PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL GALLERY 2014: MARTIN PIACEK - VACLAV HAVEL/WASHING OUT

The exhibition will be on display from Nov. 12, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015 in the Artwall Gallery (the wall under Letenské sady at Nábřeží Kapitána Jaroše and Edvarda Beneše).

The opening will take place on Nov. 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. on the floating bar U Bukanýra, on Nábř. Ludvíka Svobody.

A quarter century after the Velvet Revolution, it is increasingly apparent that the Czech society does not know what to do with its legacy. The Artwall gallery is entering a discussion about the legacy of the Velvet Revolution with a project by the Slovak artist, Martin Piaček entitled Václav Havel / Washing Out. To perform this washing out, Piaček is symbolically using a soap bust of Václav Havel.

"Piaček’s work is deliberately ambiguous. The process of washing may refer to memory loss, as well as brainwashing or whitewashing," said Zuzana Štefková, a curator of the project. "The title is a pun of Havel's dramas and an adoption of their absurd humor," adds Piaček.

"I am interested in the process of using heroes instrumentally; it is how one person changes into an abstract symbol and how his legacy subsequently is used or abused," said Martin Piaček.

The persona of Václav Havel is a typical example of this instrumental use of a legacy across the political spectrum. On one hand, he is hailed as a fighter against communism, critiqued for his alleged reformist communist stance, labeled as “utopist”, but also condemned as a supporter of military conflicts. His supporters emphasize Havel's interest in human rights in contrast to today’s Czech political representatives and their servile relationship with China. Havel’s critics speak of his political naiveté or the controversial support for bombing during the war in former Yugoslavia and the approval of the U.S. Iraq invasion. For some, he is an admirable leader; for others he is a representative of non-standard, non-partisan policy or political kitsch.

Criticism comes from the left and right wings. To Havel’s right-leaning opponents, the term "pravdoláskař” (satirizing Havel’s motto: Truth and love have to overturn lie and hatred) is synonymous with an (often leftwing) ideological evildoer. Communist functionaries use the expression “havlista as a slur.” All the meanwhile there are attempts to trivialize the Czech dissident experience, there is also the tendency to place the dissidents on a pedestal.

“The ideals tend to fade with time. Piaček’s work can be understood as a warning that manipulation with ideals can change into an absurd drama," adds Lenka Kukurová, one of the curators of the exhibition.

In this sense, the interpretation of Václav Havel’s role, as well as the interpretation of the November events and their meaning, are not just a matter of history, but above all a struggle to form today's national and international policies and direction of contemporary Czech society.

The Artwall gallery was initiated by the Centre for Contemporary Art Prague. The present exhibition program is implemented by c2c circle of curators and critics under the patronage of the Prague City Councilor, Ing. Václav Novotný. The project partners are the City of Prague and the Czech Ministry of Culture. The media partners are Aktuálně.cz, Radio 1, A2, Artmap, Kulturissimo.cz, Goout and FotoVideo magazine.

Contacts:

Artist: Martin Piaček: martinpiacek@gmail.com

Curators: Zuzana Štefková, zuzana@artwallgallery.cz, Lenka Kukurová, lenka@artwallgallery.cz

Media Contact: Lenka Ginther, info@artwallgalletry.cz


KASSABOYS: VERKHOVINA

Where and when: 10. 4. – 12. 6. 2014 in Artwall gallery (Embankment of kpt. Jaroš and Edvard Beneš, Prague). Opening takes place on Thursday 10. 4. 2014, 6pm, in the floating bar U Bukanýra (Embankment of Ludvík Svoboda, under the Štefánikův bridge).

