The Largest Print in the World


“The Largest Print in the World“ – 1990, surface quarry Předlice.


You can watch the process of creation of the giant drawing “The World’s Largest Graphic” (1991, 15 min) in the next video. Jiří Černický was working as a lubricator in the shaft at the time. He injected red vaseline into the excavator pistons and used a broom to lubricate the ropes. He felt like he was in the bowels of a whale, sensing the animalistic nature of the machine. He began to use the Vaseline in many of his projects and when he left the shaft he received a barrel of Vaseline as a deputation. With Boudník-like enthusiasm, he managed to convince the guys on the excavator to undergo this crazy piece with him. I’m always reminded of the much later work of Guido van der Werve, zen-like, walking in front of an icebreaker. Czernicki and his friend had to be under the excavator’s foot and hand-paint the printing surface with paint, which must have been as strenuous as it was dangerous. The work is all the more poignant when we watch the used paper being torn and glued, and how clumsy this mammoth technique looks in the emerging neoliberal age with its technologies. It is also important to remember the financial conditions under which this work was made – almost zero. The artist got the paper at school and the paint from God knows where. It is therefore also part of DIY praxe. The work again shows a certain internal contradiction. It represents the artist’s consternation at the outcome of the world’s land art, for example in Michael Heiser, and at the same time Černický’s ambition to throw himself into impossible and unattainable situations. The artist says: “People in the post-utopian era set themselves small tasks, which was reflected in art in the so-called inconspicuous generation, to which I wanted to create an alternative.” At the same time, this video is – as I have already said – a valuable document of the brown coal basin environment of the time.