Martin Zet @ MAGMA Contemporary Medium

On Friday, 8 March 2019, the Czech artist Martin Zet presented his works, together with a perfomance, at Magma Contemporary Medium in Sfantu Gheorghe, where he was part of the exhibition Metalurgica, together with the Romanian duo Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor. The Czech Centre supported this event. 

Martin Zet (born in 1959) is an artist, sculptor and performance artist. He studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 1979–1985. In his work he deals with social memory in art, the political format of human behaviour and the contact of idealistic visions with everydayness. In 2010 – 2016 he worked as a head of the Video Art Studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno. As a sculptor and performer he takes part in many exhibitions and events in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. In his PhD thesis in the Studio of Sculpture at the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design he deals with the work of his father, sculptor Miloš Zet (1920–1995).

The exhibition builds on the concepts of work and production perceived as a basis for the current human development, which is being imagined in multiple instantiations in the dialogue between Martin Zet and the artistic duo Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor. The show presents different perspectives which complement each other despite the apparent distinctive means of representation and processes of work of the artists.

While the duo showcases a detached view, Martin Zet is following this complexity by his personal experience of his father’s sculptural production through the film ‘My Father´s Studio’ (1995) he recorded shortly after Miloš Zet’s death. The intimate journey of Martin Zet’s can be understood and seen as the moment when production stops and we, as witnesses, can feel the consequences of what decay and uselessness feel and look like. Film is accompanied by an essay ‘My Father obsessed with sculpture’ (2018) written when the video initial material was digitized from an old S-VHS cassette from the mid-1990s. Author’s installation is completed by four sculptures: little head of Jan Hus by František Bílek, Russian beggar woman with a bowl (1905) by Ernst Barlach, Josef Václav Myslbek’s Devotion (1880–84) and A head from the sculpture of cardinal Bedřich Schwarzenberg (1892–95) which also appear in the film as a part of the father’s collection of the references. These iconic artworks functioned as sort of work tool.

Zet’s iron ‘Space objects’ (2019) particularly made for this exhibition are originally hand tools with some parts flattened by power hammer so that the strict straight shapes got adjusted to curved character of the universe. When Martin discovered that one of the Vatamanu & Tudor’s film and object refer to bearing and lead casting, he screamed that ‘I can also make it!’ which will be performed during the opening reception as: ‘Casting, live metallurgical ritual’.

This event is organised by MAGMA – contemporary medium // Romanian Contemporary Art with the support of AFCN and Czech Centre Bucharest.

Media partners: AGERPRES, Radio România Cultural, Observator Cultural, Revista Arta, Revista Zeppelin, Igloo Media.