Exhibition for the Meanest Instincts

Most art aims to evoke heavy feelings in the viewer. We made our task the exact opposite and want to thus fill the gap that exists in contemporary Czech art. The fact that it isn’t only our opinion can be seen in the hundreds of broken and destroyed artworks everywhere. Most of the time the destruction is secret and the destroyers may be ashamed of what they’ve done. We decided to accommodate these people and right at the entrance to the exhibition hall we put sticks in their hands, both figuratively and literally. When someone pours acid on Rembrandt’s The Night Watch or slashes a Goya with an axe, we usually explain it away as a dangerous madman who was trying to get famous. These people aren’t just calling attention to themselves, but also to the instincts convulsing within them. Who of us can say that they’ve seen the paint on a chiaroscuro painting bubble? Who of us can boast of the experience of pieces of marble flying off a Michelangelo sculpture under the blows of a massive hammer? If some people aim to speak to the animal nature of humans, they usually try to put a sophisticated coating on this intention and, as a result, their work becomes a mere aesthetic gesture. For us what’s important isn’t the gesture, but real smashes, blows, and stabs, real gratification, not a simulation. There’s been enough imitation, so let’s get to it with gusto!!!

Within forty minutes, people smashed almost everything within reach to bits. The idea wasn’t to provoke lower instincts, but to satisfy them. Different people reacted differently. Someone found the most enjoyment breaking a female torso with an axe, someone else was happiest when he pissed on the dolls in the urinals and hit the eyes just right so they would wink at him. One guy almost screwed a bag full of shards, but in the end he was torn away from it. It’s my contribution to the
battle against stupidly-directed aggression and vulgarity. I feel sorry for anyone who didn’t understand that.

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