Before the journey
Before the journey

...that's what the French artists Valéry Pelletier and Ivan Polliart called their art installation in Telč.

As part of the cultural cooperation between the French region of Grand Est and the Vysočina region, for the fifth time two French artists visited Telč this summer for a several-week artistic residency.

The culmination of their residency is an exhibition in the small gallery "Šatlava" in the Telč town hall called BEFORE THE JOURNEY (AVANT DE PARTIR).

Jan Vičar, the curator of the entire project, presents the exhibition in more detail:

'Valéry Pelletier is exhibiting a photographic cycle Landscapes. In this work, she reflected on the details of the landscape she became familiar with. The artist accompanies us through a disturbingly unclear story, which could be remotely compared to the aesthetics of David Lynch. The human element is only in one scene - a hand immersed in water. Individual images: pond, trumpeter, hand, stream, swallows, moon, fern, stones, meadow, pond, tell a story that we cannot see continuously in a line. This is prevented by the composition of the installation itself, reminiscent of a leporelo.

The motif of the composition of wooden door planks, fan-like, was captured by the artist in several small installations. The element resembling the rising sun is dominant. In this work, Valéry logically reflects the apparent banality, whose aesthetic quality she transforms for us into her work.

In his work, Ivan Polliart often turns to his childhood and his past or recent memories. This memory is, for example, photos of the amusement park in Łódź, Poland. In the photos, we see special decorations that do not at all correspond to today's aesthetic and safety standards. Nevertheless, they fascinate us with their nostalgic beauty. This realization came only after their removal in 2018. The artist often projects the journey itself into his work. We can see this in the photo of the highway with a series of massive balls. The shape of the ball is transferred by Ivan to the installation "Ice Cream". The artist discovered the same sphere-circle motif on an object from the German-Polish border. In the circle were the propaganda symbols of the hammer and sickle. After their removal, the object received a completely different function and became a monumental geometric sculpture.

Video - animation of an ice cream cone that someone has dropped or put down shows us a picture of doom and gloom. The chemical substance, which holds its shape in the solid state and is associated with delicious licking sensations, becomes a disgusting "slurry". Is it a coincidence? What does the author want to tell us?'


The exhibition can be visited until the end of September.

The partners of the project are the Vysočina region, the Grand Est region, the cities of Telč and Reims, the Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava and La Fileuse, the art center of Reims.


Jana Jarošová, September 2023


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