Combining a variety of genres such as live action, stop-motion animation and puppetry, Švankmajer employs various objects and self-invented mechanisms as actors in his films, receiving international acclaim for works that simultaneously shock and captivate the viewer.
Švankmajer’s artistic practice is extremely wide-ranging. Aside from his feature films and animations, he works with sculpture, graphic design, collage and “gestural poetry”. The artist uses both man-made and organic materials, such as animal skeletons, stones, fossils and dried plants, exploring the legacy of Surrealism wherein images from the subconscious reveal both the inner workings of the human mind and its social surroundings, uncovering the dark sides of our existence.
Curated by Yulia Aksenova, the exhibition at Garage reveals the rich diversity of Švankmajer’s practice. Together the works reference a Kunstkammer or cabinet of curiosities, which were first created during the period of geographic discoveries in the 16th century. Epitomizing the influx of new knowledge from non-Western civilizations, the Kunstkammer brought together objects that defied categorization, perceived as a theater of the world, where art and nature collide.