Spectacle: Residuum

Kino CIT 03 08 — 17 09
opening — 2 8 2022

During summer, the projection room of CIT Cinema at Radnická turns into a space for site-specific installations, revising the medium of moving pictures and the conditions of cinema projection. Adam Turzo’s Spectacle: Residuum stops time in the middle of one sequence or film frame as we find ourselves in a black space between action and reaction, at the point of completed destruction, just before fully realizing the consequences of this action. The act of extinction is, however, not a sudden and unpredictable accident, rather it puts us in the animal skin from the fable about a boiling frog.

The metaphor of the apocalypse is, in the case of Adam Turzo’s installation, materialized in a spatial installation responding to the physical space of the auditorium and stage. The central scene of the stage is an arid landscape with the remains of abraded ceramic vessels along with an electric grinder and work clothes. The volume and scale of the ubiquitous clay dust testifies to the extent of the destroyed objects and the long hours of grinding. The dusty landscape inside the black box cinema and the material of the clay evokes a range of images: a kind of strangely skewed archaeology of the future, the demise of civilization through the destruction of a tradition of ceramics dating back to prehistory, but also allegorical motifs of creation and the demise of man. The residue of the spectacle we are watching, however, does not end with the boundary between stage and auditorium. The theme of absence of installations permeates the seating space. Up to this point, we could interpret the installation as a genre of a particular baroque still life, a perfect suspension of time at a certain point of decay, only with different attributes of futility. 

The presence of sound and the oscillating light, reminiscent of a filmstrip projector, brings the passage of time and narrative onto the scene. The author of the soundtrack on the border between film sound design and original musical composition is the artist Tomáš Moravanský, with whom Adam Turzo also collaborates within the artistic collective INSTITUT INSTITUT. The installation's soundtrack brings layers of pop culture references to contemporary post-apocalyptic sci-fi films onto the scene; the sand drifts are particularly reminiscent of Denis Villeneuve's recently celebrated Dune. The subtlety of the materials and the scene as a whole have a strongly contemplative feel to them and, like the aforementioned film, the installation articulates similar themes. The otherwise pleasant melancholy of the installation's indeterminate time is only disturbed by an inconspicuous relic of the present, the grinding wheel, and the unintentional memory of the legendary Horst Fuchs, a symbol of the well-spun mechanism of the consumer apocalypse.