artist's statements and essays

Lumír Hladík – Ur-lesson


(Ur - German prefix meaning "original, primitive or old")

What drove me crazy once and what irritates me today

Excess of borders -

Excess of unpredictability -

Excessive amount of rational defense to justify irrationality

Excess of claims to immortality

Excessive occurrence of disrespect for death



What I was attracted to once and what fascinates me now...

Scope of uncertainty -

Scope of impenetrability

Scope of disorder (entropy) as a manifestation of pure divinity



As a child, I fell in love with marionette theaters and my biggest wish was to see what the marionettes are doing when not on stage. Conversely, I wanted to know what is the world up to, when I am not physically present - when I'm not THERE. I also realized that the real world is not any different from the marionette one, filled with obstinately interlocked and dovetailed backdrops and curtains: contexts in ranks - one after another, ad infinitum. And, I wanted to see beyond these contexts. I wanted to peek into areas I am routinely not able to grasp, areas that are unattainable by most. How does the triangular space underneath a carpet corner feel, when I'm away?



A little later, it dawned on me… I'm a puppet myself. I have no control over my doing, over my own thoughts, over the flow of existence. Hence my burning desire to influentiate the flow of things and time, to flip “fractal switches”. And, first and foremost, to find any. There, a stone lies in the forest ... for millions of years. I firmly believe that everything (each atom) has its destiny, be it a rock, a fruit fly, grains of sand or a toothpick. By turning over a stone, I poke the “Existential Matrix” and alter its space-time coordinates… its fate. But then, I am its fate and I am just as well finishing off what has been essentially pre-determined! Therefore, I walk the landscape and deliberately do not turn over stones. There, damn it, once again, I just fulfilled their fate in their deliberate not-turn-over-ness: curtains ad infinitum… the end is unfathomable. Nonetheless, I made some progress here. Agreed, the awareness, that pure reasoning and a deliberate execution of "no-execution" of an original intent is a pathetically miniature matter, and certainly ... I am totally powerless against the fractal flow of existence. BUT… on occasion, I may still intrude into the MATRIX ever so imperceptibly and drag some of those ephemeral switches, at least those on the edge of the edge, for a short moment, out of darkness.



I came to a conclusion, that by manipulating space-time, my thinking process and several layers of contexts, I am able to travel beyond Newtonian physics and beyond metaphysics into the realm of the ultimately uncharted and unexplored. In other words, it is possible to achieve, what used to be standard practice in fairy tales and was, with various degrees of success, attempted by alchemists and shamans.

During the 70’s I managed to flip several such “switches” and even (to use a quote from Pavlína Morganová), arranged "derailed situations." My tools: my body, special kind of thinking that can cut through space and time or, better yet, “space time”, through the Matrix. After some time, time caught up with me. I have the impending feeling that the current world is now derailed more than ever and excess entropy is catching up with my body.


For over thirty years I keep studying the Canadian UR-forest. Here in Canada, we call it BUSH, or thicket… a higgledy-piggledy tumultuous kerfuffle, wherever you look. The UR-forest is not only UR, (ancient, genuine), but first and foremost, diagonal. Trees at all angles, from young verticals to dead, occasionally almost invisible horizontals, as they blend with earth and eventually… become earth. Death and life, clenched in one single embrace and struggle: victories and defeats. Cradles and funeral parlors, nurseries and graves, where the wounded and moaning ones lean on the shoulders of those who managed to grow strong roots. All anatomy is laid bare, ugly and yet just as beautiful as the outstretched hand of an old man. There is no opinion, no style and no history, no remorse, no guilt or innocence, the Ur-forest’s disorder is purring like a lazy cat. Yet, in all this ultimate disorder reigns utter orderliness, for there is no error or doubt, there is a complete harmony, perfection and infallibility of destiny … trillions of stories hanging on a single thread. 

UR-forest taught me not only how to SEE but also how to ingurgitate time.

