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White Billboard

Two Planets Are Waxing in My Mind

Lenka Vítková
9.6.22.8.
Mon 9.6. - 19:00

Curator: Veronika Resslová

The painter Lenka Vítková does not wish to fix the painted form in words literally: in her paintings there is always much left unsaid (just as in her poetic texts, and poetry in general, which also relies on the mutual relations among elements and on the readers’ imaginations). Shapes on the canvas operate simultaneously in two ways: first, as symbols (or icons). They can embody this or that according to the current focus of the spectator, reminding us of something common and familiar. But when we try to understand them without ambiguity, their meaning always slips away just before it is grasped. And second, the forms can work as individual objects: the painting isn’t simply the transformation of surrounding reality, but an equal part of it. Vítková’s paintings remind us of the fluidity of the dream: forms repeat and return (taken from Vítková’s text for her recent exhibition “Refrain” at Gallery SVIT). We follow the continuity, but when we try to reduce it to one specific thread of meaning, it loses focus and turns into something else. The background of the canvases is often a kind of vigorously kneaded monochrome, which stirs up waking experience from her imagination on its own. Another striking aspect is the factuality of Lenka’s paintings, where painted objects are not merely a painterly transcription, but are instead an equal parallel to their physical counterparts, becoming both a symbol and and object equivalent to objects in the everyday world, as in the series of paintings called Šaty (Dresses).

For White Billboard, Lenka Vítková has prepared an interactive installation in which the viewer can put the painted image into motion. Two irregular black spots on a colored background can be rotated around an axis, owing to a gear mechanism hidden under the surface. This transforms the painting into a mechanical model which evokes a primitive model of the solar system, allowing the relatively confined space of the board to be interpreted as diametrically opposite scales. The term “planetary”, the painter told me, has not only cosmological significance, but also relates to a particular dimension of thinking, the so-called “planetary thinking” of the Greek philosopher Kostas Axelose.

“Planetary certainly means planet earth, the terrestrial globe, and its relationship to the other planets. It is the global. But the extension of this concept remains too great … Planetary means whatever is itinerant and errant, wandering as it follows a trajectory in space-time and performing a rotational movement. Planetary indicates the era of global planning, in which the subjects and the objects of the will to organize and foresee are swept up motionless on an itinerary that surpasses both subject and object. Planetary names the reign of platitude as it spreads and flattens everything, which is also more errant than aberrant. As a noun, moreover, and according to dictionaries, the planetary designates a kind of technological mechanism, of gears and wheels. Therefore, the play of thought and the planetary is global, erratic, itinerant, organizing, planning and flattening, caught up in gears and wheels.” (Giles Deleuze, “The Fissure of Anaxagoras and the Local Fires of Heraclitus”, in: Desert Islands and Other Texts, p. 156.)

Lenka Vítková graduated in Philology and Art from the Philosophical Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc. She completed her PhD studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts this year. In addition to painting, she also uses text (A řekla:, Rádio sůl, Gravitace) as a means of expression. She has worked also as the curator of the “36” gallery exhibition stand at Flora Olomouc, and she has prepared a number of other one-time curator’s exhibitions, for example at gallery Tranzitdisplay, Letohrádek Hvězda, GASK, and Gallery Klatovy/Klenová. She has performed in the group Audiofenky with Markéta Lisá and Kateřina Zochová, and since 2011 she collaborates with Markéta Lisá in the intermedia group “rtf”, which deals with the interdisciplinary overlaps of the literary text.

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