David Helán

Akademie výtvarných umění Praha

Academy of Fine Arts Prague


Poorly illuminated, out of focus, an associative layering of meanings, something between object and action art, the ability to see objects and situations, personal experiences of states of enlightenment, being engulfed by sensations and meanings, an earnest message and the related need to theorize – all this could describe Helán’s approach to art. We can also add: night, flashes, graininess or eviscerated textual fragments of a unique urgency. Although the sole unifying force would appear to be encoded inside the artist’s nerve center, we cannot rule out the possibility of a more generally shared intersection, connection, or experience.
Ondřej Chrobák

Tradition has it that my atheist grandfather, whom I never knew, met his clinical death while engaged in a task requiring the use of a certain ladder. In light of the neighbors’ heated diatribes, it was decided to personify my realistically inclined grandfather’s unsolicited specter in the form of a cold metal ladder. The creative mind behind the item on display, the metalsmith Kabelka, more than likely pilfered it from someone else’s workshop. Under the old regime, he built an illegal structure in my dead grandfather’s orchard, which he then spent thirty years enlarging. The exhibited ladder was a part of the inventory of our neighbor’s cottage.

*1979, CZE