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Libor Krejcar: Forms of Fire

  • Where: Montmartre Gallery
  • When: November 8, 2013, 19:00 – December 8, 2013, 18:00

Opening of an exhibition of scorched drawings by Libor Krejcar from the series Forms of Fire (2000–2004).

Music: Vratislav Brabenec and Joe Karafiát.

Libor Krejcar (born 1961 Ostroměř – Hořice v Podkrkonoší) is a visual artist, above all a sculptor, who has been active on the Czech art scene since the mid 1980s. His early work, which involved happenings and objects, was in part influenced by the Crusaders’ School of Pure Humour Without Jokes and the underground scene. In time he moved to an unmistakable form of expression which he lays down in a focused manner in extensive series (the most important of them has been the sculpture collection Pantheria, 1983–2000). Since 1982 he has also been engaged as a musician and lyricist and he is about to release a new album Mezi nebem a zemí (Between the Heavens and the Earth) with the band The Tamers of Flowers (Guerilla Records, 2013).

At the Václav Havel Library Libor Krejcar is showing a series of drawings entitled Tváře ohně (Forms of Fire) which originated between 2000 and 2004 and, like his other work, is imbued with strong religious themes. The individual drawings are marked by different silhouettes of heads, sometimes in spasm, as if they don’t know how to live. The heads are bent, submissive, turning away, closed in on themselves. Though hung side by side, they do not come across as a long line of beings but rather as one being that changes in front of one’s eyes.

The appearance of the heads, whose features straddle the border between human and animal, do not therefore capture a concrete person but perhaps the essence of humanity. The tortured faces, featuring imperceptible signs of the cross, are turning in fear to God. It is as if they want, by means of their disembodiment, enhanced by delicate contour lines, to break free from the world’s cruelty and strife. The impossibility of such an escape is, however, also present in the horizontal lines that wind between some of the drawings as a metaphor of the landscape of the human body or just the ordinary, mundane world.

Libor Krejcar creates these drawings using explosives fuses, a technique that is used for instance in the demolition of mines and is rather unusual in the creation of works of art. However, if we perceive the burning as a violation of the structure of an item that was once a living organism, this approach becomes aggressive and injurious. In the actual drawings, though, this imaginary suffering assumes a new value. The message of those heads turned upwards can be regarded in a similar manner.

Marianna Placáková


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