Verkhovina is the title of a new project by the East-Slovakian art collective Kassaboys, made specifically for Prague's Artwall gallery. It presents a campaign for a referendum on renewal of Czechoslovakia, including another annexation of Subcarpathian Ruthenia and was created in reaction to the Ukrainian crises and the annexation of Crimea by Russians. "The project introduces a fictitious campaign of a "democratic" referendum that half-nostalgically and somewhat manipulatively toys with the idea of the return of the once great Czechoslovakia that used to include the territory of Subcarpathian Ruthenia. The fictitious referendum holds up a mirror not only to the Russian staging of a quasi-democratic referendum in Crimea, but also to similar revisionist efforts present in the Central European region," explain their project Kassaboys.

The background of their campaign is made up of images from a tourist map of Subcarpathian Ruthenia from the 1930s. However, the used slogans such as "incorporation," "integration" and "annexation" do not give any real choice, eventually meaning the same. It is not clear from the campaign to which State entity should Subcarpathian Ruthenia be added to, or who is campaigning for the referendum. The viewer can merely assume if it is the Subcarpathian separatists, Czechoslovakian revisionists or perhaps supporters of the expansion of the EU. Kassaboys' project is a parody of arguments based on historical, geopolitical division, highlighting its dangers. According to the curator Lenka Kukurova, "their piece could also be understood as a warning that solution to problems and conflicts by use of military force is very risky."

The curator Zuzana Štefková notes the relationship of the project to the Czech context: "Czechs have embraced the stereotype of victims. In the current situation, we identify with Ukraine that lost Crimea and see a parallel with the annexation of Czechoslovakian border areas in 1939, and 1968, when Czechoslovakia was invaded by Warsaw Pact troops." However, the Verkhovina project indicates that even interwar Czechoslovakia had its power ambitions as its border resulted from the negotiations conducted by Czech and Slovak politicians and the power games of the winners of World War One.

After World War Two, Subcarpathian Ruthenia had been separated from Czechoslovakia. "Due to the annexation by the Soviet Union, there are still divided villages whose inhabitants called the Schengen border a new Iron Curtain," Kassaboys said. In the fictitious referendum, these inhabitants might opt for joining the EU. After all, who wouldn't want to belong to a community with a better standard of living, higher wages and mobility, employment, etc.? However, as explained by another Artwall curator, Markéta Dolejšová, "Verchovina doesn't offer a solution. The project appeals to us not to be indifferent to what happens in our neighbouring countries. As it is exhibited in public space, it may create doubts in the viewers, whether it is an absurd exaggeration or an official referendum proposal. A similar feeling of uncertainty could perhaps be felt by people following media reports from the recent events in Crimea."

About the artists: The art collective Kassaboys was founded in 2006. Its founding member artists are Radovan Čerevka /1980/, Tomáš Makara /1982/ a Peter Vrábeľ /1982/. They live and work in Košice, Slovakia.

The Artwall gallery project was initiated by the Center for Contemporary Art Prague and is currently run by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics. Main partner of the project is City of Prague. Media partners are Aktuálně.cz, Radio 1, A2, Artmap, Kulturissimo.cz, Metro Daily and Goout.

Contacts:

Artists: Radovan Čerevka cererad@yahoo.com; Tomáš Makara tomas.makara@gmail.com

Curators: Markéta Dolejšová, marketa@artwallgallery.cz ; Lenka Kukurová, lenka@artwallgallery.cz; Petr Motyčka, petr@artwallgallery.cz; Zuzana Štefková, zuzana@artwallgallery.cz  

 


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL GALLERY 2014: JEREMY HUTCHISON - ERRATUM®

Where and when: The exhibition starts on the 15th of January 2014 at Artwall Gallery (Embankment of kpt. Jaroše and Edvard Beneš, Prague). Opening takes place on Thursday the 16th of January 2014 from 6 pm, at National Technical Library (Technická 6, Prague).

"ERRATUM® is the luxury of dysfunction."

