The exhibition space of sonneundsolche gallery consists of two parts, which inherently create contradictory situations. The „vitrina“ – shop window to the street, is full of light and it is permanently accessible to the exhibition spectators as well as to random passers-by. Thanks to its transparency, it is free of secrets and it straightforwardly showcases its content. In contrast, the adjoining room, even windowless, paradoxically hides its subject in the shade and remains mysteriously inaccessible during the normal operation. This defining spatial layout has led me to the thematization of opposing characteristics, which are fundamentally determined by the presence or the absence of light. Thus, naturally, a simple pair of opposites emerged – The Day and The Night. Contrasting pair of two mutually exclusive parts of one whole, i.e. dichotomy. Dichotomy is more or less a theoretical construct, to which we naturally gravitate while creating typologies, but in the unconscious form we slip into it perhaps even every day, since a certain simplification helps a person understand the surrounding reality. Unfortunately, in the current society, which seems increasingly complex, confused and divided, a simplified labelling does not lead to a mythological personification, but to an imaginary wall between social groups looking in opposite directions, nevertheless they live next to each other.
It is typical for my artistic practice to maintain a connection with diversely distant art history. I often relativize the regular linear perception of the development of culture and time in general, and I have already used the renaissance period as a visual and contextual parallel with the current painting several times. Even in this case, that almost a poetic personification of day times has immediately brought me to the notoriously known sculpture of the Day and Night by Michelangelo. His figural work for the Medici tomb, despite its simplicity, bears the symbolism of the cycle of time, a clear calm day and mysteriously melancholic night, a rational man and an emotive woman. However, for my painting installation, which I created site-specifically for sonneundsolche gallery, the mutual relation and physical position of the two figures are crucial. Although both occupy the same space and are symmetrical in the composition, their contradictory is simply reinforced by the perfect axial mirroring. They exist together in one environment, but they look in opposite directions. Both parts of my installation form a single unit, they are close to each other, but the dividing wall between the vitrine and the room keeps them unambiguously separated. The day and night constitute a single, interlinked cycle of shades of gray, and one in the other does not jump in one second by turning off the switch, but in their dichotomically idealized form, they show opposites that never blend, although they are directly touching.
Photos: Sárka Koudelovà