Interview: Hynek Skoták
Luca Curci talks with Hynek Skoták during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space, and during the 1st edition of BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY 2021 at Valid Wolrd Hall Gallery.
“After graduating from high school in the field of interior and furniture and four years of architecture, I studied sculpture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. I have always been interested in artistic activities connected with waste materials, recycling and changing objects’ function, giving them a different meaning. Thanks to my background in architecture, the context and integration of the work into the landscape is a natural part of my work. I have participated in international symposia, internships and both solo and collective exhibitions”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Hynek Skoták – Art is my greatest adventure. Everything is possible in art. That incomprehensibility makes me happy. I think that art should throw people off balance, make them think about the world, rethink established patterns of behavior. For me, art is also a philosophy. If the work is only about visual beauty, I call it “decorativism”.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
HS – I was most influenced by reading, meeting people and the awareness of death, my own finiteness. And of course love, passion and disappointment. Everyone is inspiring for me, I like to meet people who are different from me, have different opinions, I like to think about problems from different perspectives. I went the classic way through high school and academy. Then it took me a few years to get at least a little oriented in my confused heart and really started to create.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
HS – Absolutely everywhere.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
HS – I don’t know. I am personally happy. I live in a happy country and at a happy time. I can create freely. I don’t take it for granted. It is much harder than being an artist in the Czech Republic, being an artist in Russia or China. Capitalism is ruthless, but the paths to freedom are easier for me to find in this system than in the communist dictatorship.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
HS – Yes. I stopped working with traditional sculptural materials. In recent years, I am increasingly fascinated by natural processes, I return to growing crops, shrubs and trees, I spend long hours in the middle of nature. At the same time, I observe the suicidal stay of a human-animal on this planet. I refuse to reproduce the world with other material sculptures, I want to create exclusively from waste, use the sun and moonlight, wind, meditation.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
HS – I think the festival can be a good opportunity. It may be absurd, but I personally don’t want to sell my “Artist’s Rest” now. I want it to be displayed in Venice. I love symbols, beautiful words. Venice sounds sweet to me.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
HS – My work represents my transformation in recent years. This is a mixed waste that I left behind during a two-week residence in Graz, Austria. I refer to Manzoni’s “Merda ‘artista” in cans from his father’s factory. It also associates with me the last things of man, the ashes in the urn, finiteness, the footprint of one man on this earth. I think that this work is related to the themes of the exhibition across many lines.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
HS – Yes. It’s up to each artist how to handle it.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
HS – Yes. The time is difficult, not everything was according to the original ideas, I did not have time to come to Venice, even though I was looking forward to it. But I enjoy difficult times, the artist has to adapt and make the most of the options offered.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
HS – This is my first experience, I would like to evaluate it only after long cooperation.