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Zbyněk Baladrán: Peer-to-Peer Protocol

Opening: 25 January, 2018, 6 pm

On view until: 9 March, 2018

Zbyněk Baladrán is one of the best known Czech artist of his generation, while also being a curator, an art historian, and an archivist; his works have been exhibited by the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With his exhibition in Trapéz Gallery, he makes an attempt to present the unknowable and unexplorable – or only partly graspable – relations of reality, while constantly reminding us to the impossibility of this endeavour.

Being inspired by the world of science-fiction works, the exhibition deals with unfolding human relations, while breaking down complex processes to their fundamental elements and operational units. He does this seriously but not without irony since he knows that scientific and religious thinking, offering world-explanations, does attempt again and again to answer such questions; without clear answers, however, there is always room for new interpretations.

Present is an answer, generated from a database embracing every possible scenario; there are no accidents, there is no unexpected, possibilities are countable, not infinite. Relations can be described, designed, and calculated but, fortunately, this does not prevent reality from being completely different. 

The works displayed at the exhibition are imprints of thinking about the present from the perspective of the future, through different mediums and modes, replacing subjectivity by data and algorithms.

Automated Subject describes a situation beyond future, where everything is connected to everything while forming a large, joint whole; the subject melts in the all-incorporating “we”. The installation motivates the visitor to move and to enter the stream of pictures (picture database) devoid of story – while putting traces next to each other: traces of human and natural intervention, from which a comprehensible but alien landscape is outlined, evoking the cosmic landscape of the world appearing in science-fiction books.
The impossibility of grasping the truth, and the necessarily fragmentary nature of this act invigorates a multitude of comprehensive interpretations and world-views.

The exhibited diagrams (From the Old Theological Jokes) attempt something similar: they take off to delineate interrelations again, while at the same time they disclose its simplifying, banal character. The diagrams – as in other circumstances – promise to make complex processes transparent; their questioning is serious, their voice is scientific, while it is also clear that reality slips out again from among formulae embattled in order to illustrate.

The series entitled Story of a Raped Sentence in Several Pictures may also be read as the encounter of an anatomical illustration and a picture poem. According to the story assembling word by word, the words of a sentence – stepping out of their subordinated role in meaning making – are embodied and gain autonomy. The rebel words occupy the names of body parts, hence – organised as a community – sentence-body becomes the point of departure for the self-organisation of language.

The video displayed at the exhibition, Powerless Source of All Power, is a questioning of our belief in technology, and, parallelly, a statement of its unavoidability. The picture selected from the database – a conference table, known from international political or economic negotiations, symbolising, symbolising the world – is the point of departure for the contemplation about the meaning and significance of streams of picture, which are growing infinite. The surreal narration phrases statements and poses questions concerning the nature of perception and information reception: Does the constant increase in the amount of information mean that we get closer to truth? What if we cannot talk about infinity, if the number of pictures, information, and data is predetermined and the answers are finite?

The exhibition is supported by Czech Center, Budapest.