Vladimír Skrepl

Vladimír Skrepl

1955

We can follow the process of an event with Skrepl in his paintings as well as installations or actions. In the photo series from the exhibit catalogue for Überlebenskunst / The Art of Survival (Berlín, 2000) the artist struggles (or in his case it is more an issue of "flirting") with a young woman. The body and face establish themselves in the space of a certain constellation. Gestures shape things: from the chaos of movement arise balanced compositions. Skrepl captures the mobile stream of events. The subconscious also produces personal conventions and obsessions, symbols (cat, dog ...). With Skrepl we never encounter a construction, where there is a system of interchangeable, replaceable elements. One thing is placed next to the other: a gesture or a personal or collective symbol. The whole is also a gesture (spontaneous, associatively-created). A person has the desire to join in this already-running group; the same as we are enticed to react to the scrimmage of informational events covering the walls of public toilets. Vladimír Skrepl however evidently makes use of deformation – even to the degree of caricature (figures with limbs of mismatched size, monkey's asses ...). Old clothing hung all about is mundane; deformed figures are unpleasant visions from dreams. Mundaneness and caricature. Skrepl works in a continually uncompromising manner. He allows new forms of shapes and relationships to be born. It is precisely this newness that makes up that absence of compromise and general expectation. Novelty is shocking, ugly, because it is unknown and potentially dangerous. Novelty represents the natural outcome of leaving an unused field for the actions of developing events. Skrepl also uses spray paint and rough calligraphy, yet his is less aesthetically-oriented than is graffiti art. It is a sort of pre-aesthetic vulgarity, unacceptable even for various alternative communities. Vulgarity and shock can of course be understood as a deliberate act of cleansing of a gallery space.

text: Václav Hájek