“… It is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
Re-Construction and Re-Archiving
Editor’s note: The Meridian Crossings Meta-Symposium and the Entarctic Shelf Festival had the themes of a cosmological metaphor about the opposites of the elements of the North and South, Warm and Cold, Inside and Outside, The Seen and The Unseen, the virtual expedition to Nova Zembla in the age of subcontinental shift.
“The continental shelf is an underwater landmass which extends from a continent, resulting in an area of relatively shallow water”. In this context it is the threshold between the visible and (for the human eye) invisible. Meridians are virtual lines, connecting the North and South Pole, leading across the surface of the Earth. The distance between meridians increases, on the Equator it is 111,324 km; in Central Europe it is 71,556 kilometers and, quite logically, meridians cross only on the poles. The title “Entarctic Shelf” was a cryptic reference to “Art” and to occult hypotheses about the “hollow”, “flat” or “inner” land. It is supposed to be somewhere under the planet’s polar vertices — in the areas that were until recently totally inaccessible, mystical and unknown. The explorer Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957), a daredevil who in 1929 crossed in an airplane over the South Pole and later underwent four Antarctic expeditions — in a media interview and in a (fictive) 1947 published airline diary allegedly mentioned that “under the Antarctic there is a continent of the size of the US,” and that he from the airplane saw the base, built probably by the Nazis during the Second World War (or by aliens). The story was invented probably by the American writer Francis Amadeo Giannini, whose publication “The Worlds Beyond the Poles” (1956) is a similar amalgam of reality and phantasmagoria as was the encyclopedia of “Plutonia”, the “inner land,” or the underground empire of “Mundus Subterraenus” by Athanasius Kircher from 1665. The inspiration by the hermetic traditions and pataphysics was evident in the title, but in the essay SUBROSA on the hermetic traditions, the theory of the “hollow earth,” understood as a metaphor for the nonhuman, unknown and mysterious, was not mentioned. Some contextual information about this dadaistic idea can be found in the article linked here: Mundus Subterraneus.
The suggestion of the North-South orientation was an allusion to make shift from the prevailing West-East dichotomy. In 1994 i visited the exhibition_The Heart of Darkness_curated by Marianne Brouwer and Corinne Diserens in _Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo. _ And I remember it made great impact on me - works by artists as Choreh Feyzdjou, Sam Samore, Cai Guo Qiang, Gu Wenda, Vadim Zakharov, Roman Signer, Bruce Yonemoto, Christine Borland, Chris Marker, etc, Most names i don´t recall today. The exhibition was very uncanny and in a sense visionary as was the novel of Joseph Conrad, published in 1902. Later, in 1998 I visited the symposium "The Bridge - Construction in Process" in Melbourne, where I was invited by Thomas Richard. To be exposed there to different "post-colonial" and imperial layers of contemporary societies and cultures was hard and it revealed for me a lot of things, i was not able to understand and perceive before, including ideological constructions behind "contemporary art business". _
Miloš Vojtěchovský 2017
HERMIT V. – Metamedia Symposium
June–July 1995 Emauzy Monastery, Prague, 5. July 1995
Participants: Michael Delia, Anna Best, Ad van Buuren, Boris Bakal, Andrea Crociani & Loris Cecchinni, Jiří Černický, John Dickson, Jimmie Durham, Avraham Eilat, Michael Fernandes, Hama Goro, Aleš Hnízdil, Martin Janíček, Kaisu Koivisto, Tilman Küntzel, Athanasios Lagopoulos, Alaistar MacLennan, Christopher Mackeeman, Patrick Matthews, David Miller, Suzanne Miller & Alan Paivio, Gertude Moser Wagner, Alexander Moust, Arthur Renvick, John Reardon, Thomas Richard, Šárka Sedláčková, Anke Schulte-Steinberg, Silver/Petr Svárovský, Daniela Snepp Max Streicher, Jan Svoboda, Margita Titlová, Via Via Kathryn Walter, Martin Zet.
Entartic Shelf Festival
Plasy Monastery/Emauzy Monastery - Prague
June 23 – July 5, 1995
Participants: BMBcon, STEIM, (Ray Edgar & Luc Houtkamp & Richard Barett) Wiel Conen, Pavel Fajt, Erhard Hirt, Tim Hodgkinson, Martien Groeneveld & Luna, A.W.O.L., (Alex Ferguson & Kedrick James & John Sobol) Jim Meneses & Tim Hodgkinson, Martin Klapper & Raymond Strid, Christer Irgens Møller & Jindřich Biskup, Jiří Černický, Petr Nikl & Mehedaha, Stichting Antartica, Jacques M. van Poppel, Jo Truman & Amanda Stewart, Roi Vaara, Zbigniew Warpechovski, Zapomenutý orchestr/Orloj snivců, Daniela Zehnder & Calvin Jackson & Alexa Daniele Fiorni with Andres Bosshard Irena & Vojta Havlovi, Jim Meneses, Yvonne Christen /Jan Vágner, Scott MacLeod, Bob Dunlop
Three events in 1995 were prepared or organized outside of the symposium: Claudia Wissmann’s light installaton/performance “Night Falls-Light Falls”, the workshop of the students form the Academy of Fine Arts with Vladimír Kokolia, the international student workshop Walking with Ulay and Martin Zet’s solo exhibition “všeckomožný”.
The project was kindly supported and realized in cooperation with: Ministery of Culture of Czech Republic, Městský úřad Plasy, Pro Helvetia Ost West, The British Council, Canada Council for the Arts (Catherine Crowson), Prince Bernhard Fonds, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Het Mondrian Fonds, Stichting Gaudeamus, Studio STEIM Amsterdam, Památkový ústav Plzeň, Skraep Kopehagen, National Sculpture Factory Cork, United States Information Service Prague, The Swedish Institute, Muu Finland, C.U.B.A. Cultur Muster, Het Apollohuis, Soros Center for Contemporary Art Prague and Zagreb, The Black Market, Institut fur Auslandbeziehungen Stuttgart, FaVU Brno, Avik Studio (Pilsen), Rachot Production.
Organization: Centrum pro Metamedia Plasy.
Production: Hermit Foundation, Společnost přátel umění Plasy, (Miloš Vojtěchovský, Ivo Kornatovský, Martina Tomášková, Karel Sidorjak).
Photo documentation: Daniel Šperl, Daniela Snepp, Radovan Kodera, Avraham Eilat, David Miller.
Video documentation: Jenifer DeFelice a Daniela Snepp.
Technical support: Ivo Kornatovský, Zdeněk Žákovec, Petr Bukovský.
Special thanks: Iren Stehli, Jitka Altoe, Nicolas Collins, Gabriela Sojková, Magdaléna Sadílková, Karel Sidorjak, Jan Vágner, Yvonne Christen.
CD Meridian Crossing produced and distributed in cooperation with: Avik Studio (Pilsen), and Lowlands Distribution (Tom de Weerd).
Illustrations: Edward Lear, Athanasius Kircher.
English translation: Jo Williams.
Graphic design: Hedvika Moravcová
Prepress: Amonit Sharpei / Helena Chrastilová, Michal Kořán, Gekko 96.
Print: Tiskárna PRIMA, s.r.o.
Published by the Center for Metamedia Plasy, 1997 with the kind support Pro Helvetia Ost West.
Hermit Foundation, Klášter, 331 01 Plasy