White Over (Tomáš Knoflíček)

The specific format of the Dukla Gallery serves Petr Dub primarily as a demonstrative boundary between the open public space and the closed world of contemporary visual art. His project aims at two seemingly disparate phenomena, such as racism and criticism of the galley situation. The white colour appearing in the name of the exhibition can be read both in the context of ethnicity and in connection with the traditional form of the gallery presentation represented by the white gallery dice. Dub’s effort is more focused because it is motivated by the desire to show off between the two phenomena of hidden bonds and to point out the possibility of their common roots. Just like any theory of the superiority of one race over another is contradictory by its very nature, the modernist concept of art, which is eloquently summarized in the concept of the “white dice”, is also contradictory. Although this space has been proclaimed neutral since its very beginning, it has never been able to achieve this desired state. Rather on the contrary, which has also clearly been manifested over time. In these spaces, the embryonic impulse, according to which the art had to fill the gap originated in the souls of modern people by the rejection of God, and thus by the rejection of the religious nature of the society, is emphasized too strongly. Although this basic premise has never been fulfilled, as art has a much more limited portfolio of offerings within salvation than religion, the process of its sacralization continued even when most of the triumphs were lost, or even through the “white cube” modes of presentation, enhancing the iconic and transcendental character of the works, the process of sacralization has intensified. Museums and galleries have become art temples, which have been attributed to a certain degree of pride, as well as conscious detachment from the rest of living reality. It is in the exclusive “white cube” that the suppressing apparatus of the modernist system appears to be the most eloquent. It is just here where the liaisons are obviously manifested between, often only for show, a pro-open gallery and a closed field of contemporary racism.

Originally, the exhibition was called White Cub Terror, in which the English term “cube” metamorphosed into a “cub”, marking a cub of a beast. Thence commercial photo wallpapers with motifs of cute animals confronting with a text paraphrase resulting from the discussion forums advocating “rights of the white majority” and the sterility of the gallery space, which has been separated from the attention of ordinary people. The author consciously piles up clichés. On the one hand, the installation derived from the media and advertising (animal cubs, shop window stickers, repetitions), on the other hand from the gallery environment (minimalist void, work with abstract characters, neon sign, etc.) and takes the weight and cyclicity of current communication strategies. Whether we view Dub’s installation as a new impulse in somewhat dull postcolonial discourse, the seclusive gesture of an academician without the need for reflection or as a provocation towards his own rows, it can not be denied its obviousness and lightness (but not superficiality) affecting the fundamental problems of contemporary society or art. The installation is primarily aimed at to indicate the eternal conflict of beauty and the meaning of (a) political art. White Over.