Jan Pfeiffer: Každý objímá všechny ostatní
8. 9. – 27. 9. 2012
Opening 7. 9. at 6pm


Eurythmy is a system of motion developed by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. It is a direct expression of human body, allowing for imminent messages through movements representing albhapbetical letters. In a cave outlined by a carved rock, a man expresses a basic, repeated message through Eurythmy. It stands for a single word, "base" (in Czech "základ"). He might be addressing perhaps a more general meaning of the material basis of the surrounding rock. At the same time, the video correlates with an installation in front of him, featuring a "base stone".

A man who literally walks though tree crowns, which are situated too low. A seemingly strange action gains another meaning when observing a graphical scheme behind the video. It is derived from complex schemes by Martinus Thomsen, another representative of the "other" way of thinking, an alternative to the intellectual discourse which dominated 20th century. Through this juxtaposition, the situation gains a symbolic value, where the linear movement conjuncts the vaults (tree crowns), causing feedback.

An attempt to explain Jan Pfeiffer's show for Jelení Gallery in terms of a given ideological line would, however, be quite wrong. Jan is strongly aware of his independent position as a artist, who react on the phenomena of the surrounding world through creating its autonomous interpretations. He was influenced by his childhood experience of the Waldorf school system, formulated also by Rudolf Steiner. A spiritual approach towards reality and a complex vision of human nature connected to it are in contemporary culture in many ways controversial, but the cultural structures they brings along and a traditional heritage they react upon open many interesting moments.

The semantic language Jan Pfeiffer uses comes from several different impulses, which are synthesized in the final formal outcome. One of the essential influences was the artist's recent residency in Palestine, a region filled with a complex structure of cultural traditions and filding itself in a not less simple actual situation. Jan has a gift of gently connecting concrete experiences from this place with its historical heritage and his own spiritual world. Within this exhibition, these three aspects melt into a specific artistic interpretation.

The initial sentence about Eurythmy wasn't coincidental. Just as this system was supposed to be a medium of direct messages and mutuality among people, also Jan's work abstracts mental structures, which might offer different interpretations and cause difficulty to translate. The spiritual roots of the aesthetic language of the exhibition can be decoded, but, at the same time, the works alone offer their viewer ense of understanding. They return to the concrete, to the basics.

Viktor Čech

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