brno,-czech-republic

Rafani, Hluboko v nepřátelském území (Deep in the Enemy’s Territory) (detail), 2012, mixed media, sixty-four elements, dimensions variable.

Rafani

The Brno House of Arts

Rafani, Hluboko v nepřátelském území (Deep in the Enemy’s Territory) (detail), 2012, mixed media, sixty-four elements, dimensions variable.

A retrospective is typically understood as an affirmation of historical significance. Since the activities of the Czech-based Rafani collective date back only to the turn of the millennium, such an acknowledgment may seem premature. But their recent exhibition “Dech” (Breath), in which an archival overview played a significant role, reminded us that retrospection is one of the group’s hallmark strategies. Rafani’s almost compulsive need to continuously refer to its own past activities can be understood as a method of reexamining its shared identity; the interplay between Rafani’s status as a collective and the autonomy of each member, which they themselves describe by the motto “Our unity is a higher level of individuality,” has always been an integral part of the work they produce. Such tensions are explored, for example, in Cvičení (Exercise), 2012, a series of abstract images

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