Jiří Černický / Krabat's Apartment

DATE OF THE EXHIBITION: 01. 04. - 20. 05. / 2023

EXHIBITION OPENING: 01. 04. 2023 / 17:00

exhibition Curator : David korecký

The naming of Jiří Černický's project for GMK Krabat's Apartment contains a contradiction, which may be the key to under-revealing the author's creative strategies.

The Magical Tale of Krabat, an early 18th-century Lusatian Serbian legend, is the story of a boy who, on the brink of adulthood, approaches dark forces and is fascinated by them until he realizes they can destroy him. Krabat tries to control the forces and energy originally serving evil and employ them in the service of good, to turn black magic into white. A similar motif can be found in various ancient stories from around the world. But what role does the term apartment play here?

If we let black magic into an apartment, a private refuge from the snares of the world around us, we can have various reasons for doing so. We need to tame it and the outside world no longer provides enough space for it, or we are dealing with domestic demons. At the end of the 1960s, the American photographer Martha Rosler responded to the first entry of information technologies spewing endless images of evil into private residences with the legendary work House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, where, in the form of simple collages, she inserted images of the war in Vietnam into images of sleek interiors of middle-class homes.

In this way, she alluded to the ethics of the media, which in the interest of drawing attention to themselves, continuously bombarded viewers with violent images. At the same time, Rosler emphasized the fundamental issues of personal involvement and the increasing sense of helplessness of a person who watches the suffering of others from the comfort of his sofa and the safety of his home.

The world of technology and media has become significantly more refined since then, the basic questions of identity, stepping out of the comfort zone and value orientations remain the same. Jiří Černický invited us to the abode of a lonely young man who is learning to use magic to transform the demons of the current world into useful companions in the name of finding a less shaky attitude towards the world around him. To find something at least somewhat consistent within ourselves in an eclectic world of rolling symbols and civilizational challenges. The contrast between the battle of good and evil and the environment of a private refuge expresses Černický's lifelong strategy of sharpening the viewer's sensitivity with mythological references and then refocusing on the psychological, social and technological pitfalls of today.