Fine Art Solo Exhibitions

Lea Petrik: Moving Pictures

Born 1992, Czech Republic. In 2014 graduated at the Center for Audiovisual Studies at Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU, Prague). Currently studies at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden. Also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (AVU, Prague). In 2015 selected among finalists of ESSL ART AWARD CEE, in 2014 shortlisted as a finalist in video category of Contemporary Talents 2013, international competition organized by the Francois Schneider Foundation in France. In 2010 awarded 1st prize in video category and selected as an overall winner of Expo 2010 student competition organized by the Czech participation at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, where the work was also presented. Her films and videos were screened internationally (Spain, Tunisia, USA), she participated in several group exhibitions.


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An Interview with Lea Petrikova

What are you interested in investigating through your work?

The cornerstone of my work is an emphasis on the evident existential fact that art — as well as human existence and experiences of everyday life — cannot be satisfactorily explicated, and every being's subjective reality / perception can't be actually transferred nor understood at all. Nevertheless, art becomes a great means of the never-ending effort to catch the invisible. Czech poet Vladimir Janovic wrote in one of his poems, that a man is rich just by what he has not. And so for me, the art is rich as well just by what it has not – the general, common sense and understandable meaning.


Speaking about my video work, I can say that it always narrates a story, but this story is nothing but a clue. A clue neither to reality, nor to understanding, nor to the true, but to the inner worlds of the viewer himself. I consider the medium of moving image as a very powerful successor to classical techniques of transcending reality (religion, shamanism, philosophy...). 

Documenting fiction and fictionalizing reality, that is a method I usually use. The goal is not an answer but a question. Elegance of absurdity, hidden ways of impossibility, invisible rules of reality, power of nonsense. These are the spheres I am moving in.

 A Still from The One Who's Entering, 2014

What does it feel like when you are shooting images / working?

Creative process depends on the particular type of piece. Sometimes I work in a very intense flow of direct creation; other times I base it more on research and longer contemplation about the right approach. However when starting anytime, there must be an obsession with the topic, an enchantment with the idea, and a very strong trust in the chosen course — the process of the work has to be similar to a state of trance. The moment of losing yourself and transcending normal reality opens up a free space for creation.

Describe your relationship with your work.

I consider my works as an integral part of me, another limb of my body, further thought of my mind. Whatever I do, I experience, every little situation I see, everything is a part of my creation somehow. Artwork is more than a work and, I dare to say, more than a life, something that stands beyond rational explanation and daily life, above time and human life.

What do you seek to express, capture, or reveal in your work?

My biggest interest in general is the most common situation everybody experiences in his life – living in reality that can be perceived and approached somehow. And I work with this somehow. What are the differences between various points of view? What is around us, can it be even described? Does the way we look at the world influence the reality itself? How important is the subjectivity? Every simple situation we go through hides an answer to these questions and my intention is to offer a view on this secret atlas of the world. Mostly I explore abstract topics of subjectivity, perception and impossibility of a common point of view on reality, through situations I create or capture in my works.

 A Still from Sea Has No Shore, 2015

What would you consider to be your aesthetic and how does it show itself ?

I'm not sure if there is a particular aesthetic of mine as the form of my works is always based on the content. At least I don't think of the aesthetic when creating a piece. Nevertheless, when looking at my work from a distance, I can see visual similarities in them. I'm not afraid of trying to be “big” - impression, mood and forcefulness are aesthetic notions that I want to reach. Similarly to Bill Viola, I feel highly influenced by the history of fine arts, mostly by older paintings. One of my most recent works, the video “Sea Has No Shore,” is inspired by the work of Caspar David Friedrich. The visuality of another work of mine “The One Who's Entering,” was based on the Renaissance standing portraits of aristocrats.

 A still from Mare Clausum, 2014

When choosing a form, I find myself opposed to any categorization. The public always tends to create a certain image of the artist, a myth that is hard to cross. And art for me presents, before others, a voyage beyond your own shadow with uncertain success. Artists should consciously break every preconception in order to examine the unknown… actually to be able to meet this unknown at all. As René Daumal says, you cannot always stay on the summits, you have to come down again. Many artists just remain in the position they found thriving, and tend to repeat their known, experienced methods. However, in words of Marina Abramovic, “Real artists always change their territories, and they go to the length they’ve never been.”

I always try to get to the core of the topic by the most appropriate way of expression, regardless of the category to which its form is commonly ranged, and this possibility of variety gives great freedom to me. That's why I have used a wide range of different approaches – work with actors, performance video, animation, video essays, and video installations.

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