Shock and Awesome
Krištof Kintera likes to make people nervous.
He installs spinning circular saws in gallery floors,
and rigs the plug at the end of an electric cord to
release 50,000 volts in short bursts.
Artworks that, just like your neighbor’s homemade flamethrower, scream “Stay away, don’t
touch!” and then, after the initial jolt of fear, turn
out to be super fun.
Photography courtesy of Krištof Kintera
The Czech artist’s latest cringe-inducing masterpiece, Do it yourself (after Brancusi), is a 23-foot
stack of cement bags that tilts dangerously to one
side, looming over spectators.
“Everybody has the intense feeling that this tall
tower is about to fall over,” Kintera says cheerfully.
“It could fall, but it won’t,” he adds, “and I won’t tell
you how it’s done.” Those looking for reassurance
should visit his website for the list of building materials. Here’s a hint: styrofoam.
Even his non-threatening works are subtly disturbing. Something electric, a coconut that bobbles
absurdly at the end of an extension cord, is hardly
dangerous, except perhaps to its creator, who built
it out of an eccentric motor and a BASIC Stamp
“I blew up many, many models while building
it,” Kintera confesses. What’s the point of such a
senseless appliance? He responds with a typical
artist’s riddle: “I like to use ready-made materials
the way other sculptors work with clay. They’re the
clay of everyday life.”
Despite all his provocative intentions, however,
Kintera is still a handyman at heart. “For me, when
a piece is finished, it loses its sense of tension
and adventure,” he says. “You can only experience
that thrill when you make it yourself.” Or when
daring your buddy to touch the sparking end of
that live wire.
>> Krištof Kintera Creations: kristofkintera.com