Custodian – Start Up (Sandra Baborovská)

“Art is about inventing another scene; inventing something other than reality.”
“Irony is also part of the conspiracy of art.” (Jean Baudrillard)

The sixth in the line of artists exhibiting their work under the project Start-up II, Petr Dub
(b. 1976), is a graduate of the Studio of Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, who currently pursues his studies at the same faculty´s Intermedia Studio. He has prepared for his display in the exhibition space on the ground floor of The Golden Ring a new “intervention” using as subject matter the gallery environment.

The conceptual project entitled Female Custodian is inspired by the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard (1929 – 2007), specifically by his book The Conspiracy of Art, linking up with his well known “simulacra theory” from the early 1980s. According to Baudrillard, we live in a world controlled by the mass media, making it ever more difficult to distinguish between what is real and a mere semblance of reality. Originals have been supplanted by copies, and imitations constitute a reality in its own right, a hyper-real world. An instance of a simulacrum that programmatically invites us to come closer can be exemplified by the figure installed in the Start-up gallery, representing a seated female custodian. Actually, getting closer to her is made impossible, which leaves the spectator deprived of a chance to identify the material and the medium used in the figure´s making. What prevents us from approaching it is an intricate invisible thread projecting from a fishing hook on which the artist has managed literally to “catch” the viewer. A web woven from such threads sets up, similarly as it does in the world of media images, a barrier as well as a distance. This instills in our minds an illusive image of a peculiar, ironically conceived figure in which the more attentive spectator will recognize an androgynous being relating to Baudrillard.

Petr Dub approaches the canvas as an artistic idiom and a flexible component of installation. He first formulated his creative concept two years ago, in his degree art work entitled Unframed, where he eliminated the frame of easel painting, thereby ridding himself of the geometrical determination of canvas which he transformed into a drapery that, in its turn, has come to serve him as a device with which he “paints” his plastic pictures. Petr Dub used as the frame of his work here the gallery environment, part of which usually is the seated figure of a custodian whose attitude to a given exhibition is ambivalent. She represents the show´s “invisible” component.

Female Custodian (2011, Sandra Baborovská)