David Fesl

I will watch with you

Zuzana Blochová

The search for material that takes place almost daily involves deciding what to pick up, what not to pick up, and what to put back down having first picked up. This creates a kind of archive of natural but above all human findings that fit in the palm of the hand. The form of most of them has changed over time due to physical forces and pressures. But once the objects become part of the archive, further significant changes are basically suspended.

David creates objects out of the archived materials by adding one element at a time and tracking how the whole changes and thus the impression it gives. He is always working on several compositions simultaneously and responds less to his own expectations than to the stimuli of the materials in an attempt to see the images they offer, images that appear in the possibilities of combination and gesture. It is almost as if prefigurations of the compositions exist in the archive – to which, however, there is no shortcut and which may only be revealed through a long process of observation and trial and error.

Each found object has its own story, though the artist’s aim is not to reconstruct the narrative or find connections. Real things resist remaining suspended in abstraction, but easily create scenery and still lifes, quickly forming associations and enclosing themselves within meanings. Rather than supporting the meanings of objects, David removes or redirects them.

In a given situation the intermingling of findings creates a new form of family or kinship. Objects wedged and clasped into each other seem to have been, and continue to be, drawn towards one another, or to be entering into a different type of covenant. It is as though a fleeting movement takes place between them, before they once more settle into a static state. The artist manages to maintain the compositions on the edge of a kind of tension, just before the image of the impossible interrelations of things or the unbearable deformation of fragments overreaches and collapses in on itself, as Will Bradley describes in his essay on David’s work.*

It is only when the works are installed in space that they cease to form pairs or series, but stand out individually and maintain sufficient distance from each other. They reveal themselves in their vulnerability like an animal basking in the sun, sensing no danger and unbothered by the fact it is being watched.

– Blochová, Zuzana. Prague: Center for Contemporary Arts, 2024 (I will watch with you exhibition text).

* Will Bradley, The Crisis of the Object Revisited, 2023