The Darker Side of Humanity with Daniel Pešta

The exhibition is running for only a few more days, until May 7th @ DOX

Society’s current social issues quite literally stare down at you as you stand before a gigantic rendering of multimedia artist Daniel Pešta seemingly consuming a mask of his own face in his latest solo exhibit, DeTermination, currently on display at Prague’s DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.

DeTermination is not for the faint of heart. Working your way through the multi-leveled exhibit, you’ll find pieces that border on the haunting and absurd. These themes are not new territory for the artist though, as many of his past works have focused centrally on racism, social destruction, and genetic mutation. In the press release by curator Terezie Zemánková, she says “The moment an individual is subsumed by a nameless mob, an institution, a political group, or for example just a school class, he is in danger of also becoming a victim, or on the contrary an instrument of injustice.”

Running for only a few more days, until May 7th, DeTermination gives viewers the opportunity to confront some of the darker social issues present in our world today. Stand under a large speaker projecting the banshee-esque cries of a woman, watch as the tangled limbs of naked bodies push a cramped clear box from which they’re trapped inside along the ground, or pass by the two-headed calf that Pešta chose as his centerpiece and ponder over the way humanity seems to be a natural combination of both perseverance and suffering.

Interested in art from a young age, Pešta completed his formal studies at the Václav Hollar School of Art. Initially focusing on illustrations and drawing through his career in graphic design, Pešta’s first international study trip to New York in 1998 is what set his mind in motion to pursue a more diverse style. He began embracing different materials, techniques, and eventually social themes. This development likely also stems from his involvement in the alternative culture scene during Czechoslovakia’s communist era. By leaving the traditional mediums behind, he has continued to push the boundaries of art as it relates to the human experience.

Pešta has won several awards and recognitions, including a second place prize in painting at the London Art Biennale, solo shows in museums all across Europe, and now he is having his largest solo show to date at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.

Exploring the exhibit, you’ll find more questions than answers. While Pešta’s own interpretations are available for consideration, you’d be better serviced by finding your own understanding of the pieces on display. Meant more so to evoke visceral responses than to provide passive entertainment, Pešta’s work will leave you feeling both entranced and startled.

DOX Museum of Contemporary Art
Mon, Sat, Sun: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Wed, Fri: 11.00 am – 7.00 pm
Thursday: 11.00 am – 9.00 pm
Closed: Tuesday

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