Pavla Sceranková

by Bruce Monford

To Feed the Donkey Sponge Cake

Artist statement

My work is based in sculptural and installation art with a tight relation to the given space. Important aspects consist in the objects with the element of action, challenging the spectators to interact. However, sometimes these objects have the form of a video, or rather a video sculpture. Video sculptures lie on the borderline between performance, animated sculpture, and an autonomous video. In video sculptures I’m using special physical disposition of the digital world, which allows me to work with sculpture[s] more freely.

In general my projects are dealing with the question: How could an emotional experience be transformed into a sign? Sign denotes something and something else refers. It has “material” form, but elusive content. Its sense exists somewhere in between both. An important role in deciphering the meaning of the sign plays sighting. It is the way of meeting. Something hits us. Punctum [the tip of a sharp anatomical process]. Punctum appeared from my point of view not only as a quality of photography, but as a quality of the view. The way in which we can communicate punctum is one of the important ways art operates.

What influences you?

As for the level of content, I am dealing with the reflection of human perception and memory. Taking personal experience for a basis, I am trying to examine the way in which the experience has been retained in memory, and respectively what form it has taken. Situations, objects, or videos are spatio-temporal translations of experiences. Getting back to your question, this kind of examination means not to get influenced, but to remain almost scientifically true to the incoming “signal.” Still, I am interested in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Roland Barthes, in physics, fascinated by astronomy...

How do you feel about today’s disposable ubiquity of artistic expression via apps like Instagram?

Well, let’s say Instagram might be regarded as any other artistic medium unless it can offer messages that challenge our usual thinking, uncovering hidden levels of ordinary things, etc. I am afraid that due to its technical and social dispositions, it must be very difficult to abandon the level of smart but superficial entertainment that the users of apps are mostly expecting. Therefore, no matter how serious an artistic statement you are trying to communicate, it will be always perceived as a kind of a gag.

How would you like your audience to see your work?

Most of my projects have a very personal beginning. Something hit me. However, my interest is not in articulation of my feelings but in creating possibilities of meeting the world in a new way.

My daring hope is to move them, cause some kind of shift. Doesn’t have to be big in size. Activate a process that could be the beginning of the birth of a new word.

Do you remember the day you decided that making art would be a path for you?

Yes. It was in my third year at the secondary school and I was supposed to choose the subjects for admission at the university. I never had problems in school; I was interested in all kinds of different things, from math to history. I understood I had to decide something that inevitably meant the omission of something else. I was shocked. I started to look for the profession, which would allow me to keep all the ways open. And I came to art. 

Some of your work involves rearranging and reimagining otherwise banal domestic objects. Do you find artistic space in the everyday?

Yes, but maybe more precise would be that there is always the possibility of art present in the everyday. Rather hidden than visible.

Do you think that increased technological exposure contributes to the desensitization of our society?

Well, I think it is tricky to comment on whole “society.” There are always people living there. I keep meeting them all the time. Some of them are really great and sensitive.

“Constellations,” (2014). Metal construction and chairs. dimensions vary. Courtesy the artist and Drdova Gallery, Prague. Photo: Martin Polák.
“Mixer,” (2007). Mobile object with controlled self-destruction, old drawer, and decorative polystyrene. 120 x 170 x 100 centimeters. Video sculpture. 00:42 seconds. Courtesy the artist and Drdova Gallery, Prague.
“Either or,” (2010). Controlled collapse of a lamp with radio antennas. Dimensions vary. Courtesy the artist and Drdova Gallery, Prague. Photo: Pavla Sceranková.
“Imageless thought,” (2012). Plywood and mirror foil. 120 x 85 x 120 centimeters. Courtesy the artist and Drdova Gallery, Prague. Photo: Ondřej Polák.