Alena Foustková
Curator by

Concept - Geometry
Opening |> 13th July 2013 |> 17.00 h
Exhibition - 14th July - 15th of September 2013

Alena Foustková represents concept and reductive art in this year’s program at the Sam83. Her work is based on the principle of transcribing reality into code, or text into image or object. Her theme is the exploration of the possibilities which lay in coding language and the reassessment of content represented by imagery. Despite this, she works with minimal forms that contain emotionally powerful features such as blood (referring to Western culture), or breath (with reference to Eastern culture).

Code is connected to thoughts about identity as it represents multiple, yet accurate, information that cannot be explained verbally--merely transferred to a different language. It therefore does not resolve a situation which cannot be grasped; it only converts it. A certain processuality is typical of the actions she takes to create objects or installations—stitching together, unravelling, gluing, inhaling. She made use of a mantra-like repetition during her exhibition Transgender me (DOX, 2012), where she covered two walls of the gallery with countless inscribing of the sentence I am normal! She is very inventive in her ways of expression and is thus not forced to create monuments. She processes objects whose main characteristic is their smallness and which one woman can handle on her own. These include objects in frames made of stuck-open books which from afar give the impression of a delicate structure. Such is, for example, the installation of glued paper bags from newspapers (Matter Doesn’t Matter, Blanska City Gallery, 2011) which implies an act of inflation and bursting. Here two concepts characteristic of Foustková’s work meet: the transience of breath leaving the body and the quantitative devaluation of communication.

Unconsciously, her conceptual approach makes her work softer. She gets rid of the geometry of barcodes and of the hard contrast of black and white; instead providing them with shadow and blurring their contours, which seeps through to the surface as the personal friendliness which is such an inseparable part of her work. At the same time, however, she lets reality be seen as it is: balloons as a symbol of energy are in fact half-deflated and half-open books are in fact difficult to read. The influence of post-structuralism is evident from these methods.

Sam prepared the exhibition Reader as a general introduction to Alena Foustkova’s work. He focused on three main lines of her work: barcodes, text and adjusted ready-mades. These areas overlap or complement in individual objects and images. She created a remake of her own object for the exhibition in the Ceska Briza -- the 2011 Local Radio Report. In a few days, the tepid voice of Mrs. Schneider will be heard announcing: The ex-hi-bi-tion wi-ll la-st ti-ll the e-nd of Au-gu-st.