... and whan he cam there he fond a doore of yron thikk & strong ... and whan he perceyued the doore of yron he toke hys swerd, that was hard & tempered with fyn stele, and with the poynte of it dyde so moche that he perced the door, and made a holl in it, and loked in at that holl, and sawe ...
Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University od Technology, Audiorium in U3 building
Tuesday – Sunday 14-18 hod.
The installation by Daniela and Linda Dostálková, located in an original space, the lecture hall of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, is inspired by the campaigns of selected activist groups devoted to the rights and protection of animals. In times of crisis many animal species, often portrayed as monsters, have historically emerged in a new concept lying beyond the imaginary hermetic circle. This helps to shed light on the conflict of extremes and brings a new type of logic. One of the key features of a monster’s power is its ability to attract and repel. This paradox reflects the human experience of nature in contemporary society. Monsters therefore can help us name what is hard to believe in, and to domesticate (and thus absorb) what we consider to be threatening us.
Post-humanist issues dealing with the imaging and protection of animal species are significant in the work of Daniela and Linda Dostálková. The theme was opened for instance in their exhibition Heroic vs. Holistic(2017), presented in the form of an erotic eco-drama. The exhibition offered a post-romantic view of ecology from the perspective of the two ethics. Likewise, in the video installation Acid Rain & The Labours of Hercules: Capture Slay Obtain Steel(2017), they focused on the professional emotional hardships of environmental workers, called “environmental grief.” Another video Invasive Species(2018) mentioned the universal idea of equality of all animal species. Last year, the London publishing house InOtherWords published their book Hysteric Glamour, addressing the need to authentically grasp the care for nature that requires our attention.
The space of a traditionally conceived lecture hall, where the installation by Daniela and Linda Dostálek is situated, determines the division of the power roles: a place for the lecturer as the central actor and unquestionable holder of power versus the benches of the “crowd” of listeners. The semantic field of the word listenerencompasses both the meaning hearor perceive, and listenin the sense of to submit to something. A set of male portraits by the artists manipulated as caricatures in this spatial power constellation comments on the position of a priori respected authorities. In this respect their installation can be taken as criticism of social institutions, including educational ones.