MeetFactory, o. p. s.
Ke Sklárně 3213/15
150 00 Praha 5
13:00 do 20:00 + based on evening program
Tom Pazderka is an
interdisciplinary artist, painter, sculptor and writer. Half Czech and half American, he moved to the
US at the age of 12 shortly after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and lived in
a tiny studio basement apartment in New York City with his parents. Early experiences of double identity and
cultural confusion figure heavily in his work and show up as representations of
the multiple points of view through which his work can be read. He describes the early years of his new life
as integral to the way he sees the world today.
The split identity allowed him to read and understand things around him
from two very opposite sides. He says of these experiences: “Sometime in 2005
an immigrations officer administering my citizenship test asked me if I was
ever a communist, now or in the past. I
said no. But I always wondered what
would have happened if I said yes. He did not ask what else I might be. Was I a capitalist, a roman catholic, an
aristocrat? I was and am an artist, a Czech, a new American, an anarchist, a
pagan among other things. Up to that
point I felt that I was different from other legitimate Americans. I was an immigrant, my green card had big
letters on it that read Resident Alien.
Now I find myself thinking that what I am and what I was at the time of my
interview was only what I said I was.
Being an American now still sometimes feels that way, thought I could
say the same thing about being a Czech. Living for the past twenty years in this
country taught me that I am in reality both and neither at the same time and I
do not just mean by nationality. Whenever I start to think of myself as truly
American, my European self bubbles up to the surface. Conversely when I visit Europe
and the Czech Republic I find myself expecting and wanting many things to run
the same way they do in America. My work
can therefore be read as something that speaks to the American particularity
with a central European sensibility.”
Pazderka’s work encompasses a
wide range of disciplines and interests from painting and sculpture to writing
and performance. Reclaiming, burning,
and assembling objects, dumpster diving and social consciousness are some of
the ways that Tom engages through art with his audience. His most recent body
of work that was part of a solo exhibition titled “Twenty Years of Progress” is
a critical and sometimes ironic look at the two seemingly separate recent
histories of America and the Czech Republic through the filter of the Event.
Similarly, another of Pazderka’s exhibitions, “Apotheosis”, was a critique of
cultural ideology and the use of power. It
is an American “coming of age” visual story that expands beyond visual art and
explores history, science, occult and metaphysical studies, philosophy,
psychology, construction and architecture.
Pazderka uses fire as his primary painting and drawing medium. He employs various torches to burn images
into wooden and paper substrates.
Pazderka’s works have been exhibited at the the
Asheville Art Museum in NC, Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, Trafo Gallery
in Prague, Czech Republic, Pink Dog Creative and the Push Gallery in Asheville,
NC, and Upstairs Arstpace in Tryon, NC.
residence takes place in cooperation with Stacy Pazderka, who is a herbalist,
massage therapist, engaged with reiki and essences.