One sometimes thinks that one has seen everything, that one can categorize all things in their proper place. Nevertheless, one’s memories often fail to connect correctly with “objective” information, and the question is what to be guided by in such a case. I remember Patricie (born 1975 in Jihlava) and her work in a double context. On the one hand, her Discus Throwers and discs in general come to mind, whether in the form of the irises of eyes or in the context of “variable” paintings. On the other hand, I recall how at one Brno exhibition opening she tapped me on the chest with a beer glass and accompanied this with some remark that I no longer recollect. Both of these things somehow made an impression on me; it seemed to me comprehensible, lucid or engaging. Nevertheless, when I submerged myself more deeply in her work, it was as if the scales fell from my eyes. Without the crutch of the Internet, I did not immediately connect with Patricie in my memory the great number of paintings and works executed in other media, even though I knew them well and could remember them visually. I could not, however, recall the name of the artist. This took me aback – I am not usually so forgetful. Is there some explanation for this mystery of the “loss of the artist”? After a careful examination of some of the works, the following explanation presented itself: Patricie works live their own life as a legend of a kind, as some sort of cult “masterpieces” (To Bill, Doublesunrise etc.), which are so compact and self-sufficientin meaning that they do not require, or even suppress, the continuity of the artist’s individuality. Let me try to express myself more clearly: each of Patricia’s works or series is a completed whole that is comprehensible in and of itself; it has a clear meaning or message; it does not refer to something outside of itself, i.e., as is usually the case, to some artist’s style, which we witness even in purely conceptual work. Patricie’s works contain and do not contain a signature; they contain and do not contain “obsessive” themes and motifs. Compact discs came to my mind first, probably because they are most memorable in her work in terms of both motif and form. On the other hand, they represent a certain metaphor for her approach: the works are compact, closed, circumscribed or enclosed within themselves, while the creation is divergent and does not consist of mere self-observation and some sort of bulk signature, which is so common. The artist and her cult are concealed behind the mirror surface of the work, through which they gaze at us with an expansive, yet invisible eye.
PATRICIE FEXOVÁ, To Bill, 1998, 185×250 cm, acrylic, canvas, photo: archive of the artist.