The fifty stairs in Galerie Kontext contributed to thousands and thousands of climbs and ascends in 2019 and thanks to Richard Loskot they are now accompanied by seven spirals. The author subjected the area of Galerie Kontext to a year-long study which concluded in a final diptych Ups and Downs / Downs and Ups. The central theme of the series, under the name of From the Cycle of Spirals, is the aforementioned architectonic element of stairs navigating visitors through the space and at the same time vitally defining it. At the end of the year the cycle ends with a fitting commentary upon the motif of the sun movement. “The eighteen-meter-long graphic spreading across three floors moves slowly evoking the movement of a paternoster elevator. It creates four images – windows overlooking the same scene, which is every time in a different phase depending on which window it is. The sun in the sky is under a half a degree angle. It moves slowly and creates the most distinctive rhythm of our environment.”
Popular song Po schodoch (Up the stairs) by famous Slovak singer Richard Müller ends with words "from this day I use only stairs". This sociological probe proves itself even in this little shortcut, why the staircase is not just an irrelevant passing corridor, but also an important and significant meeting point. Thanks to NoArt cinema the staircase isn´t in 2019 used only by gallery visitors, but also movie watchers, therefore it seems important to highlight its place in the cinematography. Since its beginning, various types of staircase play the central role in many key movie scenes. One of the most expressive in the silent film is the massacre on Odessa staircase in Battleship Potemkin, which nowadays is coined by it as Potemkin´s staircase. In Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, it arouses nausea, in Dirty Dancing and Titanic it becomes a symbol of prestige, in Harry Potter there is magical moving staircase, in The Name of the Rose stairs as labyrinth; the count of film scenes, that wouldn´t exist without the stairs, is very long, maybe even endless. The staircase in Gallery Kontext seemingly doesn´t have such dramatic context, but it also became a central object of interest and throughout 2019 it created a series of dramatic time and site-specific environments (sceneries) for gallery and cinema visitors, employees and bypassers.
In the third upcoming diptych for the konText Gallery, Richard Loskot again bases his work on the spatial specifics of a spiral staircase and on the metaphorical potential of a helix or spiral that follows the shape of the stairs. This time the storey becomes the leitmotif – it is a place that is almost identical in every building, but its contents are always different. Surely everyone has taken a paternoster, passing floors and often only navigating them by their numerical markings. For Richard Loskot, the repetitive nature of the individual floors becomes the moment upon which he builds his installation titled Existuje jenom přítomnost (“There is only the present”). The physical movement through a staircase to one floor higher (or lower) plays a cyclical part, where individual acts are infinitely repeated (and changed). With a persistent reference to Hegel’s spiral, the artist has installed two large screens and video cameras in the staircase corridor, and by means of a time-shift along with image manipulation, he has created the impression of “unobvious” mirrors. In this way he symbolically returns to the starting point of the total reflection, which he created for his first intervention with a series of successive mirrors.
With his fourth intervention in the spiral staircase of the experimental space in the konText TIC Gallery, Richard Loskot complements the second of his intended series of diptychs. Throughout the year-long authorship programme, he continues to use the central motif of the spiral; this time he shifts his attention from the distant past (as it was in the previous installation called 600 milionů let (“600 million years”)) to the distant future. No wonder that when there is speculation regarding the evolution of living organisms in the current period of environmental scepticism, he thinks about plants and not humans. As if the Earth should tautologically return to its pre-human period “in 600 million years”. So what will the future floral, perhaps “posthuman”, world look like? The essence of plants – photosynthesis – remains the prerequisite for their existence in the artist’s notion. Photosynthesis is also linked to the preservation of earthly nutrients, the sun and water. If we disregard the likelihood of this version of the future universe, Loskot’s fantasy plants can sometimes move (just like the walking trees in the rainforests of Ecuador). They are perhaps acquiring new aspects of consciousness or their form is altered by our current efforts to effect genetic manipulation. From the infinitely open field, however, he primarily deals selectively with their aesthetic form and, by extension, with the potential to create an atmosphere and evoke an emotional experience. He uses a 3D parametric program to design his ideas and cooperates with Vítězslav Plavec.
We present the third part of a year-long exhibition series by Richard Loskot, which is working with special and user dispositions of Kontext within Galerie TIC. Mirror reflections and our vison and perception, which were the central motif of the two preceding exhibitions in Loskot’s series, are now followed by an organic period with a more distinctive socio-cultural content. A structure of house plants, selected by the creator in consultation with an environmental platform Efemér, is now “rising” into the spiral space of the stairs and foyer. It creates a model of evolution based on the linear development from old to young age, from the developmentally lower species to the higher ones. It opens up the topics of scientific interpretation and categorization of the world consisting in the usage of measurable and exact parameters. It might be of use to remember the phenomena of house plants as an implant from exotic cultures just as the domestication and miniaturization of naturally occurring tropical and subtropical flora. What also springs to mind is a reference to the “tradition” of office floral decoration which can be found in the majority of public institutions. Part of the installation are also excerpts from the author’s previously unpublished texts. It is for example a definition of the words “order”, “system” and “open” which the author illustratively links within the exhibition. It highlights the fact that plants are a range of unique images of the reality creating their own story.
Second from the series of the year-round interventions by Richard Loskot in the Kontext gallery directly follows his previous installation. It consisted of a set of mirroring areas arranged in the two-floor helical staircase, thus allowing view from the ground floor, through the foyer of the 1st floor with entrances to the gallery and cinema, up to the gallery offices, which are located at the 2nd floor. In this way, the mirror reflections allow to see the entire building in its both architectonic and institutional character through vertical section in its wholeness. The author now completes his mirror configuration with a fundamental element – the light. The image transfer is therefore widened, “compiled” by another optical principle.
In 2019, the konText gallery´s exhibition program will undergo significant changes. Curatorial collective Café Utopia (Marika Kupková, Zuzana Janečková, Markéta Žáčková, Katarína Hládeková) will be entrusting eight dates typically reserved for multiple curators and artists, to a single artist, Richard Loskot. Allowances of time and space brought about by this new format will be used by the artist to express a sequentially changing concept across eight stages. Instead of diverse, smaller exhibitions throughout the course of the year, he will create four exhibition diptychs intertwined with a common site-specific thread addressing the character of the gallery´s staircase and corridors.
The Audience Award together with Jindřich Chalupecký Award has been granted since 2002. Audience chooses one of the finalists by voting via internet or directly at the venue of final exhibition. Previously, the Audience Award was granted to such artists as Anna Hulačová, Lukáš Karbus, Richard Loskot, Rafani, Alena Kotzmannová, Tomáš Moravec or Jakub Hošek. In December, in Brno, Jindřich Chalupecký Society in cooperation with TIC Galleries will introduce selection of artworks by the Audience Award winners from past years with short video-interviews about the meaning and value of this award.
The exhibition aims to go beyond the level of recapitulating the past and its main purpose is to actively address coming audience – with the aid of various strategies to achieve a state, where the viewer vividly becomes self-aware of their significant role as an agent in perceiving and creating the meaning of individual artworks and the exhibition as a whole.
Purpose of the project is to promote and draw the attention to opinions of broader spectrum of the (contemporary) art audience. Naturally, their evaluation of the art isn´t formed by same meters or requirements, as those of professional committee , which chooses the laureate of Jindřich Chalupecký Award, but if we don´t want the contemporary art to be trapped in the safety of an ivory tower, it is necessary to pay attention to broader audience – to go forth it, but not to underestimate it.