Artlist (Václav Hájek)

When observing the works of Petr Dub, I am often interested in what is inside, what it is made of, how it fits together, what happens to it when the exhibition ends, what is the correct layout, if it is the same all the time, etc. This means that what I am interested in (and thus probably what viewers are interested in) is the specific materiality of the given work, which often has a process nature. It is thus a certain matter that represents a special case of artistic matter: the remains from the artist’s studio and various relicts or new substances that primarily serve for the birth of a work of art, though (canvas, frames, paint, and painting tools, not only artistic but also craft, such as rollers, etc.).

It is not material designed for other purposes, such as building or producing a car. The material is thus functional in a certain way, being predestined, not Aristotelian indifferent matter designed for forming and specifying. In this case, the input material has already been specified in a certain manner before the composition act. It tends to rest upon forming a function, while there is not a fundamental difference, but a sequence between the primary function and the resulting form. For instance, there is canvas and paints at the beginning, i.e. the materials whose function has been defined as artistic materials, and in this respect, they are processed and treated in almost a sculptural sense, being formed in a plastic manner, kneaded by touch, not illusionistically treated within the surface towards virtuality. The canvas is painted, coloured and covered with a colour layer, without a picture being painted or a picture inside the canvas, since the whole canvas becomes a part of the painting. What has traditionally been considered as a whole is becoming a part, with the input and functionally identical material not being used in a traditional way. The canvas and frame do not delineate the painting: although they identify it, the painting is something wider. It does not really matter that these traditional materials would only be part of the installation; in the instant case, they would be removable. The installation is a kind of a correlation of the sense, a configuration of signals replaceable in their identity with another fully meaningful element: these are allegories. It is not the case of Petr Dub’s configurations.

Obviously, the elements may be shifted, yet an allegoric message is not a goal, but rather a visual impression or visible or touchable surface and relief. What is essential is the sensual quality of materials and the delight of view or touch. While looking, the viewer strokes the surface and folding of materials formed into shapes. However, the shapes’ proportion or the layout logic are not important. What is thus present as well is the conceptual pleasure. Mostly, it is not necessary to be aware of the literary point, though, the overall impression of the logical layout (Gestalt) is sufficient. This brings us to the psychology of the view. The closed Gestalt is a model on its own, i.e. a model of a live world. Approximately, the notion of the form carries this meaning. On the other hand, the form is, as I have already mentioned, forming a a functional matter or forming expectations. Such expectations are of a spatial nature, since it is an object that serves as its horizon.

The idols serves for caressing, yet not being replaceable and not updating the missing. The idol is present, it is here. It takes place over time, it happens. I perceive Petr Dub’s works are happening forms.

Artlist profile (Václav Hájek, August, 2011)