Ink building sites - Václav Špála Gallery
6.3. - 26.4. 2015
When placing the site of the act of painting on building sites, the dimension of Jiri Straka´s paintings no longer appears as square dimension. This explanation may seem somewhat strange, however, the understanding of this moment is very useful for understanding of Straka´s work. The interpretation of a painting is usually only limited to the inside of a certain area - the meaning is excerpted from the painting´s composition. But Jiri Straka tries to examine this cognitive momentum: to let the meaning overcome the limitations given an image in square dimension. Of course, if we were to resign to the traditional painting, which is actually the usual way applied in contemporary art, it is very easy to make such a "breakthrough". Nevertheless, Jiri Straka does not want anything like that - he is still loyal to painting and wants to break away from restrictions of an image using the premise of non-resignation to it. This reasoning is a bit paradoxical at first sight, because if we were not to resign to the image, how do we break away from it? In respect to this Jiri Straka does not focus on the picture itself, but concentrates on how it originates. Evidently, this is very smart. Illustration as an ideographic element can often separate itself from the plain surface of the picture. It this context "generating its meaning" can break away from concrete happening of the panting act and become a complex interpretative object. For example, when looking at the "Last supper" painting actually no one cares about the environment in which it was created. People only use the painting on the picture conventionally to associate the meaning. That is where the depiction separates itself as a character and becomes an image dimension within the given closed area. In a way it is the interpretation mode of this separate area that is the base of the origin of classical painting and becomes a limit for generating the meaning.
With regards to Jiri Straka, the change lies in the fact that he removes the individual ideographical character of the painting in a square area and reveals this limit of generating the meaning. In this way his painting dimension is no longer only a square area - as if the origin of the meaning of the square depiction would not happen in the square area, but only in the environment of its origin the painting could become complete signifier.
For example, every ink painting displayed here depicts various objects on a building site, as well as dead small animals. Large format and white areas on the paper are the cause of the object no longer being reproduced in the way of depicting nature, but catches whole different kind of a spiritual experience. To understand their spiritual space we have to reconstruct the scene of the origin of these paintings. That means that Jiri Straka uses the "scene of the painting act" to change the structure of the origin of the painting´s meaning and brings in a symbolism to the painting that is own to the environment and this way changes the way of generating its meaning.