Veronika Holcová

Veronika Holcová

cz, en
2017181615141312111098765
Erzgebirge

To interpret Vernonika Holcova's paintings one must journey backwards, awakening memory and searching for connections of meaning. This is because the morphology employed by the artist has its own internal logic, history and continuity, which grows with her. Somewhere at the beginning of her imaginary linear journey we find the first milestone – her graduation work on the theme of the inner and the outer (One in the Other, 1998–1999), delimiting the theme of
the constant transformation (metamorphosis) of consciousness. The human being takes on the role of a filter absorbing the surrounding reality of phenomena, selectively recasting it into his or her own experience. This is the journey from the outside in. The opposite voyage also exists. The human being gathers experiences and on their basis generates activity. He or she becomes active, becoming involved in a particular context given by the ever–expanding
realm of experience. The heroes of Vernonika Holcova's canvases are potential conquerors of horizons, pilgrims seeking adventure, collectors of experiences who assemble diverse
compilations of impressions, growing and becoming large in their vitality in order to reach a chamber of uncertainty at the very next moment and – caught entirely unawares – a surprising and unexpected state of congestion. At that instant a critical moment arises, a breaking point, which like a virus infects the as yet clearly experienced, linearly ascending euphoria, making the viewer's eyes wander in all directions, especially backwards, initiating a recapitulation and reckoning with all the shadowy sides of an awakening indignation and sharp scepticism. The figure and its memory come to a halt while the surrounding framework of landscape begins to diverge dynamically. The solitary individual finds himself or herself in an arena and is jettisoned into an uncontrolled sequence of events, whose collage–like scenario and para–principles are not known to anyone. Reality changes into dream. In reality, the landscapes are projections of internal tensions, as well as of the unbearable temporal flow affecting the figures depicted. Everything is turned inside–out and stripped bare. The alchemy of the elements, permanently renewing the natural course of the ecosystem, is in fact an analogy for the human organs. The landscape breathes, opens up, offers space, but also engulfs, oppresses, expels. It can be inhospitable, empty, hostile, cruelly cold. It gives birth and devours. Desires and passions are mirrored in dynamically painted forms of sky, oppressive melancholy is invested into sea shores, rocky reefs and cliffs. Emphasis is placed on human insignificance, dependence on the elements of nature. The techniques employed – splodges, drips, structural décor achieved by mechanically repeated brush–strokes etc. – admit their artificiality. It is not an attempt to achieve an illusion and to imitate nature, but rather to emphasise its role in the formation of human consciousness and the sub–conscious. It is a space of admitted imitation – symbols, signs, ornaments, laced edges. Above all, the paintings represent a linguistic laboratory making use of a range of variously graduated emotions. The emotions are evoked by means of imagination. Holcova constructs her works from formal associations (most noticeable in her drawings). They form chains running across the emotion evoked. They branch out in various directions like the arms of a chandelier, a treetop or the destructive trail of lightening. Sensitive emotional nerve–networks arise, capturing fragments of "images" from a fading memory. Condensed space empties itself, the sky is furrowed by strong gusts of wind (At the End of the Journey, 2007). In the middle of inhospitable places the artist deconstructs the key moments of a pilgrimage along on a path that has come to a crossroads without signposts. Houellebecqesque "undermined" islands multiply here, as do isolated trees, hills, caves, empty horizons, timid vistas and chasms; readers of Murakami (no longer Dostoevsky) sit about in order to observe from a window the desperately repeating moment of the tide coming in, and going out. Elsewhere, there are anthropoid apes – caricatures of humans – inhabiting this artificial space, whose appearance is only beginning to take shape in their half–animal brains, with their libido. It is a vision of an unnamed space produced by the magical characteristics of the hunter. There are also prehistoric animals whose similarity to mythical dragons cannot be denied. The artist corrects and cultivates the expressively dynamic thought process through her painting technique, contrasting static and changeable forms (The Pilgrim, 2008). Some landscapes are ecstatically dramatic and after prolonged examination erotic motifs can be discovered (Celestial Body, 2007). Nature equals permanent reproduction. There are holes, erect verticals, and penetrations. Often the artist uses irony to toy with the attention of the viewer. She concealed a pair of lovers in the surface of the small painting Secret Rendezvous. Here the comical dimension of the picturesque, "Rococo–like", game contrasts with the romantic scenery, torn apart and full of pathos. The elevated sky is the scene of cosmic phenomena only perceptible to the human eye through symbolic allusions. Above all, Veronika Holcova's paintings are sneaky traps. They entice with their sweetish gamut in order to wreak revenge at the right moment with a drop of efficacious poison from the tree of knowledge. Dreamy and melancholic snapshots alternate with the cruelty of nude scenes (Her Story, 2007), repressed carnality or the image of a flood of dark groundwater, suddenly disappearing somewhere in the underground. Her paintings are homages to ephemeral, yet secured territories, to pathways, conquered elevation points, remote places, nests, burrows and lairs, which tend to be at the conception and birth of further lives, new and continuing landscapes and mirror–like horizons. This is accompanied by the constant murmur of the sea, the ebb and flow of the tides representing something given and repeating – the mirror–image of the universe on earth, as well as in the human eye.

Petr Vaňous