Kissing Through Glass, 2007
Jiří Kovanda first appeared on the art scene along with the second generation of Czech actionism in the late 1970s. He has recently been discovered in the West through his minimalist actions and ‘action-interventions’, which might be referred to as protocols of a general record. They differ significantly from older Czech Fluxus activities, which had pedagogical and utopian aims, and from those of his contemporaries, whose performances often explored physical and existential frontiers. Kovanda’s simple actions like gazing fixedly into the eyes of people encountered on an escalator, for example, or intentionally-unintentionally touching chance passers-by on the street can be understood as attempts to make contact.