The gallery space with its physical as well as theoretical formal features is often the fundamental structural element Dominik Lang works with as he conceives his art. A conceptual, but sometimes also absurd and surrealist approach is the hallmark of his interventions, exhibition models, and complex arrangements of objects, artifacts, and construction elements. In subtle interventions and theatrical productions, he directs our attention to what already exists, revealing what we had overlooked. For Big Glass (2009), for instance, he blocked the access to a suite of exhibition rooms with a large pane of glass, turning the space behind it into a picture. For the installation Dokumentation (2012) at Hunt Kastner Artworks, Prague, Lang commissioned a structure of multiple copies of the gallery room to produce a labyrinthine setup. On eight temporary wall sections that replicated the gallery’s actual walls, he presented his personal collection of floor plans of various other exhibition rooms, continuing his interrogation of the complex relationships between beholder and object, object and space, subjective perception and the integration of a work of art into a museum corpus. Similar issues were already raised by his work Sleeping City, which was on display in the Czech and Slovak pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. There, Lang presented an interpretation of the late modernist sculptures created by his father, Jiři Lang (1927–1996). The installation blends two approaches to art informed by different periods and contexts. It allows for an encounter with a forgotten generation while also highlighting the immanent interplay between personal engagement and distanced observation, between individual recollection and collective memory, to illustrate the impossibility of facing up to the past (including one’s own past) in an entirely disinterested manner.
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