Esther Stocker and Jan Serych: HUNT KASTNER ARTWORKS

Article excerpt

The point of departure of the exhibition "Lies and Layers: Esther Stoeker and Jan Serych" was an attempt to question the human predisposition to interpret perceived reality through an existing body of knowledge. The rational component of the human mind--its need for classification and, most importantly, its inability to avoid using its preexisting systems of categorization when encountering new situations--frequently leads to reductive and superficial understandings of reality. Czech artist Serych and his Italian-born, Vienna-based counterpart Stocker reject the idea of reality as a predefined, hermeneutically enclosed space. Opposing the conception of a universal body of knowledge that could serve as an adequate means of categorizing the world, they focus instead on the sensory apparatus and on intuition, which may contribute to a multilayered, heterogeneous perception of one's environment.

In this exhibition, even the most basic characteristics of reality, time, and space became blurred, as did the boundary between truth and fiction. Resolution (all works 2011), an digit-minute video projection by Serych, serves as a fitting example of this. In it, the spectator is confronted with a hlaek screen with light dots continuously scintillating on it--actually a rapid succession of individual dots that, because of the afterimages they leave, give the illusion of being multiple. The voice-over may at first evoke a sense of continuity, but it has been stripped of any clear narrative, so that after a few moments, rational comprehension seems impossible. What at first appeared as a linear flow suddenly dissolves into discordant and fragmented information. …