Pavel Büchler – Galleria Vistamare
The artist and writer Pavel Büchler was born in Prague, in 1952, but moved to Britain thirty years ago. He teaches at the Manchester Metropolitan University. His work is strongly influenced by the conceptual art of the 1970s and how, in that particular historical and political moment, it was (mis)interpreted and translated in the countries of Eastern Europe.
His art, which is not only “conceptual”, applies a minimalist approach to the interpretation of the deliberate alienation typical of the Theatre of the Absurd (hence the continual references to the work of Beckett), in which via the slightest of gestures an apparent obviety is charged with new possibilities and unexpected interpretations, forcing the viewer/spectator – with a sense of uncomfortable inadequacy – to question the meaning of what lies before him.
A master of economy and elegance, Büchler presents a series of discarded objects: broken pencils, punctured footballs, obsolete pieces of technology such as an old tape recorder, a megaphone and video monitors no longer in use. Rediscovered, these objects acquire new meanings, unveiling a mysterious vision of nature, of art and of culture as a whole.
Describing his own practice as “making nothing happen”, Büchler presents us not with a nihilist art but with a poetic vision connected with the repurposing of things that have seemingly come to the end of their useful life but from which a renewed and very contemporary sentiment emerges.
His first solo exhibition at the Galleria Vistamare opened on 28th September 2013, with the title No Returns.
The works on show investigate the concept of time and the intimate dichotomy absence/disappearance. The individual pieces are linked not so much by a theme as by a vision, which focuses on the playful combinations of symmetry, reflection, echoes and opposites, as in the sound installation “Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo” (2013) or the double image formed of Beckett’s words in “Inside Watt” (2012).
The dialogue between form and content, which is always present in Büchler’s work, emerges in its entirety in “The Shadow of its Disappearance” (2011): thirty small drawings that form an unbroken line, each documenting a subtle shift in the form of the shadow of a found pencil. The pencil gradually wears away whilst its shadow grows, in a perverse testimony to the loss of substance at the cost of presence.
The “Modern Paintings” series, in which the artist recycles canvas and fragments of painting, marks the return to an investigation of the idea of re-use, through which a discarded object acquires new shapes and forms of expression, including that of an intense dialogue with the space around it.The constant references to literature and philosophy and the games played with the idea of the twofold/duplication in his superimposing of sounds and his mirror images are the arms with which Büchler mounts his attack, albeit an ironic one, on human rationality.
Just like Beckett.
Galleria Vistamare – largo dei frentani 13, Pescara
September 29 – November 30