Curators: Marcel Fišer, Pavel Vančát
In 2020, the fourth year of the Festival m3/Art in Space will take place. It builds on the three previous years: 2017 to 2019, each of which had different venues, themes and curators. The annual radical transformation of the festival prevents its artistic stagnation and always offers spectators new approaches to and perspectives on art and public space.
This year's festival seeks to look at art in public space as a complex phenomenon linked to broader historical, political and artistic contexts. That is why we decided not only to approach a number of contemporary artists but also to include in the festival works already existing in the given locality and to explore deeper "historical layers" and their potential symbiosis with the newly placed works, many of which make this historicity their theme.
In the last thirty years, the issue of art in public space has often been neglected or even rejected as a legacy of the former totalitarian regime, though at the same time, it is arousing growing interest among enthusiasts and official institutions. That is why we chose as the centrepiece of the festival the Vlasta housing estate, which was conceived in the early 1970s as a single unit, including its artistic embellishment, but is also located at the interface of several other diverse historical components. In addition to the First-Republic Vršovice quarter and the Koh-i-noor factory, associated with František Kupka's patron, Jindřich Waldes, there is also the derelict cultural house Eden dating from the normalization era, the uniform shopping centre bearing the same name and the stadium of the SK Slavia Praha soccer club on the site of the pre-war entertainment park. Exploring a deeper historical context thus includes an entire century, which we try to map as a complex space with its own diverse dynamics.
The embellishment of the Vlasta housing estate with works of art was carried out by two key artists of the Army Art Studio: fortunately, the sculptures by Vendelín Zdrůbecký and the mosaics by Radomír Kolář do not feature strong ideological gestures. To create a "new layer", we approached artists of various generations and styles: from abstract works through conceptual figuration to interventions or references to the existing works of art and other existing phenomena. Through this, we want to test the possibilities of connecting new works to existing ones, their transitoriness and permanence against the background of the real life of a diverse Prague quarter.
In addition to the works themselves, the festival wants to pro-actively create new territorial contexts that help to cultivate public space and formulate its current shortcomings and requirements. This is why the festival will include an art historical and sociological survey and guided tours of the site accompanied by further educational activities for schools and the general public.
We would like this year's festival to help viewers and residents of Vršovice to understand the logic and richness of the local "layers of history" and also show the need not only to protect them but also to critically and creatively perceive and develop them.
GRAND OPENING 16.06. 18:00
We proudly invite you
to the opening of the festival in the area of C.A.M.P.
Center of Architecture
and Urban Planning Vyšehradská 57
(1959) Is primarily a performer and conceptual artist who, however, began by following in the footsteps of his father, Miloš Zet, as a classically trained sculptor. Since February 2020, Zet has been presenting his father's work in an extensive exhibition at the Brno House of Arts. He follows up on this here with a personal memory of his fascination with a record player which he listened to as a child during his father's visits to the studio of his friend Vendelín Zdrůbecký, the creator of four sculptures in the inner courtyards of the Vlasta housing estate.
(1945) Left for France in 1973 after graduating from the Prague Academy of Fine Arts and settled in Paris. He gradually developed a formal language through which he translates visual stimuli from the surrounding world into objects with truncated shapes and bright colours. In this case, the reliefs on the façade, in a green shade that has been a characteristic feature of his work for many years, evoke falling leaves as an understated commentary on the current environmental situation in the world.
(1967) Is an internationally renowned Polish artist of the middle generation, exhibiting, for example, at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the London ICA and the New Museum in New York. Under the auspices of the SK Slavia Praha soccer club, he is preparing an allegorical sculpture for the m3 festival on which he is collaborating with students of Prague art academies. Its themes are the issue of Pan-Slavism and the ethos of sport and community.
The artist duo of graduates of the Photography Studio of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Johana Pošová (1985) and Barbora Fastrová (1988), have been working together since 2014. In 2018 they created
a monumental sculpture, Snake, for the Portheimka Park in Smíchov. In the Vlasta housing estate, they decided to modify the meaning of the Acrobat statue by Vendelín Zdrůbecký and transform it into the mythical figure of
a centaur, inviting spectators to participate.
