Tomáš Moravec’s work is characterised by several interconnected lines. The most distinctive is a kind of vision of spatial and situational design. His older projects relate to a change in public space and its dispositions. However, these changes do not reside in a radical and all-embracing slash through the surface, but rather in the creation of discreet deviations that change its perception. For Moravec public space represents a conceptual situation understood stereotypically in its unchanging function, and he deconstructs this belief by his interventions. In his older work Nalajnováno / Tagged (2008), he refashioned an enclosed, unused grassed area into a football pitch. The performance Situations (2008), which he realised while on a research fellowship in Bratislava, consisted of an illusory change of space using masked light from a projector.
Light became a pivotal element of the installation The White Man’s Disease, presented at the exhibition of finalists of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2008. The illuminated interventions of simple and non-narrative images changing the public space were presented in the gallery by means of photographic documentation. The light forms were created in a simple way, by masking the light flow of the car-battery powered projector. This process emerged and disappeared rapidly and at heart was performative. The event generated a certain randomness in terms of the resulting light shapes, and introduced an element of poetry into proceedings. However, in the artist’s interpretation the work also references the question of how advanced western civilisation treats the environment, as the title implies.
There is also a poetic quality to the fragile installation Surveying Points (2014): the unsteady tripod captures the illusion of a starry sky. In the video both the construction and the illusion of the cosmos itself collapse by virtue of the artist’s intervention. The relationship of cosmic distances and close, quotidian reality also subtly appears in Náhradní měsíc / Spare Moon (2012). Though this work examines the issue of scale and measurability, it operates above all as an associative visual situation.
The formal code that Moravec uses most often is the language of functionality. The simplicity, almost austerity, of the outcomes of his work is conditional upon their function and the course of the situation in which they play a role. The vanguard of the spatial and material relations are conceptual situations. In Tak já to pouštím / So I’ll Release You (2011) the mechanical belt of a garbage sorting centre is exposed to an unexpected situation in the form of cardboard boxes that have not been broken down and are tied with rope. A kind of Sisyphean myth results that consists of the repeated attempts by the belt to carry the boxes upwards and the resulting failure. The video presents us with a simple, absurd theatre of machine and box that demonstrates the emergence of deviations in the default setting of functionality.
The performance To vydrží / That’ll Hold (2011) takes the form of a meaningless act in which Moravec, with the aid of a strange construction on his back, keeps ping-pong balls in the air using a blower and films everything on camcorder. The model of a simple principle, means, and a difficult to define purpose to the entire event is repeated. The work is reminiscent of a game or exercise that, like the interventions referred to above, effects a shift in stereotypical views of the quotidian without any radical interposition.
Another one of a series of absurd performances, and possibly Moravec’s best known projects (widely shared on social media), is the video of Palette (2008). The artist created a palette on wheels constructed specially for the narrow-gauge tram line in Bratislava. In the video he rolls around the city on it creating a humorous and imaginative impression but also presenting a subversive use and misuse of a set system.
Moravec describes one of his conceptual methods as associative physics. He is inspired by phenomena that he demonstrates in a slightly modified environment or using other initiators. These do not represent simply a generally valid principle, but diverse subjective interpretations. In Otázka líbivosti pláště / The Question of Superficial Attraction (2012–2015), the artist works with the phenomenon of implosion, to which he subjects industrially produced silver canisters. The canisters are shrunk by a mysterious force without the intervention of the human hand. In reality this is caused by the imbalance between the internal and external temperature of the canister, which creates pressure causing the canister to implode. The installation Repetitive Failure (2015) comprises eight balanced canisters exposed to the effect of implosion for different lengths of time. They thus demonstrate the gradual stages of deformation. The result is a spatial storyboard that acts as a metaphor for the relationship between internal human life and its detailed external circumstances.
Moravec examined spatial perception, consciousness and memory in Sketches in Bronze (2012–2015). The first stage was the process of installing monumental drapery, the shape of which he changed several times during the exhibition at Šaloun Atelier, thus creating variations on a theme. The visually incomprehensible part beneath a black canvas was a hypothetical inversion, something that is present without the possibility of direct transcription. The second stage of the project involved the modelling of different versions of the drapes with template only in the form of photographs. The models were cast in bronze and exhibited with the photographs.
Whether this was a material, light or event, the artist created from individual spheres of research model situations in which elements representing this or that sphere were placed in a mutual relationship. His projects thus have the character of case studies that comment on aspects of human perception and the relationship between the individual and his or her surroundings.
Mřížka - kurátorská selekce videí pro MDF Ji.hlava
Neklidná figura současnosti - debata, prezentace
PechaKucha Night Prague vol. 48
Zlínský salon mladých, prezentace laureátů
Pěstuj prostor, Plzeň (CZ)
Modularita a využití modulárních jednotek v současné architektonické praxi, Karlín Studios, Praha (CZ)
Závěrečná prezentatce – Studios Das Weisse Haus, Vídeň (A)
Prostor pro: umění1 – Moravská galerie, Brno (CZ)
Supper Club (2): The Hybrid proposition – TBA21 Augarten Contemporary, Vídeň, (A)
Autorská videoprojekce – Školská 28 Komunikační prostor, Praha (CZ)
Openstudios – Trinagle Arts Association, New York (USA)
Stezka odvahy / prezentace – Offcity Architekti, Pradubice (CZ)
Stezka odvahy / prezentace – Meetfactory, Praha (CZ)
Stezka odvahy / prezentace – PAF, Olomouc (CZ)
UMA: Dialogy – workshop Is medium the message? – Prádelna Bohnice, Praha (CZ)
CULBURB projektové setkání – Architektur Zentrum Wien, Vídeň (A)
Rozdělovací – Autorská prezentace, Olomouc (CZ)
PechaKucha night – Plzeň (CZ)
Visual manual – DOX, Praha (CZ)
Rewind vol.16 – Moravská galerie, Brno (CZ)
PechaKucha night – Stanica Zárečie, Žilina (SK)
Videoart match vol.4 – Banská Bystrica, (SK)
Mezinárodní filmový festival – Bratislava (SK)
Území nikoho / Jednovečení proejkce ve veřejném prostoru – Plzeň (CZ)