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Catalogue statement for exhibition 'Swimming under water'

    One of the materials which I am fascinated by is plastic, with its more or less infinite variety, which is a superb symbol of the ‘zeitgeist’, with its blurring of the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. The connection between the singular of the origin and the plural of the effect, its propensity to change and metamorphose, makes it eminently appropriate to a contemporary culture which thrives upon pluralism. These same qualities also undermine one of the more basic tenets of modernist thought: the idea that materials possess their own genuine image.

    Plastics not only represent both mainstream and alternative culture but they also question the traditional dichotomy between nature and nurture and the notions of quality.

    From a sculptural point of view the interesting aspect about plastics is their role in the shift from form to image (flattening of the world) due largely to the bright colours and textures associated with them.

    At the present time it is the plastic object and its function which is my constant material and and which acts as a springboard for my ideas and my work. As a general rule I combine a plastic object, which is selected intuitively and whose visual quality I find interesting, with another material which would not be ‘traditionally’ put together. The intention is to create a relationship which is not compositional (hierarchical) but symbiotic. It is the plastic object and its function which determines the choice and the form of the other material.

    The importance of establishing rules or limits is, for me, necessary in order to be able to transgress them critically.

Jiri Kratochvil,