Fotograf Magazine

Vladimír Skrepl

Lying and Lies - Dec 2, 2014 – Jan 24, 2015

If the general principle of collage itself is deserving of thorough neurological examination, this is especially true of the collages of Vladimír Skrepl. Intense visual impulses which connect disparate and contradictory fragments put to the test the synapses of the viewers’ brain – his antagonistic content triggers a response from both the first and second signal system. Much in the spirit of the liberating device of automatism, Skrepl’s books displayed at Fotograf Gallery transcend any view of eroticism dictated by the norm. His infantile amalgam of inscriptions, drawings and pornography seems to nod to a Bataillesque sense of transgressiveness. Browsing through the pasted-in pages of printed books with more than cursory attention brings these conflicts ever more into focus – the fragments of photographs and text connect the sociopolitical and the personal, accentuating the clash of the rational and the subconscious, the intimate and the public, politics and culture.

These interventions into otherwise banal books are reminiscent of the destructive doodles of a child, while the commentaries are a kind of fragmentary texture combining rudeness with erudition, subtle poetry with obscenity, humour and infantile frivolousness. One of the artist’s older catalogues cites that Skrepl’s art is very “sexy”. One would hasten to add, however, that the degree of its ambivalence renders it distinctly “un-sexy”. Regardless of what it means to different people and what priorities one may have, it is certain that in the collages, objects and paintings that Skrepl has created until now, issues of sexuality are certainly frequent. The books exhibited at Fotograf Gallery show numerous copulating men and women as well as a range of more or less hybrid figures, but apart from this, there are also references to his mother. The artist’s own scribbled margin notes urgently disrupt the continuity of the original texts of the books in which they are inscribed. His drawings and sketches reveal various strata of both infantile and adult sexuality and a more or less articulated emotionality, evincing strongly regressive tendencies. Skrepl’s trademark light touch and mastery of the creative process seems in this case to almost stutter in terms of both content and form. It functions brilliantly as a process in which one is stuck between endlessly returning and moving forward.

Mariana Serranová