Review: The Fifth Seal, Darkside, Ortografio de Potenco

Futura's latest exhibitions, featuring the work of Jiří David, Markéta Kinterová, and Chisa & Tkáčová, are stuck in the past

Jiří David - Pátá pečeť ("The Fifth Seal")

Markéta Kinterová - Darkside

Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová - Ortografio de Potenco

My, my, my… Someone please tell me this show was put together by recent art school graduates and not by professional artists.

Perhaps I’m being harsh, but there's nothing being said here that hasn't been said before, and in better ways than at this Futura show. If the gallery space wasn't so nice, I'd have to say the show is a complete miss.

Firstly, Jiří David, a well known contemporary Czech artist whose oeuvre is far from paltry, features a series of photographs, half of which look like they walked off the set of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle and half of which look like a tire advert.

Well, good, the artist might say if he heard that last statement, because the series is meant to comment on the contemporary fascination with media, the world's over-saturation with images and how this effects our reaction to violence. What I can say with certainty is that he has done much better. But I suppose artists are allowed to have their ups and downs and I guess I'll just leave it at that.

Next, the press release accompanying Markéta Kinterová's series of borrowed photographs, under the theme of violence, claims to not only follow, but to go beyond what famous German artist Thomas Ruff does. (Just Google him to find out more.)

Ruff is known, among many things, for taking pictures from internet porn sites and working with these ingeniously selected images. In Darkside, Kinterová takes images of violence and glues them to the wall, and that's it. I certainly hope that the artist had no part in writing the press release because she has a long way to go before she can compare herself to Ruff. And to top it all off, the paper the images were printed on looked cheap and I doubt that was an intentional part of the work.

Lastly but perhaps not least are the many works presented by the artistic duo of Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová with their Esperanto-titled show Ortografio de Potenco. To be fair, a part of their work deals with specific Czech issues and I really can't comment on the effectiveness of these works as they said little to me as a non-Czech native.

One part of this thematically incoherent exhibit features mundane items stolen from various art galleries and put on display as if they were fine works of art. Blah, blah, blah, how many times have we all seen this before? If the art world is so obsessed with the irrelevance of art, then stop making it! Please tell me this is meant to be ironic, to make Futura think a little harder about what they choose to put on their walls. It's a cute show for an early try, but it wouldn't fly on an international scene.

I guess I don't need to tell you that I wouldn't recommend wasting your time on this show. Perhaps I could suggest sticking a sharp object in your eye instead - that would be more fun. However, I do need to ask contemporary artists to please stop making art just as an excuse to have an opening night party. Then we’ll start listening.

• All three exhibitions are on display at Futura. The Fifth Seal runs until April 23rd, 2006; Darkside and Ortografio de Potenco run until May 14th, 2006

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