ProLuka – outSITE gallery
Exhibition opening – May 25 2023, 6 pm
ProLuka Gallery – Bezručovy sady, Praha 10 – Vršovice
(park opposite to the house Slovenská 23), tram stop Krymská
“Last Night on Earth” by Hynek Skoták shows a bed that has just been abandoned, the blanket has been pushed aside, the pillow still shows the traces of pressure from the head that has just been bedded. It almost seems as if one could still feel the presence of the supposedly just awakened person. Passersby are almost tempted to take a rest on this sleeping place. But upon closer inspection, one will discover that the ostensibly downy soft bedding is made of solid, unyielding concrete.
The artwork seems to originate from a parallel universe. In reference to the ancient city of Pompeii, which was buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, time also seems to stand still in “Last Night on Earth.” The state of the presumably just abandoned bed is manifested as a concrete casting, unalterably fixed. For the artist, his work expresses the inevitability of succesively stronger noticeable climatic catastrophe, at the culmination of which is the extinction of humankind. The human species, has failed to change its behavior towards the planet and its inhabitants, despite the warnings of scientists and activists, as well as the, for decades, rapidly increasing, noticeable climatic changes. In the opinion of the artist, humankind already sealed its own fate. But according to Skoták, this is no reason for sadness, after all, the planet will outlast the climate changes and produce new species. With this conclusion Skoták pursues the scientific thesis that, the current age is the age of the 6th mass extinction, which means that up to 95% of all species will disappear. The last so-called mass extinction took place 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs gave way to new species.
Inspired by a visit to Pompeii, the artist creates with “Last Night on Earth” a monument to the fleeting moment that represents human history as one of many chapters in the long history of the earth. Skoták criticizes the failure to do climate justice, yet looks to the future undaunted, creating a place of lingering, harmony and poetry.
Curator: Iris Kasper (A)