Jolana Havelková is working on the border between photograpy and conceptual art with intermedial context. She belongs among the most distinctive Czech artists of her generation.
As many of her previous works the recently accomplished serie A Proposal for Altered Score relates to her native town Kolin and its surrounding. Nevertheless it is rather the essence than the bare description of the locus. The starting point for the project was the idea to work with the musical scores and the legacy of famous Czech composer and conductor František Kmoch (1848 - 1912) who lived and worked in Kolín.
Kmoch's songs and musical arangments for brass bands have been during the course of the last century frequently published in hundreds of editions and booklets. Jolana Havelková started already in 2005 to collect and to scan the scores and since then continues to study this historical material. She edits the pages of the scores, multiplying the layers, puts new layers over, removes some, and the result is the gradually change of the original visual appearance of the score alongside with its meaning. From the original materials the graphical records of totally new and yet uninterpreted scores are evolving for further use.
Jolana's work is unified by using notes and stave: her graphical scores reflects the art of Lettrism, just the letter is replaced here with notes, including their rhythmic and dynamic qualities. From those images is developed sometimes an individual graphem, sometimes it is rather complex, multilayered structure, stemming from the geometrical morphology, or even from the syntaxis of the computer code. The results are photographs or photograms, sometimes digital prints, once superimposed in series, sometimes maintaining the form of the original booklet, still in very altered, transposed shape.
Gradually newly created graphical scores became an inspiration for interpretation in sound. The ideal colleague in this creative process turned out to be the musician and composer Lucie Vítková, practising the art of musical improvisation. Lucie studied and learned how to interpret several transformed graphical scores in several particular places in Kolín, which are related to František Kmoch. These pieces were partly interpreted on accordeon and mouth harmonica, partly she was using found acoustic objects, from the locations.
Lucie played sometimes also instruments, belonging to these places, for example piano, organ, or kettle drums. Some places were quiet, sometimes the sound of the instrument is merging or entirely covered with the sounds of the environment.
The recording process took more than a year and for Jolana Havelková it meant also the challenge to set out to familiar or rediscovered locations. She compiled a photo diary from these journeys, which is a part of this exhibition.
Curated by Helena Musilová
Technical asistance: Ivan Kotačka, David Landa, Martin Blažíček