Martin Kyrych and Šimon Sýkora: 
The Logic of Discomfort

24. 1. – 16. 2. 2020
opening: 23. 1. 2020 from 6PM

curator: Jan Šerých

The temporary artistic coexistence of Martin Kyrych and Šimon Sýkora could be interpreted as a unique (self) ironic manifest, framed by the use of common artistic media such as painting, drawing, video or performance. At the same time, however, it also appears to be like a testing model of some marginal life situations in the world of art and the functioning thereof in the network of social narratives that are jointly shared, yet dramatically different. The multitude of sources leads the moral and aesthetical dilemmas of both artists into various forms of antagonism, originating from the fascination, as well repulsion of all sorts of things, or better yet into an unclear reaction to the borderline of a simple decision yes/no or the stressful choice between attack and escape.

Martin Kyrych’s basic working method is drawing, with which he likes to reference the traditional strategies of comics, an entire arsenal of subcultural genres, as well as his egoistical mastery of autography. While this medium is seemingly spontaneous, Kyrych sadistically subjects it to various forms of contamination that he sometimes takes all the way to the border of total decomposition. The original blends with materials found and the seemingly authentic testimony penetrates with the citation in a hybrid way. Every one of the thousands of pictures carries a role of a symbol, punctuation, or censorship; the meaningfulness of the cuts, relationships of image and text, as well as the linearity of narration is soon collapsing like a house from cards. Overprints and afterimages are the combination of elusive decisions of the artist, the machine tempo of a home printer and the unpredictability of the software used. Within the simple image about the method of never ending permutations, in which every one of the possible versions is equipped with its own logic, the procedures mentioned appear to be tested practices. But it can be quite the brave mission to work in such a mode so intensely and long term, knowing the permanent relativism and loss of illusions about the meaning of the images and messages.

Šimon Sýkora’s recordings in this exhibition work with the sound track of the artist’s older videos. The original sources formally resemble amateur recordings, lacking any form of dramaturgic manipulation. An example would be the performative experiment where the artist reincarnates into the Czech pioneer of the idea of a white heterosexual man, Petr Hampl. We perceive an uncertainty here between the role of an ironic commentator, a mature participant and a paralyzed viewer; it is as if the real director of the conspiracy-psychedelic work did not even exist in the end. Sýkora’s other quasi-documents of street meetings of the Czech ultra-right wing have a similar effect – as an unlinked series of humorous, bizarre, as well as scary scenes in familiar backdrops. The absence of an image component and its contexts fundamentally changes our perception. The scarce network of clues disappears and the sound comes across as a poorly dosed hallucinogen. 

The exhibition in the Gallery Jelení plays on the unruly presentation, as well as the curator blindness of the subliminal outlet of both participating artists which is some sort of subversive interest in storytelling. On the contrary, it takes the image of a breakpoint to extreme, as it causes the resetting of all impulses and communication channels in which we have definitely been lost. This dramatic situation is certainly a good opportunity for a new beginning, just like a tempting opportunity to resign, stop seeing, hearing and speaking. 

Jan Šerých
(transl. Vanda Krutská)


The program of the Jeleni Gallery is possible through kind support of Ministry of Culture of the Czech RepublicPrague City CouncilState Fund of Culture of the Czech RepublicCity District Prague 7
Partners: Kostka stav
Media support: ArtMapjlbjlt.netUMA: You Make Art

©Martin Kyrych a Šimon Sýkora

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