David Helán (CZ)

The Czech visual artist and performer David Helán synthesizes two distinct influences in his practice: artistic performance and cabaret entertainment. His live actions hover between absurd theater with a reach into purely contemporary themes and serious questions. He creates a specific atmosphere of comedy, melancholy, and existential poetics imbued with objects and symbols of everyday life, which serve as practical instruments in his performances. Helán’s expression is infused with creative ease and playful ingenuity, both always underlining the inherently significant aspects of things. In his work, Helán is open to interaction and improvisation with any environment and audience.

David Helán studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and completed study stays at Cooper Union in New York and Middlesex University in London.

At JAMA 77, he will present the Slovak version of his performance A Letter You Will Always Remember, about which he writes: “The author will handle the haptically treated literary material in a performative way, touch the sound medium, and imaginatively weave the mental fabric with textually framed material in a way that only I can do. Between the forms of video, installation, and a live recording of the event’s detail, a poetic reconstruction of the brain’s poetic interpretation of the presented reality will be built from the ground up. The performer will narrate through a complicated story with a banal plot, to the viewer – denied, may there be access on-site, with a flashlight.”