text to the catalogue of the exhibition We Like Them more
than Gems, They Are Dearer to Us than Gold
26.11.2010 – 13.02.2011, Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, October 2010
One of the latest Irena’s works is especially closed to me. It is a work dealing with the topic of evanescence and temporal relativity of values and value system and its valuation. When I had firstly seen the installation titled „You Are Dearer to Us than Gems, We Like You More than Gold,“ it should not let me strike a link to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the media cherished stars leave their fingerprints to extend their fame at least on the durability of concrete, not if to immortality. If it applied in the 60s of the last century Warhol’s „Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame“ at the beginning of the 21st century a quarter of an hour is perhaps a little. An imprint in concrete is obviously a more reliable! Irena’s installation " „You Are Dearer to Us than Gems, We Like You More than Gold“ is created from desk with the surface of silvery abrasive dust, in which artists casted a parts of their body with whom the author met at this year's artistic residence at the Mikulov chateau.
She provides them a place for imprint, thus to stop in time during the time of time when the fine arts is marginalized of the majority society interest by headlines at the front pages of newspapers. The society seemed to stop its need for fine art. It is the mistake of society? I think it is not worth of evaluation. What is certain is that a craftsman must look at the taste of his surroundings. Artists are expected not to do so. That by his perception and art he gives a message to his surroundings about what others cannot or are not able or does not want to see enough. To get at the spotlight of media attention, however, is to become a skilled craftsman and to offer his work skillfully.
However, in the time of information explosion they attract the attention only things surpassing from everydayness. Indeed, even the mass media live from deviations of the norm. You'll read about who stole, killed, lost, crashed, raped, respectively who was rescued, fell, miraculously survived. The fact that someone lives a quiet life in which he continues to ask questions, newspapers do not write.
Besides, it's not their function. For reflection of everyday life is here just art. But what people today miss is time. Time for a book, on the perception of art. Time is a clip- and crumbled to pieces, time seems to become concentrated and it would not fall more than a glimpse. Newspaper page instead of literature. Or imprint. The imprint, which, for the lack of time, tries to get the eternity.
A part of the installation „You Are Dearer to Us than Gems, We Like You
More than Gold“ is a black unspectacular object on the wall with the plastic
title Enjoy Your Time. As a hidden metronome it warns before evanescence. All,
what is composed, is fleeting. Every imprint, also the concrete one, will
crumble. As well as every cast.
By this I am referring to the installation Collection Series, the work, with which Irena represented the Czech Republic at the 52nd Biennial in Venice. It was a lukopren cast of her own skin presented in a dummy of a luxurious boutique. The topic of value and its relativity was foreshadowed here and clearly determined: Would an artist increase the value of his work, when he would offer his skin in an luxurious boutique? Would he catch enough attention? Does the value of an artwork determine the interest of public, media, experts? Is the price determined by the value? Or is it defined by time?
Or differently: will an artist stripped of skin succeed in the world, where
the bon ton is determined by luxurious boutiques.
The discrepancy between values and appreciation of an artwork has become to be one of the important interests of the author for the last few years. Value and price is not the same neither in economy nor in visual art, even in life. We can appreciate anything that has almost no value, or has it just for us. Conversely, what the value posses it can be for many worthless.
I wish Irena Jůzová, that in her work and life, the values and adwards become entwined at the highest ranks. She deserves it.
Mgr. Lucie Jandová (1967) writer, editor