Viktor Karlík

The first street lamp sculpture I have realized is from 1991. It then became part of The Album. Several other designs for the Monument to the lamps have followed, a monument which is conceived for an installation in the public space.

I have been working with the motif of the streetlamp for more than a decade. It has penetrated all the materials I use to express myself—from paper to iron.
It is a given that the streetlamp belongs to the city. Every streetlamp is rooted in its place with wires, it has a sort of body, and its head shines at man’s command. As the sun sets, the light of the streetlamp rises.
A flight over a night city provides the chance to see a myriad points of light. From this perspective lamps along the streets create patterns of lines. A hill strung with paths can be beautiful as the lights shining from the lit up routes form irregular patterns. It creates a fundamental basis of composition that can be enjoyed when gazing at the stars, or when change scatters on the ground.
The spot where the lamp will shine is set by professionals. There certainly exist norms on their intensity and placement. The lamp has its own historical and aesthetic development—from flame to incandescent bulbs. The lamps’ unifying element is their immovability: They are firmly anchored to the earth. This, connected to the fact that they enables others, us, to move, made me bend or change the necks of some of my lamps. Someone sitting or standing follows movement around him by moving his eyes and neck. I empathized with the streetlamp, and began to project myself into it. As a lamp, I would yearn to shine beyond the spot the engineer had set for me.
Sentenced to spread light. Only a powerful wind might sometimes rock an especially long lamp.
Over the centuries, monuments are built as memorials or tributes to figures and events important to that culture. For years my idea has been to build a monument to the Night Lights of the City.
The streetlamp is the queen of the city’s public furniture. Without her light, chaos would strike the night city.

(in: Viktor Karlík, The City Lights, Prague 2010, p. 20)

Viktor Karlík
Pocta nočním světlům města (pomník), 2007 bronz V. 102
Homage to Night City Lights (monument), bronze, H. 102
Viktor Karlík
Night Lights, 2007-2008, bronz, V. 204
bronze, H. 204
Viktor Karlík
Padlá lampa (návrh pomníku), 2005-2011, patinovaná sádra, 38 x 49
Fallen Lamp (monument design), patinated plaster
Viktor Karlík Viktor Karlík Viktor Karlík Viktor Karlík