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Michal Zajaček “out of time”

Michal Zajaček

“out of time”

(a photographic series)

Profil Gallery – 2nd Floor

Date of exhibition: 02.10. 2019 – 27.10.2019

 

Miloš Karásek – Concept for the Exhibition, Spatial Design

Nora Nosterská – Graphic Design

Michal Kořán – Musical Areas

 

To begin with, Michal Zajaček is fond of searching topics that could be, without hesitation, described as a cliché (taking photographs of his own children, home village, etc.); and with the unburdened ease of a child who has just begun to name things around themselves, retells their story in a new fashion. He provides his own, non-devalued point of view of situations and environments that we no longer perceive.

This brief description of his method fits precisely with the presented series “Foundry” – which is in fact a documentary recording of a trivial industrial environment. I needed illustrative photographs for the new catalogue, so I asked Mike to take some photographs. I had no idea what I was going to launch.

A few days after visiting the foundry, he sent me a set of black and white photographs. For a moment I was left speechless. In his photographs, the raw neglected workshop-space in which I have been casting statues for over twenty years has turned into a mysterious place, where a mysterious ritual is in progress. By shifting the authorial vision, we witness the alchemical process of birth; from dust, sweat and fire, the intangible idea materializes into a material body. How did he see it there?

Indeed, Zajaček’s photographs are probably the closest to alchemy – their dramatic atmosphere is packed with mystery. We suspect that something fundamental, archetypal, something that touches all of us, is going on, even if we do not fully understand the nature of it. We are subconsciously afraid of things we do not understand, which is why the photographs themselves contain a noticeable element of fear – what is happening? Is it a ritual of white or black magic? Who are the participants whose faces we see only partially? What are those frightening tools they use and what are they for? What is burning in that unknown device and what are all the chains and hooks for? What are we actually witnessing?

However, we do not see the resulting product of this almost baroque mystery. Zajaček takes no interest in a completed, polished bronze statue, it is not essential. On the contrary – why explain the hidden meanings of the mysterious activity, a story without an end? The author is essential to the very process of creation, the tense birth full of effort and mystery and the mystery of birth.

If the alchemists in their hidden laboratories were searching and are still looking for the philosophers’ stone, I feel that Michal Zajaček has found it in his series.

Miloš Karásek

May 2019