RAPHAEL DANKE & MIROSLAV TICHY, CLICK, CLICK
17 January – 28 February 2014
We are delighted to present the first joint exhibition by Raphael Danke and Miroslav Tichy.
The exhibition’s title refers to the “Click, Click” that eccentric, multimillionaire and surrealist Edward William Frank James would eject in order to mark a specific moment he wanted to capture in his memory.
Raphael Danke became aware of his connection to Tichy after seeing one of his own works installed in proximity to a photograph of Tichy’s at a collector’s house and thus developed the exhibition at VAN HORN. Both artists deal with the quality of destruction and beauty. Instead of wanting to create a ‘perfect image’, they are concerned with the process of seeing and capturing an impression which does not please the eye by means of technical perfection. Thematically as well as technically, the parallels between Tichy and Danke are obvious, suggesting a joint exhibition.
Danke utilises a mobile phone’s camera for his photographs while Tichy uses inferior devices fashioned from everyday findings. This often leads to under- or overexposure and blurry motifs. By exposing pages from magazines, Danke destroys the given image in its original form. Tichy’s work, however, is subject to a rather inevitable type of destruction: as he never intended to present his photographs in art exhibitions, he treated them carelessly, the result of which are stains and scratches, which account for the charming and poetic character of his work.
Women constitute the central motif of both artist’s works. For decades, Tichy photographed women in everyday situations in Kyjov. This method yields natural, unposed scenes with an immanent, voyeuristic appeal. Due to their technical imperfection, the images seem to oscillate between dream and reality, revealing an individual form of female beauty. Danke achieves a similar effect by making use of pages from fashion magazines, displaying mainly female models, which he illuminates from behind and then photographs. Consequently, the magazine’s back and front page melt onto one level. Furthermore, Danke works with collages made from fashion magazines. The resulting abstract forms and architectures turn the original body into a mysterious, non-representational object. Danke’s oeuvre should be understood as a surrealist commentary on the contemporary fashion industry whose product apparatus generates a distorted body image as well as constantly new forms and quality of fetish.
Moreover, Danke’s ‘Leg Sculptures’, which relate directly to Tichy’s photos, will be shown for the first time in the context of this exhibition. Several objects are installed, made of concrete which enloses other materials, such as, for example, plastic bottles . The sculptures are wearing the most popular Czech female names (Adéla, Tereza, Eliska, Anna, Natálie, Karolina). The sculptures get their leg shape through being cast in tights. The two-part sculpture ‘Click, Click’, which is centrally located in the central exhibition space, is reflected in the exhibition title. It displays a typical gesture of photographers – the “Finger Frame”. This object, like the “Leg Sculptures” is also cast in concrete, in which other materials, such as film containers and camera parts are processed.