Exhibitions › ExCitace, Litomyšl
“Turn Thee unto me and have mercy upon me, for I am desolate and afflicted“
Two installations by Daniel Pešta in the Church of the Finding of the True Cross in Litomyšl touch upon the existential themes of predetermined fate and the consequent suffering, and at the same time the prospect of deliverance. Genetic makeup, race and social status are factors that influence our lives and determine the development of each person. However, the bible states that God has entered the heart of every one of us, and in this way offers us the possibility of crossing from biological determination into the realm of the transcendental.
The eye of God, the eye of Providence, is like a symbol of God’s omniscience and from time immemorial has been represented in art across the religions; in Christianity it has appeared since the time of the Renaissance. Daniel Pešta, in his contemporary visual language, treated it as virtual reality set within a sacral baroque architecture, in the nave of whose church the soft and milky membrane of a large-format canvas with the videoart Kapka (The Drop) hovers high above. It presents the imaginary eye of God, which patiently flits under an unending torrent of drops which emanate from an unknown source.
We think of human morality, which should serve as the source of cohesiveness and love, by which a person is forced to direct his actions through principles higher than the mere impulses of his own selfishness, and while looking at this projection we will not be able to resist the impression that God is watching over us with compassion and mercy. It offers us hope of rising, even perhaps through our own efforts, to a spiritual plane thus making relative the afflictions of earthly existence.
The image of “The Eye of God“ is reflected on the surface of the glass object created by Václav Cigler, whose open top lures the visitor into the underground crypt. Into it Daniel Pešta has inserted a work that incarnates his conception of “reverence“ entitled Christ in the Amniotic Fluid. A magical glow extends throughout the darkened space, in whose epicentre towers a column evocative of one of the pillars that bear the vault standing on a concrete pedestal. The object itself is made from semi-transparent resin, in which the doleful body of Jesus Christ that had been taken down from the cross is levitating. Unlike the naturalistic scenes from the history of Christian art Pešta does not show Christ’s tortured body directly to the observer, but protects it with a honey-coloured healing fluid, as if he wished to return it to the safety of his mother’s womb. This situation is acoustically enhanced by the breathing of a woman – a mother, forever keeping vigil over her son. This blends with the resounding noise from above of the constantly falling drops representing the countdown of the time of the ephemeral earthly being. Thus, in his ExCitace project, Pešta points to the common biological origin of all humanity while simultaneously offering assurances of a transcendental redemption in a spiritual dimension which goes beyond.