Daniel Pešta

Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Osnabrück 17/9/2011 – 27/11/2011

Between 17. 9. 2011 and 27. 11. 2011 the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus / Museum of Modern Art Osnabrück will be presenting an authorial exhibition by the Czech artist Daniel Pešta. His works will be displayed in the historical part of the museum as well as in the new premises opened this year, which were designed by the American architect Daniel Libeskind.

The Daniel Pešta – Levitation exhibition encompasses a wide range of the author’s interpretative means – from paintings, through spatial and suspended objects, on to videoart and conceptual creations. Pešta has prepared this creative project for the Felix Nussbaum Museum in which he enters into a dialogue, not only with the person of the Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum, to whose memory the museum is dedicated, but also with the architect Daniel Libeskind. Thus a kind of a “three-way dialogue“ is being generated in which all three authors touch on similar themes, albeit each in his own particular language.

Felix Nussbaum and Daniel Pešta both pose similar questions on the collective conscience, injustice, crime or the abuse of power. They both point out to the nationalistic disposition in society, the ever-present threat of totalitarian trends in some present-day ideologies. Pešta also hints at the problematic misuse of current scientific discoveries, for instance in the matter of genetic manipulation. A further aspect of the author’s work is the place of the individual in the new multi-cultural information system (chaos) and his integration into the global computerised society (isololation), even in some cases the eventual ascendancy of technology over the human entity or else a loss of control over it. This results in a succession of alterations affecting our search for a meaning in life, such as the fundamental transformation of a traditional Western religious society into the first atheist society. These are all great themes for the future and as for their resolution we stand at the very outset.

Pešta is, however, also entering into a dialogue with Nussbaum in a rather satirical manner, counterbalanced by the polarisation of both authors’ creative work, for example the two historical animations of photographs dating from the pre-war civilian life of Felix Nussbaum. The author has paid particular tribute to Felix Nussbaum with three sizeable pictures (Angel for Felix Nussbaum, Piety and Meat) and a spatial installation of embossed faces – face masks under the title of Levitation.

As is typical of this author, the entire creative concept is rigorously designed in advance for the given space, so that it merges with its genius loci in the most natural manner, in this case with Daniel Libeskind’s architecture. For the Vertical Gallery, which is part of the museum’s entrance area, Pešta has created a self-contained concept.

The front elevation of this historic building will be taken up by the author’s neon work emanating from the constituents of the façade, which should be the link connecting the old and the new aspects of the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus Museum.

Project is supported by city of Prague.




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