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House of Art
TUE–SUN 10.00–18.00

Vaněk, Tomáš / Participle no. 206

2018

plastic, headphones, binaural recording, height 70 cm, width 80 cm, depth 0.5 cm

purchased in 2019 with support from the Czech Republic Ministry of Culture

Participation no. 26 originated as a site-specific audio recording made using binaural headphones. It is a recording of the artist running in an exhibition hall of Ostrava’s House of Art (i.e. the echoes of his soles striking the wooden floor). The work was inspired by the theme of motion (and running) for the exhibition “Who is the Victor?”, held at the House of Art in 2018. When facing the wall and listening to the recording, we sense a psycho-physical tension as the sound we hear conveys the impression a spatial movement behind our backs, provoking us to turn round.

VANĚK TOMÁŠ

(1966, Počátky) Multi-genre conceptual artist. From 1990 to 1997 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under Jiří Sopko and Vladimír Kokolia; he is currently the Rector of the Academy. During his studies, he travelled abroad for study stays in the USA, Germany, Austria and Britain. In 2001 he won the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize. He was a member of the now-defunct ‘Headless Rider’ (Bezhlavý jezdec) group and the PAS (“Contemporary Activity Production”) group. He first displayed his works to the public at group exhibitions in Germany and Prague held in 1996. His first solo exhibitions were in Klatovy and at Ostrava’s legendary (and now no longer existing) Black Spider club in 1998. He is one of the leading conceptual artists who emerged onto the Czech art scene during the post-revolutionary 1990s. His oeuvre can be characterized as participative; he himself uses the term “participations” to refer to his works. He is concerned primarily with creating a dialogue involving the viewer and the specific location, exploring this process and its limitations. Important aspects of his work include audio recordings, moments of surprise, illusory phenomena and psycho-physical activity. At one stage in his career he exploited the possibilities of spray painting and templates; in a gallery – or another public space – he would depict elements that were not subversive or otherwise invasive, but that paradoxically belonged in that particular space, forming a typical integral part of it – doorbells, nails, fire extinguishers, and so on. His later “participations” have also incorporated sound; he uses binaural microphones or collaborates with musicians in experimental audiovisual interfaces.
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