“Now, however, time, duration, and thus life too cannot be shown directly
but only documented.” (Boris Groys)
On the basis of the artist’s book Vladimír Havlík: Actions and
Interventions 1978-1988 (Sputnik Editions, Bratislava 2012), which presents
all of the his events from that period, a new edition of formatted,
integrated photographic documentation (gelatine silver prints) has been
produced from all extant negatives. The form of documentation, released from
the patina of vintage prints, ought to permit the viewer complete
concentration on the content of individual performances
Romanticism, naïveté, the poetic principle, humour, considerable
affability, light irony, insecure seriousness, amusing exhibitionism…. Is
the content somehow transformed when freed from the nostalgic form of
yellowing photographs? What is the relationship between live events, observed
by the “primary” viewer-participant, to the information transferred
through the medium of the photographic record to the “secondary viewer”?
Is documentation an authentic connection between the viewer and the distant
event at which they might like to have been? Is it a subject of desire or
fetishism, an accenting of the impossibility to experience the original
situation taking on the nature of cult? Is it not true, that the non-presence
of the live event paradoxically bestows an aura to the documentation? It
seems that the more the documentation is disseminated, the greater the power
of the legend, the myth of onceness, the unrepeatability and exceptionality
of the original event. Documentation thus finds itself in the position of an
indisputable icon, upon which there is no longer discussion.
The exhibition Reframed Records has as its goal to again heat up this
petrified state, to renew discussion on the relationship between
event-documentation-interpretation in the context of contemporary discourse
on the social upheaval and the art of cooperation. And the conception of this
installation may contribute to this goal: A time-axis of formally coherent
photo documentation wrapped around the gallery at eye-level; the events are
arranged precisely chronologically, without any manipulation with respect to
qualitative or thematic point of view.
The installation should show whether what remains is viable.