Gallery project, paintings
April - May 2019
Medium Gallery, Bratislava, SK
Artist: Dominik Hlinka
From group exhibition Internal and external memory in art.
I have been thinking about how I am completely uninterested in the issue of figuration and also self-portraiture. However, I also see a different position in this - I didn't want to be concerned with depicting (my own) form, but to approach myself as an object. This intention is also supported by the motif itself - it is a kind of defining myself within my previous work / removing preconceptions and experiences. The principle of the starting point of my work from the 3D scans remains, I try to deal with it but in a different method. I discover, I create a slit - a preview through which I reveal a gap, a void.
In the Medium gallery, in the room to the right of the entrance, one pair of windows is covered by an artificial wall. This wall is not white like the other walls, but apart from the two smaller paintings, it can give the impression of a large metal plate, which may be due to a coat of dark hammer paint. This new barrier lets in a little light, even where the windows are situated, but it is artificial and constant. It does not, however, surface violently, but rather in a subdued way, revealing the possibilities of memory/emptiness perception.
The two exhibited paintings representing two different views of their own likeness, and for this reason installed asymmetrically at different heights, were framed in heavy iron frames that associate important components of computers kept in metal cabinets. While the inner, illuminated side - the surface of the portrait painting, which cannot actually be seen, was painted with thin, glaze-like applications of paint, the view -the outer part, the face wall-was painted in a pasty manner in which the thick layer of paint makes it impossible for the canvas to show through. The illumination of the interior, like the LCD display, also refers to something unusual, religious, and thus to possible associations of technology and theology. This light makes the information invisible. Or is it really shining blankly?
To engage with the self-portrait means, in addition to confronting one's own person with the environment, to expose oneself to the observation of oneself, to reveal oneself in a more radical way. The principle of DOWNGRADE presents itself here as a counterpart to software upgrades & updates - it refers to a transition to figuration, a symbolic removal of subjective memory - a rewriting of previous approaches in my work.
Don't think of anything else that isn't in your memory / you don't have. This means to damn both the future and the spontaneous, the unexpected. Unpredictability therefore has no room, just as the data on the ROM cannot be tampered with- from the factory settings figure unchanging, untouchable beneath the surface. So the only option left, it seems - to live only from the past . Spending energy, being convinced of something, but not having an open mind.
With this work / its title, I am challenging the notion that we are the engineers of directing / influencing our own lives - we cannot be as we would like to be, we cannot react in unexpected situations as we do not know - as we have not been offered before.
Letting ourselves be unfolded / cut by software = painting ourselves from within.
The work Read-Only-Memory presents a paradox - there is nothing to read when there is only emptiness on the repository. I emphasize the possible parallels between the BIOS as the most basic level of programs/information processing and the subconscious/unconscious. I am interested in finding, dissecting the objectivity of technology/technology in my thinking .
That which is found in the cavity is found in the darkness. If I want to pick up the void, the void in my head should be immersed in darkness. But since the inside / cavity shines, it challenges the concept of emptiness, hollow mind, emptied personality, and instead of the expected possibility of seeing the mechanism of thinking (or being), we are shown a surface / space that is full of glow. We do not know the source of the light, and therefore cannot determine whether the imagined motif is illuminated from the opposite (or any other) side, or whether the light as a separate unit (entity) is located in the middle independently of the surrounding conditions - in the place where, according to our knowledge, the brain should be located.