This year's exhibition programme of Artwall gallery starts with a project ERRATUM®, Beyond Utility by British artist Jeremy Hutchison. On view are photos of malformed and dysfunctional objects of everyday use: a cherrywood pipe without tobacco hollow, a holeless cheesegrater, a double-heeled stiletto, or sunglasses that can't be worn on the nose. The objects might seem as a "mere" design joke; the gist of the artwork, however, lies in the story of their origin. The author has invited workers from factories across China, India, Poland, Turkey and Pakistan to insert an arbitrary error into one of the items they typically produce in bulk within their everyday working routine. The acquired malformed objects were then utilized to create a luxury boutique of beautiful yet unusable consumer goods.

"The project ERRATUM® examines the conditions of mass-production in the globalized world, where the majority of things used by consumers in the First World comes from factories located somewhere at the other side of the planet. It is an attempt to make the background conditions of mass-production visible and introduce the possibility of an individual choice and creative approach into the automatized and anonymous working routine," says the curator Zuzana Štefková.

"Subversion is crucial within my artistic practice" says Hutchison "as equally so as in marketing." ERRATUM® project should therefore be understood as a social critique pointing at the dehumanized process of mass-produced goods manufactory; yet at the same time, the outcome of the project is a luxury brand, a boutique of expensive design objects.

The author himself notes: "I became fascinated by this idea of an intentional human error distorting the automatized process of global mass-production. I wanted to see what such an error could bring into this extremely efficient and performance-oriented logic."

In parallel with the photography exhibition displayed on the outdoor wall of the Artwall gallery, there will be a collateral exhibition of ERRATUM® design objects in the premises of National Technical Library. The whole event will be opened on Thursday the 16th of January 2014, at National Technical Library.

About the artist: Jeremy Huchison (1979) graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He studied linguistics and has written advertising for Coca-Cola. He lives and works in London. More info: http://jeremyhutchison.com

The Artwall gallery project was initiated by the Center for Contemporary Art Prague and is currently run by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics. Main partner of the project is City of Prague. Media partners are Aktuálně.cz, Radio 1, A2, Artmap, Kulturissimo.cz, Metro Daily and Goout.

Contacts:  Artist: Jeremy Hutchison jeremyhutchison@gmail.com

Curators: Markéta Dolejšová, marketa@artwallgallery.cz / +420734575896; Lenka Kukurová, lenka@artwallgallery.cz; Petr Motyčka, petr@artwallgallery.cz; Zuzana Štefková, zuzana@artwallgallery.cz


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2013: TOMÁŠ RAFA - SELECTION PROCEDURE FOR CZECH-ROMA FLAG

Where: Artwall Gallery, Nábřeží kpt. Jaroše a Edvarda Beneše, Prague
Exhibition opening and press conference: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 6 PM at the ground level of the National Technical Library (Technická 6, Prague)

New Czech-Roma flag proposal is on the agenda. Which one will you choose?

The latest exhibition project conceived for Artwall Gallery presents seven design proposals of a new Czech-Roma flag, created by the Slovak artist Tomáš Rafa. The project "Selection Procedure for Czech-Roma Flag" critically reflects on the situation where members of Roma population aren't considered as Czechs by the majority of the society, and therefore find themselves in forced isolation.

Seven flags exhibited on the Artwall Gallery panels in public space and in the premises of the National Technical Library have been selected from a series of several dozen proposals. This initial selection was made by an expert committee consisting of people with professional interest in the Czech-Roma cohabitation issue: Kumar Vishwanathan (human rights activist and director of civic association Vzájemné soužití), Lucie Horváthová (social anthropologist, memeber of Green Party), Zdeněk Ryšavý (Director of civic association Romea), Vojta Lavička (musician, Metropol TV presenter) and David Tišer (romist, member of the Government Council for Roma Community Affairs). The expert committee was represented also by historian and flag expert Jan Kremer.

The final decision about the single winning design of new Czech-Roma flag will then depend upon the broad Czech population through public vote. The voting will occur both online on the Facebook profile of Artwall Gallery, as well as at the ballot box situated in the premises of National Technical Library. The team of project’s organizers will also tour around those places of Czech Republic with high rate of the Roma population, letting the local public vote directly in the streets. The winning flag will then be handed over for consideration to the Government Council for Roma Community Affairs.

