Ecocell AVU - Patriotic Climate Agitation
The panels of the Artwall Gallery show devastated landscape with parched soil, smoking chimneys and dead trees. The photos are complemented by a text, which is familiar to all citizens of the Czech Republic: "Paradise on Earth at a Glance" – words taken from the national anthem. It is a work of the artistic collective Ekobuňka AVU (Ecocell AVU), in which the words of the Czech anthem are combined with photographs depicting destroyed environment. The exhibition entitled "Patriotic Climate Agitation" is a critique of the political setting, which appeals to superficial patriotism, but does not take into consideration the devastating impact of the climate crisis on the Czech landscape. While national symbols are viewed as untouchable, the actual landscape is to be plundered and devastated with impunity. By referring to shared national symbols, the exhibition addresses people who have so far been indifferent to the topic of environmental protection.
"Water often no longer roars through meadows – the soil is and will be dry. Forests are also destroyed. The spring blossoms are no longer blooming – apricots have frozen this year," comment the artists, adding: “We want to provide an ironic view of an outdated system that does not reflect the rapidly changing reality. If there is no will to abolish it, let's change it." Patriotism combined with locally understood nationality does not provide a way out of the current climate crisis. "Nationalist ideology does not work, the solution requires extensive international cooperation.”
The project won an open call "There is to back normal" announced by the Artwall gallery. The call focused on the transformation of our society after the COVID-19 pandemic. We often hear calls to the return to normal. However, the way of life that our society considers normal is deeply destructive to our planet and inevitably leads to a global collapse. "The crisis can help us understand that there was nothing rational or necessary in the previous normality. The return to a dirty future would be a missed chance. This is also pointed out by the Patriotic Climate Agitation exhibition at Artwall," conclude the curators of the Artwall gallery Lenka Kukurová and Zuzana Štefková.
Opening will take place at 6 p.m. on August 3rd in Hall 19, Prague Market, Bubenské nábřeží 306/13, Praha, Prague 7 as a part of Matter of Art Biennial. As part of the opening, an interactive performance by the Spielraum Kollektiv group entitled "Eco Confession" will take place from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Curators: Lenka Kukurová, Zuzana Štefková
The project is realised with financial support of the Czech Ministry of Culture, City of Prague and Prague 7.
Text on the panels:
water roars across the meadows
pinewoods rustle among crags
the garden is glorious with spring blossom
paradise on earth it is to see
let´s change the anthem or stop the climate change
Photo of the exhibition at Artwall: Martin Micka