ARTUR MAGROT: GLOBAL ILLUMINATION
6 June – 27 July 2020
In his work, Artur Magrot always tackles the boundaries between different spaces, their media possibilities and political regimes, looking for very subtle surfaces between private and public, free and closed, my and our shared space. As part of the Glitch Zone project (2015), for example, he used a mobile phone jammer to break down and make visible connections that we take for granted, without even realizing their existence. In the video Cannis Lupus (2019), he explores the possibilities of invading privacy, influencing our wishes, conflict of interests, penetration of space, but also hidden agents.
In the exhibition “Global Illumination”, he opens up his own home and studio. The camera flies through the room from the window, through temporary nooks and crannies, an agglomerations of things, unintended still-lifes, and then back out again. At play here is not only our shared experience of self-isolation in our homes due to the anti-pandemic measures, but also the boundaries of the personal and the creative environment, the solid interior and the imaginary, ideal exterior, to which the camera returns as a kind of ironic starting point. The outside world seems to be omnipresent and yet unreachable. And right at the time of quarantine restrictions it becomes the subject of our expectations, as well as speculations.
The very expression “Global Illumination” can seem like a kind of ambitious symbolism, a promise of clearer and broader horizons. But in reality it is an algorithm that produces realistic lighting of 3D space in the Unreal Engine creation platform, with which Artur Magrot has worked. Personal space and its alienation through virtual reality, the material of things and days spent between the four walls, and, on the other hand, the ease of software representation, clear limitations and unclear boundaries (like the islands of Fortnite); video installations force us to explore, touch, and redesign spaces of intimacy and politics. Where is it that we actually think? What gives shape to our feelings, expectations and possibilities?
With the exhibition “Global Illumination”, hunt kastner is very pleased to present the graduating thesis project by Artur Magrot (born 1985, Cheb), a 2020 graduate from the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied in the Studio of Intermedia Work II under Jiří Příhoda, and from 2016 under Pavla Sceranková and Dušan Zahoranský. During his 6 year Academy studies, he also pursued internships in the Atelier of New Media under Anna Daučiková at AVU (2019), in the Atelier of experimental film at UDK Berlin (2019), and at HFBK Dresden (2018). Earlier this year, his work could be seen in Prague in the solo exhibition „Degree of Freedom“ in Galerie Jeleni at the Prague Center for Contemporary Arts. Much of his previous work has taken place in the public space; in 2010, he co-founded the Stolen Gallery project, an international network of non-stop galleries, generally taking place in the city streets, and since 2018 he has been working with INSITU – European platform for artistic creation in public space.
This is the 4th year that hunt kastner has hosted the exhibition of a final project from one selected graduating student from among the Czech art academies. This year was particularly challenging, due both to the nature of the high quality of artists to select from, and the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine, which limited the number of studio visits we could make as well as eventually postponing the students graduation and final projects until September this year. All of us carried on working at home as best we could during this time, including Artur who, while in quarantine, developed this new video project for his final thesis work, which so aptly presents a narrative about perception, isolation and our personal relationship to our immediate environment.
We would like to thank and congratulate all the 2020 graduating students that we had a chance to meet and talk with during the process, and are only sorry that we did not have the chance to meet with more, and could only choose one project to present.
Special thanks to AVU – Prague Academy of Fine Arts and the Studio of Intermedia Work II under Pavla Sceranková and Dušan Zahoranský and, for their ongoing support of our exhibition program, to the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic & Prague City Magistrate.