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Shattered Epistemologist

Shattered Epistemologist


The piece is focus on semantic properties of “truth” and alternately “post-truth”, in the context of today's information smog and media manipulation.The video features the dancer Meïmouna Coffi, and her choreography inspired by gesture-based technology.

Year of creation: 2017


Starring: Meïmouna Coffi
Camera: Michal Blecha
Music: Kryštof Pešek
Thanks to: Anna Jäger, Aleks Slota


More info

The work The Shattered Epistemologist (2017) in many ways continues in the line of thought explored by the protagonist of Night of the Hunter. It might even be the same person, although The Shattered Epistemologist is not a monologue but a dialogue. In The Shattered Epistemologist, Žák collaborates with the charismatic Berlin-based German-Beninese dancer Meïmouna Coffi. Working with a script by Žák, Coff has created an improvised dance choreography based, among other things, on the physical gestures we use when we operate digital equipment. The video – a collage of dance sequences and blurry, abstract footage – is a visual-poetic metaphor, an artistic incarnation of a vital and universally shared idea. But one thing that never changes in Žák’s videos, old as well as new, is his use of subjective verbal and text-based commentary consisting of citations and metaphors that place the fictitious situations within a real and specific context. With its many citations, The Shattered Epistemologist refers to the current debate surrounding “post-truth,” a term whose usage increased by more than 2000% last year, earning it the title of Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year. Although this purposeful relativization and manipulation of facts has existed, especially in the realm of politics, for several decades (and in some ways, forever), the recent spread of the internet and social networks has made it an increasingly more noticeable trend. At the same time, the subjectivization of media sources has made it easier to take advantage of their emotional potential. (Edith Jeřábková)


Shattered Epistemologist, Prague City Gallery


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