The work of many generations of artists was influenced by communist
power. Creation was either directed or restricted by subordination
to power or the struggle against it.
Filip Turek was born on 5th January, 1968. He studied art history
in Brno for one year, and in 1987 he started to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. For him, the communist education which he experienced
there, seemed to be a comical curiosity rather than a pressure
which could cause a defensive reaction.
I believe that great ideas and moral attitudes adversely affect
art. Nevertheless, I feel amazed when I do not find them in artistic
creation. Turek is a free artist in a free country. His starting
points are equal with those of western artists. He needed only
a little more informations and autopsy and one journey to the
west to be equal to them.
This happened in Munich in 1992 where he exhibited his work, For Praying, at the exhibition Sirup. This work consisted of five rows of church benches, the sides
of which were given the form of the sides of a child’s rocking-chair
in the shape of a rooster. The precise articulation and clarity
of the content, the lucidity of the language, the dimension of
dignity and, particularly, the absence of ‘christening‘ content
in any statement about his own personality and problems of existence,
autenticity or identity, place this work in the sphere of world
art. It speaks the language of New York galleries.
In 1989 Turek abndoned painting and started to make installations using discarded objects. In his own words, this turning point represented a significant
liberation, a happy purification of expression and the elimination
of unclean and dishonest attitudes and reflections.
What Turek means by the ’unclean‘ attitude is the process of creating
the work; the artist’s ability. He does not reject the medial
character as conceptual artists of the 60s and 70s did. Rather,
he rejects the fact that the process of the artistic arrangement
of the material, or the process of the artistic structure of the
painting, provides some evidence about a certain prominent immediate
way of expressing something internal and personal; something which
cannot be named but but claims to have a higher value of existence.
The work with discarded objects releases him from stumbling in
the darkness of his own inner life. The process of creation becomes,
to a large extent, an impersonal manipulation.
Such an artistic programme is a challenge, especially in a country
where the admiration of personality has accompanied many historic
failures; where one group of politicians recently threw away their
historical chance by loadly promoting the personalization of public
life and where the other group is silently converting cold bureaucratic
mechanism into warm relations of personal mafia-like servility.
Translation by Pavla Niklova and April Retter