The Selection procedure for Czech-Roma flag is based on the time lapse project "New Nationalism in the Heart of Europe" that has been started by Rafa in 2009, with a purpose to explore the boundaries between nationalism, patriotism, racism and xenophobia. According to him, the main objective of the current Czech-Roma flag initiative is a creation of "an open platform to discuss both current and future coexistence of the major Czech population and locally settled minorities."

"The project opens the question of Czech-Roma identity also in the internal context of Roma population" says Zuzana Štefková, one of the Artwall gallery curators. "We are trying to find out how do the Czech Roma actually perceive the notion of "Czechness", and to what extend do they identify with the Czech national identity represented by official state symbols, or what does the fact that they are living in this country mean for their identity." Lenka Kukurová, another Artwall curator, further specifies: "this hybrid flag that points to the fact that the state is not ethnically pure unit, should evoke a contemplation of the concept of nation and state. It is not only the Czechs who are living in the Czech Republic; there are also other minorities that should feel equally at home here."

"Finally, the exhibition also depicts the ambivalent nature of new possibilities in the field of opinion publishing, which are enabled by vast range of popular ICT platforms, such as social networking sites and online chat forums," adds curator Markéta Dolejšová. Selection Procedure for Czech-Roma Flag opens up a whole range of issues relating to the relevance of state symbols in contemporary society, as is for example their abuse by Neo-Nazi movement, but primarily refers to the absurd dualism of "Czechs and the Others".

About the exhibiting artist:

Tomáš Rafa (1979) lives and works in Warsaw. He studied at the Academy of Arts in Banska Bystrica in the studio of digital media, and at the Academy Sztuk Pieknych in Warszaw. In 2011 he won the Oskár Čepan award and was invited for the residential stay at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York. In 2012 he participated on Berlin Biennale 7, as co-author of "Breaking the News" and curator of "Art Covers Politics" projects. His first solo exhibition "Respect Existence or Respect Resistance" was held in 2012 in SNG Bratislava. In 2013 he published a project "Sport Walls / New Nationalism in the Heart of Europe", as part of the 6th Prague Biennale art show.

Project was initiated by the Centre for Contemporary Art Prague, currently the exhibitions are organized by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics.
The partners of the exhibition are city of Prague and National Technical Library.
Media partners are: Aktuálně.cz, Radio 1, A2, Artmap, Kulturissimo.cz, Metro and  Goout.

Contacts:
Curators: Zuzana Štefková, z.stefkova@artwallgallery.cz; Petr Motyčka, petr@artwallgallery.cz; Lenka Kukurová, lenka@artwallgallery.cz, Markéta Dolejšová, marketa@artwallgallery.cz
Contacts for media: Adam Ondráček, adam@artwallgallery.cz, tel. +420732957387
Artist: Tomáš Rafa: tomas.rafa@gmail.com


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2013: LUKÁŠ HOUDEK - THE ART OF KILLING

Where: ARTWALL Gallery, nábřeží kpt. Jaroše a Edvarda Beneše, Prague / Ground level of the National
Technical Library, Technická 6, Prague
Exhibition opening: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 6 PM at the ground level of the National Technical Library
 
On one black-and-white photograph, Barbie-doll is taking off her clothes. Ken, in a uniform and with a rifle over his shoulder, is smiling at her with his everlasting plastic smile. Next to them, other dolls seem to be playing a raping game. This curious image has a caption which reads: Žatec, June 1945.
 
The other photographs on the outdoor panels of the ARTWALL Gallery show similar disturbing situations. “The exhibition of Lukáš Houdek titled The Art of Killing is dealing with the forced displacement of Czech Germans after the end of World War II. The artist created a series of photographs in which he used dolls to reconstruct particular cases of massacres and torture of German civilians,” explains Markéta Dolejšová, coordinator and co-curator of the project. 
 