(1979) Lives in Dresden and Leipzig. In his sculptures, he reflects the urban environment with its typical aesthetics, including its shabbiness and neglect. Corresponding to this are his favourite industrial materials: especially concrete and metal, which he combines with found objects. The concrete which the panel housing estates were built from can be seen in his work as a certain symbol of crumbling modernity along with its ideal visions, which are changing under the onslaught of the present.
(1976) simulates a Greek column in the environment of the housing estate, i.e. an architectural element that is also a sculpture and represents a radically different element in the given location: in contrast to a definite neglect of public space, it represents ideal perfection, bringing historicist shapes into rectangular order, bright colour to a grey environment, of a hue that does not occur in everyday life and is typically used in film to tone down the natural background. But a column is also
a reference to the ancient forum, i.e. to the public space which is a symbol of debate and democracy.
(1984] A graduate of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, is one of the most prominent sculptors of the younger generation. She innovatively uses traditional woodcarving techniques combined with contemporary post-media visuality. In 2016, she was a finalist in the Jindřich Chalupecký Award competition and the recipient of the Czech Centres' Audience Award.
Philip Topolovac, a graduate of the Berlin UdK (1979), deals with unexpected aspects of modern history in his projects, which combine architecture, archaeology and science fiction. In 2012, he presented a fantastical project in Prague, mapping the ventilation shafts of the Prague metro. His long-term interest in history hidden beneath the surface turns, in his Prague project, into "reverse archaeology", a slightly ironic message intended for future generations.
(1955) Restarted his artistic career after 1989, when sculpture became the new focus of his work. He is the creator of
a number of projects for public space in our country and abroad, using minimalist geometric shapes into which he often inserts stories rooted in the cultural-historical context of the location. Here, he revitalised flagpoles, once ideological tools but today unused and rusty objects, and developed jubilant geometric compositions between them, bringing a new, refreshing element to the environment of the housing estate.
This year's festival also expresses its approval of the newly introduced support for art in public space, which used to work well in our country before 1989. This explains the inclusion in the festival of a sculpture from that era, which is now given a chance to live its "second life". The well-known sculptor, Hugo Demartini, (1931-2010) won the competition to create a sculpture for the atrium of Cheb railway station in 1962, which sculpture had to be removed this year during the reconstruction of the station. Its abstract shapes most likely represent the dynamics of railway transport.
(in cooperation with the ProLuka Gallery)
The winner of the J. Chalupecký Award 2002, Markéta Othová (1968), has been working since the 1990s mainly with analogue black-and-white photography which, however, she transforms into more complex spatial and semantic relationships. Her sculpturally conceived installation in the form of a photographic banner, prepared for the ProLuka outdoor gallery, is a monument to a fleeting moment, to one unique point of memory.
Architect and sculptor, Vojtěch Rada (1991), combines sculpture, architecture and game design in his works, creating completely new worlds with their own spatio-temporal rules. Against the backdrop of the historical layers of the Vlasta housing estate and the adjacent Eden, dating back a century, he draws us into a virtual environment in which it is possible to walk across both space and time.
Flower farmer Nela Keroušová, (née Bastlová) entered the public life of Vršovice in the last decade, both by founding the Archangelská Open Garden and by documenting and improving local cultural footprints (Facebook: Vršovická architektura 60. a 80. let / Vršovice Architecture 1960s-1980s). Since 2018, she has been running a family flower farm based on permaculture principles in the Vysočina region. As part of this year's festival, she has prepared several refreshing gardening interventions to the long-established planting features on the Vlasta housing estate.
An academic sculptor (1923 - 1986), a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, a member of the Army Art Studio in Prague, creator of monuments, sculptures and sculptural groups with period themes, mainly from the army and military environment (ornamentation of the V. I. Lenin Museum, a monument to Jan Žižka of Trocnov, the Auschwitz Museum in Poland). A winner of the Vít Nejedlý Award and a holder of the title of Artist of Merit.
(1924 - 1993) Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, his teachers were: Vratislav Nechleba and Miloslav Holý. From 1964, he was a member of the Army Art Studio, he created a number of official monumental commissions (a mosaic for the National Monument at Vítkov, a mosaic in the passage of the Karlovo náměstí metro station). In 1978 he was awarded the title of Artist of Merit and in 1985 of National Artist.
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