Pavel Korbička


METAPHORS. Miroslava Hajek, Novara 2022

Pavel Korbička’s intention is to draw the viewer’s attention to the visual freedom that can be exercised in any historical context, just as we can use history as a guide for our future.
A metaphor creates something that does not exist from elements that do exist; similarly, a neon tube can become a light feature that we can consider from a tangible and relevant point of view. A metaphor is a product of thought, not of language, because it is thought that has a metaphorical nature. This insight has been transformed into light that spreads out over objects, modulating its intensity depending on the properties of the surface and its variations, revealing the three-dimensionality of the objects themselves, giving them definition and contours of their shapes, and giving rhythm and color to the space involved.
The colored lights of the neon tubes emphasize elements of architecture and transform them by redefining their meaning; this does not simply end with a multiplicity of rules, but actually shifts the subject of subjective space into a situation where this new meaning is synchronically affirmed and rejected. The duration of this internal interference occurs determines the timing of this resignification. This occurs whenever the basic structure becomes over-objectified. The linear quality of neon allows Korbička to draw in space with light and color, while the scattering of light allows his works to operate in different spatial planes. Viewers thus not only perceive the sketches drawn by neon lights, but also find themselves in the halo of their own reflection.
Galen posited a theory of the existence of “illuminated air” that comes out of the brain, flows along the optic nerve and retina, leaves the pupil, and then interacts with external light. This interaction evokes sensations that subsequently enter the eye, stimulate the lens, and create images that are ultimately transmitted through the retina to the brain. This explanation is analogous to Plato's theory of “visual fire” emitted by the eye in combination with the “daily fire” present in the external environment; Galen’s theory, however, was is supported by specific references and a real attempt to adapt the theory to the anatomy of the eye.
What is unique and always new about this artist’s work is that every work is a signpost on the path to crossing the boundaries of space and time, to opening a gateway to the universe, the existence of which we can only assume.
The conquest of new spatial dimensions becomes a sign of expansion, widening its environmental effect by becoming representative and changing into light sculptures that are freed from any defined materiality and transformed into an intangible metaphor in constant flux.
In doing so, Korbička offers the viewer the opportunity to evoke and even create cultural-historical references, as well as and new dimensions that correspondingly must also be newly defined.

The unmistakability of this world lies in the precise physical and technical functionality with which Pavel Korbička stages his light sculptures and installs them in a given space.
The whole environment is structured; at the same time, each element is also a whole, more than just the sum of its parts. In a complete analysis of the whole, we must still assume the existence of something that is beyond the perceived. Parts of a whole differ in their functions in relation to the whole, and differ from one another. New values develop, and the elements are regrouped in shared exchange. The new value depends on the internal nature of the work; it is created and develops effectively according to the “project.” Each element has a certain degree of “inner freedom” that increases with the positioning of the ensemble and the ensemble’s placement in the environment, changing from inorganic to spiritual. Despite the ephemeral glow, the works are anchored in material reality via the omnipresent organizing principles of proportion and balance.
In the constant regeneration of perception and deep spatial recombination, Korbička’s works offer a world of experiential simultaneity. They evoke the latent possibility of infinite and suggestive spaces and they trigger a temporary interruption of the “real” experience, which is disorienting yet uplifting at the same time.

The light installations by Pavel Korbička serve as physical manifestations of being part of this special world, and visually document an existence that includes fragmentary and multiple perspectives that are simultaneously illuminated from the outside and the inside. Yet on the other hand, the solution to the question of mixing different means of expression and of transcending the concept of sculpture in the interplay of contrast between light and shadow is a quest the author has long set for himself.
The changing reflections of viewers’ shadows and the surrounding space activate new images, while the voluminously scattered colorful neon light with encourages the viewer to reevaluate a supposedly familiar and banal reality.
Light is generally perceived only as a means of illuminating an object one way or another, and not as a subject of evaluation. However, the inclusion of Silvia Morandi’s performance with a colored, moving neon tube in Korbička’s exhibition-installation examines the size of the human body exposed to sensory changes. At the boundary of the physical perception of space and the intangible evocation of light, the performer adheres to the three-dimensionality of objects and architecture. Just like these elements, the artist’s body reveals its sculptural character, and adopts a dynamic sensitivity to color, light, and darkness.
In an attempt to resolve the issue of a physical relationship to the work of Pavel Korbička, Silvia Morandi appeared as a silhouette framed in the doorway, taking her first steps into a dimensionless darkness while carrying a thin red neon light, creating transient light patterns in space.
The performance activated the psychology of perception and explored light as an object having volume, an entity that moves with the performer through movements approaching dance. Light and motion combine into choreographies of shapes and colors, rendering the environment pliable. This results in the creation of a new vision, a new point of attraction, during which Korbička becomes able to examine the polarity of amplification and subtraction, movement and rest, presence and transfiguration. Works containing social and organic references that may remind us of the glow along a highway or the way the moonlight hits the water surface command and inspire a respect traditionally reserved for religious experience.
The ultimate value of Korbička’s neon works lies not in the fact that he was among the first to apply this medium, but in the way he uses it: inventively, with a sense of finesse and precision, and with a deeply structural sense of the relationship of each work to multifaceted space, the Cartesian Plane, or indeed both. His art represents the transcending of boundaries between true and imaginary reality, between languages and other means of expression, between the platonic world of ideas and its human artistic representations.