12. Jirí Kovanda CZ 1953
Fuen Graphic Workshop, Hans Jensens Stræde 18
Tue-Thurs 10-17 Fri 13-17 Sat 10-14
Courtesy of the Artist
On an escalator... turning around, I look into the eyes of the person standing behind me..., 1977
XXX, With my hands over my eyes, I walk blindly into a group of people standing at the opposite end of the corridor… 1977
Odense Station Centre
Kissing through a Glass 2007
XXX, I carry some water from the river in my cupped hands and release it a few meters downriver... 1977
XXX, I rake together some rubbish (dust, cigarette stubs, etc.) with my hands and when I’ve got a pile, I scatter it all again… 1977
Eventyrhaven along Odense River
Sugar Tower 1978
Salty angle, sweet curve 1981
Tunnel under Albani bridge
A man stands on an escalator in the railway station during rush hour. He turns around and looks into the eyes of the person standing behind him. Another person puts his hands over his eyes and walks into people in the street. Jirí Kovanda's actions from the 1970s and 80s are small everyday actions, which break the little codes that are part of our social world. The actions focus on individuals and their intimate sphere in an age where a totalitarian government controlled everything in the artist´s home country Czechoslovakia. Kovanda has been a pioneer for contemporary performative experiments and social sculptures. In Odense some of his works will be re-enacted over the summer. The actions are a kind of absurd everyday poetry, which is acted out in the small actions where contact between humans is the material of the sculptures.
In Sugar Tower and Salty Angel, sugar and salt are used to create mini-sculptures. They are transitory comments on both the minimalist sculpture and the massive shapes of the city. Time, place and a sense of transitoriness are all of central importance in the works. Others of his generation have worked in very political and aggressive ways, whereas Kovanda's actions are purposely understated.