The Burn before the Burn-out (The Promethean False Promise)
A feeling of immobilizing pressure surrounds us as a mantle. We are unable to work, and the there is less and less joy in recreation. We only refuel enough to continue with the work. Not only are we required to compete with our results, but we are also employed as entrepreneurs of the self and creators of a media self-image. The effect of a fuelless burn can be felt all around. Millennials, but also the youngest coming of age generation all talk about it. We are all tired. Tired of?
Karlin Studios, Prvního pluku 2, Prague, Czech republic
Artists: Johanka Belišová, Ondrej Houštava, Kvet Nguyen, Paula Malinowska, Daniel Rychlo, Tatiana Takáčová
Guest artist: Martin Piaček
Curator: András Cséfalvay
One of the questions that arises is the whereabout of the evasive and mythical past, when the flames where high, and the fuel was abundant. We can hear talks of the promethean moment, when we were handed the flame, and a child brain recognizes its own creative potential. There are these stories of arcadian idyll, but then it becomes somewhat misty. At what point does the child turn into aperformance hunter?
Is the constant construction of a medial image via social media the strongest factor for making us exhausted even before we catch flame? For that is what we often hear. If we only focused on the work itself, rather than the gimmicks that represent it, that report it, or fake it, then a true temperature can be reached. Then we can finally glow red hot with the desire, we are told.
Or, perhaps, the hype that surrounds all current digital media is only a smokescreen, that in fact only builds up the image of a false god. Prometheus only brings envy if anything into the game. The domestication of fire, the torchlight of enlightenment, the chemical flame of the combustion engine all
brought great short-term victories to humanity. But each time the false god giggled, as new and new flammables were thrown into the fire of dis-equilibrium. All of us are flogging ourselves, as fire always comes as a saviour, and we somehow cannot catch flame. Something else is on fire.
Yet, what if the vision fails, and we see that there was no true burn before. Only a smiling vision of personal progress, that plants a feeling of insufficient competence, of not enough work, of too much undeserved leisure, which keeps us young and not-young hostages in constant burn-out all the time.
The current collection of works of the youngest generation of artists from Bratislava address feelings of personal and societal over-expectations, but also show moments of out-manouvering and ignoring the false promise of Prometheus.
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