July 31, 2008 - TranzitDisplay - Jan Mancuska at tranzitdisplay, Prague
July 31, 2008

Jan Mancuska at tranzitdisplay, Prague

Jan Mancuska:
Southwest pillar and its shadow at the beginning of the novel; in tranzitdisplay, Prague

Ján Mančuška
Southwest pillar and its shadow at the beginning of the novel


Resource centre for contemporrary art
Ditrichova 9
Praha 2
Czech Republic


Descend the long staircase; the first piece, a long aluminium pole inscribed with a text, is found on the landing approximately halfway down the staircase as it makes a ninety-degree turn to the left. The pole leans against a wall that you see as you walk onto the staircase.

As you walk down the stairs and stand on the landing dominated by an Art Deco lamp, two views of the space open up to you. A fast, electronic, inhumanly rapid film montage of a naked woman descending a staircase. A young lady with short, probably bleached, blonde hair, holds her back as stiff as a board and she walks down the stairs. We see this film image from the base of the stairs to the right of the central column. If we look to the left, we see ourselves in a long and tall mirror reaching from the floor nearly to the ceiling. The dimensions of the mirror are approximately 5.5 m x 3 m. Approach the mirror; to your right, crossways to the corner of the room, is a black curtain in the shape of the letter U hanging from the ceiling. A film is playing on the space inside the letter U: a view of a landscape, a shot of a meadow, perhaps in a park. All at once the view begins to recede, disappearing inside, and we realize that we saw the view of the meadow in the mirror.

We move on along the mirror: to the left are four small projections – extremely long shots that are static in the short-term, but upon longer viewing shadows move on the ceiling, clouds pass across the sky. These are views of a civil still life – the ceiling of a room, walls, street walls, the fronts of houses.

Two of Mančuška’s familiar installations are in the next room – a film of a performance in which a girl is blackening the parts of her partner’s body he cannot see and a text installation first exhibited two years ago at the Berlin Biennial.

A recording of a visit to the Ján Mančuška exhibition after two weeks, by heart. The exhibition is Mančuška’s first solo show in the country in five years.

That which appears…
(Text, aluminium, 2005)

descend the stairs and turn 180° degrees,

Motión Picture (Nude Descending a Staircase)
(Video, architectural space, 2007; Dimensions variable)

turn and take about three steps forward,

From A to B and Back Again
(Video, spatial installation, 2008; Dimensions variable)

move to the left, an image of yourself is to the right;

Big Mirror
(mirror, 3x6m, 2008)

continue straight on, don’t hit the wall,

30 Minutes Photograph
(A series of 3 videos, spatial installation, 2008; Dimensions variable)

walk through the small corridor to the right, toward the light,

The Other (I asked my wife to blacken all the parts of my body which I cannot see.)
(35mm films, light boxes, 2007; Photographic cooperation Martin Polák)

continue on until you reach the black curtain – draw it aside,

20 Minutes After
(Light, aluminium letters in the space, marker handwriting, 2006)

it´s the end, but you can go around once more.

All the artworks:
Courtesy of Andrew Kreps Gallery New York, Meyer Riegger Karlsruhe

tranzitdisplay, a centre for contemporary art, is a synergetic project of the tranzit initiative and the Display Gallery. The facility opened in November 2007.
Exhibitions: Eric Beltrán, All Dressed-Up With Nowhere To Go (WHW), Laboratory, Spoken Word (M.Copeland), E.-L. Ahtila (M. Stjernstedt, H. Holmberg), changing permanent installation of Monument to Transformation, lectures, bookstore, archive, drinks. www.tranzitdisplay.cz

The main partner of tranzitdisplay is Česká spořitelna, a.s., Erste Group.
Additional support is provided by the Czech Ministry of Culture, Prague City Hall, and the Prague 2 City District.
Media partners are the A2 cultural weekly, E15, Flash Art, and Radio 1.

Thanks to the Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe.

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