Kern, Michal / I Remember You, Ancestors
terracotta, archeological fragment 49.5 × 56 × 4 cm, shard 13.5 × 8.5 × 1.5 cm
This work is a typical example of Kern’s conceptual art, which is manifested in a dialogue between a human being (the artist) and nature (the terracotta). It straddles the boundary between Jean Starobinski’s “first nature” and “second nature”; this was a typical feature of art in Slovakia (but not only there) from the 1960s to the 1980s. The work also functions as a processual record of the artist’s action-intervention into the structure of a natural material. The motif of remembering ancestors can be read subliminally as an expression of Kern’s disenchantment with contemporary life under a totalitarian regime.