Lukáš Houdek based his reconstructions on archival documents, historical analysis, contemporary materials and witness testimonies, which he further developed and visually re-created. His peculiar reconstructions, however, are based on real events. The exhibition is divided into two parts. The ARTWALL Gallery presents details of the photograph series, which is on display in full in the ground level of the National Technical Library.
 
“The displacement of Czech Germans and recognition of responsibility for the post-war crimes is still a taboo for a considerable part of the Czech society. Strangely this is true even after nearly seventy years since the end of the war and two decades after the demise of the communist regime. The use of this topic in public debates is often goal-directed, lacking deeper reflection or will to come to terms with dark sides of Czech history,” says one of ARTWALL’s curators Petr Motyčka.
 
Lukáš Houdek explains further: “The project was conceived in the autumn of last year from my own need to deal with this topic, as I myself come from the border and my family inhabited a former German property. My intention is to confront the public that hypocritically conceals these cases of crimes against the Germans and avoids the fact that from the position of victims, we were also aggressors.”
 
“Unlike the Germany, which has been undergoing a continuous reflection of its past during the last several decades, the Czech environment (and Slovakian as well) is refusing to accept certain unpleasant historical facts,” says Lenka Kukurová, co-curator of ARTWALL Gallery.
 
Although this artistic project addresses a controversial political issue that has currently polarized the Czech public, it has no intention of supporting either one side of the political spectrum. Art in this sense offers a general perspective that transcends common party politics. The project creates a situation in which the historical topic can be dealt with on a symbolical level, without pointing a finger or evading responsibility.
 
ARTWALL Gallery
Markéta Dolejšová, Lenka Kukurová, Petr Motyčka and Zuzana Štefková
 
 
About the artist:
Lukáš Houdek (1984) studied Roma studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University. Since 2005 works with documentary photography and in the last years devotes himself to his own art projects. In his artistic work he is concerned with the theme of identity, i.e. his own (Life of Dreams, Freakshow, All the Panties of My Mother), or trans-gender individuals (Robin, F64.0_online, Lilie). He is a co-curator of the annual exhibition Transgenderme. Recently, his work is concerned with the post-war displacement of the Czech Germans.
 
 
Project was initiated by the Centre for Contemporary Art Prague o.p.s., currently the exhibitions are organised by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics o.s.
The exhibition is held under the patronage of Prague’s Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and is supportd by the city of Prague and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
The partner of the exhibition is the National Technical Library.
Media partners: Artist Magazine, A2.
 
Contacts:
Curators: Zuzana Štefková, z.stefkova@artwallgallery.cz; Petr Motyčka, petr@artwallgallery.cz;
Lenka Kukurová, lenka@artwallgallery.cz, Markéta Dolejšová, marketa@artwallgallery.cz
Contacts for media:
Adam Ondráček, adam@artwallgallery.cz, tel. +420732957387
Petr Motyčka, petr@artwallgallery.cz, tel. +420603160797
Artist: Lukáš Houdek, foto@lukashoudek.cz
 

PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2012: KENNARDPHILLIPPS: THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

The British artistic duo kennardphillipps, working together since 2012, is comprised of graphic designer Cat Phillips and a generation older Peter Kennard. The now world-famous artist-activist, born in 1949, focused on politically delicate topics from the beginning of his career, whether it was the Vietnam war, or later in the 70s and 80s the struggle against nuclear weapons and poverty. Cooperation with Cat Phillips, originally focused exclusively on the criticism of the Iraq invasion, soon expanded to include other issues such as the war on terrorism, arrogance of power and indifference of global capital to poverty.

Simple, critically oriented statements using collages of press photographs do not claim to be sophisticated artworks. Rather than pieces created for galleries, they are posters intended for direct use in demonstrations and protest actions. For example, installations and posters from kennardphillipps became a part of the protest actions organized under the banner of the Occupy movement. An important activity of the duo is also running workshops where participants learn to make their own posters and articulate their arguments through visual form.

