The artist has made masterful use of the circumstances surrounding the creation of this site as well as the abrupt changes in its usage and the stories associated with it. He presents for the viewer’s consideration and contemplation the twists and turns of history, reflections and paradoxes, as well as the mutability of taste, notions of luxury and exclusivity, and the different motivations and strategies of the resort’s operators.
The installation is based around a half-hour film, difficult to categorize, which stands up as a quasi-docudrama screened in the classic manner of cinema projection and as a video designed for a presentation in a gallery. The artist emphasizes the narrative element of the film, where this de facto timeline following the history of the Vystrkov site is disrupted by regression, repetition, and the mirroring of shots and speakers appearing in various roles or media recordings. At the same time Hrubý is equally focused on working with the picture, pace and structure of the moving images. The Vystrkov holiday resort is viewed as evidence of the instrumental logic of the former regime, as a fascinating architectural unit which shows the ambiguity of the link between aesthetics and the symbolism of a space, as a photogenic zone of fear and calm provoking specific reactions and behaviour in the people who find themselves – not by chance? – there.
The careful preparation and background research, but also the reflection of a more general context in the relationship between the politics of place, the tricks played by history, ideology and architecture, make Martin Hrubý’s project a fascinating and surprisingly mature work.
Martin Hrubý (*1987) graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in 2014 with the film Resort. His work involves video performances and video installations in which he thematizes the relationship between space, memory and art forms. Together with Petr Krátký he created a site-specific wall painting entitled Reverberation for the Kostka gallery in Prague in 2013, based on the effect of the echo. This year he came up with a video installation thematizing the fortunes of the memorial to Antonín Švehla in Ždánice (Cenotaph, 2015) and is working on a new project, JJJP – studie, which uses obtained documents to reconstruct the person known as J.P. (artist, architect and inventor, but also agent of the secret police) as a forgotten Renaissance hero in modern Czech history.