(Dec 2018 – July 2019)
Medium: Video projection. Coloured HD video 1920x1080, 29.97 frames/sec, sound 2 channels (stereo), 48.000 kHz, duration 00:11:07.
The artworkwas commissioned as a large-scale video projection by the Czech Province of the Dominican Order in Jablonné v Podještědí, Czech Republic, for the Noc Kostelů (Night of Churches) event in May 2019. As a video, it was also played in the loop on a screen fixed on a wall of a Dominican cloister for the visitors of the listed historical building and stayed there for two weeks after the original projection. It was presented as a video at Fragmentum (collective exhibition) in Hegyvidék Galéria, Budapest, Hungary in 2019, and at Fragmentum: Photography Beyond Perception (chamber exhibition) in Blackfriars priory, Cambridge, UK in 2019.
Link to video invitation clip: https://youtu.be/sZ66hAbV4_I Link to video: https://youtu.be/Tdi9vCG4500
In the Prologue of John's Gospel, Christ is referred to as a source of life or life itself (John 1,1-5). The lives of saints and their final resting places should serve as reminders of their devotion to Christ. It is not a reminder of their death but their life. Similarly, pilgrimage spots are not about visiting tombs but places where life is celebrated. The woman saint, Zdislava, is not celebrated for her deeds, which she performed in the past, but for her life in Christ, which is ongoing. She is identified with Christ because she took part in His life; therefore, we can say she becomes Christ. This maximal human development has an afterlife value not only because of the immortal soul of humankind but also the sacredness of the body. According to the Church teaching, human bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6,19-20) and will be resurrected on the last day. People are living temples of Christ (2 Cor 6,16) on which the custom of the relics' veneration is based. These are the reasons for burying saints in churches or keeping their remains in sacred places, which Mircea Eliade describes as space where heaven connects with the earth.
To express the connection with heaven visually, I decided to incorporate the already existing designs of the basilica into the artwork Ora Pro Nobis. A large copula, carried by four painted pendentives with medallions about St Zdislava's life, dominates the space. The contemporary images of the video collage were projected on the original paintings. The contemporary outside world was taken inside the sacred space where the past and present were connected. The feeling of this mystical bond was increased by the notion of the round architecture. The art installation was projected in four sets of invocations, each of them screened onto one of the pendentives. The circulating movement of the projection demonstrated the idea of the intersection of Chronos and Kairos (Chronos can be described like the flow of time, which is expressed by passing, and Kairos are events which are awaited and happen in the course of chronological time but change its meaning) in the earthly world, which happened the most significantly in Christ Himself and repeats itself in the life of saints.