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together with Michal Škoda / Austrian Cultural Forum / Prague / 2010
Curator: Jiří Ševčík

Elisabeth Grübl and Michal Škoda present an exhibition concept in common that makes the principles of their work visible and tangible. Both sides complement each other, mirror one another and thus reveal their deeper affinities.

The concrete framework for Michal Škoda’s work is formed by the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde of the twentieth century and its reduction of art to fundamental forms and laws. This modernist frame is a reference that Michal Škoda makes use of, but also one that he continually transgresses, expands, and disturbs. His interest is in the underlying background, the geometric structures, the architecture, typography and any form of language that serves to communicate, whether via texts by artists and philosophers, or trivial schematic presentations of various situations. In this, the broadest frame for the author is the artistic environment of architecture, as a description, he writes ‘as a perception of the spatial structure, this forms a universal cultural landscape that appears to be only a reflection of our language, however it is in fact co-created and in this way made understandable to us.

Elisabeth Grübl, in her sculptures, sound installations, film screenings and interventions, uses means that enable us to sound out our perceptual borders. She moves along the border and brings us into a participation in which spaces are transformed and modulated through sound, light, and movement. Her interventions in space are often minimalized and demanding of the viewers’ attention, ultimately clearing the way for an extraordinary aesthetic experience. Herein, the ability of our senses, which are connected to our physical awareness, are assessed and animated. It is, however, essential that we above all experiment with the ways by which we generally perceive and construct the reality of our environment. As art critics have already noted, Elisabeth Grübl confronts us with a situation in which we not only perceive her audiovisual installation, but also become aware of our own being.

The link between the two artists’ installations is Ludwig Wittgenstein, whom Michal Škoda quotes on a large mirror placed in the gallery of the Austrian Cultural Forum. The mirroring of the text from the Austrian philosopher is in any case the determining metaphor of the exhibition: our senses do not merely reflect the reality, of the world around us, it is in fact our language that gives this world, a “reality”. Form and structure are analogous to Elisabeth Grübl, for whom our conscious perception of her sound installation is not just a physiological fact but a “just” reflection, on a display, an interpretation, a theory, and ultimately perhaps an “ideology.”?

Text by Jiří Ševčík
Text german