Tears and Dust - Artist Statement
At a time when he is unhappy at his life
being absorbed by rationality,
ready to give up received knowledge
and enter into a phase of careful forgetting,
to refuse the taking on new information
but instead to attempt new connections,
he has come first to the edge,
and finally to the bottom, of a crater.
The auspicious sensuality, unguarded and imminent,
its intense seductions from afar,
and their scale, tried to blind him: It is enthralling, thrilling, beautiful,
be it good or evil, helpful or harmful.
It is attractive from a distance, but from close up, blistering.
The body rejects his upwind gaze,
the seat of intellect closes his eyes.
Without question, this forbids recognition, understanding,
and heartfelt emotion.
It is perceived only indirectly.
What the eyelids shut out, the fingers take in.
To prevent coming up with thoughts of intervening;
to cover, to obstruct, to obviate.
His eyes fill with dust, forced shut with tears.
Martin Zet, October 2015
Martin Zet (b. 1959) is a visual and performance artist. He lives in Libušín near Kladno and works at The Faculty of Visual Art at the Technical University in Brno as head of the Video Departement. In his work, Zet enlists the aid of replicas of specific visible features to reference their meaning. He makes use of the possibilities of the mutual interchange between the nearby and faraway, the known and unknown, the spoken and unspoken, and the concrete and abstract. For example the project, Sea Drawings/Kresby mořem takes the form of a series of sketches which appear to be natural images (physei eikones), in other words, images not created by human hands (acheiropoieta). Zet’s performance Czech Collection of the 20th Century/Česká sbírka 20. století seems to have a political subtext (in that it took place during the Czech presidential elections of 1998). A group of people costumed as Czech lions held a demonstration in which they carryed picket signs with images of Czech rulers and presidents from the last century. From these portraits a universal version of the Czech head of state emerged: a computer montage combining the features of all represented rulers and presidents. This work reflects mainly on the durability and continuity of certain stereotypes in the practice of memory (whose constant foe is forgetting). Here memory is represented by the metaphors of montage and defocusing, in which exact features are lost, and facts are replaced with fantasy or hallucination.
Into the Abyss of the Lignite Clouds
The focus of the expedition and workshops in the landscape around the Most Basin is on current changes in the heavily industrialized landscape, especially with regard to the loss of historical continuity, the transfers of geological layers and social structures, and current discussions about the abolition of territorial limits, as well as the potential for further degradation and exploitation of the landscape by extensive open cast mining.
Gallery Školská 28 (DEAI/Setkání) is a multifunctional space for nonprofit cultural and artistic activities, founded in Prague in 1999. The programming concept of the space arises from the specific characteristics of the location where it is situated, and the space offers the community a variety of public activities connected to social life.
Peter Cusack: Lignite Clouds (Sound Workshop)
A two-day workshop focused on the sound environments around the brown coal industry in Most Basin (North Bohemia). We used both listening and making field recordings. We also used photography and writing to compare the differences between the sound, visual and language perspectives on the area.
Meeting at The Osek Monastery
We would like to express our thanks to all who have supported and contributed to the expeditions in Northern Bohemia and Iceland. To mark the end of traveling around the open pits we are organizing an informal meeting in the Osek Monastery on September 25 (starting at 5pm). It would be a pleasure if you could join us. The event will look back at the three-week-long Czech expedition program, including a presentation of the Icelandic expedition by means of photographs by its participants.
Epiphany – Frontiers of Solitude
Dům umění Ústí nad Labem
September – October 2016
An exhibition and symposium created within the framework of the international transdisciplinary project Frontiers of Solitude.
.. there are many, many other worlds, yes, but they are all hidden within this one. And so to neglect this humble, imperfect, and infinitely mysterious world is to recklessly endanger all the others.
Earth in Eclipse-an Essay on the Philosophy of Science and Ethics