As if, just a moment ago, there were three people sitting here. At first glance an incongruous trio, though nonetheless they are able to spend long hours debating about the route across the lava fields. Each one entered here with a somewhat different purpose. Thus far, the presence of one of them still resounds in the ether and permeates space to the last crevice. It changes space into a projection surface, absorbing innumerable images. The second member of the trio enters this setting straightforwardly, and simultaneously in concealment. She lends it an essence that initially we might find shocking. Although it seems that we no sooner become acclimatised in the new setting than it evaporates, yet it remains ubiquitous. Nor does the painting that the third person has hung here intend to depart from us easily. It gives the impression of being a portrait of an aristocratic seat. Wherever we may turn, we feel it at our backs, like eyes that constantly observe us, but only until the moment when the blow comes that will shatter all hitherto existing things into small liquid crystals.
Jana Bernartová (1983), visual artist, passed through a number of “media” studios in the course of her studies. She commenced her university education at the Faculty of Art and Architecture at the Technical University in Liberec, in Stanislav Zippe’s Visual Communication – Digital Media Studio. Her Master’s study was completed in Václav Stratil’s Intermedia Studio at Brno’s FAVU, and her doctorate in Federico Díaz’s Supermedia Studio in Prague’s UMPRUM. In many ways, the defining moment for her was coming to teach at Liberec University, which gave her a background for working with the most modern technologies, with knowledge of their potencies and limits. It is precisely what is lacking in the digital image – the tension between the virtual world and the lived reality, between data and their material outputs – that represents the central theme of her work hitherto. Jana Bernartová appears in the world of contemporary art not only in the role of artist but also in those of teacher and curator. Since 2016 she has organised the Art Week Liberec international festival. She is Pro-rector for Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Janek Rous (1981), audiovisual artist, is a graduate of Jiří Příhoda’s Studio of Monumental Art at Prague’s AVU. During his studies he had been active mainly in creating specific situations and interventions in the surrounding environment, but in recent years he has concentrated on producing video and audio essays, based on a thorough study of the given themes. In these he frequently touches on buried layers of memory, whether personal, collective, or (in connection with his previous performative projects) referring to a definite place. The layered images evoked via Rous’s narratives float freely between reality and fiction and resonate uncommonly powerfully with our own experience, posing disquieting questions and forcing us to look at everyday reality from a different perspective. This strategy likewise permeates Rous’s film work. Janek Rous has for many years been a member of the board and editor-in-chief of the internet platform for contemporary art Artyčok.tv, where he also works as a maker of art documentaries, in recent years focusing on social sustainability.
Lucia Sceranková (1985) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and in Vladimír Skrepl’s studio at the Prague Academy. In her work she almost invariably employs the medium of photography. Nevertheless, rather than as a photographer we think of her as an intermedia artist. She works in an unusual manner not only with the actual photograph but also with its presentation. Sceranková’s photo does not serve only to capture what is seen. She uses it for intelligent play, testing the observer’s capacity for perception. The final shots are normally preceded by construction and composition of the spatial scenes that subsequently she records with her camera. She plays with scale, material, and change of perspective. For that matter, in recent years one can detect shifts in this artist’s increasingly deep critical scrutiny of the impulses forming individual subjectivity, whether their source is in socially conditioned models or in our immediate coexistence with modern technologies