Pavel Sterec, Roee Rosen: On trees and things

21. 1. 2014 - 23. 3. 2014

Opening: 21. 1. 2014

Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Holečkova 49, Praha 5

Artists: Pavel Sterec, Roee Rosen

Curator: Michal Novotný


“Mrs. Tugendhat used to remember, that this was her most beloved place to sit and talk over a cup of tee and that even during cloudy days she could feel the touch of sun here,” says the guide while standing next to a white glass wall lighten from behind, which together with the left section of Makassar wood partition and chrome plated column creates a composition for four tubular chairs Brno upholstered with white calf parchment and a table Barcelona with glass round desk. Unlike the utopia of high modernity, Pavel Sterec considers the term Second nature literally – as subsequent nature which man manipulates. Likewise the participants of the summer camp in Hitler’s forest, which says nowadays HIT, also we don’t have any idea, what is beyond the Morphy Richards iron in the video of artists group Buried Alive.  

Things are never just inert objects, passive items or lifeless shucks at the disposal of the documentary. Thus things can be interpreted as conglomerates of desires, wishes, intensities and power relations. Whether it be the planned obsolescence of a bulb, as the first product set up expressly to limit the life span, or the scientific invention of a machine, which allows its users to bypass the religious laws, the thing is always a matter thoroughly ideological.

Things however have powers which ventures towards that which evades representation, which is not rendered object qua instrumental reason but qua its own force, the dark, the mystic, the animate but soul-less.

Therefore it is only the object, which can destroy the conception of the Subject itself. “There is much to say about soap. Precisely everything that it tells about itself until the complete disappearance, the exhaustion of the subject. This is precisely the object suited to me,” writes Francis Ponge in his hundred pages long celebration called Soap.

“Everyone knows how hot and mighty your bottom quickly turns,” is a part of the lyrics in the “Little iron” song by Maxim Komar Myshkin. Jacques Lacan suggests that the sexual drives are directed not towards a "whole person" but towards part-objects. As something rooted in the real, sex is thus opposed to meaning, and "sex, in opposing itself to sense, is also, by definition, opposed to relation, to communication. The Subject disappears as much as Vladimir Putin molested, tortured and finally murdered by the Things.

However may the spiritualism of the place and animism of the things sound rather as a Myth then Materialism, if we consider the actual thinking as a memory embedded in matter, the restoration which follows revolution cannot ever be the same as the old order, and not even on the neuronal level.

“All that exists are real objects as autonomous realities or individual substances. Humans themselves become objects, alongside fire, cotton and a tree,” writes Graham Harman, the philosopher of speculative realism. Trees anyway have only in eight per cent different DNA then humans. In place of the former Terezín ghetto and concentration camp prisoners, things from the National Museum depository are stored and catalogued in the same building nowadays. Their 3D models performs the remake of the original children’s opera abused by Nazis to create an image of ideal ghetto, carrying now the name Brundibár 3D. “Think of Vladimir Putin, who ingeniously revived both the red colour of the communist past, and the Tsar's emblematic double-headed eagle to forge an ultra-nationalistic (…), sense of pride and might,” says the Manifesto of Buried Alive group.

Reality now consists of images, or rather, of things, constellations, and processes formerly evident as images.


Thanks to Embassy of Israel, Holečkova Apartments and ROBE s.r.o.

Untitled Light choreography created upon the ball of the eye movement interpreted by two Robe DLS profile reflectors
Untitled Light choreography created upon the ball of the eye movement interpreted by two Robe DLS profile reflectors
Roee Rosen, Maxim Komar-Myshkin / Vladimir´s Night
Roee Rosen, Maxim Komar-Myshkin / Vladimir´s Night