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Jiří David – Zase je má kůže porcelánem

Jiří David was born in 1956 in Rumburk. He studied at the AVU in Prague during 1982-87. He has to his credit almost 80 independent exhibitions, including some in Warsaw, New York, Moscow and London. With his Apotheosis project he represented the Czech Republic in 2015 at the Venice Biennale, where he had earlier been a participant in 1991 and 1993. His work has been presented at major reviews of contemporary art in the Art Institute of Chicago, Museé d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin, and elsewhere. He was curator of the Prague Biennale 1 (2003) and 2 (2005). From 1995 to 2001 he led the Studio of Visual Communication at the Prague AVU, and from 2004 he has led the Studio of Intermedia at the Prague UMPRUM.

Mirrors are a monumental self-portrait, but also a material instantiation of the figure of the artist and the mechanism of art in general. A host of personal, somehow charismatic, associations of charged elements come up against the smooth cleanliness of glass mirrors, which “merely” reflect. Some associate the feeling of the body and physicality, touch. Consequently, there are always feelings of intimacy present here, bodily nooks as well as sexuality, images of the ageing body, pain, dirt or feelings of discomfort. We see Q-tips, bodily hairs, head hair, plasters and coarse string here. Drawings of a prostate exam and filthy little doodles of female buttocks with the private parts exposed. Others associate the spirit, personality, the mind. Assumptions and influences that shape opinions. Memories, a broken knife installed in the form of a relic, a snapshot of a first performance that has yet to be a performance, disappearing, faded photos and negatives of personal value. Alongside them systems of thinking, such as words, letters, geometric shapes and equations. One, however, constantly spills into another and alternates in different roles. Sakharov’s calculations, next to which he has drawn crafty faces, a symbol, a personal memory, inspiration, communication.