Nešleha, Pavel / Elements
mixed technique, digital print, combined wooden structure and kappa boards, height 420 × 110 × 110 cm
purchased 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
This object is an example of Nešleha’s fascination with the elements. In terms of form, it represents a shift towards experimentation which came late in his career. His earlier work exemplified a manual, handcrafted approach to painting, drawing, material expression and working with photography; however, the form of this object belongs to the 21st century, displaying Nešleha’s creative flexibility and refusal to remain static, his continuous exploration of artistic horizons. In this tall cubic structure, the elements are depicted in the form of digitally altered static photographs of television screens. The images include authentic elements of the broadcast medium, including the emblem of the TV station and the technical features of the TV appliance itself. The elements – an archetypal phenomenon – are here transposed using new media. The tower-type structure of the object is somewhat deceptive; when reading and attempting to decipher the visual images on its walls, we have a tendency to seek out successions, progressions, connections, and hierarchical relations – as well as narratives. However, we then discover that the individual surfaces do not express any explicit narrative. Instead we are confronted with a non-hierarchical plurality of signs – a typical feature of post-modern art.