Dear Blake

Dear Blake,
2. 11. – 30. 11. 2022
Opening: 1. 11. 2022 at 6 pm

UM Gallery, UMPRUM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1
Open: Mo - Sat, 10am – 6pm

Dear Blake

If we shine light into the darkest of corners, does that mean we can see and understand everything better? Would the glare blind us, and lead us to barbarism and regrettable mistakes? What about you, Blake? Are you happier when you know how things are? The UM Gallery will present Dear Blake, a project by Nikola Ivanov, a Ph.D. student at UMPRUM, which focuses on the colonization of nighttime.

A multi-channel video installation summarizing the author's doctoral research focuses on the ways in which modernity has transformed the understanding and experience of the night to the current state of 24/7 functioning. Here, Nikola Ivanov pays particular attention to tendencies that seek to eliminate darkness altogether.
He summarizes his artistic research in the form of a video installation and works with both original and archival materials. He is interested in historical perspectives on various levels - cultural, social, political, and philosophical. He is inspired by theorists and scholars who focus on similar topics. "The humanities and social sciences have had a great influence on me and I think that interdisciplinary collaboration with them can be very beneficial and inspiring," as the young artist highlights the positives of his research.

The exhibition Dear Blake, is also a continuation of the video Remain In the Dark, which focused on the concept of the night in pre-industrial society. The current project, however, leans more towards the present and looks at the issue over the last 200 years.
However, the author is not looking for a clear conclusion or a solution to the current situation and its consequences. He tries to map the topic comprehensively, to point out connections that may not be obvious at first glance, and at the same time to reflect on other problems associated with the Anthropocene.

"My project is about capturing the problem of modernity, which, whether in the name of scientific and technical progress or economic pragmatism, insensitively subjugates the laws of nature and life on planet Earth to such an extent that it is possible to consider abolishing something as commonplace as the alternation of day and night," Nikola Ivanov explains the aim of his interest.  

The exhibition can be visited at the UM Gallery until November 30th, 2022.


Artist: Nikola Ivanov
Curator: Vojtěch Märc
Research: Elena Golub, Anna Helfertová, and Václav Valtr.
Sound and music: Ian Mikyska
Translation and voiceover: Nathan Fields
Technical assistance: Rym Esseghaier 
Graphic design: Jan Novák
Installation: Jakub Chrenčík

Special thanks to: Galerie Luxfer, École supérieure des beaux-arts du Mans, Hermann Oberth Raumfahrt Museum, David Kořínek, Thibault Pierrisnard, and Natálie Preslová.