František Walter: Žabža – Realita Omyl
20. 5. – 11. 6. 2015
opening: 19. 5. 2015
curator: Barbora Klímová
František Walter is primarily a narrator. Narrator of personal stories, mythologies and truths. I don’t know many people who are able to talk about life, time, love, addictions, and creation so straightforwardly based on their personal experience without keeping extreme distance, or without the listeners feeling embarrassed at hearing it. František Walter is able to do that with absolute confidence and easiness, but without irony.
He was born in 1985 in Vsetín. The atmosphere of northern Moravia is reflected in his work, which is simultaneously sensitive while brutal, loud while self-immersed, serious while humorous. In addition to the subjective narration, his videos reveal an inclination to specific cultural communities. Walter’s humour and his certain treatment of visual elements may evoke the decadent theatre Beruška (Ladybug), which he grew up on. Thanks to his older friends he also experienced specific aspects of a community united around alternative culture of the 1990s. He turns to the Beat Generation (perhaps thanks to the renewed publishing of classical works of this movement in the Czech Republic in the post-revolution period). And foremost, he participated in the so-called soundsystems – grouping of people who jointly own technology and other instruments necessary to organize parties. This community directly touches his life. And it is precisely his experience with VJing that, after studying the secondary building technical school, led him to study contemporary art at the Faculty of Fine Arts BUT in Brno. He originally planned to study in the Studio of Video, but he graduated from the Studio of Performance led by Prof. Tomáš Ruller. We can see the result of these experiences in his combination of performance, intertwining of art and life, documentary elements and simultaneously the music video editing style of his videos.
The works exhibited as if capture the situation “after – event – parties – attempts for community”, situation of sobering up, turning away from society, searching for a personal path. Maso kosti zbytečnosti (Meat Bones Useless Things) originated while the artist was still studying at the Faculty of Arts in Brno. He describes his life and view of the world at that time in a documentary form with fictive elements. Without distance, excessive self-stylization, while using certain metaphor he, as he says, touches topics of: “love, addiction, fleetingness”. He emphasizes the power of decomposition, death and chaos. According to him, his newer video 00 reflects a situation when a person “matures, gets rid of addictions and weaknesses, realizes that it’s boring and that he’s losing inspiration, starts to take himself seriously.” The video takes place on the plane of a “cleansing” trip through India, of retrospective fragments of work, of records of collective “raging” with friends and their current reflexion. He reveals the impossibility of an unequivocal approach to life and to art.
František Walter does not belong among the group of authors who would aim for a professional style in artistic production, oriented at assimilation in context and world art and its theory. In addition to his own narration, what is important for him is “amateurism, humour”, “not trying to make something out of something that it isn’t”. And it is exactly his intuitive, non-utilitarian, expressive and personally risky approach that I consider to be important in today’s pragmatically oriented world.