Vital Collapse


Both authors, Ivan Pinkava and Vojtěch Míča, are part of the breakthrough generation, who experienced the last stage of totalitarianism, its fall and the euphoria of restored freedom. It seems that for both of them, this life occurrence has contributed to a sensitive and a sober relationship to the question of freedom and its associated cultural identity. These moments can be found somewhere in the most basic layers of their work.

Whilst for the internationally acclaimed photographer, interest in man has been generalized into metaphorical questions about his real, essential existence, physical finitude, psychic uprooting, and a man’s journey until death that accompanies him from birth, without knowing why, in the sculpture there is a specific interspace for the “life” of material, from which the identity of a sculpture or an object is “figured out” that is not genuinely or typologically defined and oscillates between abstract and organic expressions, creates or alters the exterior, (positively) obstructs the way and disturbs the stereotypes of automatism in thinking and imagination.

The works of Ivan Pinkava and Vojtěch Míča problematise the seemingly clear and reasoned, once and for all, resolved questions of human identity and the world in which a person needs to live as a living being. Both reopen and subvert the truths spoken about this “arena” in order to free the space for the development and deepening of human knowledge and freedom. For Ivan Pinkava, man himself changes into a “material” that is modelled over time and then shown as a result of certain processes which human consciousness resists comprehending. For Vojtěch Míča, human prints and traces of spiritual activities revive matter and free it from the cosmic cold. The photographs and sculptures are a manifestation of belonging as a dialogical form in which the basic human feeling is cleansed – the feeling of loneliness and solitude – from a state of unbearableness that produces a pure (self)-negation in the opposite direction to an understanding of one’s own situation that is common to all of us.

The Vital Collapse project builds on the blending of different expressive media in favour of evoking and presenting what is the basic plane of the work of the two authors referring to the horizon that conceals the secrets of birth, life, death, and transience. Creation is a process that constantly develops over time and deepens its area of interest. It has two basic planes – the horizontal and the vertical. Each of them balances the other and sustains the other’s equilibrium. Changes in this counterpoint, deflection, and disharmony are manifestations of doubt, melancholy, contradiction, scepticism, and fears produced by a living human spirit responding to its presence. Vitality is balanced by collapse in this process. Life is perceived as a kind of unpredictable algorithm that moves between hope and scepticism in relation to life and death.

Petr Vaňous, 2019