The concept of Zbyněk Baladrán’s exhibition is based on the assumption that there is a science called “necrology.” On the Czech Wikipedia, its object of study is laconically described as “the study of the processes that take place in animal and plant bodies after they die. The processes that lead to the decomposition of their organic parts, putrefaction, decay and the subsequent return of organic matter to the cycle.” No other references for this term, no foreign language equivalent. And it is this necrology, as a kind of “marginal science,” that offers the author parallels to contemporary art and helps him comprehend its meaning.
Just like necrology, contemporary art deals with decay and dying, albeit mostly within an environmental or socio-ideological framework. The parallels are also related to marginality, which has only a brief entry on the Czech Wikipedia, just as contemporary art is marginal. And it also relates to the arbitrariness and subversion with which necrology and contemporary art operate. The exhibition combines historical and cultural references with counterpoint texts that paraphrase the contemporary discourse of neoliberal society.
It offers viewers the possibility of a similar arbitrariness in composing, connecting and inventing meanings. The whole constellation teeters on the edge of social critique and awareness of the linguistic and cultural conditioning of our thinking. It refers, moreover, to the institution of the museum full of rare trophies from ancient civilizations and beautiful objects removed from common use as places of death.