Vít Havránek: Tomáš Vaněk - Creative Routine
All of Tomáš Vaněk’s work revolves around patterns, routine behaviour as the key to the definition of creativity. He works with all different sorts of patterns, which he understands as the repetition, in various situations, of stereotypical models that are culturally stable or imprinted by the family. With the constant escalation of the rhythm of number-based practical devices – the telephone, computer, cell phone – with the enhanced mobility and fragmentation of our experience, the defensive reactivity of the organism increases and our behaviour tends to become more uniform.
Reality TV The work of Tomáš Vaněk
In any reality TV program, any individual featured in the program is solely present to complete the structure, and each of their participations & actions are not to be considered individually, but for the ensemble they compose. Tomas Vanek (TV), who was born in 1966 in Pocatky, Cz, and lives & works in Prague, Cz, is a participant who engages himself on the surface of any given environment. Since the mid 90s, TV has elaborated a meticulous & categorised process that has never failed to both share and engage with(in) reality, but more precisely to act upon the quality of reality.
"Poetry does not come to explain mystery, poetry comes to draw attention to mystery" (Ivan Diviš: The Last Poems)
Tomáš Vaněk told me that he has been somehow thinking about death in recent times. One of my friends, whose father plays second violin in the Ostrava philharmonic orchestra, told me that quality silence can only be played in a big space. On a visit to the Olomouc draughtswoman Inga Kosková, Tomáš explained why he calls his works "participles". "Participation, then," the former descriptive geometry teacher replied, "you have that your whole life."
Tomáš Vaněk told me that he has been somehow thinking about death in recent times. One of my friends, whose father plays second violin in the Ostrava philharmonic orchestra, told me that quality silence can only be played in a big space. On a visit to the Olomouc draughtswoman Inga Kosková, Tomáš explained why he calls his works „participles“. „Participation, then,“ the former descriptive geometry teacher replied, „you have that your whole life.“
Vaněk some time ago abandoned painting when the format of the picture began to limit him. The „participles“ he refers to are actions created for a specific place and situation. The participle is not a concept, but an attitude. Vaněk is intuitive. If he writes texts on his carefully numbered works, he describes them; he does not interpret the reasons or aims, but leaves them open. This is perhaps an inconspicuous, yet truly remarkable quality of the artist – purity without self-interpretation and therefore precision.
Exhibition in the Prague gallery ETC. The exhibition took place in three phases: 1. Three enormous, invitingly pastel-coloured inflated balls quietly wait in line on the gallery floor. 2. Tomáš bursts them one after the other and stretches their rubber skins on the gallery walls. 3. Abstract pictures on the walls – the relics of three martyr deaths. When Tomáš Vaněk spoke of the stretching, he said he would enjoy it until such time as he discovered what he was actually doing it for.
With a sander he sanded graffiti tags off public walls and parapets. Lighter areas remained behind, reminiscent of radiated places. He is now doing audio-sculptures, which are projected by earphones into the head. He collects template situations („I often push ‚pull‘ doors and pull ‚push‘ doors“). He coined the expression „neosamizdat“ – a negation of the pre-revolutionary process of underground publishing – and gave it a meaning. He operates a gallery in a street glass display cabinet. He often likes to work with banknotes, so his work is in circulation, in hands and pockets.
Stereo microphones enable the capture of sound with all its spatial quality. They conserve time-space.
Templates fix shadows in order to keep them independent of the objects that cast them.
The use of technology that facilitates the experience of physical flashback, emphasis on communication – all of these are linked to a dynamic experience of space. Vaněk used to be a good footballer. The Baroque historian Zdeněk Kalista, after going blind, dictated his last work – he called the Baroque sense of life „recognising God through this world.“ But here there is a need for the same kind of caution as when you say in unfamiliar company „energy“ and you do not mean electricity. Fragments of a light bulb.
Lenka Vítková, 2007