Boris Dornbush: Driving your car at a speed of a horse

16. 4. 2013 - 19. 5. 2013

Opening: 16. 4. 2013

Curator: Michal Novotný

Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Holečkova 49, Praha 5


In the Czech language, we use the verb “to paint something” not just as the artistic activity, but also as an idiom expressing an often optimistic, unreal vision of reality. Unlike the English originated idiom to look at something with “rose-tinted glasses”, our idiom builds on an entirely independent version of itself, its representation, rather than on a real “seen through”, therefore still a perception.
The difference between rose-tinted glasses and painting can also be similar to the change like photography as a digital image. Photography is not being any more “taken”, but “made”.
The similarity which “rose coloured glasses” shares with the Czech “painting it” is however mainly the actual optimism. Unlike reality, fiction has to make sense. The simple reason for this is because fiction has to be, unlike reality in which existence is independent of us, perceived by someone. The brush, paint and canvas or the beautiful rose-tinted glasses will themselves, remaining only a reality, never fulfil their optimal potential. Someone has to, first of all, use them.

We may wonder whether Boris Dornbusch’s pictures have been “taken” or “made”, but it is in a first row and only us who can wonder about it. However the photographer arranged so elegantly the composition, the invisibly fast shutter speed has stopped this moment in time, and the postproduction added the impossibility and the unreal clearness. It is only we who are finally adding the emotions, stopping our body in front of the final picture.

Although we might not be so optimistic about the melting of Evian, Volvic, and Vittel ice cubes, or of that beautiful bird flying away, we must admit we somehow can’t help ourselves to look at them concerning events happening after the capture. Even if a change in the nature of photography to an image brought deep distance between the fact itself and its representation, the time shift remained crucial. The emotions of an event are linked to the memory of this event.

Any experience however long it may last will be at the end summed up to a few shots; those will be repeated in our head for eternity.


“I am barefoot and run like an Indian and I can look back and it’s still coming, I can see Toph in the distance, blond and perfect— It’s up there and rising, Jesus fucking Christ it’s small but then it stops up there, it slows and stops all the way up there at the very top, for a second blotting out the sun, and then its heart breaks and it falls— And it’s coming down and the sky is all white with the sun and the fris-bee’s white too but I can see the thing, I can see that fucker I can make it out and I can run under it I know where that fucking thing is, I will run under and outrun that fucker and be under it and will be there to watch it float so slowly down, spinning floating down I beat you motherfucker and I am there as it drifts down and into my hands, my hands spread out, thumbs as wings, because I am there, ready to
cradle it as it spins just for a second until it stops. I am there. I was there.”

Eggers, Dave. excerpt from “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.”


1 / 4