Adam Vackar


Adam Vackar has studied at Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and has graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris. He has absolved artist-in-residence program in Palais de Tokyo in Paris. His work was presented in diverse international group and solo exhibitions such as in Centre Pompidou, Centre Pompidou Metz, Palais de Tokyo, Bucharest Triennial, Prague Triennial, City Gallery Prague, Art Basel–Statements and Art Basel–Film, Cologne Kunstverein and others. Adam Vačkář’s installations and actions seem absurd, even paradoxical, yet they are marked by a strong reference to reality. Not in the sense that they would depict reality one to one, but rather that they mediate real personal experience. This may often be what the French psychoanalyst Jac- ques Lacan calls quite devastating experience. It is not so long ago that futuristically oriented con- cepts, typical especially of art, tried to avoid these devastating experiences in some way, but Vačkář’s installations and actions, by contrast, intentionally seek to call them forth. The theme of the finite crossing over to the infinite, of destructive force turning into music, an important message that random pedestrians walk over, sinister sirens evoking calm and apparently eternal certainties like the words yes and no, which negate each other – these are the absurd op- posites that run like a red thread through Vačkář’s whole oeuvre. They are absurd, yet real: this artist can still recall how an original endeavor to create a new, free society, has degenerated into oppression, inequality, and lack of freedom. Why the reversal? This question is also asked by Alain Badiou in Le Siècle (2005), who seeks also to provide an answer: the twentieth century was obsessed with the idea that it was possible to wrench something indestructible, eternal, and infinite out of realty, he writes. ‘Between 1917 and 1980 the century set out to create something indestructible. Why this ambition? Because indestructibility, or non-finitude, is the mark of the real. In order to create something indestructible much must first be destroyed. Sculptors are particularly aware of this – they who destroy stone so that through its voids it may confer eternity upon an Idea. The real is the impossible-to-destroy; the real is what resists, always and forever.’ It is this resilience, which reality asserts against any attempt to push through eternal, indestructible, and infinite principles. It depicts and provides an opportunity to experience Vačkář’s actions and installations. And that is why they are so real. Text by Noemi Smolik *Alain Badiou, The Century, trans. from the French by Alberto Toscano (New York, 2007), p. 129. French original, Le Siècle (Paris, 2005).

Curators’ Special

Part of the curatorial selection of  Nadine Gandy.