Jiří Machalický - With Skin to Art Market

text for newspaper (published: Lidové noviny, Prague, 5th April 2007)

Irena Jůzová's Insta­llation (1965) Going to Represent Us at This Year Biennial in Venice

The project for the Biennial in Venice Irena Jůzová considered for a long time. Indeed, she pursued it long ago, only now appeared a good opportunity. An idea is projected in it, that am artist let be risked his idea, just as if he undresses publicly. The space in our pavilion the artist conceives as if it was a luxury shop. In showcases she offers „goods“, casts of her own body. Jůzová won the tender, in which the committee chose from twenty submitted projects. Her project was tuned and most current.

She studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design, then joined Academy of Fine Arts, where she graduated in studio of Aleš Veselý in 1994. Firstly, she created graphic cycles, in which she applied her sense for space building, free setting of layers and their ingrowths’ , expressing the energy intersecting through curves. She has the feeling for expressing the raw reality without any embellishment – it interest her for example the environment of factory halls, in which everything is subordinated to the purpose and in which one is not going to search aesthetics so much.

In work, Irena Jůzová is concerned with authentic imprint of the world, were we live. While her work looks very fragile, especially in large-scale compositions of translucent paper. First she printed on them, and then she used just their structure. So naturally and slowly she approached to installations, in which again she used items that attracted her in any way. Sometimes she wrapped them in translucent paper, so their shapes became to be softer and installation received with acquired secret acquired a new dimension.

In some of her project she worked also with light. For example the impressive installation called Around us (1991), in which she imprinted enlargened cell shapes in order to express the changeability and the constant evolution of nature. Since the first half of the 1990s she has been intensely immersed in the possibilities of shaping space. She masters various means of expression; uses many different materials, such as metals. Some projects counted on participation and reactions from the viewer, who was supposed to assume a certain position.

She studied for six months under the German sculptor Otto Herbert Hajek in Karlsruhe, where she created object out of granite plates, in which settled the dust from grinding. Anyone could leave their imprint in them. A relief foil she lighted up, the colours kept slowly changed. She was interested in reflection, which depends of types, intensity and angles of races.

For the exhibition in Women Houses she created A Desk for Twenty Players (1992), on which were small plates and everybody can draw on them while rotating a circle as on a table from a children toy. One could not erase his record.
This object had success; it was exhibited also in Budapest and in Grenoble at Germination 7, where it was awarded. The author created for Štenc´ House in Prague an interactive installation with frames and hanged rubbed stripes. The cameras recorded everybody who passes them. In one monitor there was a real picture, in the second one a silhouette. Interesting was also the realization accurately called Apparent Immovability, which took place in the former factory Cosmos in Bratislava in 1996. In it blended the effect of sharp light contrast with a sound record.
Irena Jůzová draws from personal experience; she is interested in energies which rule our life. In one installation she used a discarded magnetic tunnel, primary used in a hospital. She found it scrap place and then she got it to work. There were created look hole for pictures from her childhood, so she connected her personal story with the machine, storing in memory infinitely many human destinies.
Independently, Irena Jůzová presented interesting installation in Špála´s Gallery, in which she received a sharp tension through scrum of metal „swords“. She was also chose for the Biennale of Young in the House at the Stone Bell (1996), where she worked with light and sound. She had a small retrospective exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Hradec Kralove.

In the installation for the Biennial in Venice, called the Collection Series, Irena would like to point at, how the contemporary market wants to handle everything. How it wants to usurp something what can never succumb it because luckily in this area they do not apply market principles. It's very important to alert this fact constantly and question the entry of economy into the art.

Thus into progressive art, which brings something new, which provokes us because it brings something what we do not know and what have yet to understand.

Jiří Machalický