One of the functions of the architecture of Gothic cathedrals was to provide the visitor with an overwhelming experience and to lead them to contemplate themes more sublime than their “everyday existence”. In today’s visually overwhelming age, such effects are much more difficult to evoke. Filip Dvořák’s exhibition project reflects this situation from several levels:
One of them refers to the well-known painting The Dreamer by Caspar David Friedrich, which shows a young man sitting at sunset in the ruins of the windows of a Gothic monastery; another to film or theatre sets that give the impression of monumental architecture, even if they are only a visible mash-up and a torso or a hint of the whole building. It is not only the fountain but also contemporary media and technological practices that support the romantic impression of a lost past and transience.
In addition to the production of real film sets, the artist also takes inspiration from the aesthetics of nerdy comic bookstores and collectable memorabilia. Dvořák’s new series of paintings with motifs of gothic ruins opens up themes such as authorship, remediation and repeated image transfers and copies.