A year ago, the philosopher, psychologist, art theorist, translator and janitor Petr Rezek passed away. We commemorate his original interpretations of modern and contemporary art with a link to an audio recording of one of his lectures. He named it after Alberto Giacometti's sensational statement: The statue rests in the void. Some consider Giacometti to be the discoverer of virtual space. But Petr Rezek does not adhere to this, in his own words, spectacular claim. Instead, he focuses on the initiatory-mystical notion of the void. What is the void? What types of void are there? Where does the statue rest and where can it defy death?


In response, he resorts to hollow avatars, obstetrics, or Giacometti's drawing of a rider raised on a plinth (and those who cannot stand within themselves must borrow a plinth). He explores shape and movement, nothing and the void. He compares the idea of the Bauhaus teacher Johann Itten, Shape is the vessel of movement, with Heidegger's famous lecture Das Ding (The Thing). He boldly concludes that the jug is a vessel of movement via pouring. Finally, he comes to the revolutionary conclusion that mushrooms should remain in the forest and sculptures in the studio because they are at home there, in their emptiness. Only there do they resist the death we inflict on them by abducting and placing them in a gallery.


Everything that appears, appears in terms of empty space. For Buddhists, empty space is synonymous with the nature of thought, which only mirrors what we see. Our world is then a manifestation of consciousness, our past experience, the images of our memory. After Peter Rezek, the void remains, but he himself continues to dwell in our minds. He has probably returned to the place where he defies death.

Pavlína Bartoňová, November 8, 2023
Transl. Craig Cravens


Petr Rezek's lecture, The Sculpture Rests in the Void, took place on 20 November 2019 at the Trade Fair Palace on the occasion of the Alberto Giacometti exhibition. The recording was made with his permission for publication on this website.

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