Jan Pfeiffer: Hidden Power

25. 11. 2014 - 4. 1. 2015

Opening: 25. 11. 2014

Curator: Michal Novotný

Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Holečkova 49, Praha 5



Nowadays we often do not underline that Protestantism also attacked one important pillar of Catholic Church being the conception of "secret". We consider that possibility of being burned alive as a heretic just because of the ownership of bible, a situation which lasted almost all the middle age era, is highly repressive censorship one. But often we do not take in consideration that the positive evaluation of terms such as "transparency" or "uncovering" is consequently a result of a specific ideology. For a person living in the Middle Ages, it was not at all surprising that faith cannot be "brought to light". For it to be, from its very definition, faith as the activity of trusting, it had to remain hidden.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that the overall spread of atheism will set the humanity free of its in-debt feeling. Apparently, he was right and the feeling of gratefulness for life and the world as a gift had disappeared from the European culture. But since we still cannot do anything else than trust. Our fates are being no more driven by anyone and the mechanisms of the world we live in are even more non-understandable then ever before. But could we actually ever had been believing that one day we would discover all?
Mircea Eliade suggests that the sacral didn't disappear from our lives, it had only been transported to our subconscious, where it remained as nostalgias and pulsions.

The installation of Jan Pfeiffer could be simultaneously a grave and a sanctuary. The space belonging to silence and darkness where the absence of light and spoken allows the spiritual and the mystery to appear. Pfeiffer builds on the archetypal bow and escalated line but the arcade, the steps and the gate all do not lead anywhere. As fragments, they only relate to the unseen by its absence. The harmony of the pure white forms and shapes is however disturbed by the presence of the sleeping one. He, who relates to us, in a similar manner as the forever just awaken bodies from the Pompey with a peculiar insistence is also only a fragment, archetype of a human body turning to us its face. Forms used here are symbolically pregnant, are image and its presented experience at the same time.

It is unquestionable that forms do structure our experience. The question, however, remains whether this experience comes directly out of those forms or whether are forms and consequent scenarios in some sort of symbiotic unity with us.