Genres of Everydayness

Jirka Skála

08.03. – 09.04.17

Jiří Skála has been involved with the theme of transformation of work and leisure time since his studies in the PhD program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He explores this theme through installations combining different media and the results often have a literary or video recording character. These conceptual constructions often require an active participation of the viewer. Skála’s exploration and attempt to define work-related and leisure-related activities logically result in these themes projecting into his personal life. He poses as a guinea pig in his own work. He tries to understand his ability to organise his time between work and leisure by creating different folders on his computer. As he feels a compulsion to reorganise his personal work space, Skála perhaps becomes sceptical regarding his own understanding of participative art and he feels a need to redefine it.The series of photographs exhibited in the Entrance Gallery formally divert from Skála’s previous work. Nevertheless, the socio-psychological moment that is characteristic for his work, is present here as well – even though it concerns his persona. In slightly schizophrenic or obsessive photographs, Skála talks to himself or tries to depict the same thing over and over to underline the split urgency that fuelled the origin of the photographs.In one of the two series of photographs, Skála might have unconsciously made a good use of his interest in worker’s theatre clubs of the First Republic of Czechoslovakia that used the genre of live image quite often as part of the proletarian propaganda. These photographic scenes performed by many people would present various images from real life. Skála might have arranged far more simple and plain scene but the intensity is similar thanks to the surreal and multiplicity. The second series works with a kind of self-motivating mottos directed at ‘Jirka’ himself. Even here, the intensity of repetition is important as well as the power of imperative. But these rather directive signs refer to their own ephemeral quality as they are written by a chalk that can be easily washed with water.These working procedures are not new in Skála’s work, therefore this exhibition, however surprising at first sight, is not ground-breaking as far as the medium is concerned. But the personal level of Skála’s involvement elevate it to a clear manifestation of ‘Jirka’s’ current frame of mind.

Text Tereza Velíková