Michal Schmidt

Malum, 2008

 “Malum” thematically makes use of the Bible, more precisely of the fall of Adam and Eve. They ate of the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and were then punished by God, mortally and expelled from Eden. Everyone knows the story. The fact that the apple is recognized in cultural history as this mythical fruit is simply due to a translation error, because malus / malum in Latin means on the one hand bad, evil or an evil and on the other hand, one hardly believes it: apple.

It is sad
the world so cruel
and unfair
and nothing
what you could do
against it
he thought,
took knife
and fork
and cut
his five-minute steak
in bite-sized pieces.

Michal Schmidt, 2003

Surprised and reluctant, we begin to realize more and more that the bubble we live in, which we have comfortably and safely decorated with European moral values and walls, is leaking. Our truths are crumbling, insecurity and a paranoid fear are spreading. Climate change still seems too abstract for the majority of people, and its catastrophic consequences are hard to imagine. More concrete and simple is the fear of the stranger. The insight – that the social and environmental problems are homemade and correlative – comes hesitantly and the urgency to change our consumption behavior is postponed to tomorrow, leaving responsibility to others. Consequently, we close ourselves off. It is enough if the flow of money and goods remains boundless and free. The main thing, it stays as it is.

The painterly works and conceptual installations of Michal Schmidt, with their realism-oriented, figurative expressive imagery, consist of collage-like pieces of composition and deal with the wide range of human patterns of behavior. Everything is interlinked: time levels, perspectives, narratives; the homogenous is decomposed and the classical pictorial space increasingly dissolved. Sometimes the works are pointedly deliberately striking effect, elsewhere, a sensitive content irritates quite subtle.