QUOD TEMPUS, QUI LOCUS
The Q Association 50th Anniversary Exhibition 22.6 - 25.7.2019 KROMĚŘÍŽ, Rotunda of Flower Garden and Orlovna
The artistic work does not mean repetition of the already known. It is not intended to give ready answers, but rather to ask questions. Touching the indefinite. In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri mentions an expedition to unknown, never-before-explored seas.
The title: “Quod tempus, qui locus - What time, which place?” follows the legacy of the Q Assotiation founding personalities. Since 1964, the idea of establishing an interdisciplinary art association has been dealt with by the painter Bohdan Lacina with several professional colleagues.
The Association was then designed in 2 or 3 stages between October 1968 and March 1969. Among the founding members were mainly visual artists, besides Bohdan Lacina, eg. Marie Filippovová, Jan Rajlich, Vilém Reichmann and Miroslav Šimorda. Representatives of other artistic fields soon joined: poets Jan Skácel and Bohdan Mikolášek, theatrologist Bořivoj Srba etc. The writer and poet Ludvík Kundera gave to the association a name in which the letter Q evokes Latin inquest pronounces and, in a broader sense, the whole civilization circuit, which for many centuries used the Latin language to unite a summary of all the essential knowledge.
With the onset of so-called ‘normalization’, Q Association was abolished by the communist regime, but some members continued to meet in private and developed informal activities. This has maintained a coherent, collegial spirit that has helped to re-establish official work in the famous year of 1989. To date, Q Association is a very inspiring group of writers, theatre artists, photographers, filmmakers, architects, musicians and visual artists.
The purpose of tradition is not to preserve the ashes, it is to keep alive the fire and openness to the further continuation of the journey.
In which quality of the time we find ourselves and how are we able to recognize in it our distinctive place? Which is the rule of creative personalities in the time of change? In such époque, do we find our own specific target?
Although Latin is now strongly pushed out by English, the purpose of this transformation is primarily to change the communication tool: always continuing the culture that is a synthesis of several well-complementary worlds or traditions: Jewish, Christian, Antique Greek and Roman. This culture is an intersection of realism and high ideas, rationality and emotion, spirituality, capability of symbolic or artistic imagination, technical skill, definition precision, respect for the law, governance system, respect for the human being, for its freedom and dignity. This is the civilization in which we still live. We draw continuously from its roots To this day; it is an open synthesis, still evolving. Evidence of this is, i.e., the enormous boom of natural sciences. Without end we are confronted with the borders of worlds, of which we can only say ‘hic sunt leones’. Although, if we grasp the new spaces with our knowledge, nothing ends there, we will immediately touch the boundaries of other unexplored areas. Terra incognita. Even a man is not a definite answer forever. He is one big question in itselves, in his whole being. What the man is, you cannot measure by merchant numbers. Probably you can disassemble the entire DNA molecule into the individual building elements, but it won't be the definitive answer. Analogously, you could count the letters of the book, sort them into groups, and then present them in clear tables, but the story will flow through your fingers and you will completely miss the soul of the author.
The 1960s were marked by optimism and one of its manifestations was the project of a vital interdisciplinary artistic association such as the Q Association. Certainly we should not give up that vitality and optimism even today, although the second decade of the 21st century does not exude positive expectations. It's time for disquieting questions. Maybe the poets understood it in advance. I would remind Vladimir Holan and his words from the poem entitled "The Last".
„not strong enough, what‘s without tremor“
co je bez chvění, není pevné
We can guess that our whole intellectual and cultural world is moving towards another synthesis: when all fields of human knowledge will have to recognize the validity of the ancient sentence again at a new, higher horizon: "I know that I know nothing" (Socrates).
This is not a nihilism neither resignation nor the end of positivism. It is only a return to humility (to humility before God's Face, one would like to say). And this is actually a very optimistic finding.
1/ At a time when the lie is spreading without restraint, trying to equal the truth (supposedly for the sake of balance!), the truthfulness of artistic creation is extremely necessary. Suddenly the term of truth is repeatedly abused, although the art must not be drawn into the struggles to enforce one or another political power thesis. "Artistic avant-gardes" if working as supporting phalanx of some "political avant-garde" did not bring anything extra good. The honesty of artistic creation is completely different. Who has experienced the difference, when it comes out of your hands a well-worked or lying and superficial thing, he knows what we are talking about. And know that others will recognize the difference: Some works "shine" and attract, others not at all.
2/ When the Q Association was abolished and could not operate publicly, its crucial members created an area of inner liberty. They continued unofficial private meetings, talked together, developed ideas, discussed ... No one will steal your freedom of heart. The era of totalitarian regime needs mature people who defend their independence and autonomy. Outside, in public space, there is impossible to do lots of things, but at the same time almost everything is possible. Paradoxically, at the time of great external liberty, the inner freedom is even more important. Nearly anything can be done (‚anything goes‘), but it is a very contradictory situation in which the person without a constant pillar loses orientation. This may result in concern and uncertainty. Not everything I can, I can really do.
3/ I have heard these two sentences from the Czech sculptor Čestmír Suška: “Art is most necessary at the moment when the common feeling says that we don't need art. Time is changing rapidly, the art remains.”