It is difficult to perceive David Böhm’s works independently. His work in the artistic duo with Jiří Franta, with whom Böhm has been collaborating ever since his studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Prague, forms indubitably the starting point, if not the core, of a vast majority of his works and also presents a partial explanation of the associative and open nature of his own pieces, which revolve around drawing.
The work of the artistic duo Böhm-Franta, represents a long-term endeavor to push the boundaries of the medium and play with its performatively uncontrollable dimension, as was demonstrated in many of their projects ranging from Není to to co by to mohlo být (It’s Not What It Could Have Been, 2006), where the authors defied the habitual understanding of drawing as something static and in the course of the exhibition they daily varied and accumulated the content of their mural drawings, through the cycle Skoro nic není úplně (Nearly Nothing Is Ever Complete, 2010), where the artists thematized the dubitable uniqueness of a drawing using heavy technology and physical barriers, and finally to the project Diplopie (Diplopia, 2012), where the performative aspect of a drawing was transferred onto the viewers by forcing them to overcome a spatial barrier in the form of a low ceiling in order to be able to see the exhibition. This detour brings us back to David Böhm’s own work, whose gist is drawing and the possibilities of its evidential value, from which everything follows and to which everything points.
Politics and playing with the boundaries of the medium as such appear rather marginal in the context of Böhm’s own work and if we were to speak about any influence at all, it would be rather associative – inspired by the principles of working in a pair. His work often reflects aspects of collaboration related to working on a time scale. Yet, as opposed to the pair work, these aspects represent a markedly controlled process. One example is the project 100 týdnů (100 Weeks, 2013), where the author set himself the goal to create one drawing a day, featuring the motif of a head and text. As in his work with Jiří Franta, the principle of the assignment remains open here, leaving enough space for chance and circumstances. These are rather reflected in the content, which is in the form of a diary and resembles the already-mentioned project with Jiří Franta from 2006 due to its nature of time lapse. In many respects, the diary principle itself points to a crucial aspect of drawing, which enables quick notation and capturing of a moment, situation or thought.
Currently, David Böhm’s solo work can be mainly associated with illustrations or comics. However, his works are not mere illustrations of text, but an associative process in which the content of the work is co-created in partnership with the text – so that text and drawing assume equal weight, testing the boundaries and possibilities of drawing and its expressive value. As in other solo works by this artist, there is an interconnection of image and text. However, even here the author never leaves the realms of art. From the great number of publications in which David Böhm has participated in the recent years and for which he has received many awards, we can mention for example Hlava v hlavě (Head Within Head, 2013) or Co by sis přál – Jiří Kolář (What Would You Like – Jiří Kolář, 2014) that both vicariously thematize contemporary art practice and make it accessible to (not only) the youngest generation of art public. The principal issues inherent to the role of the artist, art and its production, or to the thought schemes used in his artistic (creative) work stand out as the core element of his work. Here again we come back to the topic of boundaries, their transgression and new perspectives on the medium. The medium may be a book, drawing, object, installation, performance, collaboration and/or all of the above. No part of Böhm’s work can actually be grasped in isolation, without taking into account their mutual co-dependence.
Kancelář ředitele Českého centra v New Yorku
Časová osa pro lektorské centrum / Galerie Středočeského kraje Kutná Hora 2010
Vizuální podoba autobusu pro lektorské centrum / Galerie Středočeského kraje Kutná Hora 2009
restaurace Sovovy Mlýny / Praha 2009
Shadow cafe + Shadow azyl / Praha 2006-7
Tigi boutique / Praha 2006
Věznice: místo pro umění / DOX / Praha
Akce Zet / Galerie Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem
cena jindřicha chalupeckého finále 10 / Praha 2010
Police the police. katalog Bienále Bukurešť / Bukurešť 2010
Po sametu, GHMP / Praha 2009
cena jindřicha chalupeckého finále 09 / Praha 2009
Krajiny malby, galerie Fiducia / 2009 Ostrava
subvision kunst festival Hamburg / Hamburg 2009
ga2lerie, jako příloha týdeníku A2 / Praha 2007
intercity Berlin Praha, Mánes / Praha 2007
není to to co by to mohlo být / text Tomáš Pospiszyl / Praha 2006
Edith Jeřábková, Jak si cenit ceny / A2 25/2010
Kateřina Štorblová, rozhovor, FlashArt No. 17/2010
Richard Klíčník, Ticho hrocha – černé pohádky / Nový Prostor květen 2010 / iliteratura.cz
Tereza Spencerová, rozhovor, Literární noviny 6/2010
Katarína Uhlířová, rozhovor, FlashArt No. 14/2009
Kateřina Černá, portfolio, Art+antiques 9/2009
Jiří Ševčík, Sandná danost Ateliér 8/2008
Lenka Lindaurová, talent www.artservis.info 10/2007
Josef Vomáčka, Ve dvou se to lépe táhne – rozhovor Time in 10/2007
Jan Zálešák, V rychlosti je krása, Ateliér 19/2007
Petr Vaňous, Anketa – malující umělci A2 30/2007
Petr Vaňous, galerie A2 12/2007
Karel Císař – projekt pro Labyrint Revue 19-20 2006
Tomáš Pospiszyl Jiří Franta a David Böhm: Není to to co by to mohlo být TÝDEN 36/2006
Edith Jeřábková, Na okraj jednoho experimentu A2 37/2006
Nulla dies sine linea, 2012.