The light-sound installation Echo (2017) by Marek Kvetan, despite having the typical features of his work, is not completely common in its context. From the famous interpretation of kitsch, cheap tinsel, nostalgic objects, DIY aesthetics, situational humor, bizarre encounters, criticism of consumption, and hoarding, he has gone to interpreting material objects of the ancient past. As a basis he used our ancestors’ objects, which he carefully transformed with the soul of a rag-and-bone man and a collector. These objects are chests from the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century. Ethnographers classify them as a specific type of ‘wedding boxes’, made by the father as part of the dowry and given to his daughter as the bride. They represent ceremonial objects of folk tradition with an important gender meaning.
From the choice of object and musical composition inspired by folk music, we feel nostalgia for authenticity, original crafts, classical materials, and tradition, alienated as we are by the digital age.
Kvetan revived the old with new technologies, locally demonstrated globally. A typical feature of his installations is artificial lighting with neon lights, fluorescent lamps, and LEDs. Kvetan is literally “obsessed” with light art. Echo refers to his older works – the lesser-known Archa (Arch) (2014) and the legendary Koberec (Carpet) (2008). In addition to a fairy-tale, mystical or even psychedelic experience, the installation recalls mysterious past contents and references the burial chest, the last box, and absent body. The musical part was created in collaboration with S. Stračin and J. Ďuriš.