Krištof Kintera is one of the most interesting Czech artists of the youngest generation. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 1999 and founding member of the alternative association Jednotka / Unit, and co-founder of the NOD Universal Space in Prague. Krištof Kintera creates sculpture and installations using everyday items, to which he gives a new significance and shifts them into a different perspective. His sculpture, Memento Mori: “Of One’s Own Volition” (2011), located beneath the Nusle Bridge in Prague, dedicated for the people who had committed suicide there, invites passers to turn their eyes upwards and spend a quiet moment contemplating life’s ups and downs which in certain tragic cases cause people to make irreversible decisions. We discuss with Kintera for the opening of “Postnaturalia” his site-specific sculptural installation at Collezione Maramotti.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo:Collezione Maramotti Archive
Mr. Kintera, the title of your solo exhibition on view at Collezione Maramotti is “Postnaturalia”, do you believe that the human interventions will eliminate nature in the form we know it and will give its place to a meta-nature and how do you imagine this meta-nature?
Surely we will never destroy nature. Because nature, as I understand it, is cosmic – it is not just flowers in the garden, trees in the park or leftovers of jungle in South America; it is much larger than we can imagine, it expands beyond our horizons but shares our same essence. Therefore nature will always survive – I hope – because I can’t imagine anything else than nature. On the other hand, however, the overpopulation of human kind is causing fatal scars to our environment and, on top of that, I believe that the meta-nature is already present in our everyday life. No doubt about it. For instance, when you look at things now from a medieval perspective, it is pretty sci-fi to see the modern landscape: huge automatic water systems to irrigate corn-fields, automatised greenhouses to grow vegetables…. The aesthetic in “Postnaturalia” is not how I seriously think the nature will look like, it is a fiction, it is a comparative study of electronic systems and natural system, rather than a prediction.
You created a garden from computer components, do you think that the world of technology is a new jungle?
The ‘garden’ is not made up of computer components alone, it includes also a wide variety of other electronic devices, connected together with via a complicated wiring system. It is fascinating how electronic systems, electrical wiring systems and information grids are similar to mycelium and rhizomatic structures present in nature. No surprise we call internet the ‘World Wide Web’. We should never forget what it means.
In your installation, using different media, a brave new world is born, where nature meets technology, painting and graffiti meet sculpture and photography meets video. What is the need of using so many different means of expression?
First of all, I like to experiment and play with different artistic tools, switch from one to another and mix them together. Secondly, I believe this is the best way to escape formal and practical routine. For an artist, being stuck in the same repetitive pattern is the worst thing. In the case of “Postnaturalia” however, the story is slightly different. The exhibition is divided in two parts: the calm, almost meditative ‘garden’, the final result of my work and a more expressive ‘laboratory’, a sort of gesamtkunstwerk where there are many artistic forms like video, drawing, sketches, sound and also smell to recreate as accurately as possible the original atmosphere of my studio. The aim is to present the viewer with the making process and include it cohesively in the final result. Also, the ‘laboratory’ is gathering didactic material and suggesting analogies to think about.
Your artwork ’’Public Jukebox’” is a sound installation, which sound repertory is customised to fit the typical music of the hosting country. What is the role of the music in your work?
Music is a medium which moves everyone. And we can say the same about art, I would argue. Often people, when standing in front of a piece of contemporary art, don’t seem to understand it. To those people I ask: “How do you understand music? How do you recognize a pleasant harmony or a beat you like?” You do not have to understand music, you can just feel it and sometimes give a bit of thought. It is the same with colors and paintings. Speaking about the “Public Juke Box”, it is a work of public art where the audience is protagonist. Anyone can choose from 100 tracks, which titles have been changed. These are not ordinary songs, but diverse examples of sounds and music from different periods in history, sometimes distorted and speeded up. The Public Juke Box is a sound installation that should bring joy and also bit of disturbance in town.
In your work there is an antinomy: οn the one hand, the world you are presenting us appears not to be very optimistic, since it looks like α futuristic scientist laboratory, with almost zero human presence on the other side, through the forms, the colors and the materials you are narrating a colorful fairy tale. What is the place of the human beings in this world?
My work is always carefully balanced between to extremes: fatality and banality co-exist in it. I happen to be lucky enough to be born as human being, and as such I can answer your questions, otherwise I couldn’t. Besides, I like human beings therefore I have trust in our future, culture and technology.
Info: Collezione Maramotti, Via Fratelli Cervi 66, Reggio Emilia, Duration: 19/3-20/7/16 (Closed 25/4/17 & 1/5/17), Days & Hours: Thu & Fri 14:30-18:30, Sat-Sun 10:30-18:30, www.collezionemaramotti.org
First Publication: www.dreamideamachine.com
© Interview-Dimitris Lempesis