Date: 08.09.2011 — 25.09.2011
Jan Šerých is known for his love of number and letter typography that oscillates between impressive aesthetics and uncertain meaning. His exhibition in the Etc. Gallery, however, takes a different direction. The visually ascetic word lists, number compositions, and geometrical diagrams are replaced by dramatic and expressive images. The anxiety characteristic of Šerých’s work is here articulated through a tension in photographs of strange but unimportant places snapped by Google Street View. Out of the dim recesses of the chaotic cyberspace, the artist brings these pictures into the open and empty white cube, enlarging their format. In the photographs taken in the streets of Prague, he focuses on mistakes and inconsistencies to show that the more reality is monitored, the more it escapes control. Such resistance to close surveillance is experienced as a visual discrepancy. By entering a key word, the artist comes across blurred, alienated images where nothing takes place; yet the disquiet of these sites strikes one as uncanny. Šerých’s work is always open to a variety of readings, this exhibition, nevertheless, seems to anticipate some kind of a disaster. It is dominated by melancholy. The unnoticed and marginal sites of virtual reality indicate that we don’t hold reality in our hands and that “today” takes place in the shadow of a yet undefined catastrophe.