Adam Vackar "This Side of Paradise"

For his first solo show in Belgium and in Dauwens & Beernaert gallery, Adam Vackar chose the title This Side of Paradise by taking inspiration from a poem by Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887–1915) and from the twenty-fourth episode of the science fiction television series, Star Trek.

Finding himself immersed in happiness in Tahiti, Brooke wrote Tiare Tahiti as a love poem and a tribute to the exotic land. Vackar borrows one of the last verses of the poem and turns the feelings of joy into doubt, creating an exhibition that stages a questionable vision of paradise. His photographic series is comprised of two complementary collections: an assortment of artificial flowers combined with natural, wilting flowers, and an array of found objects that depict plastic trash bottles containing bouquets of wildflowers. He also presents an installation with shrink-wrapped tree branches and roots, portraying a kind of contemporary fossil as the wood suffocates beneath the plastic.

Adam Vackar’s other source of inspiration stemmed from Star Trek’s first episode “This Side of Paradise.” In the show, the ship’s crew arrives on a beautiful planet and becomes exposed to flowers expelling toxic spores. They are immediately transformed into peaceful, affectionate people that find themselves attached to the new paradise forever.

Vackar continuously critiques society by staging the growing tension between humanity and its relationship with nature. In his project for Dauwens & Beernaert gallery, he uses his intuition and artistic practice to question the status of post-industrial attitudes. Through sculptures and photographs, he stages a confrontation between materialist and non-material understanding of various aspects of ontology by using the incongruity of nature and artificiality.