Blanka Kirchner – Time Plane

Gallery 2
27. 4. 2023 — 27. 5. 2023

Artists: Blanka Kirchner
Curator: Adéla Machová

The processes of recording, collecting and noting identified by means of words and images viewed from the long-term horizon of Blanka Kirchner’s (*1982, Liberec) creative work. The exhibition Time Plane presents the author’s sensitive creative approaches of depicting and archiving experiences, emotions and stories. In her installations and objects, Kirchner connects personal memory with general perception, especially with the viewer’s inner world and imagination. Absorbed by details or enchanted by a situation, we are naturally drawn into Blanka Kirchner’s artwork, where we find our own connections through the information layers.

Various forms of textual codes invite active reading. Following the conceptual art, the author groups or layers them to create new messages and meanings. Whether it’s a neon sign (Life, 2022), a hand-lettered circular plaque (Layers of Events, 2022), the pencilled text on the wall of the installation Hair is My Timeline (2023) or the newly created photographic installation Intersection of Destinies (2023), she always works with the phenomenon of collection.

The symbol of the colon is used in written speech, among other things, to indicate a proportion, while here, in the object Life (2022), two life events – birth and death – are juxtaposed, which not only delimit human existence, they are also a mirror of the fragile presence in this world. They refer to the moment of the origin and extinction of all life and by their very nature here represent a meditation on the beginning and the end.

The cluster of thoughts on the backlit panel entitled Layers of Events (2022) is connected to a specific place – the building of the spa in Liberec, which the artist has repeatedly visited during her various life stages (childhood, studies, work). The shining circle of imaginary situations is a field that opens up a space for contemplation. And not only for the author, but also for ourselves, who return for various reasons to some identical place connected with our lives.

In the installation Hair is My Timeline (2023), the artist reveals selected and time-framed personal memories and events. Blanka Kirchner combines hair as an artistic artefact with an emotionally coloured textual record. On average, a person grows 1 cm of hair in one month and to this chosen scale, the artist has assigned a poetic narrative – “event of the month” backwards from April 2023, as the centimetres grew. But how much more information about us does a single long hair hold? Joy and sadness, stress, eating habits, the environment we move in and much more, all imprinted into our hair.

The most recent work Intersection of Destinies (2023) refers to the beginning of 2023 and draws visual data from personal online communication. The balance between two opposing poles – the past and the future, heat and cold, love and fear, male and female, etc. – is captured in three various photographs showing the presence of necessary interaction of different stimuli, where the principle of polarity brings partial harmony.

The second element of Blanka’s interest gradually becomes time. The presented drawing Time (2022) is a record of the artist’s awareness of time as an interconnected, interdependent and tangled moment of action – the so-called Kairos time versus Chronos time. Both times, however, coexist side by side. For example, in her chronological journals or in the happening called 22:22 (2022), Blanka Kirchner has so far explored and worked with time only in a linear and logical sequence. Yet there are unplanned circumstances, which in Greek mythology are ruled by the god Kairos (the god of opportune time). In short, things will happen when the moment arrives (and perhaps, when the moment matures is a more appropriate analogy here).

Blanka Kirchner’s work involves not only her diary entries, but also photographs, small objects, personal stories or correspondence, which she processes into objects, books or site-specific installations. She works with both, the ready-made principle and the conceptual line in her artwork, using words and texts within the visual language. She processes found materials or recorded information into archival boxes, site-specific installations or notebooks and books.

Her author’s diary entries were published under the titles Five Women. One Sentence a Day (2018) and No One Will Ever Understand What It’s Like to Be Someone Else (2014). Blanka Kirchner’s artistic work has been presented in domestic and international exhibitions – for example, the group exhibitions Capture a Moment (2012, USA), The Art of Urban Praxis Breaking Out of Dilemma (2015, AU), Illusive Space (2021, CZ) or the solo exhibition with catalogue Colon (2022, CZ), etc.
She completed Photography and Digital Media studies at the Faculty of Art and Design of the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem and from 2010 to 2013 she worked as an assistant professor at the Performance Studio of the Faculty of Art and Design led by doc. Jiří Kovanda. Since 2019, she has been a lecturer of the Art-studio course at the Department of Art at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of the Technical University of Liberec, where she has been studying the PhD programme Fine Arts and researching the phenomenon of diary recording in artistic creation. 

Text: Adéla Machová