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"Thanks to the architecture and stage-design which I have been studying, it seems to me that space is almost a matter of course. It means not to perceive things torn out of space, but, on the contrary, always to try to see and to understand these things within a wider context. I try to render and to express chains of events in both spatial and semantic relationships. I look for things whichbelong to each other, to my family, to history, as well as to the present, i.e. which belong to humanspace and time."

D. Zamecnikova, 1995, from catalogue Form Light Glass,
American Craft Museum, New York, 1996

(The exhibition of Dana Zamecnikova)

Ever since people left Eden, settled on Earth and started to multiply, the mankind was facing the puzzling duality: the unity of the universe but also the differences between its components, mainly between people. We are equal, but we are not the same. We live different lives, have different interests, suffer different pains. Still our lives have many things in common: for instance the beginning and the end, the birth and death. And in between, we may feel pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, we can fall in love and be loved in return. But the pain and pleasure are only two sides of the same coin, the unity in duality.

Observing the art od Dana Zámečníková - the architect, painter and pedagogue - one cannot help seeing those contrasts: her pictures are expressing them through their composition, form and content - and several of them even by their dual names. Sometimes the contrast is more than obvious, like in Divided world of the man and woman. They both live together, but they are worlds apart. Once there was a unity between them, the liaison between a man and wife. Yes, they are still married, but estranged; they live in different worlds - partly by nature, but mostly by choice. Once she was a lovely bride and he was a loving groom, but their worlds somehow drifted apart.

The woman's world - how little we men know about it, how much we underestimate it! And yet, it is as much interesting, as much beautiful as the world of man, even more so. Different? Yes, by all means. Woman can place more importance on things she is sharing with her man: her family, her children, her home and things around, but also her happiness or sorrow, laughs or tears and yes, her love too. Her world is not upside down, it is just more feminine. And she wants to share it with her partner - every woman has a secret wish to turn him into a man of her dreams. But she seldom succeeds, sometimes it is more like a conversation with a fish. Their worlds are only partly overlapping and so the life of a woman is not easy. No wonder she dreams about better world: more beautiful, more romantic, more cordial. After all, those are the things women understand better than men do.

"All the world is a stage", said Bill Shakespeare and we are only actors on that glorified Theatrum Mundi. The artist knows it and so we can see ourselves in her pictures not the way we want to be, but the way we are - dressed in costumes, but naked underneath, with painted faces, but under those masks each of us has his own face.

Paintings on glass, created by Mrs. Zámečníková and exhibited in many places all around the world, are dynamic and inventive. Amazing, yes, but also agitating our thoughts. Who are we and why are we so different? Do we sincerely want to reach out to the other people worlds, those of our loved ones, our friends or even those of complete strangers? Do we have enough of sympathy, enough compassion? Can we look close enough or deep enough to recognize the beauty, which is sometimes only in the eyes of beholder?

© Jan B. Hurych
Hurontaria - Czech/English magazine

© 1999 Dana Zamecnikova, ArtForum / ICZ a.s.
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