Umělec magazine 2008/2 >> Stella Maris List of all editions.
Stella Maris
Umělec magazine
Year 2008, 2
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

Stella Maris

Umělec magazine 2008/2


KW | art project | en cs de es

I first met Vera at a party. We went to another room to escape from the noise. It was dark, lit up only by a window, a shining valley of streets in the depths below it. We sat down close to that window, above the abyss, and there Vera told me about captain J. and the boat Stella Maris, about the shipwreck and the captain’s wife Timela, about the
addictive desire for beauty, harmony and freedom for all, about the treacherous comfort of instant chemical karma.

Only he, himself, knows what he has achieved. That’s what I think, Vera said emphatically. She continued, after
a pause, with a sad but calm smile: What he didn’t do, though, is draw a comic strip, that he promised me once for my birthday, about a man who fights the waves with all his might. He survives, but loses consciousness from exhaustion and stays on the wet sand. When he comes to, he starts to get ready for the journey inland, looking forward to seeing people, as soon as he gains some strength back. After hours, or days, or weeks of hesitating on the shore, he goes back into the sea and in deeper water dives under the first big wave. (I found a sketch only for the first picture.)

It was clear that his Stella would sink sooner or later. It just couldn’t go on like this any longer. The captain put an old picture on the cover of a ship logbook – a boat representing Stella. It looks gigantic, and the small black steamers are darting away from it in all directions. He couldn’t think of better symbolism. The more the captain wished to be accepted, understood, the more he became a burden to normal live, and life to him. Even his best friends finally had enough. He wanted for the best, but did that which was worst – that was the way he felt.

His wife Timela is still in shock, still hung up about it, doing desperate things (even a canister full of different chemicals, which she found behind the ropes on the sailboat that they bought together, did not help her understand it and sober up). I feel like screaming “Stop it!” at her. I think she hurts herself most when she sails out to the sea at night in their sailboat, to the place where it happened. She says she is keeping watch in the dark, under-deck, pressing her face against the boat’s thin hull. The captain used to call those who drowned “definitive seafood”. She imagines herself lying helplessly at the bottom of the sea, pressed down by the weight of the water, waiting for the first fish.
She painfully remembers how he drowned, all alone. There is one image stuck in her mind – he was just a few meters below the surface, hanging in the radiant water, neither heavy nor light. His face had such a calm and peaceful expression, which she hasn’t seen for years. At that moment, he looked like the object of his own desire.
(Everything on his work table was there as he left it – favorite toys, medicine balls, empty sheath from a scuba knife, which she gave him for his birthday, and the ship logbook cover. She added the picture of the shipwreck that was in all the papers.)

She keeps going back to what the rescue crew told her: They saw him soon after he showed up on the sonar, on the screen he looked like an Etruscan Elvis. They were so close that they could clearly see, through the window in the floor of the rescue mini-submarine, as he was floating in the water.

But just as they were turning the vessel around to drag him out, he woke up as if from sleep, turned around pointing his head down and started swimming to the bottom, faster and faster, away from the surface.
Down, away from the surface!
She remembered how he once said, quietly, buried in himself, “Like a knife in the water?”
That’s how he sank, shimmering at times, as the rescuers told it. They saw him only once after that, when, for a moment, he was lit up below by their reflector beam. He was straining, swimming towards the dark depths, a rope of last bubbles dragging behind him.

After a moment of silence Vera said: But I believe that he came through, that he will come up somewhere on the other side with the biggest pearl in his mouth, so that he wouldn’t have to say another word.
He will come out of the water at the mouth of the Rose cavern, where you can still see Stella Maris on the horizon. When he is tired, he rests in his Rose cavern, and time is no more.

We sat there for a long time silently. Then Vera got up to go get another drink. I stayed, sitting in the dark, not moving, not able to tear myself away from the glittering abyss under my feet and the thoughts inside me.
I know that feeling myself – the longing for a clean star, that shines on another floor, but I still would like to become friends with time, before I let it go.



There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
No Future For Censorship No Future For Censorship
Author dreaming of a future without censorship we have never got rid of. It seems, that people don‘t care while it grows stronger again.
Magda Tóthová Magda Tóthová
Borrowing heavily from fairy tales, fables and science fiction, the art of Magda Tóthová revolves around modern utopias and social models and their failures. Her works address personal and social issues, both the private and the political. The stylistic device of personification is central to the social criticism emblematic of her work and to the negotiation of concepts used to construct norms.…
Tunelling Culture II Tunelling Culture II
27.07.2014 19:39
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
out - poetry
THC Review and the Condemned Past
THC Review and the Condemned Past
Ivan Mečl
We are the fifth global party! Pítr Dragota and Viki Shock, Fragmenty geniality / Fragments of Charisma, May and June 1997. When Viki came to visit, it was only to show me some drawings and collages. It was only as an afterthought that he showed me the Czech samizdat publication from the late 1990s, THC Review. When he saw how it fascinated me, he panicked and insisted that THAT creation is…
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
birthing pains
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Zuzana Štefková
Expanding the definition of “mother” is also a space for reducing pressure and for potential liberation.1 Carol Stabile The year was 2003, and in the deep forests of Lapák in the Kladno area, a woman in the later phase of pregnancy stopped along the path. As part of the “Artists in the Woods” exhibit, passers-by could catch a glimpse of her round belly, which she exposed especially for them in…
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
14 x 21cm, Painting on Paper
More info...
222 EUR
More info...
6,50 EUR
88 pages of special print of photographs in stitched softback, 33 x 22,5 x 1 cm|Text: Pavel Vančát, Marek Pokorný|Translation:...
More info...
24,15 EUR
21 x 29,5 x 0,7 cm / sérigraphie 12 pass. couleur / 32 pages / 200 ex
More info...
32 EUR


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom

Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 - 6 pm


Office: +44 (0) 20 8692 5157

Ivan Mečl, +44 (0) 7526 902 082


Shop, +44 (0) 20 8692 5157

Former papermill area, Nádražní 101
252 46 Vrané nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, +420 602 269 888

Open from Wednesday to Sunday between 11am to 6pm. From 15.12. to 15.1. only on appointment.


Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin, Germany, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open Wednesday to Saturday 2 - 7 pm



Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.