Meteobody Painting

02 Metheo-body painting - 1991,

Meteobody Painting,
Duha dye, Nivea, Šumák sherbet powder

Ever since I became acquainted with the term “action painting” I have been fascinated by the ideas which I have automatically associated with this concept. In my view, however, the “action painting” is not a product of an event, happening or performance. 1/ I do not care about painting as a product of some machinery, robot or computer. In my thought it is a term that describes a condition where the painting itself ceases to be the object of activity of an external entity and becomes the subject itself in the sense of an entity independent of the artist’s will. My aim is to create a sort of a self-regulating painting entity. It is obvious that the outlined ideas can be difficult to be implemented in practice, and therefore the solution may acquire absurd or utopian forms. For example, how a painting can be an action painting if we do not want to abuse any living matter or organism? 2/

01 Metheo-body - 1991, barva Duha, Nivea, šumák.

So I present several solutions. I have also selected a few experiments of an earlier date.

One of the ways how to achieve activity of painting is to work with its chemical composition. 3/ In my project “Metheo-body Painting” of 1991 I used my own body as a base for painting. The trigger of the process of painting was the weather. I sat crouched in a pit, my body covered with a chemical mixture that reacted to moisture by changing its color. I inserted a pin into my anus with a rope from flying a kite that floated in the wind over the pit. As I struggled to keep the pin inside, clenching muscles and sweating, my body gradually changed its color.

In “Flying Medium” of 1991 I worked with silver dichromate, which is used in photography as a light-sensitive substance. I had it injected into Minimax fire extinguishers which I fixed to a special tripod for optimal spraying. I attached a projection device on the extinguishers in such a way so that a film could be projected into a cone created by ejected dichromate. Then I projected a black-and-white record of the first attempt to fly the Wright brothers’ airplane from 1903. The resulting process of projecting of the film into the nebula looked pretty “ghostly”.

I used this device in my attempt to create a painting. During the night I projected the film into a cloud of dichromate in my father’s paint shop. After emptying the Minimaxes, in the dark I sprayed the deposit on the floor by a developer and let it react for an hour. At daylight I found that the resulting image was not very satisfactory. It was like a dirty crust with relatively pronounced contours of a structure.

Another type of experiment was based on the assumption that the color would react to intensive electricity. That is why I made several not very successful attempts to charge the colored pigment with electricity. Since I could not achieve a really high voltage in my amateur operation, I decided in my action “High Voltage” of 1990 for a rather risky attempt to apply color directly to the high-voltage cables. I climbed the mast up to the cables and in short bursts I sprayed the colorful liquid from my hand-made syringe. Then I watched how the pigment dissolved in white hoarfrost which covered frozen cables.