Artist: Jakub Choma
Title: Gears of Life
Venue: PLATO Ostrava, Czech Republic
Curated and organized by Jindřich Chalupecký Society
The works by Jakub Choma are rooted in painting and his realizations still allude to this medium, despite their essential shift towards spatial object installation. Nevertheless, his works still include fragments of graphic art, use of primary color pigments as well as planar references and orientation towards horizontally installed suspended artifacts. The resulting scrums of artistic objects with trash aesthetics alluding to DIY principles are typical for their seemingly chaotic character and confrontation of diverse materials. Most of the primary impulses for the individual artworks stem from the digital environment which is daily consumed by Jakub as a representative of the youngest generation of contemporary artists. Cut-outs of the flat and depersonalized online world in the form of visual impulses and text fragments return to the physical world through material experiments, becoming brand new entities with unexpected qualities which can be then filtered back into virtuality through the personality of the artist, thus constituting a new technological “life cycle.” Choma’s multimedia and multidimensional worlds are linked by a fascination by the liminal moments of the inexplicable, unspecific, untold. He always takes two levels into consideration – the work may be experienced by viewers physically present in the gallery as well as by online viewers interacting with the work through the display of their smartphones. Nevertheless, both types of viewers are usually left to wonder about the materials, physical qualities and origins of the created objects.
In his spatially expansive installation made for Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2020, the artist goes the farthest within his practice of accumulation of materials, structures, allusions and indicated events. Jakub Choma created a spatially and thematically expansive multimedia installation entitled Gears of Life consisting of several environments with diverse architectures representing individual metaphorical worlds. These can be a fragmented sci-fi story of travelling through alternative universes, a physical embodiment of going through a computer game as well as a window into the artist’s mind. The artist is always latently present in the installation, as he has literally imprinted himself into the exhibited objects in the form of digital prints of his body parts on cork boards found at all the imaginary stops of the scattered environment which seems to have exploded in the gallery space. These echoes of the human body in a strange plastic-steel-wooden labyrinth allude both to their maker and to a live performance through which Choma repeatedly activates the installation throughout the exhibition. Passing through the individual environments and interacting with them shows the unlimited potential of the individual objects while challenging their purpose and function – the image of an original artistic artifact is disrupted the moment it becomes a prop.
Spatial installation as well as the performance entitled “Gears of Life” is one of six exhibited projects by the finalists of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2020.
For more information about the award and documentation of projects, click the link below : https://www.sjch.cz/en/jindrich-chalupecky-award-2020-exhibition/
All images and video copyright and courtesy of the artist and Jindřich Chalupecký Society.