Helena Antonín Pešta: I’m Your Mother
We open Daniel Pešta’s show by celebrating the International Women’s Day. This time, Pešta exhibits under the double pseudonym of his feminine and masculine alter ego, which he derived from his parents’ first names: Helena Antonín Pešta. It is the third exhibition of the gallery’s house artists. We will showcase the artist’s newest work: paintings, photography, objects, assemblages and video art. Staying true to himself, the author unifies different media with one theme: the search of identity and determination.
Who is who?
Which view is the right one? The one of a woman or a man?
Is the existence of third sex acceptable?
Is the exhibition’s author a woman or a man?
And what about the curator / ess?
Determination is the author’s principal theme. What is it like to born a woman? What is it like to be born a man? What is it like to be born and be unsure of your orientation? Or your sex? Your home? Your nationality? Your identity?
Can you tell by looking at one’s work whether the author is a woman or a man?
Where is the difference?
And is important at all?
On one side, Antonín’s masculine self analyzes the female through a man’s viewpoint and addresses motives such as intimacy, wedding, birth, motherhood, the position of a woman in a partnership and society but also destabilization of manhood by female emancipation, feeling of helplessness and loss of self-confidence and “traditional” identity in a time when women are gaining their sense of self value. On the other side, similar questions are addressed by the author’s feminine self – Helena. Seen through these eyes though, the woman’s life gets significantly more complicated. In it, it’s often about sacrificing one’s dreams, desires, joys, ambitions; scarifying oneself for the ones close by – frequently to the point of resignation of one’s own self. While at this point and age, this maybe happens less, who actually sets the borderline between inner happiness, necessity and self-sacrifice? Womanhood and motherhood give life a dimension. The mystery of giving life is a woman’s privilege which many men are happy to give up. Or they silently envy. Some stand speechless over this miracle.
The International Women’s Day – the day we open this exhibition – and its controversial reputation are symptomatic of the subject.
How many men do the work and try to put themselves in a woman’s shoes?
Female world is often incomprehensible for men and vice versa. Men and women use different weapons. Women use often their fragility. They defend themselves by their ability to regenerate. They’re fragile yet they can withstand so much! How do they do it? And then there are the emancipated women! They bring out fear in some men! In some men, woman power provokes resentment, even aggression...
Why fight? Man and woman are one. Together, they create the miracle of life. And love is all one human being needs. Regardless whether a woman, a man or any other gender.
Xavier Otto Nadia Rovder, Prague, March 2019