Matěj Smetana studied the School of Creative Arts (FaVU) in Brno at the Painting 3 studio of Petr Kvíčala as well as the Intermedia studio. He is the creator of installations, comics, and videos. He expresses opinions on artistic institutions, focusing on the themes of error and inappropriateness. For example, he photographed scratches in works of minimalistic classics by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and John McCracken.
He often addresses the relationship between purposefully set limits and happenchance. He sorts out the spatial relationships of 3D bodies, created from a specific shift from existing symbolic shapes. His series of wooden objects, Flags / Vlajky (2002) is based on the form of four national flags elaborated with the help of an intersection of geometric bodies. The object, Czechoid / Českoid (2003), stems from the premise of a rotating surface for the Czech Republic; the piece Hradčanoid (2006) builds upon it. It is an extended cylindrical mesh object, created based on the rotating silhouette of Prague Castle.
He worked his way into the field of motion pictures with the video, It’s Only a Film / Je to jenom film, when he redrew three trailers for classic horror films on tracing paper and complemented them with their original soundtracks. The themes of coincidence can also be found in the installation, Remix, which toys with the idea of the existence of a special intelligent conscience in media reports. Their decoding takes place with the help of selecting and marking word or letter order from copies of books, photographs of film subtitles or from a label on a lawn mower, which together create an „existential“message.
Jiří Ptáček, Matěj Smetana, In: Umělec 3/2004