Time tugged the curtain and the world changed

Stanislav Zippe a Richard Loskot

17.09. – 09.10.16

The Last Exhibition

If we were to use one word that would characterize the first joint exhibition of Stanislav Zippe and Richard Loskot we would probably say vertigo; if we were to describe the state of things it deals with, it would probably be the end of the world; if we tried to depict its direction we could say that it concerns entering no-dimension infinity. It consists of two individual and independent inputs that, however, support each other. The exhibition introduces some kind of a last room that has been preserved after a dragging decay the results of which are still visible. The title of the exhibition Time tugged the curtain and the world changed1 that comes from the first verse of a poem Romance on spring 1848 by Jan Neruda is deliberately descriptive and it needs to be taken that way and not as a metaphor. Each of the authors interprets the change in his own way. For Zippe, it is a sharp and immediate cut; for Loskot, it is rather a creeping gradual decay that is both discreet and inevitable. The joint installation is at a metaphorical apocalyptic critical point; the viewer can only observe what consumed him from the inside or the outside and what he cannot defy. He is left at the edge of a steep malström that carries him into the deep one cannot return from. The floor provides him only a seeming support, it is only a thin layer preventing him from dropping to an abyss with no bottom.
From somewhere outside, the room was penetrated by three black almost ninety centimetres wide belts by Stanislav Zippe; and a tender inconspicuous robot with no name by Richard Loskot has travelled here and now it jerkily moves forward as if it couldn’t find peace. The belts crisscross the room but stopped before the end, at the edge of the floor, ceiling and the main wall, as if they didn’t have energy to continue the journey. They entered the empty room aggressively in order to question its supporting Cartesian axis that still determines our everyday life. They undermined any possibility of support, anything we could hold on to. They meet at one point on the floor and wall, creating an imaginary corner that visually burdens the space only to disconnect again to set off to another journey. Zippe expresses a finished action that has been completed and does not continue. Perhaps sooner than we notice the artificial moving being which uses sensors, we see the chits on the floor. They fall out of the robot’s printer which is hidden inside its body and looks like a children’s toy. On most of the small stripes of paper, there are words, snippets of language, remnants and remains that don’t make any sense even if we tried to collect and connect them into a sentence. The marching machine goes crisscross, it is made of electronic parts and it makes sounds that resemble speech that once used to be human. A stream of sounds without sense that represent the last traces of language. Zippe and Loskot assumed the role of archaeologists of the present. Their work differs in technical realisation not in the content – as far as this exhibition is concerned, they both suppressed the formal aspect to maximum. Their work can be viewed as radical de-materialisation. The room is not polluted by any volume, there is no solid object, the black lines merge with the wall, and the little vehicle produces but small paper stripes. Mechanical aspects and geometric belts got opposite meaning than the one they once carried, they received reverse thematic content and suggest chaos that arose after a seeming order. Work of both authors in the long term comes out of denying any story or plot, anything that would lead to narration. The message is carried through the means of the material. The signifying prevailed over the signified; it outweighed it and diverted it as if the disappearing world set its form.

There is a difference of meaning if the viewer stands in or outside the installation. A distinct psychical tension is felt by the claustrophobics on one side and by the xerophobics on the other; those who fear space and those who fear touching dry objects produced by the machine. Black belts push the viewer to the front and provoke fear of falling, spread stripes of paper call him back inside, suggesting that the viewer should take them with him as an ephemeral worthless fetish. If the viewer entered and didn’t view the installation from the entrance he became part of the metaphor of decay. Approaches of Zippe and Loskot complement each other in revealing the same without creating similarities. Each of them offers a different perspective of experiencing. From the read to the seen, and vice versa, from the visual to the verbal expression; the transition supports mutual overlap. They refer to each other even if the authors worked with contradicting means of expression. A momentary loop intensified contact of non-transferable experiences representing different powers that however meet in common theme of Zippe and Loskot.
The installation Time tugged the curtain and the world changed is about the final border behind which the usefulness becomes uselessness and the values are reversed. Stepping outside the circle brought a spring of pure joy.

Text by Karel Srp

1 Jan Neruda, Romance o jaře 1848, Balady a romance (1883). The quotation comes from: Jan Neruda, Knihy básní, Orbis, Praha 1951, p. 409.