BIRDS OF PARADISE
BARBORA ŠLAPETOVÁ and LUKÁŠ RITTSTEIN
The architecture is modular, mobile and on tour. Vehicles are not only about the transport of matter, but also about the transport of ideas. The Earth, the trees... and the birds were there. And stories are the most valuable thing that human beings on Earth have.
The bird of paradise is a symbol of purity and authenticity on our planet. It’s rare to even see one. The extraordinary colours of the birds of paradise invoke the dance of love that results in progenies. And children are the beginning of every life, every story, and therefore every painting. The bird of paradise has a great, long tail and, to attract a hen, they dance, which is why there is a statue of a cock downstairs in front of the house whose tail unfurls into an image that flies like wind or water through the house to the ceiling. It sweeps through the modular architecture from Earth to Heaven. A double-sided colour wave or tornado of love in the form of a painting, at times evoking the feeling of a creature, a whale or an airship carrying stories, stopped at the top of the ceiling by the hen, watching everything from the terrace. The stream of the shaped image, like a gushing energy, first wraps the viewer, then turns upwards to present itself as the tail of a bird of paradise or the neck of an upright cobra. Finally, it encircles the viewer in a vault of heaven to accompany him to the terrace with the hen.
The artwork is about the connection between the male and female worlds, as a sculpture with a painting, but also about the connection between the technical and the natural worlds. In spite of the fact that it naturally ensues from renaissance cathedrals, it deviates from the traditional cathedral form by making the double-sided walls fly. It takes inspiration from the forest cathedral, the lights of cities, and the perfume of colours.
In the installation for KOMA, the cathedral is in motion where the media are interconnected. It’s about the story of the world, about faith, about finding new paths, based on the stories we know so far. And it’s headed for the stars. Inspiration is also found in the myths of the world home of the birds of paradise – the Papuan.
The KOMA’s cathedral is about a mating call. The positioning of the two gentle guardians of the modular cathedral resembles a bird’s courtship because every day something new and useful is about to be born. It begins downstairs with the sculpture of a giant bird’s head connected to a Cadillac car levitating above the surface of the water, symbolizing an optimistic vision of the future of mankind, one that balances the living and the non-living world.
The tail of the bird breaks into the house and springs open like wings into the image of the young – babies. They symbolize the beginning of everything – life, time and stories. This is followed by the symbol of the Mother country in the form of the great three Graces, from which everything has arisen and which is the certainty of every being who comes into the world. Through the birth and icons of landscapes, hills and mountains in female images with the motifs of Moravian folk costumes, symbolizing the strength of local cultures from whose mosaic mankind is composed, we come to the big eye. The eye, with the reflection of the dance in its pupil, follows the movement throughout the house and is also about the fact that everything we see we subsequently keep with us throughout our lives. The Hunters, the Warriors, the Soldiers, who are the instruments of change and movement in the world, pass into the two positions of a double-sided image that blossoms out of them and flows like a waterfall from the top floors of the KOMA’s modular house. On the one side, the courageous carriers of the eyes i.e., of their experiences, desires and responsibilities, are in a dreamy position when they desire and dream. There they get up to the cosmic constructions of snake-women combined with bird of paradise hens, for whose sake they pull their weight and before whom they show off for ages. The lily of the valley rider of fate, whose hair and beard flutter in rapid motion, tries to escape into a dream that becomes his reality. On the other side – the main part of the waterfall image, the eye on the back of the big man turns into modules, symbolizing new shapes, new ideas and new thinking. Thus, in new beginnings, it is necessary to remember the first one – the Big One, when the universe was a small and thick. With the Big Bang, time as we know it began, and the story of our world began. In the middle of the Big Bang, the astronaut floats as the hope of new paths and new discoveries, no longer bounded by our planet Earth, but heading towards space. There are also metamorphoses, where beings acquire a new substance by transforming into animals. The myth of the flood of the world and the new movement due to knowledge is another motif above the Explosion of the beginning. After the flood, the vault of heaven appears with a modular sky in which the Angel of Hope flies in a phased motion towards the galaxy. The babies complete the whole allegory. Following the iconic theme of the Big Bang and separating from Earth with the future modules heading into the galaxy, they remind us that the mating call is the most basic and important human instinct, without which nothing would begin. Maybe we move in cycles, circles, and time is relative...