As to the relationship between art and activism, Kennard and Phillips say: "We do not see [our] works separately from the social and political movements confronting the established political and economic systems. We perceive them as part of this movement, as a visual tool of protest. We want them to be used by people as part of their own activism and not like pictures on the wall intended for contemplation."

Besides these more or less agitating materials the duo has made some "more artistic" pieces that work with layering textures and photographic reproductions. This is applicable to their project The Wealth of Nations, presented in this year's program of the Artwall gallery. It is a series that uses scenes typical of the impoverished Third World taken from press images superimposed on backgrounds of stock exchange graphs and lists of stock prices from the Financial Times. The result is a reminiscence of the avant-garde collages of the 1920s, not only in form, but also through their deliberate engagement.

The exhibition is a part of the second year of the Photographer Festival called Out of Format.

More info:  www.artwallgallery.cz

Project was initiated by Centre for Contemporary Art Prague. Today the program is realised by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics, under the auspices of Lord Mayor MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda and with support of City of Prague and MInistry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Contacts:

Curator: Zuzana Štefková, Tel.: 731 512 512, z.stefkova@gmail.com

Coordinator: Markéta Dolejšová, Tel.: 734 575 896, marketa.dolejsova@gmail.com

Artists: Peter Kennard, Cat Phillipps, info@kennardphillipps.com


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2012: TEREZA JANEČKOVÁ, PAVLÍNA MÍČOVÁ: SAUSAGE THE WORLD HAS YET TO SEE. NOW IN 3D!

The exhibition of Tereza Janečková and Pavlína Míčová: Sausage Like the World Has Yet To See. Now in 3D! is rooted in the past of the Artwall gallery space. The stone frames that host the gallery today, were built in the 1950s in relation to the changes made in Letná park during the construction of Stalin’s monument. Originally, the frames were planned to hold reliefs in the style of socialist realism, but eventually they stayed empty, only occasionally serving purposes of the socialist propaganda.

The current project is not just a simple reconstruction, however. The reminiscence of the time of the socialist rule reacts to the general theme of memory and its overwriting. The removal of the texts and Communist symbols in the images corresponds to the disappearance of memory that takes place in public space. As authors of the project remark: "Development is ruled by a thorough removal of the remains of the past. In public space, monuments and sculptures of the Austrian Hungarian Empire were gradually liquidated just as the ones from the interwar period of the so called First Republic or the Communist regime.“

Historic memory and its ties to the present is also linked to the images’ adjustment to the 3D viewing. "The transformation of the original socialist posters into 3D hints at the reality-as-spectacle mode of existence typical for our time. Moreover, the subtitle "Now in 3D!", used to introduce remakes of films that were previously two-dimensional, also targets certain nostalgic recollection of socialism, especially in its late 1980s phase, as a time of supposed general plenitude and prosperity,“ states the curator of the project Zuzana Štefková.

Individual posters introduce this optimistic consumerist ideal of the socialist society. Contemporary viewer, used to interpret visual information in public space as primarily advertising, can perceive these images as bearing a commercial message and compare them to the language of today‘s dominant ideology of consumerism. The ironic title of the project quoting a 1950s fairytale film, in which a rich pub owner offers to a poor musician an invisible i.e. nonexistent blood sausage, suggests that regardless of the sausage being a "socialist" or a "capitalist" one (Now in 3D!!!), it is always totally fictitious.

The whole project can be interpreted in several interrelated ways. We can understand it as a marker of the instability of the collective memory, a comment on the changes of the language of advertising, a more general statement regarding the position of the contemporary Left or as a reference to the fast growing influence of technology on daily life. Reality perceived through the lens of technology becomes sharper, but at the same time blurry, no longer legible for the human eye. Although new technologies do reveal new dimensions of human perception, they can act as blinding tools as well, leading to the disguise of the original meanings. 3D sausages on Artwall are opening up this dimension to passersby, allowing them to reflect on just how spectacular their reality is.

