LOWMAN 1 and 2

Lowman, 1994, (quasi sci-fi video)

The situation took place in the future on the periphery of a metropolis. A random observer with a video camera captured the furious activities of “Lowman,” who squatted in a river channel built up with cold stones. Seeing him was awkward. It appeared that he had perfect, almost sophisticated, equipment for his work, but the way he was using it was completely inadequate, irrational — perhaps even quasi-magical. By employing his apparently thought-out methods, he “clumsily” (as if he were handicapped?) strove to “fish” preposterous objects from the swirl of garbage that whirled under the sluice (but clearly he was no ecologist…). Perhaps it was confusing that his movements seemed to be very precisely thought out, because at the critical moments they were able to completely destroy any possibility of understanding what it was all about. Even though his effort to get some of the things out of the water took a long time and was tiring, he succeeded from time to time in doing the impossible, thanks to his bulldog stubbornness and patience. But the real meaning of his efforts was unclear. Why, for example, did he try to pull from the water a crumpled plastic bottle with what was left of his snapped polystyrene line using a partly broken bough that spun around a drill? Why did he then irradiate the fished-out object several times under a halogen lamp? Another situation bordering on surprise occured when he used a low-tech tube-like rod to pull out of the water an animal (maybe a mutant) who pleaded for help in an electronic language.


Loweman 1, quasi sci-fi video

After a long while, Lowman appeared at the end of the tunnel. A low–tech electro light–rod that sent shocks into the stinking drain pipe revealed his presence. One part of the special suit (hanging on his back) had sound-bombs connected to a cable with diodes that blinked along the entire length of a rod. Thus the sounds coming from the bombs in some way were connected to the light, the electroshocks and the general technique of the hunt. As Lowman got closer, it became increasingly possible to understand the sounds, which were like sung or spoken pleas, coercion, even swearing and threats for anyone who might be located in the water. Always when the threats reach a heightened level and the electronic voice exploded with anger a charge went off. As if a camera were flashing through the length of the tunnel. In spite of the highly sophisticated and very specialized technique of the hunt, the rate of success was poor. Only once he managed to pull out something that resembled a jelly monkey. From a distance it looked like a puppet with long strings, and it even gave off a peeping sound that was incomprehensible to Lowman. After some brief and abrupt haggling, Lowman dumped boiling water from a “thermos” over the victim, and it immediately went quiet. He threw it back in the water.

Lowman 2 (1994). The character in the egg mask is not from this world and if he is, he must be from another time. As much as the author has tried to distance himself from the events associated with Ústí nad Labem, he still maintains a relationship to ritualized reality and ethnographic interest. Also, the setting chosen by the author is not supposed to be from our reality. The tunnel at Rokytka is meant to represent an indeterminate environment in an indeterminate time. The hunter is wearing a radio and bombs on his back, electrifying and trying to catch an electric eel. His actions as well as his appearance are not clear. These performances, reminiscent of David Lynch, no longer transcend the focus of the exhibition, but capture the transformation of the observer of the post-industrial landscape into an observer of the cultural landscape and public space.


Vejcová přilba (1994). Tento objekt nás zavádí různými směry. Maska může připomínat masky africké stejně jako low cost satyry Mattewa Barneyho, kuklu včelaře nebo surrealistického svářeče. Černický si pod vejci představoval líhnoucí se mozky, čili hlavu plnou rodících se hlav.