Fotograf Magazine

Adam Havelka, Eva Rybářová, Matěj Pavlík, Jan Kováříček


4. 12. 2015 — 9. 1. 2016


A review of the exhibition Agent could be conceived as a search for the hero of the title. The original meaning of the word agent denotes one who acts. In this case, is the agent the title of the exhibition itself, which in turn suggests the question regarding the identity of the title’s protagonist? Or are the authors of the exhibition the actual agents? If so, in what ways do they imprint on the exhibition their activity as agents – by being absent? Do they delegate this status to the four women depicted in the presented video? But these remain motionless, and it is the camera which circles around them. Is the camera therefore the agent? In fact, the camera appears to be blind: lapsing in and out of focus every now and then, with the frame showing the columns in the room as well as its glass walls in a mechanical rhythm – the shaking motion of the camera undermines this mechanical aspect, without making the camera human. Is the agent then the modern architecture of the space where the video was shot? For it appears to be the architecture that dictates the movements of the camera, which performs a series of horizontal sections through vertical architectural elements as well as around the motionless standing figures. Or is it, more immediately, the temporal and spatial organisation of the exhibition, which defines the conditions for the viewer’s potential experience? Is not then the agent at last the viewer, able to walk freely among the long, angular poles, determining their own experience through their own form of sensorymotoric montage? And if the agent is the viewer – as is, ostensibly, the case with a vast amount of modern and contemporary art – should not art criticism apply in turn to the viewer as well?

Vojtěch Märc