Archive: Interior views - Prague 06




Opening: 18 05 2006, GALLERY FUTURA, KARLIN Studios in Prague

The opening exhibition from the KUNSTRAUM NOE PROFILER has its premiere in the Czech capital, in the GALLERY FUTURA, KARLIN Studios in Prague.

At the same the KUNSTRAUM NOE shows the exhibition INTERIOR VIEWS - PRAGUE 06 conceived by the curator Alberto di Stefano, director of the gallery FUTURA in Prague, who took great pleasure in selecting the artists (male and female) for the Vienna show from his own gallery project.

The Prague exhibition space FUTURA was founded in 2003. This non-profit enterprise is dedicated to the  promotion and exhibition of contemporary art and functions much like the LOWER AUSTRIAN ART SPACE or KUNSTRAUM NOE  as both a local and international platform for up-and-coming artists.

The fifth exhibition at the LOWER AUSTRIA ART SPACE [KUNST RAUM NOE] is a retrospective stock-check, as it were, of young art in Prague – while at the same time the exhibition PROFILER of new Lower Austrian work has its premiere in theCzech capital in the Karlin Studios.

The exhibition has been conceived by the curator Alberto di Stefano, who originally hails from Italy, and who took great pleasure in selecting the artists (male and female) for the Vienna show from his own gallery project, FUTURA, in Prague.

PRAGUE 06 focuses on the “generation between the chairs”, meaning those artists now in their mid-20s to mid-30s, who still retain a direct memory of the time “in between”, from the end of Communism and the changeover to the sudden arrival of globalisation. What were their reactions? What was the interior view of these events?

The cultural vacuum that prevailed during the years of the changeover was filled with a broad spectrum consumerist invasion and a new media world. Even the most private vestiges of life were flooded by these new values and the products attached to them. So it is that the Pop Art appeal of this exhibition enters into the tension field of a consumerist critique, without, however, becoming its tool. The eight artists involved in the exhibition allow their own inner worlds to clash with the pressures of the outside world. 

The last generation still to have learnt Russian in school and already learning English, now attempts to read the effect of the cultural phenomena that changed Prague and the other “new capitals of Europe” around in the shortest time imaginable. Viewed through the domestic lens, recollections, nostalgia, rationality and irony become mixed up in the structure of a new state of being.

The video work entitled True Story by the artist Tereza P. Velíková is among the most intriguing works on show during PRAGUE 06. It is a love story and the story of a life fulfilled, compiled from snippets of films, commercials and TV serials. The two main characters thus continuously change shape, get older and yet remain exchangeable. A man and a woman meet, get to know each other, share a meal together, get some insurance, drink Pepsi and live a Happy Life in the jungle of competing consumer products. 

Jan Nálevka, likewise, has shot a film, or at any rate, the final credits of one. White on black, with film music, it creates the mood of a movie coming to an end, but instead of the expected “movie credits” what follows is a parade of consumer goods – filling up of the vacuum par excellence. In Final Countdown the actors and main characters all consist the type of goods available in a supermarket – each an oversized projection, complete with a description of the product and its price. 

Many of the artists took the term “interior world” rather literally and designed interiors and furniture. Jan Kadlec’s sculpture McBed is one of these works. A bed with giant fast food logos as its headboards.  Likewise, Jan Jakub Kotik’s Houses of the Holy consists of a sofa in the shape of a military rocket with Classicistic decorative details and English hunting scenes as its bed cover, imitating the style of the 19th century. The props of the material world find a way to establish their own history.

Tereza P. Velíková has created photographic portraits of people by revealing the interiors of their refrigerators. Groceries well stacked or in a mess, all displaying their chilly product realities. In contrast to these images, her own family portraits of the 1980s remain pallid even given the colourisation treatment they have received.

The artist Vasil Artamonov, from Russia originally, whose parents once sold him the idea of a hurried departure for Prague as a holiday trip, has reconstructed in his paintings the cramped conditions, the plants and colours of the Moscow home of his childhood.  A media wall erected between the present and the trauma of his flight. 

The installation entitled b/w, schwarz/weiß, by Eugenio Percossi similarly reconstructs a fading memory – of his grandmother’s living room. Everything is in its place, and none of it looks real – a still life photograph in 3D, with memories of a past that feels like plastic.

Curated by: Alberto di Stefano


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