Going Places at Pragovka Gallery, 2018

Petra Hudcova and Hinda Weiss

Curated By Piotr Sikora

Two artists Intersection - Hudcova’s impression of a place in a phase of ongoing reconstruction - covering an intentional obscure/amorphic past with an unknown future while holding onto an obsolete ideal of imported European Bauhaus aesthetics together with Weiss’s performative existential approach to longing and belonging. The environment they build together is of a moment stuck in transfiguration and bypassing. An observation point where the unfamiliar surrounding is lit by arbitrary mundane events of going places.

Going Places (or not going places and staying at home)

By Piotr Sikora

 

The time has become countable in such an arrogant and brassy manner. I’m talking about ‘the time’ - the absolute hordes of hours, seconds and minutes that have already passed and immensity of years, centuries and decades that are going to be - scanned, named and archived for the future - therefore useless. We did forget about the divine dimension of time, didn’t we? About centuries when a human wasn’t able to count it almost at all. The sunset and sunrise would be the only way to measure time - passing seasons and life of our beloved so naked and exposed to death therefore so precious. The value of time was lying in the unknown aspect of it. We don't know therefore we praise. We are scared of the unknown. Today we know better than we wished for. We are still scared though. A narrow ray of light was coming straight from her window going across the room and pointing with a surgeon precision at the peephole. ‘It’s time to go’ crossed Zuzana’s mind or to be more accurate fell into her stream of thought like a massive dam. She was going for the first time to Israel, a short journey organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some second league art fairs jiggling money from Jewish collectors from all over the world. Not really an exciting event but a pretty good excuse to spend 5 days in the sunny Middle East. The car was supposed to pick her up at 12 so she zipped her luggage, grabbed her phone, sunglasses, keys and pushed the door handle. The door was locked. “Do you ever get this feeling it’s future now?” ‘Sorry I didn't get that? What is now?” “Future. Don't get me wrong. No I’m not talking about futuristic scenarios being spread around art and pop culture like crazy from every post-apocalyptic blokbuster to sophisticated futu plots taking over the contemporary art. It is just this annoying sensation you are planning your schedule so hard always thinking about what is going to happen the day after tomorrow etc you would almost lose a feeling when is now?” “Exactly, when is it?” “What?” “Now?” She was on the plane already. She went through security, had a short interview with a steward - extra border control - where she knew all of the questions and couldn't be any wrong about the answers. Buying alcohol and some snacks, boarding, putting her luggage under the seat in front of her and there she was sitting on the plane relaxing and listening to r&b classics. Nope. She knew there was not even a slight chance she was going to make it - locked from the outside by her friend visiting last night and leaving very early in the morning - she had to wait for someone who could open the door for her. Noone was replying her desperate phone calls. Emptiness in her head, empty streets in front of her apartment, empty schedule for next 3-5 hours, 3-5 days in Prague. She was late yet too early, yet late. In the beginning you feel angry at yourself, anxious and blunt. You are belated. Your plan is ruined and there is nothing you can do so stop cheating yourself and trying to fix this situation with a magic trick kept in a hidden pocket. No moronic abracadabra! The hardest task is to truly face it, and let it go. Your brain would be wasting your time trying to offer you some useless solutions. Do you want to help yourself? Take a deep breath. It takes some time. She took a deep breath and walked through the long corridor in her apartment. The driver didn't call at all, no harm done. She took a seat on the sofa - a silly thought about how many people were making love on this sofa popped up in her head - she closed her eyes and began to take deep breaths again and again. She has never been to Israel. It’s impossible to think about nothing right? But let’s try. Imagine inside of your head as an endless surface of a sea - flat and clean, not a single ripple - all of a sudden you see some dirt and plastic bottles brought by the wind, you look up to see a sandy beach, busy roads and skyline of the city, the White City. Take your time. It is needed to go against the rush of peak hours and adore smooth and proportional facades of Bauhaus architecture. Go deeper to see and admire transcultural mix of Arabic and European motifs. You have to avoid the tourist crowd and at least for a second try to forget about the political layer always present in every gesture, every spoken word. Impressive skyscrapers rising almost straight from the beach. You look to the right. There is Jaffa. Yellow stones burned by the sand for centuries against the sophisticated vertical order of modern Tel Aviv. Between these two there is a gap. An empty space, a field where an Arabic village used to be placed. There is silence disturbed by cars crossing on the way from Jaffa to the White City. There is no time there. Do you know how we call peephole in Polish? Judas! Funny isn’t it? The great betraitor, the ultimate deceiver. He peeps at you for this bunch of seconds to tell whether you can get in or you are good to go.. away. He has time that you don't have and position to decide what to do with you. The peeper, the pervert! A wrong person to make decision that could have serious consequences. Though when you think about it it is just a peephole after all. Why do they call them Judas? Who is betraying who? To know how deep you get in your meditation is to feel the layers of consciousness when you decide to finish it and open your eyes. In this specific moment she didn't feel them at all opening her eyes and jumping on her feet so she could run to the door. Someone was knocking at it gently. “Yes” she shouted, “yes, yes, yes!” just before looking through the peephole. Void is timeless. Especially this kind of emptiness where you could almost sense the presence of something that was here and disappeared - or maybe it wasn’t built yet. You could find it there in the parking lots between Jaffa and Tel Aviv or in various Celtic settlements around Prague - hidden at the top of the hills in forest, mystic and silent. There is nothing in the Space that could show the evidence of time. Just as in this old Celtic poem: ”This is a time that is not a time In a place that is not a place On a day that is not a day, Between the worlds, and beyond….”