra & Martin Lukáč

Interpreter’s Booth
An exhibition in two chapters by Anu Vahtra and Martin Lukač
Curated by Piotr Sikora

Ignotum per ignotius
The unknown by the more unknown

Not to create any doubtful theories around the following exhibition I wish to state that the interpreter’s booth I’m referring to in the title is a banal square construction built with a clear purpose to host translators during conferences or any other events that demand simultaneous translation.

Art demands a simultaneous translation or as Ranciere refers to it in Emancipated Spectator, art is a simultaneous translation where the relationship between the content producer (actor) and content receiver (viewer) is fluent and free from any form of stratification. The openness of art lies in the fact that (with the exception of music) this visual discipline is the most abstract one. Indeed, what we are dealing with most of all is a message without words, a shape rather than a story and a sensation rather than a plot. Interpretation is a tool to understand art. By all means.

Let’s imagine a situation in a muted booth where both interpreters instead of working decide to talk to each other. Their microphones are turned off and we cannot hear them at all. Observing their gestures and mimics I become more aware that what I’m looking at now is more of a performance than a dialogue. It has no informative side. Question remains what language they use to communicate: most likely both of their working languages of the day.

If you wish to get a tip how to read the following exhibition I’d suggest you may concentrate on the surroundings rather than the individual pieces per se.

In Anu’s artistic practice we follow banal objects from the environment around us being transferred visually and contextually into abstract images or artifacts. What was before an unnoticed fragment of an interior, a tight corner or a plain shape of a white cube is animated by the artist’s gesture and becomes an art piece, it’s as simple as that. Or is it really?

Surroundings are being reproduced and turned into an abstract piece.
Keywords: animation, concept, cleanness.

Similar tactics are present in Martin’s paintings. By default abstract canvasses are never just being hung inside of the white and sterile cube. Furthermore they contaminate the space around them so the expression from the paintings goes beyond the canvas and fills the gallery with all kinds of objects whether they are shoes, nets, wooden panels or banner prints.

An abstract art piece affects its surroundings and turns them into an environmental installation.
Keywords: gesture, expression, contamination.

To be continued…