Petra Feriancova, An Order of Things II, 2013, Site specific Installation, Czech and Slovak Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Photo by Keizo Kioku

Alberto Torri
Jun 25, 2013 4:44PM

Petra Feriancová, An Order of Things I, II

Project in Venice is divided in two possible set-ups of my ownership. It refers to the material of different origin which outlasted many selections and clean-ups. The Archive.

Order of the Things, offset catalogue

Visual content of the archive is primarly organized in catalogues. Value of the images is not classified.Their size and order is a result of a coincidence, the same way as a clean-up in the warderobe.

Order of the Things II, Installation in Pavilion

Individual Installations serve also as educational tools. They represent a module form and they are thematically subject of key rules in architecture, in geometry or in classic type of exhibiting. A method of working with materials is based on principles of- quantitative presence of archived material in an exhibition area and on a principle of improvisation of selected displayed fragments that in fact become a pattern, an example.

Pigeons “Creator” (big wall)

In the second half of the pavilion there is a standing wall. On this wall there are 122 vintage photos installed, thus finally, for the first time a complete archive of Creator series. Creator is a subtle work about generation and appropriation, about the human need to manipulate nature, beauty and life. This archive belonged to my grandfather - ornithologist who, between 1948 and 1962 worked with other breeders from Eastern Europe and Russia on the creation of new species of pigeons. This collection of 122 original images is the result of their experiments and outcomes. Each image is the evidence of an improvement or a mistake, each one with annotated measurements, dates and comments on the developments of the tests.

Collapsed Domino, Large-sized analogue Photographs

Along the wall on the left side towards the corner of a leaning wall with the pigeons there is an installation of circa 51 pieces of framed large-sized (100x150cm) photos book-shelf or domino type organized, where the middle ones are the only standing still and the rest is leaning on it gradually rising (or falling). Only the last (or the first), by no means, the only photo can be perceived as a whole picture. What is important for me is to question a display organization or the way of reading or simply to question any existing system as such. The rest of the pictures which cannot be seen are still there creating a balance, the body of entire installation because we know they are there, they are present. The whole object seems little like a collapsed pillar (here I’m interested in a ruin as a symbol, a ruin where cattle re-grazes).


There are masks from my dad’s collection installed on the right side .These masks again mean something completely different to me than to the rest of the viewers, they mean to me an infantile safety of home. No matter how shocking, in my own intentions, I project them as a memory, so giving them a totally different meaning as most probably an audience does. Besides that, collecting masks is a unique passion itself like collecting coasters, beetles or mummies. An African mask is a typical souvenir and a touristic article, souvenirs (memories) are presented in the whole project. Because it is a family heritage, it represents a measurement of time with my relatives and loved ones and because it is my own, I have found it and re- edited.

Shells “According to Ruskin”

In the area close to the entrance above viewer’s heads, there is a glass table standing on four metal legs full of shells put on top of it (again using my dad’s shells collection). The shells are organized according to size from small ones to the biggest ones or grouped according to their sort, where we want to emphasize a wide range of differences within one repeating form. (even the most basic forms of animals that are perfectly symmetric as well as asymmetric, that are notorious architectonic or art models, even this repeating form has its own different individual varieties) referring to Ruskin’s passion for Byzantine influence on mediaeval Venice architecture, its repetitions, rhythm of shapes changing into ornaments etc.

Alberto Torri