Hynek Alt + Aleksandra Vajd
Klára Jirková + Kateřina Vorlová
The idea of the exhibition was born last year in spring, when we, together with a team of psychiatrists and neuroscientists, worked on experimental studies that, using imaging methods, monitor the emphatic reactions to figures in paintings. As I was putting together a large database of ‘stimuli’ – paintings from selected historical periods – I realized that one would be hard pressed to find an explicit expression in contemporary art of affective and intimate communication of two or more human beings. For the most part, contemporary art tackles either social and political themes, or complex issues of one’s own existence and purpose. If intimacy is a theme at all, it is usually depicted as a reference – as part of broader and more popular themes such as corporeality, sexuality, artistic self-reflection or inter-generational relationships – and often it is framed in the context of feminist discourse.
The purpose of this project is to elevate the view of intimacy, intimate communication and affective interaction as a part of the human nature. The title and focus of the exhibition reflect the fact that the most intrinsic part of intimacy is some form of interaction – exchange, sharing and mutuality on a physical, verbal and spiritual plane – with another human being as well as with oneself, or with God, or in a broader sense, with an inanimate object. The presented works offer a view not only on the various levels of such interactions – between partners, parents, friends, the nurturer and the nurtured, but also on the different ways of their presentation, ranging from documentary-like to the decidedly metaphorical. On the second plane, they open space for further reflections on this phenomenon – some of the presented artists, in one way or another, point at barriers to or the impossibility of intimate relations, ironize or problematize them, or place the problem of intimacy in a social context.