Jakub Jansa at Fotopub Project Space

Artist: Jakub Jansa

Exhibition title: Ten Years Night

Venue: Fotopub Project Space (Mihelic’s GAS STATION), Ljubljana, Slovenia

Date: September 26 – October 29, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist


Text by: Dorian Batycka

The science-fiction writer Aldous Huxley once wrote in a Brave New World, “great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”

In Jakub Jansa’s ongoing series “Club of Opportunities”, currently on view at the Fotopub Project Space in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the young Czech artist presents the sixth iteration of an immersive multi-channel art project that explores polyphonic ideas about the nature of reality in the 21st century, albeit with a silent twist.

Instead of bombarding viewers with overly didactic wall labels and long convoluted texts, the video installation is composed of narrators who debate  the nature of reality from the perspective of a celery root, their voices overlapping and bleeding into the exhibition space like an echo-chamber of white noise.

Several videos of the seminal Czech philosopher Kamil Nabelek are juxtaposed to sounds and videos of shoes tapping. The result being an amorphous blob and complete sensory overlap. If you’re looking for any sense of objective truth here, you won’t find it. Instead, all that is left is an apt metaphor for the current state of social and political debate today, or perhaps, the lack thereof.

The project takes partial inspiration from the genre of the epic. Yet, while Homer’s Odyssey compiled oral histories into an antiquated form of early human, social and political history, Jansa’s project accelerates through nonlinear arrangements of space and time like a creeping rootstock that rhizomatically shoots and spreads.

Above all, Jansa’s project invokes an emancipatory biosphere set against overlapping voices, angst ridden, near-future and uncertain scenarios. All of which seem to gesture towards an ever more plausible extinction event, one that threatens the entirety of human, plant and animal life, and, crucially, whether or not the ontology of a celery root would be able to survive such disastrous calamity.

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