Theory of relativity 1

Jan Šerých
Teorie relativity 1

Exhibition lasts: 29. 09. – 14. 11. 2014

An artistic group Bezhlavý jezdec / Headless Horseman was active on the Czech art scene shortly before and after the turn of the third millennium. With hindsight we can say that an association of Josef Bolf, Ján Mačuška, Jan Šerých and Tomáš Vaňek resembled a strategy of comics publishers, who put into one book all superheroes. The reverse approach, when in an existing series appear characters with such a strong potential that they get a leading role in separate comics stories, is called a spin-off. Fourfold spin-off appeared in 2002 when common activities of Bezhlavý jezdec ceased to exist and its members pursued their individual careers. The reunion is out of reach.

The analogy with comics can be justified by a disparate character of the group, which members were united more through their friendship than their intention to change the world or present one artistic programme, which used to be the primary reason for such associations. The equipment of a superhero Jan Šerých, his surname peculiarly does not follow the grammatical rules of declension, looks at first sight outdated and old-school: geometric signs and forms, text, accidental algorithms or no specific handwriting. Genealogy of all above mentioned aspects dates back to the last century, when in the 60`s these elements embellished the most adventurous fighters on their journeys and explorations of unknown continents. Traditional perception of what is and what is not art was under their attacks destroyed like a house of cards. Simultaneously, it was affected by fast self-devastation. A seemingly endless assortment of combinatory permutations of new munitions worn out earlier that expected. It was simple and appealing to accept this new equipment. Among the superheroes a group of eager fighters from all corners of the planet stood out and accelerated the statistic probability of achieving the state close to the final number of existing variants. In the next episodes of the story their successors and followers had to satisfy with supporting roles and comic masks of obsessed amateur mathematicians, computer nerds and hobby geometers.

What does, in case of Jan Šerých, endow these good old weapons with a new destroying power? Formal principles and strategies used to realize ideals of objective approach to art are in his art practice used in opposite way – to express subjective state. In art practice of Jan Šerých applied abstraction, play, accident, principles or text always refer to particular social situations. Aesthetics becomes a form of decoding and reverse encoding.

Ondřej Chrobák

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