motus animi caecus
installation / 2009

with Anders Grønlien

For the European Heritage Days in September 2009, GASK (Central Bohemia Gallery) inaugurated its newly restored space at the former Jesuit College in Kutna Hora. This institution themed the event around the Horror genre and asked us to make an installation in the monastery’s former dormitory, a series of eight rooms along a central corridor. In order to prepare the installation, we lived for ten days and nights in the huge monastery alone with the night guard in its endless corridors.
We decided to turn the dormitory into a corridor to Hell, transforming each room and making each progress closer to darkness. We covered the windows with opaque paper and filled the space with smoke. Because the town of Kutna Hora was one of the biggest silver mines in Europe, as well as an important pilgrim destination in the Middle Ages, we offered the audience the option of wearing a miner’s helmet equipped with lighting to walk along the corridor and interact with the space as it became illuminated.
We sought to exorcise the newly renovated building by bringing inside some material from its former ruins that were found in the courtyard, such as dried wood and branches, stones, soil and dead leaves.
In the final room, we built a huge black altar mounted with a photo banner that depicted the GASK director and the show’s curator in a mise-en-scène inspired by Herrmann Schmidt’s baroque ceiling paintings in the Jesuit College’s refectory. As the viewer approached the last room, the sound-atmosphere of someone digging at stones and a mysterious monk chant, performed by the artists, played in the background.

Smoke, lighting, helmets, wood, opaque paper, sound, c-print

GASK, Jesuit College,
Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Click on the image to see photos of the installation