Vladimír Ossif & Guests at ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN

Artists: Vladimír Ossif and Jan Domicz, Barbora Fastrová & Johana Pošová

Title: paternoster

Curator: Jen Kratochvil


Photo: Ondřej Polák



the world around may have stopped for a moment,
yet deep inside some early 20th century buildings paternoster lifts keep running
nothing has really changed in the life of these resilient relicts of the times long passed
why are they still around one might wonder
despite multiple attempts to ban them due to health & safety issues and regular accidents,
there is something reassuring about their constant movement
and that seems to be enough

observing the world around through our windows for a couple of months did something to us
something so far unintelligible happened to our bodies and minds
something changed, our perception shifted, our sensitivity heightened
all the protests outside in the streets, right at this point in time, are no coincidence
all the anger, all the disappointment, and dissatisfaction was there the whole time, just capped and concealed, carefully wrapped in apathy and resignation
all of it was now unearth and exposed in one large public outburst, and it keeps growing
but paternoster lifts are still running as if nothing happened
as if nothing happened
the city has changed
the streets spreading around like some kind of a visceral network of veins or guts lost for a moment all their blood
something no one could have predicted
and while their vividness is back, it is somewhat different, even though it’s hard to know how
the map has changed
it’s more abstract now, does this street really connect to that one and can I get there or there through here
infrastructures underneath, structures around and superstructures somewhere in the skies
endless horizontal layers stuck on top of each other in a vertical choir of voices
or a giant storage space
all singing or screaming, hard to discern right now
plane fields became spatial
inhabited by various critters with their own personal stories and their own subjective perception
and paternoster lifts are still running
do we still believe in the linearity of time?
do we still believe in time?
what do we believe in?
what is a circle?
and how does it represent our short human lives?
and how does it represent the life of all the other critters?
and how does it relate to everything living or still?
we need to reinvent cartography, define new terms of conduct, discover new intimacy, eroticism, and new structures
vertical, horizontal, diagonal, digital, above, below, in between
while paternoster lifts will keep running
in circles
on and on

can a painting represent a map? and what if that map becomes a song?
can a film become a building – an object in space?
can an object animate itself into a being?
can we change?
can paternosters one day stop?

Vladimír Ossif (SK, 1954) is an abstract painter focusing on richly colorful geometrical structures. His complex visual language is gradually challenging boundaries of the grid as a main form of expression. Ossif studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, and later at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. He regularly exhibits his work at solo and group exhibitions (of his solo projects we may mention those at BronxArtSpace, New York, USA; Rödl&Partner Gallery, Nürnberg, Germany; PPM Ventures, München, Germany; Gallery Henry, Pau, France; City Gallery, Opole, Poland). Works by Vladimír Ossif are represented in state and private galleries, museums and collections (Musée d´Art Moderne, Paris; Casa de Velázquez, Madrid; Fonds Cantonal d’Art Visuel, Geneva; Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava and National Gallery Prague).

Jan Domicz (PL, 1990) is a visual artist, using primarily video and sculptural objects in pursuit of narrative motives, same as research of architecture and its socio-political implications. His works were exhibited in MMK Frankfurt, SALTS Basel, Karlin Studios Prague and CSW Warsaw among others. He runs quasi-curatorial project ’office for narrated spaces’ since 2017. He graduated from Städelschule Frankfurt am Main and University of Arts in Poznań. Domicz is represented by Wschód Gallery, lives and works in Warsaw.

Barbora Fastrová (CZ, 1988) & Johana Pošová (CZ, 1985) work as an artist duo since 2014. Their collaborative practice revolves around critical, yet playful analysis and reactions to the relationship between the western civilization and nature. Their signature visual language is based on usage of cheap and seemingly junky materials and recycled forms. Their work was shown in Futura, Galerie Rudolfinum, Fotograf Gallery, Berlínskej model, GAMU, Meetfactory, City Gallery, all in Prague; Temporary Parapet, Bratislava; Fotopub Festival 2017, Novo Mesto, Slovenia, among others. They both graduated at the studio of Photography at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

















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