Impressions and first joys of Prague art world

16.02.2018 16:20

By Gerda Žemaitytė

Currently me and my colleague visited one of many galleries based in Prague and we would like to SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE and INVITE to have nice hour of culture by visiting it also, in this short text below I will try to share my experience and discoveries inspired by this project.

First joys and impressions of Prague

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(photo from: https://cca.fcca.cz/en/exhibitions/cursor-gallery/2017/the-work-of-indolence/)

Firstly I would like to say that I consider this gallery unique because of it’s controversial and innovative idea. The gallery is called Cursor gallery it is located in Prague 7 district. The Cursor Gallery is a space for guest curators from different places, is a new project which is being launched by the Foundation and Centre for Contemporary Arts. It will offer a selected curator the backup and resources of an established artistic organisation and a large exhibition space for which they will be able to prepare a unique exhibition project, also there is opportunity to include accompanying activities as lectures for example and annual publication. This support for the young curator will be provided for one full year. The style, format, strategy and themes are all fully under the control of the guest curator so every year gallery can be as new and fresh place in Prague. Each year the FCCA will contact a new curator who will be taking over the main part of the project and will have opportunity to express his ideas and maybe will bring new waves to Prague’s art life.

First joys and impressions of Prague 2

(personal photo)

The exhibition which we saw was held under the first person to take control of this exciting curatorial project and he is considered as one of the most talented representatives of the middle generation, Václav Magid, who is now organising seven thematically linked group exhibitions under the title Conditions of Impossibility in Curator gallery.

The particular exhibition is called THE WORK OF INDOLENCE it is the third in the cycle of exhibitions Conditions of Impossibility. The first two exhibitions where held to examine transformations in our perception of time and space. The work of Indolence connects artists who are helding questions about our life today and it’s unpreventable routine, where can be exceptions but the main part of society still have to obey or follow some rules which became necessary or unquestionable through the development of humanity and our way of living in the last century. The main questions which are held if a world without work is a threat or a promise? And is work a form of punishment or is it a privilege? These questions and main theme are reflected by works of exhibiting artists: Hynek Alt, Vasil Artamonov & Alexey Klyuykov, Anne-Claire Barriga, Barbora Kleinhamplová & Tereza Stejskalová, Jiří Skála, Tomáš Svoboda, Jiří Thýn, Tomáš Vaněk.

First joys and impressions of Prague 3

(personal photo)

Exhibition is subtile and not bombastic but the total view is calming and convinces the viewer to think a bit about the idea of life, our surroundings in everyday routine, the purpose of every day and our mane and side roles as individuals and as part of society in it. I will not discuss all the works and authors one by one in purpose to leave the mystery and joy of exploring and discovery, but I want to write little bit about one of the exhibited works – SLEEPER´S MANIFESTO project by Barbora Kleinhamplova.

First joys and impressions of Prague 4

(personal photo)

The idea as it reflects in the concept of the exhibition and how I interpretate - it is that already at very early age we become accustomed to the fact that every moment of our lives must be subjected to a calculation of profit and loss, benefits and disappointments, that we have to use time wisely and our life is basically going by the subject which we invented by ourselves. Time counting by itself was developed in humanity and now we are obsessed to follow it or if not, we can lost the social communication. Times measuring and flowing is not bad by itself, it is useful and connecting invention, but the boundaries and rules applied for individuals and societies which can be destructive are the problem. Even our sleep is controlled with the aim of extracting from the human as from some machine the maximum output and benefit with the minimum expenditure of time and energy. Also speaking in more wide theme even our life is measured by our achievements, if you are seven you have to go to school if you are in early twenties you have to be attending university or having a job, if you are grown up you have already have this and this.. And this unification and equalization is sometimes tremendous and scary as it can result with a lot of young people depression and quitting their real dreams. 

First joys and impressions of Prague 5

(photo from: https://cca.fcca.cz/en/exhibitions/cursor-gallery/2017/the-work-of-indolence/)

So author shows the composition of sleeping and laying people filmed from above. They are surrounded with the cloths of colourful fabrics for me it appears as in some sacred renaissance painting, even if there is just cloths but the feeling of mass of people and those cloths makes some references to renaissance or other earlier painting styles which were usually used in paintings. This is the nice paradox or reference which shows that sleeping people are doing some unique revolution which shows the new wave and movement of the fresh new-born idea and the seeking of freedom. Also in the same time as the story is told there appears smaller videos and pictures in which people protest while at work also by sleeping act. And as I assume it is their revolution or the way to ideologically sacred goal or destination to be free, free not from job by itself but from work which is sometimes depressing, damaging the passion for life or just somehow unfair for individual. It shows that something is wrong or just to reveal and highlight the idea and question - is work a form of punishment or is it a privilege?

I found this artwork enjoyable and satisfying for my curiosity, it left me with questions and ideas about the surroundings which are following me every day, our society and life. I would love to encourage you, dear reader, to go to see and explore the whole exhibition, you can visit The work of Indolence  till February 18 of  2018 in Cursor gallery, located Dukelských hrdinu 500/25a, 170 00 Praha7. I hope it will give ideas and things to think about inner world and the system which can be, if not broken but adopted better to fit unique lives.

Gerda Žemaitytė

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