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Daniel Pešta

Blog  ›  Screams

Recently I have found myself frequently wondering what the point is to create art while ignoring the never-ending stream of global information about the impending apocalypse, and how difficult it is to remain neutral in one’s work and not define oneself in opposition to these signs of impending doom.

I personally find this nearly impossible, since I feel that art which does not reflect contemporary reality has no meaning. Perhaps this is because those of us who spent several decades living under totalitarian regimes are more sensitive to such signals. Perhaps that is why I feel such an intense need to speak out about what is going on around us. Still, I don’t like to call such tendencies “engaged art” because I don’t think the term really captures its essence. I prefer to use the phrase “reactive art,” because once again it has become clear that art remains one of just a few alternatives to political manipulation, of which there is more than enough. It is one of our last possibilities for sounding the alarm in the face of the coming global catastrophe.

How often has mankind stood in silent awe at what it is capable of in the name of political ambitions, racism, or religious conviction? And what is left when it is too late? Wonder, shock, pain, screams?

The answer would appear to be: screams. Screams as a final sign of life, as an expression of fear for the people we love, a fear for our dignity, our freedoms, our bare lives. Screams as the ultimate emotion of an experienced moment, faces frozen in agony as we are left to guess at the fateful tragedy hidden behind their open mouths.

We live in a virtual era in which the latest technologies increasingly broadcast such screams live into our homes. We have become used to these distorted faces of helplessness; they have become the new normal. We lie down to sleep with them in our minds, we wake up with them on our computer screens, and we hope that they will not affect us. But we are all a part of it!

That is why I have decided to create a series of paintings on the subject of Screams.
As an expression of my fears.
As an alarm!
As a media logo of our times.


Daniel Pešta




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