Radovan Čerevka / Detection Field
Curated by Peter Tajkov
19 November - 27 February 2022
The last floor of Praetorium, Čerevka, like the ground floor, dedicates to the frame of reference of the author's modified anthropology. One of the two rooms is dedicated to a large sculptural installation assembled from works by Enviroment B. Here, the author again plays out a kind of scene of extinction, or rather the remains of attempts to reshape natural human bodily proportions into new titanic forms. Once again he introduces us to a disturbing world combining an antiquizing language with modern marketing products of the fitness cult(ure) sphere. He works with real nutritional supplements, which, in addition to a new artistic quality, represent a mixture of chemical reactions stimulating heroic physicality. The installation thus not only evokes the transformation of the body into some form of experimental vessel, but also acquires a new sensory quality of crystallizing "nutritional" mixtures. Similarly to the Optical boulders, where, as the author himself says - in the spirit of ethically conceived materialist concepts, the inanimate parts and instrumentalities of the former body - that is, the weapons, have their vital
properties, they also have their purposeful muscular growth. For from the perspective of materialism, it is a set of provoked chemical reactions amidst an extraordinarily complex mixture of living and non-living substances. In the adjacent floor space, these works are followed by an ideologically related set of objects called Pillars of heroes. Jars of protein and various powdered fitness stimulants form bizarre totems celebrating the posthuman body and, with inscriptions such as combat or predator, its fighting abilities. The columns are categorized by the expressive names and slogans of the product strategy of today's bodybuilding, reinforcing their subversive charge.
Radovan Čerevka's exhibition Detection Field brings together, from my point of view, a compact set of a fusion of his freshest work and works from the last few years. The artist's emphasis on basic material solutions and traditional sculptural techniques combined with current artistic language place his work within the specific framework of our art scene. With his work, he also demonstrates an example of the unusual vitality of the sculptural medium and thus sets a mirror to the theses about its weakening in the Slovak environment.