Vladimír Havlík SEFO, Trienále

*1959 (Czech republic)
education: Faculty of Education, Palacký University in Olomouc
lives and works in Olomouc

Visual artist, performer, pedagogue and frontman of the group Ostrý zub [Sharp Tooth], graduated from Palacký University in Olomouc (1978-1983). He is a teacher at the Department of Art Education, where he habilitated in 1999. Typical for him is work with one´s own body, its conscious perception and accentuation in natural and urban landscapes, but he also works with non-performative forms of art, including drawing and painting. He is connected to the environment of Olomouc, the ´metropolis in Haná´, to which he refers not only as a specific socio-political but also cultural and spiritual centre.

Monument AI (2024)

Olomouc’s ‘old performer’ Vladimír Havlík ventures into little-known and dangerous territories as part of the SEFO Triennial – he turns to AI and tests its creative possibilities, ambitions and imagination. He invites it to reconstruct the original realisations, performances and happenings of himself and his colleagues and friends, giving it the space to reinterpret and re-invent them in its way. The prompt is typically lapidary, using original visual material as a starting impulse:

– Marina Abramovic and Joseph Beuys perform with raised hands a greeting to visitors of the SEFO Triennial.

– Marina Abramovic performs “The Justice” with a Libra, a sword and a black scarf tied over her eyes.

– Old white-haired performer Vladimir Havlik with black-rimmed glasses reenacts the performance “Trial Flower”. He plants a daffodil instead of a cobblestone in a historic street.

 (Vladimír Havlík, Trial Flower, 1981)

Is it just a game? A mockument out of joint, further deforming and shattering the previously unquestionable conceptual and emotional colossus of our civilisation? Or is it an opportunity to rethink their nature, character, and sustainability with new tools, in a world that is itself undergoing radical transformation? The colouring that AI itself gravitates towards can be quite instructive – in the cases mentioned, it is primarily ecological and gender connotations, but it is also about capturing a specific atmosphere with particular symbolic attributes such as the priest’s collar. A monument of artistic experience (performance), of which, given its impermanent nature, we are necessarily left with only a document (photography), becomes the object of a heretical game – but one that has never been more serious. Comedy? A gag? Surprise? Revision? Ironic mockery? An update? Whether it´s Ulay, Marina Abramović or Havlik himself, the artifice world of new technology offers an endless spectrum of possibilities and can sometimes be quite positively surprising. Small changes, shifts, errors and mistakes, reminiscent of the imagination of an eight-year-old child, are a stimulus to a more substantial reflection on the importance of responsible interpretation and conscious communication. In a world of words, where context plays a more essential role than the text itself, this is an irreplaceable experience.