Pole Position (Pavel Netopil)

Almost historically garages have played a noticeably positive role in culture and art. The phenomenon of garages seems to be related to the potential of the peripherally new: the importance have already become obvious and the time of confirming this is still far fetched. Lukáš Machalický and Robert Šalanda have decided to conceive the programme of their gallery in a socially wider manner, as an opportunity for presenting and encountering the work of the chosen artist with the theoretical reflection or any other initiation of the author’s guest. Currently, it hosts the picture objects of Petr Dub, a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, who invited, as a guest, a young and successful mini-bike racer Josef Hohenberger.

In general, the symbiosis of the motor sport and fine art is a unique event, yet when taking a closer look at Dub’s way of working, we may realise a number of similarities in which the initial connection with the racer perfecting his own style is legitimised. Within the terminology of motor racing, the term of pole position means an advantage in the starting position in the particular race, since the racer’s starting position is a result of previous qualifiers, i.e. being a prerequisite of a successful race result.

A similar presentation and artistic procedure has been chosen, as I believe, by Petr Dub, as well. His life story and prerequisites of artistic training have not at all been straightforward: as a freelancer, he has approached art from everyday practice, thus being significantly different from his university counterparts. I recollect his previous artefacts that he created in the school atelier at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno and I feel a certain mistake that I made when evaluating them at that time. Already then, it was possible to perceive Dub’s approach to work in the school atelier as conceptual, in which both elements contained in the work influenced one another in terms of the process, i.e. the idea and material elements in which, for instance, the final effect was conditioned by layering over the inner hidden structure using random details and a distinctively colour or even signal-like solution. Yet unfortunately, I was then unable to sufficiently realised that I was encountering an artist with an already mature personality whose handicap consisted, at that time, in the deficiencies in the craft, without the perfect master of which it is impossible (especially in the case of the reduction minimalist aesthetic) to achieve a convincing result. By increasing formal demands, just as a training racer, Petr Dub recycled himself, thus refining the ways of his own presentation.

Continuous examination of formally artistic means of expression seems to approach the already well-established forms of modernism and minimalism. However, Christ’s packing and the creation of monumentally transforming form of aesthetic reduction also interest Petr Dub only marginally, despite the seeming similarity, since recycling and connecting matters and elements of his previous artistic activity (cuttings of surfaces and the whole pieces of canvas, parts of blind frames, etc.) tend to be classified among the postproduction methods. By means of the reduction visible on the surface, he attempts to achieve the impressively effective solutions, touching even bizarrely rich circumstances; the common feature of Dub’s visuality is suppressing any perception of the traces of the individual distinctiveness. The ideal of his work consists in the perfectly industrial production, in which he transforms the ways of perceptions and mental processes of an individual. The perfection of the effect of physical and mental connections is delicately manifested especially in the detail. It is by means of mastering many details and particulars that the author (as well as the racer) may arrive at a formal perfection as a means allowing reaching for the victory…

Reaching for a victory … (Pavel Netopil, 10. 10. 2012, Artalk.cz)