Zahorian & Van Espen / PRAGUE (Czech Republic)
24.06.2020 – 16.07.2020

the world around may have stopped for a moment,
yet deep inside some early 20th century buildings paternoster lifts keep running
nothing has really changed in the life of these resilient relicts of the times long passed why are they still around one might wonder
despite multiple attempts to ban them due to health & safety issues and regular accidents, there is something reassuring about their constant movement
and that seems to be enough

observing the world around through our windows for a couple of months did something to us something so far unintelligible happened to our bodies and minds
something changed, our perception shifted, our sensitivity heightened
all the protests outside in the streets, right at this point in time, are no coincidence
all the anger, all the disappointment, and dissatisfaction was there the whole time, just capped and concealed, carefully wrapped in apathy and resignation
all of it was now unearth and exposed in one large public outburst, and it keeps growing
but paternoster lifts are still running as if nothing happened
as if nothing happened
the city has changed
the streets spreading around like some kind of a visceral network of veins or guts lost for a moment all their blood
something no one could have predicted
and while their vividness is back, it is somewhat different, even though it’s hard to know how the map has changed
it’s more abstract now, does this street really connect to that one and can I get there or there through here
infrastructures underneath, structures around and superstructures somewhere in the skies
endless horizontal layers stuck on top of each other in a vertical choir of voices
or a giant storage space
all singing or screaming, hard to discern right now
plane fields became spatial
inhabited by various critters with their own personal stories and their own subjective perception and paternoster lifts are still running
do we still believe in the linearity of time?
do we still believe in time?
what do we believe in?
what is a circle?
and how does it represent our short human lives?
and how does it represent the life of all the other critters?
and how does it relate to everything living or still?
we need to reinvent cartography, define new terms of conduct, discover new intimacy, eroticism, and new structures
vertical, horizontal, diagonal, digital, above, below, in between
while paternoster lifts will keep running
in circles
on and on
can a painting represent a map? and what if that map becomes a song?
can a film become a building – an object in space?
can an object animate itself into a being?
can we change?
can paternosters one day stop?

Curated by Jen Kratochvil

Courtesy of the artist and Zahorian & Van Espen Prague
Photocredit Ondřej Polák