Palo Macho / Jana Hojstričová: Permanent Risk
We cordially invite you
Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 5 p.m.
Open TUE - SA, 09:00 - 12:30, 13:00 - 16:00.
SUN, 09:00 - 12:30, 13:00 - 17:00.
The exhibition will be introduced by Peter Michalovič, you can read his accompanying text HERE.
Exhibition architect: Marcel Benčík.
Palo Macho / Jana Hojstričová, exhibition hall Synagogue Hranice.
(accompanying text by Palo Macho, April 2022)
- What the chandelier confirmed by its value, why it encouraged a regular care of beautiful segments with its majestic presence, was the memory of those whose lives it touched with its light. What was really happening in those moments could not be heard. We only heard the tinkling of the crystal segments, observed the slight shaking of the polished glass surfaces and the bouncing of the lights on the white wall. This legacy, like a seismological instrument, anticipated risk. The distant and present risk.
The installation Permanent Risk reflects on the position of certainties in our everyday life. A desire to rely on something, to rely on someone, to have the feeling or illusion of a safe place where we are not threatened is what we often seek. The main object of the site-specific installation is the original crystal chandelier in the Synagogue’s exhibition space as a symbol of light, craftsmanship, splendour and frequent heritage, which is a reliable detector of change due to its fragility. Crystal prisms – ground segments of glass react sensitively to light, sound, seismic changes, to air flow with their movement, to sound and the warning of a potential destruction. How fragile is the beauty and aesthetics of crystal pieces. Their value and strength are easily transient. With this transience, even the time spent under the light of the chandelier is threatened. We visualise the danger of the loss of certainty in the space of the synagogue through image traces projected on the floor, “scattered” photographs of chandelier details, manipulated photograms of shadows and shimmering light. Somewhere nearby, new glass is prepared in the form of a segment of a rather monstrous size. There would be hope for reconstruction, but we do not know if it is the true form.
The vertical axis of the chandelier has deviated. Or is the world deflected? Is this world still ours? The spectacular light of the cut facets and edges projected on the wall as the residual glory of the crystal glass trembles, settles, oscillates and falls silent. We do not find our desired peace, nor do we influence the deviation of the vertical from our positions.
We can view the installation from two floors. What is our current position? Below among the remains of illusions and possible hopes or above, where the horizontal made up of shelves shows the internal connections of glass paintings, their visual presence, captures the concept of creation and records the development of selected themes? With the help of these horizons, we can hopefully find our way in the following days, or find a way out of the labyrinth in which we have found ourselves through no fault of our own.
Dismissing the smouldering doom below us, we might feel confident that the danger has been averted.
 From the story: The Chandelier Touches by Light
(accompanying text by Peter Michalovič)
Anyone who wants to understand the installation called Permanent risk must read it horizontally and vertically at the same time. The center of the installation, if it has any center at all, is the chandelier, which is a permanent part of the interior of the synagogue. The chandelier consists of individual parts that form a whole. The whole is more than the individual parts because it subordinates them to the final purpose. That purpose in this case is to be an artificial light source. That light, which, as the scholars of the past believed, is invisible, but what it touches becomes visible thanks to it.
Let's start with vertical reading. The chandelier as the center is a reference point. It is also because we refer to it what is below it. They are photos of parts of a chandelier, obviously a chandelier that fell apart. This means that in this case the present-past trajectory is important. The chandelier appears to be identical to itself. In fact, if we descend to the lowest level, we see that its smallest particles are constantly in motion. In addition, the chandelier as such interacts with the environment. All of this is the reason that if we observe the chandelier for a long enough time, it would one day disintegrate into individual shaped or non-shaped parts. The installation expresses this movement with an interval between the chandelier and between the photographic records of what the chandelier consisted of. Thus, it shows that every present becomes the past, or that the past is born simultaneously with the present. At the same time, the past breaks into the present. The relationship between what is and what is no longer is complicated. It is accompanied by a special tension, trembling and causes concern. This is due to the fact that the present and the past are never radically separated from each other. The present determines the past, and what the past is is largely determined by the present. In any case, this strained relationship prevents the past or the present from closing in on themselves and makes them something dependent in the sense that one forces the other to transform and vice versa.
In addition to the photographic records on the floor, we also see glass artifacts, strikingly similar to the ones that make up the chandelier. They are disproportionately larger than the elements of a real chandelier because they are a model. A model is always different from what it is a model of, because only in this way can it draw attention to what is important. In this case, to the fascinating shape of crystal oats, which play a decisive role in creating an aesthetic effect. If we introduce these artifacts into a session with the future chandelier, a new interval will be created. Artifacts belong to the present. They are actually enlarged elements of the project, from which the project of the future object, i.e. the chandelier, will be created.
So we have two intervals. One defined by points past - present, the other by points present - future. It is clear that the present plays a privileged position, since the present can disperse into the past, leaving behind a greater or lesser number of traces from which people can infer what events caused them. A project of the future is also born in the present, a project that stands at the beginning of our efforts to constantly change the world of people's lives, because it brings with it something that was not here before. The chandelier and what is under it can be understood as a synecdoche of a world that is not, but is becoming, while this becoming has no beginning and no end. It is a process, a path, a change, in short it is, as the philosopher Heraclitus says, an eternally extinguishing and rekindling fire.
How to face this happening of the world, the constant creation and disappearance? We do not have many options. One of the few options is art. Figuratively speaking, art defies time and keeps postponing its demise. As the philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari claim, "the young man on the canvas will smile as long as the canvas lasts. ...Art preserves, and it is the only thing in the world that is preserved. It preserves and preserves itself (quid juris?), although in fact it does not last longer than its wearer and its materials (quid facit?), stone, canvas, chemical paint, etc." The creators of the installation Palo Macho and Jana Hojstričová confirmed this thesis in their own way, that is, by visual art. In the gallery's choir, they installed common images on glass, photographs, paintings, reliefs, photographs on paper, created over the past thirteen years, on a long shelf along the perimeter of the walls. The horizontally distributed artefacts can be seen either as a temporal collection of records, sketches, interpreted photographs, or simply as memory traces of their artistic creation and research. Alternatively, they can be seen as traces from which the viewer can create the plot of the story of creation. If he does this, each clue becomes an event and these events are chained into a story based on chrono-logical sequence, that is, one event will follow another and determine the next event. There is no doubt that every viewer can create his own story of creation in his mind. What is important is not the story, what is important are the works of art as the events that initiated these stories.
The vertical and horizontal reading of the Permanent Risk installation are complementary, together they form an image of a world in which a person is exposed to constant creation and disappearance. We can hardly face it, because even his life, whether he likes it or not, is subject to the law of creation and destruction. One of the ways to face this is art, which resists changes in time and thus makes human life more bearable and interesting, sometimes even more beautiful.