ROBERT ŠALANDA: Passive perpetrator

Is it a trace of a perpetrator, hiding in the hope that the investigators won't be able to reveal his case? Was there even any crime?


The project is an attempt to freely translate a strategy of the so-called emptied narration, used especially in film, into an exhibition format. A hero without clear psychological or other attributes that would allow the viewers to identify with him browses through fragments of a narrative plot, which in this case may or may not be a detective story. Therefore the exhibition highlights the medium and form itself, more than the story as a whole. At the same time, it emphasizes the empty spots, which remain after any attempt to assemble the familiar visual keys into a coherent whole. 


Robert Šalanda was born in Olomouc in 1976 and currently lives and works in Prague. His work predominantly consists of painting, with overlaps to three-dimensional work or experiments with the fragile medium of paper. What mostly defines his approach is the combination of organic forms and stark lines, abstracted motifs, repetition, quotation and mistake. An intuitive mode follows a long-term research process, often based in linguistics or typography as well as verbal and pictorial expressions of the “naïve”, “vulgar” or “banal” culture. In numerous works Šalanda emphasizes the ironies in phrases and words taken out of context. Another focus is on simple symbols, which gain ambiguous meanings through repetition and recontextualization.


Šalanda has exhibited his works in many group as well as solo exhibitions in Prague, Berlin, and New York City. His recent solo shows include Galerie Pavilon in Prague, Entrance Gallery in Prague, Galerie 35m2 in Prague, MeetFactory contemporary art center. From 2011 he runs the SPZ gallery, together with Lukáš Machalický. He teaches painting at the Scholastika school of contemporary art and from fall 2016 is appointed as a head of the Painting I. Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His residencies include ISCP in New York, or AiR Antwerpen.