Bednář, Daniel / Field
acrylic, canvas, 150 × 180 cm
This painting has an ambivalent dimension. The bright, spectacular colours contrast with the content of the images. The rooks – who in winter migrate from north-eastern Europe and inhabit the Czech landscape for a while – can be viewed as a natural phenomenon that is repeated cyclically, yet which always appears to us as something invasive, foreign. Bednář situates the flock of rooks in a field, near the pylon of a power line and a bizarre billboard. The billboards and steel pylons represent a severe spatial disruption of the arable land. At the end of the 20th century, the field – which since ancient times has been a symbol of harvest, fertility and thus life – is viewed through the lens of commercial interests, and its original value as a provider of sustenance has been transformed as it has become a zone of speculative interests. The rooks, symbolizing invasiveness, are situated close to a billboard; rooks typically gather and cluster together, and thus they can be seen as multipliers of civilization’s invasion of the landscape. In the centre of the billboard are further iconographic elements that encourage us to read the painting as a critique of consumerist society: the logo of a phone company is interpreted as a monstrance, and at the right there is a figure alluding to Plato’s cave.