Dec 13, 2009

martin zet: necessity

Martin Zet video from Necessity (video by Finijo)

I attended the Martin Zet exhibit at The Station Museum of Contemporary Art and was impressed by the many mediums he uses and the messages conveyed through his work. The video linked above is only one of several videos in the exhibit. This particular video reminded me of video that I saw in an exhibit at the Menil in 2007, A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960's.

Martin Zet's books by Finijo

Martin Zet is a Czech artist who uses a variety of objects to create his art. This hallway is paved with books. You must walk on the books to get into the rooms where his videos are showing or other parts of the exhibit.

Walking On Art by Finijo

I revere books and words. I was taught as a child not to dog ear the pages or break the bindings. I passed those lessons and the love of words and books on to Connor, so I cannot describe adequately the trepidation and excitement that walking on books created in me. It was so forbidden - for me it was a taboo broken. Both the books and I survived the experience, but it the impact of the experience was close to profound.
Martin Zet's Bile Svetlo photographed by Finijo
One of the rooms entered shows this screen with the words Bile Svetlo projected on to the wall. The opposite wall is like a negative image of the same thing, which you can imagine is almost impossible to photograph. There is another hall of surrealistic photographs by Zet, but because of the plexiglass covering them, I could not seem to get a shot that did not have me somehow reflected in it. In several shots, the effect looked pretty cool to me, but I did not want to post them, because they are essentially altered by my presence.
Martin Zet's books spilling photographed by Finijo
The books spill out of the middle corridor and it is more difficult to walk on the books there, because they are loosely strewn. I could not help but look to see the titles of the books that I tread upon, and was surprised to find several that I had read. What incredible symbolism in this one aspect of the exhibit. Whether it is to tread on words or to travel on knowledge, the mind works in overtime to understand the artist's intention.
Martin Zet's By T Nastrojem photographed by Finijo
At the far end of the hallway paved by books lies this rather large and eclectic part of the exhibit. A bicycle looks like a sculpture, but upon closer inspection it is rigged to light up a neon sign hanging behind it. Sculptures on the floor, videos on the walls and flags hanging from the ceiling.
Martin Zet's red flags photographed by Finijo
Three flags - red and transparent. Barely visible are the markings on the flags. One a skull and crossbones, the middle flag has a circle of stars - the flag of European unity, and the last flag looks like an embossed American flag. Again, Zet's symbolism sends the mind racing in several directions at once. The exhibit is worth seeing more than once and I hope I can make time to go back again before it closes. I was a bit rushed in this visit and I really did not have a chance to absorb all that my eyes were taking in.

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