Pavla Malinová at lítost / Prague

Pavla Malinová / Hollow Hug
Curated by Julie Béna

9 June – 25 July 2020

Vlkova 23
Praha 3 – Žižkov
130 00, Prague

Pavla Malinová’s figures undergo constant metamorphoses. It is as if individual sections of their bodies transform materially. Together with their environment, according to mood, situation, the relationships between them, and sensory perceptions. Floating in what could be described as the decelerated time of weightlessness. At times, their “fat” puffed-up soft bodies, albeit at the same time seeming to be exceptionally light. Sometimes remarkably sensitive in their extremities. Suggestively intertwine with each other like overly sensitive tendrils. While, conversely, at others, they are like inflated gloves; And only indifferently feel their way around. Unable to grasp or catch onto anything.
Their surroundings, and sometimes even their individual parts, suddenly appear to move into the background. Soaked in, sucked dry by some sort of curse, perhaps by too intense an experience, to be a reduction of the surface. It might be possible to say that, because of their feelings, they “drop into the symbolic”, impasto-like, to the point of geometrical, ornamentally conceived layers of colour. Emphasising the flat nature of symbols, painting, and unreality. The constant tension between surface and space. The weight of the mass. And the intangible nature of the soul. The dilatation of extremities, not too different from the hallucinations of feverish states or from the feelings of hypersensitivity ensuing from a fever. The deformation of size. Conversely, the cubistic-like pure geometric volumes of the tapering fingers, disintegrating into shapelessness. The loss of materiality. All of these aspects stress the tension between the symbolic and the living, between the natural and the spiritual.
This arrhythmic effect appears most dramatically in the faces. Compositionally deformed, like a negative and a positive vertically divided, always separated from the body in some way, in an eternal shadow within which one part becomes lost forever. Some of the faces resemble Celtic stone heads or Early Etruscan warriors. In all cases, they lack the depth of eyes, their expressions reduced, and their features erased by sandstorms and the currents of time. Yet, at the same time, they seem permanent, eternally experiencing and feeling. Even they await transformation – some of their parts will come to life, metamorphosing into ancient ferns, snakes, trilobites, or mythical creatures. Nonetheless, they will continue to retain their form. Remain a part of the whole.