Black and white can be considered ghost colors – dead reminders of living colors. Colors that have faded away. All that remains is a memory in shades of grey. With light and shadow, we create doubles of reality. Mysterious reflections that have haunted our perceptions of the world for over 200 years. The photographic process as the art of ghosts, the conflict of phantoms. In Black Mirror, tour guide Katie explains to Cooper a new computer game she is testing: Welcome to the nineteenth century. No TV, no internet, no wi-fi. The fewer distractions, the more often people see ghosts. The continuity of visual stimuli produces a similar effect as the absence of it. Technical images glowing from monitors can induce visions just like a flame casting shadows on a wall. As technological innovations continually improve our ability to summon phantoms, the realm of the ghost expands. Hito Steyerl refers to low-quality, poor-resolution digital images as ghosts of an image.
In his defense of poor images, he attributes to them the role of witnesses to contemporary visual fragmentation and constant displacement. Low-data-volume images can be easily disseminated, uploaded and downloaded. As ghosts of visual culture, they easily penetrate the economic wall of commodification. Forgotten films appear illegally on the internet as blurry mp4 or avi files. The British film Ghost Dance has less than a thousand megabits on the net. The film features, among others, Jacques Derrida explaining his theory of ghosts: Whether I believe in ghosts or not, I say let the ghosts live. Another theory says that ghosts are alive and we are all dead. They keep convincing us of that.
The exhibition is a collaboration with Polansky Gallery in Prague and Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna.
23.3. at 19 h / café PRAHA / Husova 18 / Brno
Accompanying program to the exhibition Theory of Ghosts
Film: Týden (dir. Jiří Havlíček, 2016, 12 min., 16mm)
The film was originally based on Nezval’s book Valérie a týden divů. During the course of the production, it became clear that more important than Valérie is the medium of the film and the weekly unit of time in which our lives unfold and repeat. The abstract landscape of the induced emulsion permeates a concrete landscape in which traces of human civilization gradually appear. Musical performance by Jan Kratochvíl.
Zajatci filmu (dir. Jiří Havlíček, 2012, 10 min., VHS)
A video-fragment taking place in the space between several films. Loosely inspired by the Czech children’s film Kaňka do pohádky and the French silent series Les Vampires. Music by Morton Feldman. Starring: Anita Somrová, Ondřej Novák, Jiří Havlíček sen.