Eduardo Lichnowsky vernissage : Deterritorializations
On the next 8th of May at 17 hs in the city of Hradec nad Moravici, Czech Republic, the vernissage of brazilian artist Eduardo Lichnowsky will be held at the Mestska gallery. Deterritorializations is a series of 31 works printed in cotton canvas, that deals with philosophical questions and expresses the many changes and transformations that can happen in someone´s life. Eduardo uses images from his extensive family archives, which he restores and intervenes digitally, but the theme is not limited to his ancestors and relatives, as he will be also showing some of his landscape images, usually photos of cities he has photographed and of which he is somehow related.
The name Lichnowsky is commonly known among students and musicians because of their relations with artists like Mozart, Beethoven, Lsizt and Chopin. Their line can be traced back to 1491 when Johann von Woschuts or Woszczyc (a region in Poland) acquired the city of Lichnov (in present day Czech Republic) and began calling himself the man from Lichnov or Lichnovsky, as it is spelled in Czech.
“My family left Poland and Czechoslovaquia after WWII, and since then we have lost contact with our roots. The idea of this event came because of my will to understand better and learn more about our origins and the people of this region”, explains Eduardo, that hopes that this is only the first of the many cultural events he plans to do in Silesia.
How did you get interested in art?
My mother Erica, was a painter and a sculpter, she partipated in many competitions in important institutions and won many prizes. Since my childhood I always followed her, not only helping to assemble the exhibitions she took part, but also to the many art events she used to attend (courses, workshops, lectures, etc). My house was always full of interesting people and she also organized art related courses at home; she was also the person who introduced me to philosophy, which I studied for many years.
In 1989 I went to North America (USA) to study film production and took photography classes among many other art related courses at Grossmont and City College, both in San Diego, California.
When I came back to Brazil in 1992, I studied History of Art at Escola de Artes Visuais do Rio de Janeiro, probably one of the most important art schools in Brazil, with Reinaldo Roels, and also documentary production with the prized film director Walter Salles.
Since then I have been to many expositions and museums and try to live a lifestyle that permits me to be creative and have time to produce and express myself through art.
How would you describe your work?
I would say that I am not a photographer or a painter. I don´t own a professional camera and I am also not trained or have drawing or painting techniques, even though I use both media in my line of work, which could be described but not limited to digital art. Whether it´s a photo I took myself or one from the extensive collection of my family archives, I like to use a scanner to make them digital and experiment with the many possibilities that are only possible to achieve using the infinite mathematical calculations of a computer. I do restore some images, I like to make collages and also super impose and fade images to create the emotions and concepts I wish to express. Many of the photos and images I used would probably be lost or have already faded away if I didn´t scan and restore them; you could say that I have a real passion for images, and consider myself their guardian.
In which ways is your work different from a painting or a photography?
The way a computer (scanner, digital camera, photoshop) analyses an image and tries to interpret and represent it, it´s completely different. What can be achieved using this synthetic elements it´s not possible with a plain photo camera and or paint and brushes. And this is what I am interested about digital art, this is where I think something new can be tried and it´s the area where I do my experimentations, even though in many of my works I will use one of the thousands of photos I took or use a pencil or brush to draw or paint something...
The creation process has nothing to do with science or technique, I am very often not able to reproduce an image once it´s ready, because I use the many possibiliites and mathematical calculations implicated in a computer software in a random way, where fate also has a saying in the final outcome.
Like photography in its beginning digital art is still seen and valued by many as a smaller or less important art, what´s your perspective?
As someone involved with art, I am also involved in the process of fighting against a production of subjectivity oriented by the capitalist form of valorization, which is spread by the mass midia and constitutes maybe the biggest problem of humanity nowadays. When I make an image, a video or write a text, I am worried if it will be helpful to create new forms of subjectivity, if it will create sensations, make people think, etc, not if I have mastered a technique or not or if what I am doing has this or that value to the market.
And how is this type of work seen in the art market?
There is a market for digital art and also specialized galleries like for example Lumas. Those works are sold for less than an original painting because they can be printed in series, and they are being sold worldwide through online galeries. Its also making art more accessible and democratic, as now emerging art markets are able to fullfill their demands for more affordable art, nontheless with good quality work.
Why an exposition in Hradec nad Moravici?
First of all because the city was so kind to invite me and let me show my work and ideias. Of course the long term relation of my family and ancestors with the city, the fact that my father was born there is also relevant ( the castle of Gratz was bought by prince Joseph Lichnowsky in 1788).
In 2009 while visting the city I went to the Vernisage of famous czech painter and photographer Jan Saudek, that was also happenning at the Mestska gallery in Hradec, and I liked very much the structure of the gallery and the environment and organization of the event, not to mention the modern and exquisite work of Jan, which surprised me. From this event and also with talks and email exchanges with Mr Karel Hannak (Mayor of Hradec) and Mr Martin Sosna (historian and chronicler), both active enthusiasts of the history and cultural legacy of the region, the idea matured.
What will you show in this exhibition?
The theme of this exposition its Identity and its loss. I am trying to show how at the same time that I am searching for my identity through many years of research and recent travels to Europe (2009, 2012), I had also to go through a process of loosing it, in order to find the means to become an artist. Its a paradox that might be difficult for some to understand but indispensable in the creation of the necessary conditions to not only be creative but most of all to be free from all forces that can stop a process and prevent expression from materializing in to objects.
I think it will also be interesting for the local visitor who knows the relation of the Lichnowsky family with the region (Silesia), to know how they live nowadays and what they think, since they left Europe in 1945.