Aesthetics and functionality — RELAX
The body is transformed under the weight of social preferences, or the psyche of an individual by physical injury. Stretching the human body to the clamp and subsequent averaging in a relaxation chair. There are objects which bear signs of ergonomic design, distress, and sort of communication, the connection of aesthetics/functionality of objects with their austere material nature, and references of social issues. Theory over the development of the human body, mental health, and maintaining one’s own integrity under the onslaught of various influences. — RELAX
How does the body connect to your work? And how is corporeality connected to futuristic design in your thesis?
––In essence, my work oscillates around the psychological state of an individual when they develop a certain mythology and mental integrity. On the other hand, it is also about the surgical precision of a laboratory environment where the psyché steps back and an austere examination of the body’s parameters comes into play. I am influenced by ergonomic features that come together into not-so-comfortable bodily positions, dejection, chaos.
The exhibition contains several objects; does each have its own story, or should we understand the installation as a whole?
–– The exhibition was created with a site-specific approach, and thus the exhibition is interwoven with the space as a whole. The daily performance of washing one’s hair, perming the clients’ hair in front of the mirror wall that reflects deformed clay heads on pedestals on steel pellets. Or the molded feet in stilettos anxiously standing in the window display already have a certain specific form of content. Each object further contains fragments of the dialogue between the object (chatbot) and the observer.
Does the placement of the installation in a former hair salon have a symbolic meaning in regard to the nature of your work? Hair salons are perceived as places where the physical body is pampered and externally aestheticized, does this aspect play any role in the choice of setting?
––Absolutely. Here a bodily aesthetic meets mental satisfaction. Changing one’s hairstyle or hair color affects many aspects of one’s social status. Changing your hair is the least invasive means of aiming towards a desired social or subcultural status.
In your text, you mention a disjointed communication associated with anxiety (induced by social problems). Do you think that this is an issue right now, and is there a solution? In terms of your installation or reality.
––When it comes to disjointed communication, I refer back to the genius loci of the exhibition site. A clean environment and almost sterile objects remind one of scientific or unpleasant bodily prostheses incompatible with the average human body. A quiet communication between materials and their creator, who is absent. But it certainly touches on other aspects as well. Be it the ongoing pandemic and lockdown, which was at its peak when these objects were being created, or a bit of a projection of personal problems with social distancing that was required before the forced self-isolation.
What role does aesthetic value play in your work? We ask since you often use elements of graphic design and typography.
––I used to work mainly with the concepts of objects and materials, suppressing the aesthetic aspects. I currently work on a developing aesthetic plane of things where I use design as a certain branding of the items that interconnect all of the objects. I also employ the aesthetics of serial production, where a host of information and logos appears on the items, and these can be transformed and intentionally deformed.
Our Magazine is currently exploring the topic named “Heavenly Bodies”. What is godly or sacred to you in relation to the body, humanity or society? It can also be related to your work.
––Godliness and fragility of the body are diametrically opposed. I explore fragility, perturbation and chaos, rather.
BIO/ Olbram Pavíček is an artist, musician and graphic designer. He graduated from Prague UMPRUM’s Supermedia (BA) and Painting (MA) in Prague. He makes sounds and sings in 93Eechoesandsirens and ((Scarypool)). He also curates PGS.