More info: www.artwallgallery.cz

Project was initiated by Centre for Contemporary Art Prague. Today the program is realised by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics, under the auspices of Prague's Mayor MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda and with support of the City of Prague and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic

Media partners: Umělec, A2 kulturní týdeník

Contacts:

Curator: Zuzana Štefková, Tel.: 731 512 512, z.stefkova@gmail.com
Coordinator: Markéta Dolejšová, Tel.: 734 575 896, marketa.dolejsova@gmail.com
Artists: Tereza Janečková, Pavlína Míčová, Tel.: 724 267 739, micova@phil.muni.cz


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2012  LADISLAV VONDRÁK: AFTERTASTE

This year’s program of ARTWALL gallery will open an exhibition by Ladislav Vondrák entitled Aftertaste. The project of a student of the Academy of Art, Architecture, and Design was selected out of more then 80 proposals by Czech as well as foreign artists. Thematically it follows the trend set by last year’s project by Voina group aiming at problems of the contemporary society. "When choosing projects for ARTWALL 2012 we have searched for one that would reach public by its visual appearance, while critically commenting on the situation around us,“ declared one of the curators, Petr Motyčka.

On seven panels we can see the face of the author "fed" on paint by someone else‘s hand. Seemingly, Vondrák returns to the visual means of symbolic injuries typical for body art of the 60s and 70s, but as he points out in his own text, the work is not as much about the possibilities of the body and its expressivity, as a response to the situation of the contemporary political scene with its ceaseless power scrambles, corruption scandals, and unfulfilled promises.

"We will fester and you will eat it up,“ comments Vondrák on the approach of the Czech politicians, whose prime interest is an unlimited access to their feed-troughs and demonstrates how this "eating up“ looks. "Let us enjoy the colours of our coalitions,“ encourages the author while paint that dribbles down from his mouth transforms itself into a brown slop. His passive position and abandon, with which he accepts his humiliation, reflects feelings of total resignation. What is left to the voter disgusted by constant lies? According to the author it is "the open mouth and an aftertaste of vomit.“ However, even Vondrák‘s stance offers a more optimistic answer. The antidote to the scepticism of the society should become a functional civil society. 

"'Aftertaste' can be also perceived as a challenge that the author, himself a discontent voter, addresses to his representatives,“ concludes Zuzana Štefková, one of the curators of the Artwall gallery. "His gesture could, in spite of its sceptical tone, express the belief in mechanisms of the civic society.“

Artwall Gallery has renewed its existence after three years of forced break in the fall 2011 under the auspices of Lord Mayor of the city of Prague Bohuslav Svoboda. In the year 2012, the curatorial team plans to present four to five exhibitions concepts. Together with ARTWALL we have launched a new project ARTWALL: LINK that runs parallel in the public transport, on trams, and selected advertising spaces.

More info: www.artwallgallery.cz

Opening will take place on the 26th of April 2012 at 6 pm in café of the Centre of Contemporary Art DOX, Poupětova 1, Prague 7

Press conference will be held at the same place and date from 5 pm.

Project was initiated by Centre for Contemporary Art Prague. Today the program is realised by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics, under the auspices of Lord Mayor MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda and in cooperation with the Centre of Contemporary Art DOX

Media partners: Umělec, A2 kulturní týdeník

Contacts:

Curator: Zuzana Štefková, Tel.: 731 512 512, z.stefkova@gmail.com

Coordinator: Markéta Dolejšová, Tel.: 734 575 896, marketa.dolejsova@gmail.com

Artist: Ladislav Vondrák, Tel: 731 410 536, vondrakl@gmail.com

 


PRESS RELEASE FOR ARTWALL 2011 VOINA WANTED

After a three year forced pause Artwall Gallery opens with the project VOINA WANTED by the Russian art collective Voina.The group Voina (in russian "War“), active since
2007, became famous for its actions criticizing the abuse of power and violation of civic rights and liberties in Russia. Among its most notorious realizations is the 65 meters tall phallus painted on a drawbridge in Saint Petersburg addressed to the Federal Security Service (former KGB), or an orgy in the Museum of Biology under the motto „Fuck for the Heir – The Little Bear“ mocking the presidential elections that (as expected) brought victory to Dimitry Medvedev (Medved = Bear).

