The group of works further develops the classical theme of sculpture by emphasizing the subject and the memory of its body that once represented the subject. Disjunction of subject’s thinking ability from its corporeality (Descartes) opened the functional field for body emancipation. Despite the denial of this dichotomy (and adaptation to the ancient ideal of harmony of body and soul) in the new era, the corporeality is reduced to a self-dependent entity, as a fetish of the present time and the symbol of ephemeral perfection. In this context, I put emphasis on the present-day efforts to resuscitate the “cult of the body” and the way marketing and media forcibly promote the so-called Spartan myth of militancy and power, and most frequently, the archaic ideal of physical fitness permanently present in the phenomenon of bodybuilding. Control over the body through anatomo-politics (Foucault) is also related to its instrumentalization and possible utilization (or abuse) in military. There is a well-known military metaphor in which a team makes "one body and one spirit." These anatomical parts and the spirit of an individual represent a supplied "central nervous system value ", i.e. hierarchized structure leading from the bottom up to the headquarters. Mythology is catching us up here again. Any army-to-army combat can therefore be understood as a combat of two titanic bodies.
The theme of objectification of body as one of the major lines of the exhibition draws on previous works in which objects (e.g. military equipment) refer to the extinct body. In the light of ethically perceived materialistic concept, even these inanimate parts and instruments (e.g. weapons) that once used to constitute a body have their vital functions. Even the originally intended muscle mass gain used to have these properties. From the materialistic perspective, it was a combination of activated chemical reactions within an extraordinarily complex material mix, i.e. inside the human body. However, critics of materialist concepts warn about the dangerous confusion of people with objects.
Therefore, I intentionally use the strategy of transforming the body into a sign, represented by a vessel, e.g. a Greek-type amphora, which in turn serves to create a mannered allusion to body. It is to present the found (and rediscovered) and re-presented. Perpetual tension between objects and subjects, respectively, their role swaps have radically resulted in the military detection technologies identifying humans as mere target objects. The same applies to the current objects as specific instruments of cultural anthropology, which are adapted to a new kind of vigorous existence even without a body.
Radovan Čerevka, Košice 2020
Installation view: „Environment B“, 2020, various objects: helmet, grooving amphora, shards, 3 objects from vases, column, 3 throwing stars, expander, protein powders and fitness stimulants, etc., dimensions variable (Exhibition „Building a real body“, Kunsthalle Bratislava, 2020/21, photo: Jakub Hauskrecht)