During his two-month residency period at Art in General, Jiří Skála plans to exchange handwriting styles with a woman in New York from a social background different to his own. After weekly meetings, Jiří will learn to write like her and she will learn to write like him. With this performance-based work, built on a one-on-one encounter, the artist explores communication processes and the potential for dialogue about intimate and foreign social contexts. By copying letters, mimicking words and ultimately writing an entire letter in the penmanship of another person, Jiří hopes to gain an understanding of cultural values different from his own. This will be the artist’s first exhibition in the United States.
Jiří’s past work engages the history of cinema, architecture and construction, social types and the meaning of abstract patterns. Many of his interventions are also intended to stir up social tensions. For Take It Personally (2002), Jirí and three other artists wrote negative sentences about acquaintances that they did not like on the walls of the AM 180 gallery in Prague.
Jiří often works with abstractions of individual attributes. In Measuring of Volume (2002), he filled a tub with water and invited all of his family members to take turns stepping into it. According to Archimedes, the amount of water that overflowed from the tub would correspond to the volume of the body within it. Jiří then used these measurements for the dimensions of four abstract wooden boxes that he constructed to represent his family.
Jiří Skála (1976) lives and works in Klatovy, Czech Republic. He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, at the atelier of Jiri David and Vladimir Srkepl. From 2002-2003 he completed a postgraduate program at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He has exhibited his work mainly in Prague, Czech Republic at Display Gallery, an alternative space on Myslikova Street; Enklava,; Castle Riding Hall and Jeleny Gallery. His work was also included in the 2001 Tirana Biennale in Tirana, Albania; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Art Klazma, Moscow and at the Galeria Imagetica in Curitiba, Brazil.