"Project VOINA WANTED, conceived directly for Artwall Gallery, is meant as a gesture of solidarity with two Voina members that were charged with assaulting and insulting a police officer. These acts were supposedly committed last March, during a demonstration in support of the right to peaceful assembly in Russia,“ says one of the curators Petr Motyčka. The face of the campaign and the wanted "criminal“ is Oleg Vorotnikov, the main ideologist, who experienced brutal interrogating methods of the Russian police and spent three and a half months in jail under accusation of inciting hatred towards a specific social group. Paradoxically, this social group was the Russian police itself whose corrupt and arrogant ways and lack of competence was denounced by several of Voina’s performances.

The photographic material used in VOINA WANTED comes from an action in 2008 that commemorated the Decembrists by means of a staged execution of five representatives of unwanted citizens — homosexuals and foreigners — in a supermarket in Moscow. This public lynching was presented as a “gift to Moscow's Mayor“, infamous for his repeated banning of GLBT marches and the support of xenophobic attitudes toward migrant workers from former Soviet republics.

“As we witness the growing hatred toward ethnic and other minorities in the Czech Republic, we consider the project VOINA WANTED very relevant. We want to support artists persecuted for their activities aimed against the abuse of power by Russian politicians and police. We also want to stress that even in a democratic system, a critical art statement can become a pretext for persecution and censorship,” maintains Zuzana Štefková, curator of Artwall.

In this context we can also recall the history of Artwall itself, whose existence in the past was endangered by politically motivated censorship. The Artwall Gallery was founded and run by the Center for Contemporary Art Prague since 2005. In 2008, the Municipality cancelled the leas contract of the Artwall gallery in response to the exhibition “Collective Identity“ by Guma Guar Grouppe. This project critically appropriated the official campaign promoting Prague as a future Olympic host city. "Artwall became the first gallery after 1989 that had been liquidated for political reasons masked as necessary enforcement of regulations. Finally, after three years of struggle for its re-opening, the gallery is starting to operate again under the patronage of Prague's Mayor MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda,” concludes Markéta Dolejšová, coordinator of Artwall.

"I am wholly in favor of the fact that streets of Prague need to be revived in this way. I perceive the idea of the open public gallery Artwall as one of the most interesting art projects of recent years. I want to push for revitalization of public space and get more art to the streets and public spaces, " says the Prague's Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda.

Opening will take place on November 8th, 2011 at 6 pm on a boat bar U Bukanýra, Embankment Ludvíka Svobody
Discussion with artists will be held on November 9, 2011 at 7 pm in Divus, Bubenská 1, Prague 7

For more information see:
www.artwall.cz
http://cz.free-voina.org
http://plucer.livejournal.com/266853.html

Project is realized by c2c Circle of Curators and Critics
The exhibition is organized under the patronage of Prague's Mayor doc. MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda CSC. and with the support of the International festival of Documentary Films Jihlava
Media partners: Lidové noviny, Umělec, A2 kulturní týdeník, Radio 1

Contacts:
Curators: Zuzana Štefková, tel.: 731 512 512, z.stefkova@gmail.com, Petr Motyčka, tel.: 603 160 797, petr@podebal.cz
Coordinator: Markéta Dolejšová, tel.: 734 575 896, marketa.dolejsova@gmail.com
Artists: Alexey Plutser Sarno: a@plutser.ru, Yana Plutser Sarno: yana@plutser.ru