Nobody is bored here, but everything is boring
Pamela, Veronika Olejárová, Minami Nishinaga: Nobody is bored here, but everything is boring
The exhibition project takes its name from a 2014 essay by the late theorist and philosopher Mark Fisher, in which he argues that capitalism in its current form has eradicated boredom, but it has failed to rid itself of bored people.
The concept of the exhibition prepared for OGV builds on the idea that boredom is an inseparable companion of our lives. It is an all-encompassing state that covers the entire horizon, perfectly. That's why it's so annoying. Boredom consumes our being, we feel that we cannot escape it. But it is precisely our ability to concentrate that it attacks. Blame it on the endless distraction inherent in capitalist cyberspace. If boredom is empty concentration, it can be balanced by more positive forms of concentration, which, of course, capitalism cannot offer. Instead of giving us something fascinating, it just distracts us from our own boredom.
Currently, we spend a lot of money to fight boredom. The value of the global entertainment and media market in 2023 reaches 2.6 trillion dollars. As a result of technological advancements in recent years, we have the entire history of entertainment at our fingertips, which has made the whole situation even worse. Everything was already here, nothing will surprise us anymore. We experience more boredom because we are bombarded with would-be exciting stimuli, but they cannot be more and more intense and fun. And so there are more and more gaps in which we feel that we are sinking into an ever-increasing boredom, which, paradoxically, we comfort in the same way. We miss being present here and now.
You could say that we almost miss the old boredom caused by current circumstances. Endlessly stretching queues without a mobile in hand, long nights after the telecast of three programs has ended. For Veronika Olejárová, these moments are so-called situational boredom, associated with traveling in means of transport, when she is forced to stay in one place, look ahead and let her thoughts flow, which she cannot escape. She installed beanbags with seat belts in the gallery when she decided to convey this experience of boredom to the audience as well. Sit back, put down your phone, buckle up and get bored (The recommended time is at least 10 minutes.)
Boredom is everywhere, but no one is bored here. An example of such a mood is the work of Pamela, who here presents her pastel drawings created as an accompanying activity while watching or listening to detective stories. With the development of current technologies and the advent of social networks, we have already stopped, or were forced to, focusing on only one activity at a time. It will no longer satisfy us. The method of installation of Pamela's works can be read as uncovering individual layers of boredom. From existential, asking about the meaning of things and events, describing states that we know well as people experiencing boredom, to photographs created by the author's observation of things and their relationships to each other. Pamela thus creates photos, sometimes humorous, which at the same time do not surprise us with their content. Because everything was already here.
The imaginary fight against boredom as an achievement of modern society tells the story of an imaginary farmer, who is portrayed by the author Minami Nishinaga herself in Holy Cröp!. Farming here is thought of as a metaphor for finding and playing with the fears in our head. At the same time, it can be replaced by any other activity that we decide to perform in order to escape the feeling of boredom, the emptiness inside us. The main protagonist in the video is even so successful in her farming that she manages to win the award for the best farmer of the year quite regularly. Do we prefer the worries occupying our brains in an attempt to avoid boredom or do we put up with it? The moon watching from above does not judge us, no matter what we decide.
Veronika Olejárová (*1999) is a recent graduate of the Free Arts I studio at Prague's UMPRUM with Dominik Lang and Edith Jeřábková, visual artist and cultural worker. In her free work, she intuitively looks for moments that surround her as an individual, as well as society, and for which she most feels the need to process them. She was an active member of the performative collective Collective Inactions. She collaborated on the creation of the scenography of the Theater Studio Hrdinů (The Last Chapter of World History, My Empire from this World) and scenography for the choreographer Natálie Vacková. In 2021, she co-founded the Incubator Krenovka studio community.
Pamela (*1991) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the New Media II studio. In her artistic practice, she mainly focuses on photography and installation, in recent years she has returned to the medium of drawing. She presented her work in Czech independent galleries and abroad (e.g. Amsterdam, Dusseldorf). In 2017, she was a finalist in the Startpoint international thesis competition. In 2018, she was on residency at the Egon Schiele Art Center in Český Krumlov, and in 2020 she completed an international residency as part of Brno Artists in Residence, at the Arsenal Gallery in Poland. In the years 2013-23, she was part of the organizational and curatorial collective of the City Surfer Office gallery. Currently, Pamela devotes herself to her own work, together with the artist Epos 257 she curates the residency program Pražírna AB3 and works for cultural organizations as a producer.
Minami Nisnihaga (*1995), originally from Japan, graduated from the Sculpture Studio of Dominik Lang and Edith Jeřábková at UMPRUM in Prague. In her artwork, she seeks to understand the essence of life through her anthropological background and innate obsession with minute details in life, language and social interactions, which she expresses through her art. She communicates this cultural and social knowledge to the audience through food, building miniature sculptures, video and objects. One day she would like to become a poet, but for now she is only a "potetic" or "poetic".