Artists who pushed the boundaries through materiality in their art
by Rahul KumarDec 22, 2021
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Dilpreet BhullarPublished on : Feb 18, 2021
The green pastures, sprawling fields, untamed gardens embellished the earth before its major portions decayed and turned into barren land. If nature was open for community gatherings in the Stone Age, then the non-renewable energies have isolated the humans in the current times or the ‘copper-age’ as Czech mixed media artist Kristof Kintera would like to call it. To visually translate this phenomenon into art installations, Kintera represents the binary running between nature and technology – botanical world gradually eaten by the junks of technology. In contrast to the popular Anthropocene artworks simulating the effect of change in our nature, armed with the gravitas to dismiss any sense of absurdity, Kintera likes to paint his works with a streak of witty sarcasm.
With the sculpture Postnaturalia, Kintera compares nature with the human nervous system. Carrying a semblance of life, copper roots running onto the sculpture coupled with the synthetic plants shooting from it give an overall appearance of a constructed garden. Populating the work with e-scrap, Postnaturalia does not fail to garner the undivided attention of viewers. The working of the human mind has been of constant interest to the artists. Kintera’s work offers scale and scope to a similar thought, as he states in an interview, “Mind is immaterial, no doubt about it. So, every attempt to visualise it is a fiction. Just a sketch. Unsuccessful attempt to make it static. Anyhow, it is pretty interesting to try to do so and art is a very suitable discipline for that activity. In contrast to science, you can simplify things, use bizarre and nonsense analogies. For instance, in a couple of my sculptures, I am using cauliflower as a representative for the human brain. Just because of its similarity in scale, shape, and I love kind of primitive complexity of it”.
Another installation, Nervous Tree, stands as an example of withering human life. The human face in the form of a globe perched on a shrinking skeleton – in the shape of a tree - reflects on the fall from grace. The downward journey of the human tribe in the face of crumbling earth, presses upon the need to be nervous about the detrimental nature of things enveloping the life on earth.
For an artist whose work is a blatant indictment of the technology when the world of art is brimming with the presence of technology, Kintera is not rueing over this. He ascertains, “Due to the gradual shift of our existence to the digital universe, everything real, analogue, touchable is gaining its value. I am standing for real things, real touch and smell of paint and workshop”. Kintera's apprehension towards the emerging trends of technology stems from the weight of alienation and isolation it bears on human life. To renew the importance of community building, Kintera’s itinerant sound sculpture Public Jukebox is updated with a sound repertory every time it travels to a new European country. Displayed at the public spaces, Public Jukebox works on the notion that music enables sharing of emotion beyond any said boundaries.
To necessitate a change, even minor effort can turn the tide of the things. Keeping this in mind, Kintera’s work Memento Mori: Of One’s Own Volition is a minimalist sculpture which has a rotated light of the streetlamp in an upward direction pointed towards the sky. Located in the Folimanka Park beneath Nusle Bridge in Prague, from which a number of people have “plummeted to their deaths”, the sculpture allows people to pause and reflect on the catastrophic decision.
Kintera aims to present a visual language that is not restricted to a section of people, but comprehensive to a wide range of audience. He affirms, “I am very pleased when I hear from 15-year-old kids or 80-year-old ladies what they think about my work. And if they think about it, it means it resonates somehow with them and that they are able to read the message which I prepared for them”. Distinct to atmosphere punctuated with the malignant conversation, Kintera knows to blend collective voice with artistic sagacity.
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