Fotograf Magazine

Jesper Alvaer, Isabela Grosseová

The Symmetry of Competence

January 30 – February 28, 2015


You know the feeling: when you turn the magnifying glass or telescope the other way around, the world suddenly seems extremely far away. The works of the duo Grosseová and Alvaer are similar in their effect: the artists most often address a problem of an institutional nature (they themselves refer to their works as dealing with issues) and they continue to step further and further away until the field of vision is not simply the scale and criteria of each individual work, but often the entire “art world” as such. The problem which the artists decided to address at Fotograf Gallery is that of artistic competence, examining the trajectories and motivations of those who have failed from the “insider“ point of view. The exhibition highlighted the situation in which one does not use the ability or competence attained in the process of cultivating their artistic talent: the basic level of competence must be proven at an entrance exam to the academy of arts, just as was the case when entering the exhibition space.

In the exhibition, the artists did not pose questions to those active as artists, but rather to visitors: are you competent to visit an art exhibition? The visitor was made to undertake an an old-fashioned “analog” pencil drawing of their own hand, which would then accompany them throughout, and at the end of the exhibition provided feedback and a connection to all that occurred in between. Conversation with an unknown voice behind a screen tested the viewer’s openness to this novel situation, as well as their imagination. The result was a sense of intimate space where – as the artists noted – the visitors themself provide the material which constitutes the exhibition.

Anežka Bartlová