Weightiness of the consciousness of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe
Laurinská 14, Bratislava
12. Dec 2014
curated by Lucia Gavulová
Photographic works by Peter Sit, exhibited at the show of which the name is a quotation from The book of disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, were made mainly in 2013. Although photography still remains the main medium of the current author's projects, it doesn't represent the main task any more - its own discourse within the content as well as its artistic and visual qualities – the same as it did in the period in which the presented photographs were made. In the current works (that are not a part of the show) his photography changes to a tool, instrument or raw material – an outcome in part of a broader conceived complex entity. As Filko defined art as a visual communication in 1970 and he became aware of the value of visual information, so photography started to be directive and essential as a visual communication carrier for Sit, which he applies in his current works in synthesis with many other elements.
Peter Sit is an author's self-made man. Rare and determining is energy, curiosity and the will of covering everything as himself - his own mind, existence, thinking, language, essence – external environment and different impacts, determining existence on its own. The need to tell and express the most makes him open to different impacts, whereas he avoids the fatal absorption of ubiquitous inspiratory noise with his natural sensitivity and ability not to only capture various sources, signals and motions, but also to decode and select. The intensity of his thoughts can sometimes be faster and more acute than the possibilities of their immediate artistic comprehension, the form looks like being sporadically limited.
But to devices of Sit's processes belongs also the fact that he never gives up within searching for adequate possibilities of expression (he isn't satisfied with the easier way either), often in intense confrontation with his own doubts.
At his show, he presents a world of objects, situations. Although these are quite explicit, concrete images of 'segments of reality', they are in question only in their sculptural or even architectonical qualities, though remaining abstract in their content. “Images” looking like studies of various random, utilitarian moments, characteristic games with forms and volumes, observing certain physical laws of objects as much in their fundamentals as in their functioning within space (statics, form, deviation), at a more consistent insight into ‘displayed surface’ they picture unexpected connections, stories, sometimes even self-exposal of the author – gentle, sophisticated, imperceptible and unpretentious.
Somewhere in the very distant layer, or maybe even firstly after the interpretation by the author himself, can the viewer ‘decode’ the nuances of the most personal expressions, fragile to even ephemeral pictured storylines. Besides the mentioned formal devices it is also interesting to observe the contextual statement of the photographs, that often include layers of various associations, links or semantic levels, which can be perceived from different angles of view - it depends on what the viewer wants to see, read, or which 'version' they prefer.
For example the ‘pyramid’ made of mandarin peel. The photograph can on one hand evoke winter, or Christmas time, which this fruit belongs to and this fruit mainly associates pleasant and joyful feelings and moments to most people because of its smell and taste. When perceiving the half-dried empty peels, which are being moulded by destructive, biological reactions, this might link to something completely different. And then we can perceive the ‘spectacle’ structurally, as a certain bio-amorphous sculpture. In this connection I can think of a statement of the Mexican sculptor Gabriel Orozc: “If you eat an orange, there will be only an empty peel left. I was thinking about the inner of an object, about special, unclear emptiness of quite trivial objects (...) In this time I was also thinking about the growth, which the universe is full of, about how fetus comes from one point, which is creating its own structure, but in the end there is only a peel left. The fruit is a vessel (...), sculpture is for me a vessel, or at least something which creates the illusion that it contains or transmits something.”
Baroque-like still-life of a pineapple with garlic and onions has besides the sculptural also undeniable painting qualities from the formal side. It flashes with strong visual effectiveness and under certain angles or impact of light it raises really even a physical effect and structure of a painting from the 17th century. The impression of a visual ambivalence can also be increased by an unusual combination of chosen crops - sweet pineapple, sharp onion and garlic - together incompatible flavours. Also this moment carries the same as with most spectacles at the exhibition, undeniable metaphorical charge. What if a ‘simple’ black and white captured photographic composition of fruit and vegetables is a therapeutically gesture on a symbolic level, a touch of certain deeply stored layers of the author's self-establishing ‘himself’, ‘shaking hands’ with some ‘sweet-sour’ moments or circumstances of man's life?
Maybe great coverage of personal experiences, intense inner dialogue with himself, or dissatisfaction with ’sliding’ on the surface of man's existence, interpreted into art (“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”) makes the author in the end a mature personality, which, despite his young age, sometimes (doesn't)bear the weight of abstract thinking and feels weightiness of the conscience of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe...
photos: Mcihaela Dutková