Surůvka, Jiří / Pater noster
acrylic, canvas, perforated in the mouths of the figures, 80 × 100 cm
Jiří Surůvka’s paintings often express commentaries on the principles of manipulation, with a particular focus on Nazism. His work also frequently contains the motif of children and their world – as in the digital print Twins (1997). In the painting Pater Noster, Surůvka likewise uses the motif of children’s faces gazing towards some point. The depiction of eating from one plate is a symbolic paraphrase of the monolithic schematism into which society is dragged by totalitarian regimes. Children – the symbolic foundation of society’s future – are sated by a single dogmatic soup. Through the gesture of slashing the canvas across the children’s mouths, Surůvka emphasizes the principle of enforced joy, ostensible happiness which is achieved by violent, brutal manipulation. In the background, above the children’s heads, the hypnotic eyes of Adolf Hitler look out at us.