Svatopluk Klimeš, a visual artist using and adapting the media of sketching, painting and picture-taking, he moves between genres, period tendencies, and classic and non-traditional technologies. The themes he processes have real roots, fixed structures and potential conditioned by the viewer´s intellectual niveau and empathy. The most internal and original level of his artistic approach consists of an equilibrium calibration: what to fully share and what should be merely indicated.
The abundant and broad timeframe of Svatopluk Klimeš‘ series of drawings and photographs has a very strong contextual character. He subjugates – both intentionally and uncompromisingly – his individual works to the overall concept of his exhibit. The ultimate arrangement of his works in a concrete space is, for him, a hierarchically-superior whole. It is essentially the only relevant output or message: the story that he tells. His projects are not the result of obsessive and spontaneous attempts at visual imaging. To the contrary, Klimeš creates them after mature reflection and based on thought processes akin to visual poetry or intimate diary entries, as well as ancient, occult Nordic myths. The interconnection with narrative principles appears, for example, in his selection of subject matter, in the precise name of the work, in the forewarned legend bound to the topic displayed, in the exhibit title, etc. The motif itself often has the character of a synopsis or at least a symbol that the story represents. By developing all the alluded to mimetic levels, through their stretching in space and time, the visitor acquires a unique recounting of the story. Meanwhile the basic topic grows – in the form of an apparent or immanent energy transmitter – from a dark background.
In order to create an understandable communications micro-climate, or rather to induce the feeling of a credible workspace, the artist uses almost irresistible strategic moments. These are extremely distant military or political tactics, yet they are very close to the ritual of courtesy. For Klimeš, whose expressive processes are definitely not direct, it is typical that these latently present layers contain an underground quantity of essence: one that both embarrasses but also encourages viewers to think. With the distancing of a story-teller he assigns the male and female elements of his installations expected attributes and with detachment he confirms how these proven practices work. He layers deposits of previous experience and for the viewer he builds with the help of contrasts (light vs. dark, hot vs. cold, immobile vs. mobile, brilliant incomprehension vs. rational construction) the moment of an initiation rite. In order to anchor the conspiratorial unity – based on indefinite feelings – this abstracted message is accompanied by reality represented through photographs.
The photos that Svatopluk Klimeš perceives as one of the fundamental platforms of his final work have been taken with an ordinary digital camera. He joins in guided tours, turning his camera in the direction of the group members and copying their spontaneous photographic gestures.
These created image glossies further transform via the blanket tanning of their surfaces with a butane lamp and via Filigran piercing of the accented motif with heated metal razor-blades. The gentle drawing of this rhythmic grid created by light permeating a paper underlayer contains in itself a secondary connotation of floral ornaments from Viennese Art Nouveau. Klimeš‘ commonly-used processes include active interventions of a brutal nature – traces left by a broad iron knife. From the indicated sum of post-photo modifications it is clear that the nature and intensity of his interventions are always conditioned by the overall message of the specific photo – so in the case of raw urban images he perforates the photos using especially fierce gestures.
Klimeš‘ attempts are not naive nor are they naivist. In them we can trace reverberations of Dadaist collages and objects by Man Ray, George Grosz or Kurt Schwitters, along with the technological processes introduced by the Czech photographic Avant-Garde during the 1930s and 1940s. At the same time they are enriched by the subject matter of pop-art, as well as moments taken over from late modernity, including elements of action art. All these symbols concur with a large part of the activities of the unofficial pre-revolution art scene. Klimeš grew up in this environment and later transposed his life experience into the form of a kind, contemporary and unique gesture.
Svatopluk Klimeš: Performance ve třech metrech, Galerie U Dobrého pastýře, Brno
Svatopluk Klimeš: Oheň pro tento prostor, Galerie Sýpka-Vlkov, Osová Bítýška