Painting at Kristek’s Sculptures(1)
26–27 June 2013, entire Kristek Thaya Glyptotheque
At the end of June 2013, Kristek developed his idea to involve the public in the creative process and set off along the stations of his Glyptotheque with Czech and Austrian students(2). The entire pilgrims’ way has become a meeting place and a platform for creation. At a time when the media is dictating a cult of beauty or “ideal” lifestyle, the artist meets students on a pilgrimage. Together they take a bus along the route from the source to the confluence; they visit the stations and, most importantly, they create. Kristek emphasises the physical meeting in an inspirational place and creation freed of dogma. He didn’t want to teach the students. On this two-day journey, he inspired them to look with their own eyes.
On the first day, they sketched the individual stations. Kristek wanted them to work with what surrounded them, i.e., what was visible and what was not visible. So some of them sketched reality, and others transformed it in their own way. On the second day, colour entered the process, and in the end the students came together at a joint canvas. One picture corresponded to each station, and the task was to express the feelings from the visited places in an abstract manner. Here it was seen that a diversity of views is a benefit during collective creation. Everyone complemented and improved the work of the others, regardless of linguistic or other barriers. Then Kristek used the canvases to create a joint assemblage, and a fantasy map of Kristek Thaya Glyptotheque was created.
During work with students, Kristek placed the emphasis primarily on the actual process of creation, not on the finished work. He is interested in the meaning of art at a time when it has become a media and commercial article, in a period that is overloaded with symbols. This is a time when many works do not arise from a natural impulse but from calculated reasoning(3). He gets under the surface of things and offers these impulses when the public gets involved in creation. He inspires participants to use their own senses and own imagination. He opens a gateway for them into the world of creativity for them to carry away their testimony in the form of a work. But in this sense, the work is merely a trace left by the creative process, and it should initiate the further creative process. So Kristek's aim here is not the creation of a work of art, but the evoking of conditions for joint creation, and he understands creation to be a means of perceiving, a temporarily excited existence. Via the creative process, a man develops, and everything that he discovers is part of the journey and may become redundant in the further process.
Collective artistic creation puts everyone on a single level and binds the group together. The creative process is the glue that binds society together. During joint creation, Kristek takes the participants into other worlds. It is not hyperreality masquerading as day-to-day reality. The worlds that Kristek visits are inside each and every one of us and are subject to no diktat. And only journeys to inner space can bring meetings with that which exceeds man. The discovery of one’s own roots gives one wings. Then one returns from these alternative worlds to one's own day-to-day reality, and what one experienced can be an impulse for a change in one's own patterns of thought or behaviour.
The foundations of new cooperation were laid during the painting at Kristek’s sculptures. The assemblage was exhibited at Chateau Lubo in Podhradí nad Dyjí, then at the castle Hardegg and then in Znojmo at the Dr. Karel Polesný Grammar School, where another meeting of students and their discussion with Lubo Kristek took place.
Text: Iveta K. Pavlovičová, Barbora Půtová
Iveta K. Pavlovičová (born 1974) is a Czech theatre studies specialist and director of the Research Institute for Communication in Arts in Brno.
She has long been engaged in the postmodern theatre and its sources. She is the author of scientific-research projects supported by the Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Fund for Development of Universities, Czech Literary Fund and the European Union (European Fund for Regional Development), as well as theatre projects supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Czech-German Fund for the Future. She participated in the 3rd and 4th International Symposium of Theatre Anthropology at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing arts Brno (JAMU), where she lectured in the years 2003–2004. She also gave a lecture at the Masaryk University Institute of Anthropology in Brno. Since 2009, she has worked on the forming of an exhibition programme at the Baroque Palace of Riegersburg.
She published the article Modely v nás a možnost jejich změny (Our Inner Models and the Possibility to Change Them) in the magazine Vesmír (2/2005) and a teaching video programme for high schools. She is the author of the textbook Tělo, znak a rytmus (Body, Sign and Rhythm) for JAMU and the book Divadlo Neslyšících a nové cesty (Theatre of the Deaf and the New Ways, 2002) that was published as part of a publication project supported by the Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
Barbora Půtová (born 1985) is a Czech anthropologist and art historian lecturing at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.
She deals with history of culture, artwork and cultural heritage. Other fields of her expert interest include historical anthropology, visual anthropology and anthropology of art.
She has published dozens of articles and experts studies as well as several expert monographs such as Pravěké umění (Prehistoric Art, co-authors Jean Clottes and Václav Soukup, 2011), Félicien Rops: enfant terrible dekadence (Félicien Rops: Enfant Terrible of Decadence, 2013), Kristkova podyjská glyptotéka (Kristek Thaya Glyptoheque, co-author Iveta K. Pavlovičová, 2013), The Genesis of Creativity and the Origin of the Human Mind (co-edited by Václav Soukup, 2015) or Královská cesta: všední i sváteční život v proměnách času (The Royal Route: Ordinary and Festive Life Over the Course of Time, 2016).
In her monograph Félicien Rops she offers the first comprehensive view of the life and work of one of the most prominent representatives of decadence and symbolism; in her last book Královská cesta (The Royal Route) she writes about the creation, development, meaning and historical changes of the Royal Route in Prague. In her book Skalní umění (Rock Art, 2015), she published the results of her field research of Palaeolithic art that she carried out at archaeological sites in France and Portugal.
At presents she is carrying out research of African rock art in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
The event was a part of the project Kristek Thaya Glyptotheque – Cultural and Tourist Destination. Many thanks also to the Forests of the Czech Republic.
The Dr. Karel Polesný Grammar School Znojmo and the Neue NÖ Mittelschule Retz participated in the project, and at one station the secondary school in Vranov nad Dyjí also joined in.
Baudrillard, Jean (2005): The Conspiracy of Art. New York: Semiotext(e).