Hubert Czerepok

Lux Aeterna
HD video, 29′, 2011

Lux Aeterna – this Latin expression means “eternal light” and, according to the theological interpretation, it is a metaphor of eternal life – salvation. Lux Aeterna is also the title of a composition by the English film score composer Clint Mansell, which is the leitmotif of Darren Aronofsky’s film Requiem for a Dream from 2000.
It is the piece that the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik was listening to during the massacre on the island of Utøya in Norway, where he shot 77 people. The film Lux Aeterna was created at the same time. It was then that Hubert Czerepok was producing his work in Norway, in the Lofoten archipelago.
The islands are a magical place, where rocky mountain ridges rise straight from water and the presence of humans means a constant struggle with nature.
The narrator of the film guides us through empty tunnels hollowed out in rocks, somewhere under the water. At first, we are listening to the words of Ted Kaczyński, the famous Unabomber, for whom technological development was an evil force that was leading mankind to enslavement. He believed that his mail bombs could slow down the progress of civilisation. The next tunnel resonates with Adolf Hitler’s words from Mein Kampf. Then, there is Thomas Jefferson, and later Breivik.
In the last part of the film, it is nature that plays the main role. We can see diggers which are striving to place nature under their command, rebellious rocks, then the rough sea, a fjord from a bird’s eye perspective with a shamanic song of the Yekuaná-Majonggóng tribe from north Amazonia in the background. The finale belongs to Kordian atop Mont Blanc: „(…) I am afraid to gaze into the dark abyss of the world.”
In this film, in front of our very eyes nature becomes an abstraction, a synonym of perfection. The monologues that accompany the images express the human dream of omnipotence. The artist indicates the points where rationality disappears. Tapping into the conventions of Nazi art (the film is modelled on the images from films by Leni Riefenstahl) or referring to romanticism (Kordian), Czerepok’s video hints at the moments when art was dominated by the tendency to render itself absolute. He presents a concept of art in which rationality transforms fluidly into irrationality. He questions the stability of the border between the two. When watching Lux Aeterna, we feel as if we found ourselves inside a madman’s head with whirling thoughts about the world’s imperfection.
Logical thinking becomes infected with magical thinking, and eternity appears as a world without gods. It is not a matter of coincidence that we are presenting this film in a sacred space – the New Synagogue.

Hubert Czerepok (b. 1973), lives and works in Poznań and Szczecin.
Hubert Czerepok draws, paints, creates objects, installations, videos, animations, found footage films. He creates multimedia projects and is active in the public space. One of the themes he deals with are the relations between fiction and historical truth, where it is not the facts themselves that are the most interesting for the artist, but the way in which they mutate and are subject to formal and semantic transformations.
For many years he has run artistic workshops for children and youth (at CCA Łaźnia in Gdańsk, Arsenał Gallery in Białystok, Cultural Centre of the Political Critique in Cieszyn), where he has dealt with themes related to the articulation of freedom, deconstruction of stereotypes. Graduate of the Antoni Kenar Visual Arts College in Zakopane and the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, where he studied in the studios of Izabela Gustowska and Jan Berdzyszak. In the artistic duo Magisters (alongside Zbyszek Rogalski) he created absurd photographs and films. In collaboration with Sebastian Mendez he produced the strategic game Survivors of The White Cube – simulation of the art world. With Steve Rushton he co-created the death-metal group Children of Sodom.
Since 2013, professor of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, where he runs the Experimental Film Studio at the Department of Painting and New Media. Between 2006 and 2013, assistant and later associate professor at the Studio of Video Art at the University of Arts in Poznań. In 2013, he received Habilitation in the field of fine arts at the University of Arts in Poznań, where he obtained his PhD diploma in 2010.
This year, he has presented his individual exhibition History and Utopia at the Labirynt Gallery in Lublin. In 2013, his show Future Is No Longer As It Used to Be was organised at the Polish Institute in Düsseldorf. The work Lux Aeterna, on display at Narrations, was presented in the Video Room of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. Participant in many important exhibitions of art in Poland and abroad. Awarded numerous scholarships.