Magdalena Jetelová: Pacific Ring of Fire From new additions of GHMP 1. 1. 2020 – 29. 3. 2020
The current series by Magdalena Jetelová – Pacific Ring of Fire (2018) – revisits the theme of her series Iceland Project (1992), in which she mapped out the boundary of divergent tectonic plates with the glowing line of a laser beam, and Atlantic Wall (1995), exploring the defense line of the Wehrmacht bunkers from the Second World War. From the beginning, borders have been one of the greatest sources of inspiration for Jetelová.
This is related not only to her personal history, when upon her emigration the Iron Curtain shut behind her and she could no longer return home, but also to her continuing interest in research in the natural sciences and astronomy, where the established stereotypes are commonly reexamined, crossing the boundaries between disciplines. In her actions and installations Jetelová often works with natural substances such as water, fire, smoke or soot. Through them, employing their rugged nature, she tries to interpret important natural patterns and phenomena. Some of her projects can be seen only thanks to the satellite monitoring, such as Songline (1998) in the Australian desert, within which she installed luminous points along the 75th parallel south. With the development of technical possibilities, Jetelová has slowly progressed to even more sophisticated projects using laser projection in areas of key importance for her, concerning not only borders between individual states, but also boundaries between large continental tectonic plates that form the solid part of the Earth’s surface. By so doing, the artist wants to point out, among other things, that the current situation requires turning our attention to a number of global problems and that it is necessary to see and act far beyond the national borders. In geology, the Earth’s tectonic plates are described as free-floating pieces, moving at a speed of 10–15 cm per year. Therefore, the data in Magdalena Jetelová’s photographic images are unique and applicable only at the moment when she clicked the camera shutter between low and high tides in distant Patagonia. The power of photographs taken under harsh conditions in the inhospitable corner of South America is multiplied by their perfect technical execution and presentation in dimly illuminated large-format light boxes, which make the viewers feel almost an authentic participant in the expedition.
Both works were purchased by Prague City Gallery in 2019.