Title: Burn My Tent Till the Rent
Curator: Kristýna Péčová
July 17 – September 10, 2019
Venue: Pragovka Gallery Entry, Prague
Atmosphere outlining an open plot, time to picnic in the internals of a construction site. Finally wander into a different structure, behind the shimmering veneer. To be in the place after the ending, with no action.
Space at the border of the beginning, in the land of the developing, the stage of crisis. The theater is closed, to intrude in there, take a rest. To relax while being supervised, contemplation without content, to mean it. To feel nature in concrete, to feel pomposity from money transaction.
Central topic of Tania Nikulina and Tomáš Bryscejn’s exhibition Burn my tent till the rent is the ambivalence of theatrical stage sets. Every stage set has two sides. The first side presents an imaginary reality, which can be used for developing a story. The other one is, in contrast purely technical and, when revealed, it shows the fictitiousness of the presented reality. Stage sets are thus a means of escaping to an alternative staging, all the while carrying within them deception and pretence.
Tania and Tomáš use them to create monumental architectures, newly defining the gallery premises. The stage sets are monochromatic, thus linking them with their surroundings, their abstract form opening them up to visitors’ interpretations, the soft quilt spread on the floor inviting one to enter and take part. The grandeur of the scene is undermined, however, by the use of randomly found cheap materials, which disturbs the lavishness of the primary effect. The versatility of the stage is given emphasis by the visible constructions on which the smaller works of both artists are displayed – hidden behind the fanciful facade, yet sometimes inconspicuously poking through it. The specific method of their presentation displays the implicit narrative nature of stage sets. This narration does not lie in the telling of a specific story, but in the discovery and experiencing of the individual elements of the exhibition, as well as in the theme of our depiction of a beautiful, yet false reality. The playfulness of the exhibition is also a play on illusion.
Text: Kristýna Péčová