Artists: Johana Pošová & Barbora Fastrová
Exhibition title: Brother
Venue: Syntax, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: May 27 – July 9, 2016
Photography: Johana Pošová, images copyright and courtesy the artist and Syntax, Lisbon
One of the central subjects in the collaborative practice of Prague based artists Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová is the field of Nature and its antagonistic relation with the concepts of Western modernity. Nature in Western modernity has been traditionally conceptualised as an obstacle that is to be overcome or utilised by human needs, determining thus the stance of the Modern human as the anthropocentric other, whose wants and interests are given preferential treatment. Nature therefore, became subjugated to the purpose and the operation of scientifically equipped humanity, making Western man the master and the possessor of Nature. The objectification of such understanding transformed Nature into a subject detached from man; Nature became a separate space, a threat and something that is to be overcome and exploited.
Drawing from a myth of the Kogi indigenous group – a tale of two brothers, whose distinct approach and treatment of nature in many ways mirrors the Western and the Non-Western approach to the natural, Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová present through their exhibition a place where these relations are questioned and renegotiated, and the superiority of the Western man is rendered other. Rather than applying a strict rationalism, which has repeatedly failed and served only as a means to unveil the limits of modernity and the inability to control (the destructive) interactions between society and Nature, the exhibition employs a language of the absurd and the non-rational. Making use of the archetypal nature of selected objects and the obvious artificiality of these objects, the exhibition tries to point to the complexity of the biotic community and to our failure in understanding and trying to manipulate Nature similarly to the younger brother of the Kogi myth.
Markéta Stará Condeixa
Brother is the first collaborative project of Czech artists Johana Pošová and Barbora Fastrová presented in Portugal and introduces solely new works, developed especially for the purpose of the exhibition at Syntax. The exhibition has been produced with the generous support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Camara Municipal de Lisboa and the general partner of Syntax – Pedro Sousa Arquitectos.