Jiří Havlíček is the author of animations, videos, drawings, photographs and sound installations. In his work he pursues animation and its possibilities as a media for remembering or eliminating sensations. Based on the method of appropriation of found image materials or film fragments, he examines the mechanisms of memory and its retention. He is interested in the phenomenon of movement and deformation, new pictures and their contents originating by multiplication, transformation or extinction caused by copying.
His interest in animation and its content started already during his studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno. One of his first projects was Tip et Tap par mémoire (Tip and Tap from Memory, 2001), using the figures from the popular children’s cartoon. The short footage captures Tip and Tap walking on a meadow and talking about death. A sunny day turns into night and one of the characters is left alone – confrontation of the world of a child with the world of an adult, as well as of memories and reality – the animated figures were not drawn exactly according to the actual models but from the memory of the artist.
The video installation Blackout (2008 with Filip Cenek) treats the topic of some sort of power failure, editing and change of process. It consists of one long footage, with no editing and no plot; the camera follows a girl riding her skateboard on a street. The light and environment change in the following scene and there is a blackout and forgetting.
In the joint performance Vždycky, teď (Always, Now) (2009) with Magdalena Hruba the artists emphasized again the possibilities of the media of animation when they used the metaphor of the breakup of text (with another shift here because it was the word “text”) into individual construction elements. “Text” was being recreated through a reversed process.
In his installation Věrná kopie (True Copy) (2011) Havlíček develops his topics of shifting, multiplication and animation as the process of remembering. The multiplied image of a woman creates a sort of pseudo-erotic moving scene in geometric execution. The artist examines the change in visual content with a video footage of repeated photocopying of an image taken to extreme – the result of the artwork is absolute non-legibility and the erasing of the actual image by itself.
The sound installation Dopis celý o tobě a tom, čemu věříš (A Letter All About You and What You Believe) (2013) is a strip of personal recordings recorded on a mobile phone. While it was primarily recorded as a recording of demo tunes, it simultaneously captures the sounds from the surroundings – the street, school, cellar or church. It is a sort of fragment of a personal sound diary – spontaneous and authentic.
Vitrína Deniska in Olomouc is a public gallery in the form of a window display where Jiří Havlíček exhibited a drawing of a woman in front of a mirror (Žena za výlohou (Woman Behind a Shop Window), 2013). Once again he uses here the motive of shifting, reflection and certain image deformation – not only in the depiction of the “original” and its reflection, but also by placing the motive in a glass window case.
The video Zajatci filmu (Film Prisoners) (2013) is an image collage of scenes from film noir from the beginning of cinematography until the 1980s. According to the artist’s words it is a sort of “space between several films”, imprisonment in the film space, in one’s own memory and forgetting. The Film is edited from scenes that the artist memorized and once again evokes his own fragments of film experiences. The lack of plot in the film flows similarly to the fragments of consciousness that are often fleeting and not possible to capture.
In the minimalistic installation Dvě fotografie jedna žena (Two Photographs One Woman) (2013, Gallery m.odla, Prague) the artist positions the element of presence and absence against one another – a photograph of a drawing of a woman in front of a mirror and an old picture taken by his father of a view of the forest without any people (unusual for the family archive).
The artist used the technology of transferring offset printing to a wall in two installations. High Time (2013) is a sequence of a scene of a young woman taking off her sweater. This slightly erotic gesture in motion evokes youth and carefreeness – that “high time” captured in a loop. In the Regional Gallery of Fine Art in Zlin he used his own pictures of a forest, originally the documentation of a location for a forthcoming video (Film Týden (Film Week), 2014), to photocopy them on to a wall. Here, once again the image changes and becomes deformed – every other copy of the photograph is different from its original, as well as from its previous copies.
Jiří Havlíček is also an active curator (NoD, Polansky Gallery). He is a member of the team that runs the Internet platform for fine art artyčok.tv. He is also a member of the music group Kazeta. During 2006 – 2007 he managed, together with Petr Strouhal, Gallery Eskort in Brno.
Kurátor výstav (výběr):
Usínám hluboko v noci, Polansky Gallery, Praha 2014
Slepá láska, Polansky Gallery, Praha 2012
Muzeum, Dům Nad Muzeem, Praha, 2011
Valašský hřebec Jan Vytiska, Galerie NoD, Praha, 2010
Objekt animace. Třetí smysl, Dům umění, Zlín, 2010 (+ M. Mazanec, F. Cenek)
A kdy uprší ten druhej den, Galerie NoD, Praha, 2009
Play-time, Galerie Entrance, Karlin Studios, Praha, 2006 (+ P. Strouhal, F. Cenek)
Dobré zprávy. Slabikář, Moravská Galerie, Brno, 2005 (+ F. Cenek)
Otevřená kniha je taky noc, Kino Alfa, Sokolov, 2004 (kol.)
Wstapil we mnie diabel, České centrum, Bratislava, 2004 (kol.)
Zajatci filmu, 2012 (scénář, kamera, střih a režie)
Ahoj, mám se dobře, 2013 (scénář a asistent režie)
HAVLÍČEK, Jiří. Slepá láska (kat. výst.). Praha: Polansky gallery, 2012.
PTÁČEK, Jiří. Modrý sešit (kat.). Brno: TIC, 2012.
CÍSAŘ, Karel (ed.). Věci, o kterých s nikým nemluvím. Současné české umění. 5. a 6. Bienále mladého umění Zvon, 2005 a 2008 (kat. výst.). Praha: Agite/Fra, 2008.
ŠEVEČEK, Ludvík (ed.). III. Zlínský salon mladých (kat. výst.) Zlín: Krajská galerie výtvarného umění ve Zlíně, 2003.
BLAŽÍČEK, Martin. Zajímají mě filmové zážitky. A2, 2014, 8. ISSN 1803-6635.
KOKLESOVÁ, Bohunka. Ateliér video, multimédia, performance. Ateliér, 2002, 10, 12. ISSN 1210-5236.
(red.) Jiří Havlíček. Umělec, 2001, 4. ISSN 1212-9550.