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Light Infusion at Dvorak Sec Gallery, Prague

Conceptual artist Jiří Černický manipulates studio Olgoj Chorchoj's lighting designs for a spectacular show

by Adam Stech
on 15 January 2015
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Artist Jiří Černický and designers Michal Froňk and Jan Němečk—of studio Olgoj Chorchoj—joined forces for "Light Infusion" (an exhibition now on view at Prague's Dvorak Sec Gallery). This collaborative show features the designers' existing lighting pieces manipulated by one of the Czech Republic's most prolific conceptual artists. The different forms of light—from neon to traditional lightbulbs, candlelight, video of lightning and symbols of extraterrestrial or magical light—convey varying moods and messages, all interpreted differently from designers to artist and, in turn, viewers.

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The idea for the exhibition began with the relatively old collection of tubular glass lighting Olgoj Chorchoj has been producing since 2003; when they introduced the Cross lamp, made from four glass tubes with fluorescent lights inside. This object kicked off an entire series of similar minimalist and industrial-inspired lighting pieces, which all became references for the current show.

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"We knew Jiří Černický for a long time, and we always wanted to collaborate on something special. This exhibition is the first result of our ongoing continual collaboration. We would like to show more next time," says Froněk. Olgoj Chorchoj (founded in 1990) usually creates items from glass and furniture, but sometimes branches out into public architecture and installations. Even so, this show was a leap for them. "Sometimes we do some more artistic projects, but 'Light Infusion' is probably the biggest project of this kind we've done," Froněk says.

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Černický's work often fuses conceptual art, digital technologies and classic work with painting and sculpture to create large-scale installations, videos and assemblage paintings. And the artist used all of these techniques for "Light Infusion." Among the notable works, he incorporated a small display with videos into a single glass tube. Each video showcases a different type of light. With other pieces he incorporated vintage lightbulbs and even real candles—creating contrasts between technology and tradition, as well as real and artificial light. To summarize the exhibition—and indeed describe a truly successful collaboration—Froněk says, "We developed these minimalist pieces and Jiří added a new artistic value to them incorporating total new meanings and functions to them."

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"Light Infusion" is running at Dvorak Sec Gallery through 29 January 2015.

Images courtesy of Dvorak Sec Gallery

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