My tools are now THINGS and their stories, as they exist in time.


We imbue THINGS from the forest with meanings: we cannot help ourselves, for our thinking never goes silent.

Human things have meanings embodied: they have no choice, as their chatter never cease.

Things may be old, secondhand, unripe, rotten, old-fashioned, rare, worthless, irreplaceable, modern, reeking, unfashionable, personal, cheesy, silly, honest, valuable, unnecessary, unique, neglected, good … they contain opinions, attitudes, zeitgeists, all the wisdoms and foolishness, absurdity and importance. THINGS are whispering, screaming and accusing and lamenting … touched by thousands of hands, covered by scales and scratches; wrinkled, marked by whips and sunrays…

Everything speaks.

Everything is important and rare. The UR-forest elevated my spatial hearing and, contextual sense of smell to a new meme. And I see, that all what is irrelevant is substantial, and even the slightest change in the ORDER of things may have dire consequences.

translation of an article at, 2015






1976-1981 Fighting The Limits In Order Not To Win!

I was always disturbed by the notion of limits and boundaries.  It all began with physical restrictions:  my native country was a communist dictatorship. Consequently; I was not allowed to travel across the iron curtain. When I was 10-14 years old, my curiosity forced me to take mental trips instead. I read fiction and science fiction. I traveled America in Jack London's books, Siberia with Dersu Uzala, and the universe with Stanislaw Lem. I imagined, however, that I could eventually overcome this kind of limitation and see these places for myself. In many instances I did - after immigrating to Canada. As I grew older, however, I discovered the worst limitation of them all; my own mind. I sensed then, on an intuitive level, that we all live in a mental matrix, and that we gave into legacy imprints, that we are using our mind to interpret the world for us, but that we eventually forget that this machine exists. We trust it blindly. The machine can achieve incredible things, but it fails to share how it is done. It makes its own decisions, and lets us know later. I knew early on that I could make secret trips into the matrix, but only for a price; I learned from the Fairy tales. I realized, that I could enter the "13th" chamber, providing I would keep my eyes shut. The Little Mermaid's price; being able to dance but losing my voice.

Unimportance penetrates!

I realized that it might be easier to penetrate the secrets of our universe via mundane, unimportant, trivial things and events. Monuments will keep their big, monumental secrets forever; too much baggage, too much history, too much attention. So I decided to open, hopefully unnoticed, secret doors of secret chambers. Pretending that I don't care if I spot anything of importance. Big secrets cannot be reached through the brutal force of effort. Effort has bones, spikes and protrusions.  Effort won't slip through the safety net of contextual strainers.

Urworld dioramas; divinity in obscurity!

Fairy tales and their ambiguous sense of reality fascinated me as a child.  It was a truly pliable world offering unlimited adventures for the mind. Fairy tale forests also exposed me to the mysteries of caves and hollow trees. Later, thanks to science, antique anatomy books and personal experiences I discovered wombs and vaginas:  the big secret holders. Life is conceived in obscurity of cavities: inside of stars, cells, eggs, skulls, wombs and vaginas. Only when ready, and after all the divine alchemy is finished, we are expelled into the visible, outer world. Living things and their extensions, thoughts, don't develop in broad daylight and in front of gawking observers.

Devolution is evolution!

I discovered the beauty of dead old trees. I discovered entropy. In comparison, a dead human body's deterioration is rapid and it has no wisdom. Once dead, a human body has lost its secrets. An old tree's hollow interior is oozing, (invitingly), a cozy soothing death. It is full of tales. As the old trees fall apart and succumb to rotting and decay, they are opening up; revealing their internal organs and textures in an ongoing flow of revelations. They are peacefully enjoying their fate. They are respectful and are respected. As their wisdom is spreading and gaining strength, this "site" of entropy becomes a shrine. Here, aging is a beautiful event and its manifestations provide an infinite display of wisdom and insight. Their devolution turns into...evolution.