Daniel Hanzlík, by training a glassworker at the studio led by Vladimír Kopecký, has been involved in various different media since the start of his career. These include paintings, photography, site-specific installations and audiovisual performances. New media play a pivotal role in his projects and light appears everywhere as a thematic, technical or expressive component.
Much of Hanzlík’s work is characterised by an interest in the urban space. This might involve site-specific installations or photography, especially taking advertising as its theme as a source of light and as a symbol of modern post-industrial civilisation. The aggressive visual quantity of commercials negates itself since we are incapable of perceiving individual adverts. And so Hanzlík erases them from defined surfaces, for instance in his Time Square in White. The empty surfaces have no message, and neither does the invasion of commercials to which we become immune and see them simply as scenery.
In Silenced Hanzlík created a billboard illuminated from below. So far, so good. However, there is no information and the light illuminates an empty space. As in Time Square in White we have lost the ability to endure information. LXIV examines similar themes. It is a collection of municipal light sources that influence the appearance of the environment – during the day we are aware of the historical value of places in terms of their architecture or period character, while at night, thanks to their luminous information, we see them completely differently.
The cycle Lokální vesmír / Local Universe was influenced by fractals and chaos theory. We are faced with three photographs. One is of space and taken by the Hubble Telescope, the second depicts the city and its light at night, and the third shows a high-rise apartment blocks with illuminated windows. Another group comprises light objects in which Hanzlík fixes bulbs to slats. These depict the acronyms we use in SMSes and chats. The illuminated letters ISYAW mean I see you anywhere, and MYOB is Mind your own business.
Another site-specific project is Rekonstrukce / Reconstruction. Taking an original baroque sculpture from Charles Bridge held in a lapidarium, Hanzlík placed a billboard on it with a photograph of its location and the sound of tourists. The project Zahrada / Garden was created specifically for the Galerie die Aktualität des Schönen in Liberec. It comprises two installations inspired by modified and reinterpreted elements of a specific commercial.
The primary aim of a commercial is to draw attention and to have an effect on the senses of potential customers. Hanzlík activated this function in an op-art inspired installation of black-and-white sticky tape placed on the floors and pillars of the rooms of a gallery, thus achieving an intense optical effect of a transformed environment. In another installation he used the motif of a commercial transferred into a video installation in such a way that the information on the commercial was concealed and perceived only by virtue of a detail of the project that moves around the wall in a horizontal and vertical direction and gradually scans the entire projection surface. The effect is to suppress or even erase the original information. The video projection includes the construction of a billboard of an empty panel intended for fly posting. The sculpture semantically negates the function of the billboard and becomes simply an emptied construction.
Another element of Hanzlík’s work involves painting. At first sight this seems to imply geometric abstraction and is reminiscent of the minimalism of the 1960s, though its starting point is always concrete. Panting – acrylic paint on canvas – based on electronic images (e.g. a PC screen increased to macrostructure) or on pictures of fluorescent lamps. The original image is freely interpreted and depicts a certain cut-out and detail. Information is present but illegible. Hanzlík is asking whether the light might not be have a spiritual, transcendent dimension: the viewer is enveloped in luminous energy.
His cooperation with Pavel Mrkus forms a special chapter in Hanzlík’s output. Together they created BOOT_audiovisual, a platform for audiovisual performances, electronic music, digital art and site-specific installations. BOOT_audiovisual participates in the realisation of audiovisual and interactive exhibitions. These productions are created in situ and in real time and are not prepared in advance. The different elements of the production have a mutual influence on each other, i.e. sound reacts to image and vice versa. Sound is not simply the background to images. Prior to realising a project the actors create several sets of sounds and images that are then mixed live. The sound is computer generated. It does not involve melody but audio modulation in which Hanzlík works with frequencies that he distorts, extends, layers and rythmicises. The images are created by the outputs from generated graphic design or from real videos. The rhythm of the alternation of visual surfaces corresponds directly to the audio form of ambient structures and together creates a compact audiovisual stream.
Audiovizuální performance (s P. Mrkusem):
A.M.2011. Obecní dům, Praha
Graycode. Motorenhalle, Dresden, Galerie současného umění, Ostrava
Barocode. Nosticův palác, Praha, St. Leonardo church, Venice, Itálie
Recovery. Dům umění, České Budějovice
Exit. Galerie E. Filly, Ústí nad Labem
(A)VOID Gallery, Praha
Minimaraton elektronické hudby. GVU, Ostrava
Transmissionscheibe II. Ekotechnické muzeum, Praha
Landschaft. Národní galerie, Klášter Sv. Jiří, Pražský hrad
Transmissionscheibe I. Motorenhalle, Dresden
Deartisation. Národní Galerie, Veletržní palác, Praha
Neuron. Fakulta umění a designu, Ústí nad Labem
Indikátor. Český statistický úřad, Praha
Vartecká, Anna: Daniel Hanzlík, Galerie die Aktualität des Schönen, Flash Art No.5, 2007
Machalický, Jiří: Kontrast křehkosti a agrese, Lidové noviny, 1. března 2007
Koleček, Michal: Daniel Hanzlík: Zahrada, Reflex - EX č.6 / 2007
Malá, Olga: Perfect Tense - Malba dnes, text katalogu výstavy
Pospiszyl, Tomáš: Daniel Hanzlík: City Light, časopis Týden, 2003
Valoch, Jiří: Světelné město Daniela Hanzlíka, Ateliér 16-17/2003