Glass paintings | documentary

Statement of the director

The impulse that have lead us to this attempt (a film, film essay) was a meeting with Palo Macho at the occasion of opening of his exhibition, and the time we spent with him afterwards. It was an encounter of his paintings with talks about them and with the world around. And our project intends to unfold further on as a continuation of this meeting, but in a wider, and more precise sense.

In this film, Macho – the artist, is going to be my partner. A character that has had his own, individual way of perceiving the environment where our spiritual and material lives take place. It is the way how he reaches the particular expression, the obviousness and the intensity of his paintings, the width of the objectivisiation that I´ve, personally found interesting in his work. It was their simple order that have caught my attention. And it made me think and realise that my idea of how to treat film and my motivations and reasons for it, are very similar to those of Macho´s. And i thought it would be worthwhile to present a film about his glass paintings and mediate them to a wider circle of people, so that they could see that Macho´s glass version of the world we live in, is not all so allien to us. It´s the insistence and the richness charmed into this shining transparent material which, i have to say, is not any more special than celluloid. Its parallel, the hidden, contrasting image, will be cofronted hereby with a flow of changing motion pictures. And those are not to be further perceived as equivalent to one another. It´s just a flowing form of something multiplied, of something that has been surrounding Macho´s paintings, something that precedes them and something that results from them. But, however, the form is not something coincidental. Within the limitations and possibilties of the director of photography and myself – we´ve tried to portray the appearance of those paintings as something very exact, vibrant and justifiable.

The moving pictures are not supposed to illustrate the glass ones, just as the glass ones are not supposed to illustrate the image of the outside world. Their interconnection doesn´t lay in their likeness or familiarity. They are not alike in time and space, but they come from the same source and head towards the same goal, the same virtual point which we are not sure of and we don´t even probably want to be sure about whether it exists somewhere out in the centre of the universe or only in the spacious human mind.

To be more precise, Macho first prepares his bases. Amorphous and technically smooth glass surface which he initially processes by putting it into a layered corrugated plaster bed at the bottom of an oven and then uses a high temperature heat over the surface – relief that has already been exposed to synthesis of coincidence and an intention and is thus ready to adopt the painting. Then, step by step he interconnects the colours and movements, its edges and its frame and the silence (empty surfaces) with its own unique and fetching unfinished beauty. Through this process, a unique record of elements of chaos on one hand and a scheme on the other, emerges. That´s what is called ´creation´. And it is the part of creation, that appears at the surface of space or of a planet, corrugated by a strange mixture of coincidence and creative will. It melts together materia and energy and finishes the creation by the smoothest movements of a tiny brush, that is continuously correcting and defining pulses of desire, of fear, love, of the need for knowledge. Maybe that´s how God created man in his own image.

The important role is played by the phenomenon of time here. Events liberated from the continuous process leading either to destruction or to rebirth, Macho imprints into glass. They last in that glass and in a very loose pace they fall apart within it, because the glass moulders extraordinarily slowly. Bathed in metamorphosis of light Macho´s paintings offer his illusion, and then also other blurred images - fragments, lightnings, and reflections of those lightnings, subtle twin paintings.

So what was it like when the universe was born, or is it being born still, that´s altogether another mystery. The Big Bang surely appeared billion years ago – but what if it hasn´t finished yet and the time, invented just like some sort of a medicine for madness or desperation of human beings – is a mere tool for us, and there is actually no difference between „billion years ago“ and „in billion years“. There´s no difference between the beginning and the end and everything is being united in this complicated moment of „now“. Film is a simple and very tangible toy. It handles this dilemma within its own limitations and posssibilties. The territory – the relief where the footprints of human perception have been imprinted is being covered by layers of reflections of things. It lays one over another and one next to each other, relying entirely on their permanent transparency, through which they can exist interconnected. It has an ability to portray them within time which is a component of motion. Film depicts time but at the same time it cancels it, it extracts the time of beings from the time of the world and it captures it as some sort of a perpetuum mobile – outside of creation and destruction, outside birth and death. Film captures time as Macho does within his glass works. In a film, doubled, or trippled the time can tick along parallely. Film can make time go faster, it can slow it down and even stop it. (But film and even the digital record of image, will fall apart one day, just as the eternity, however we want to understand the word, will fall apart, eventually).

This previous explanation might lead to a conclusion that our movie has philosophical ambitions. Yes, it does, but that´s not the point. The point is that it is more of an attempt or a bases for a simple, in a certain sense almost naive, direct introspection into the creative work of an artist, within the context of the flow of images of city and nature, thus, the world this painter, his creativity and his freedom come from, where he has been existing.

To be more comprehensible, we´ve attempted to show a new perspective of his paintings as well of the trees, water, fire or a street, through which we wanted to uncover the structures, the inner order, resulting from the obviousness of their likness within their differentness. And that is precisely what makes these things to shine and glitter in the enoromous fair of things, ideas and thoughts, from which we draw the amazement, observing life.


Written and directed by
Meir Lubor Dohnal
Richard Krivda
Edited by
Peter Kordáč
Marko Škop, Ján Meliš
Palo Macho
Documentary film
Digital Betacam
26 min.