reframed records

vladimir havlik

22 Feb 2013 - 26 Apr 2013

“now, however, time, duration, and thus life too cannot be shown directly but only documented.” (boris groys)

on the basis of the artist’s book vladimír havlík: actions and
interventions 1978-1988 (sputnik editions, bratislava 2012), which presents all of his events from that period, a new edition of formatted, integrated photographic documentation (gelatine silver prints) has been produced from all extant negatives. the form of documentation, released from the patina of vintage prints, ought to permit the viewer complete concentration on the content of individual performances. romanticism, naïveté, the poetic principle, humour, considerable affability, light irony, insecure seriousness, amusing exhibitionism... is the content somehow transformed when freed from the nostalgic form of yellowing photographs? what is the relationship between live events, observed by the “primary” viewer-participant, to the information transferred through the medium of the photographic record to the “secondary viewer”? is documentation an authentic connection between the viewer and the distant event at which they might like to have been? is it a subject of desire or fetishism, an accenting of the impossibility to experience the original situation taking on the nature of cult? is it not true, that the non-presence of the live event paradoxically bestows an aura to the documentation? it seems that the more the documentation is disseminated, the greater the power of the legend, the myth of onceness, the unrepeatability and exceptionality of the original event. documentation thus finds itself in the position of an indisputable icon, upon which there is no longer discussion. the exhibition reframed records has as its goal to again heat up this petrified state, to renew discussion on the relationship between event-documentation -interpretation in the context of contemporary discourse on the social upheaval and the art of cooperation. and the conception of this installation may contribute to this goal: a time-axis of formally coherent photo documentation wrapped around the gallery at eye-level; the events are arranged precisely chronologically, without any manipulation with respect to qualitative or thematic point of view. the installation should show whether what remains is viable.


exhibition poster