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Jan Pfeiffer Roots under water, wardrobes in a garden

20. 9. 2019 – 5. 1. 2020 Místo konání -1 Gallery Curator Lenka Sýkorová

Inspiration from a dream, which keeps coming back as strong images and can become an artist’s model, is nothing unknown in the history of art. Thanks to Freud’s psychoanalysis and the publication The Interpretation of Dreams, we know that when dreaming we go through several phases of immersion into our own subconsciousness. A change in the state is an entrance hall that we enter to immerse into deep contemplation that ends with slow mental hygiene that we perform every night.

Jan Pfeiffer’s exhibition works with the theme of a dream that is amplified by the gallery premises – the former municipal spa, i.e. by the back-then presence of water and the possibility to perform physical and mental hygiene. The visitors are drawn in as soon as they enter and are confronted with the model of a dream that is visually interlaced with a drawing line on its white surface. A change of the state of consciousness is demonstrated with a waiting room where we slowly but surely stop distinguishing fiction from reality. Other cubicles draw us into a state of deep dreaming and we enjoy an imaginary bath, contemplate and relax. We keep finding ourselves above and below the water’s surface, we are swimming. We feel the vibration of the water’s surface and suddenly we realize the absurdity of the whole situation because in reality we are going through the gallery. In the narrow through-view, we can see a moving view of a Renaissance garden with a palace somewhere among the trees. There are misplaced wardrobes from which joyful people come out in regular intervals. The garden is quiet between actions, all we can hear once in a while is the soft sound of a peacock. The garden represents Eden, a landscape of illusion and safety. God is present here as the image of the world; human figures represent Eden and the palace represents the social entity. Here, any deviation from reality is allowed, and associations themselves are up to the viewers.  

Jan Pfeiffer graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (the Studio of Jiří Příhoda and the Studio of guest professor Zbigniew Libera). In his artwork, he examines space as well as motion or the static state in space that affects our perception. His means of expression include drawings, animations, objects, installations, performances and videos. The link of his artwork is accidence, the appearance of things in relation to their everyday purpose. Jan Pfeiffer deems drawing as an autonomous medium that during the 20th century infiltrated other visual media. The author also works as a university professor, film designer and exhibition architect.

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