Prague-Libeň railway station

A railway station situated on the border of Libeň and Vysočany. The station was founded in 1877. It is a busy transport hub. The current station building dates from the 1970s, located to the east of the original building, which was heavily damaged in 1945 during the bombing of Libeň’s industrial buildings. Near the new station building is the Harfa tram terminus, the Prám art studio, and in its immediate vicinity, buildings are being completed, aggressively exceeding the existing development.

Erika Velicka
The Train Station as an Axis Mundi

Erika Velická’s work often thematises the power of animal archetypes, and she is interested in the meaning of borders – both in landscape and social terms. She critically reflects on the blurred boundaries of natural/animal and social/human space. She creates an indeterminate and at the same time tense in-between state full of polar contradictions. She works with themes of suffering, the search for escape. Her installation in the space of the Libeň station deals with a typical “non-place”, situated at the interface between the land owned by the railway administration and the city. This non-place is obviously used mainly for taking a quick shortcut or for walking dogs. The ground plan of a narrow staircase, defined by a visible railing and leading to an indeterminate cellar space, a concrete block probably with the function of a ‘boundary stone’ and a concrete shelter, co-define a rather dismal configuration in a space in which nobody desires to stay a minute longer than is strictly necessary. The artist sets the scene for possible events, temporary “intersections between the mythology of the neighbourhood and the mythology of specific existence”. She reinforces the sense of emptiness of a place that seemingly lacks meaning. It can be all the more inspiring because it is, as it were, outside any official order, a space for personal accounts of “anxiety and creative dreaming”. It can become “a world of children’s games (the archetype of the hide-and-seek and labyrinth associated with the world of adventure books and films)” and also a haven for the homeless. (Michal Ajvaz) The non-place – as if movement in it were a goal, a “place passed by”, like the railway station itself: “a place in which we have no will to rest” (Anna Beata Háblová).

Implementation team

Artistic director:
Čestmír Suška

Curators:
Dagmar Šubrtová and Iva Mladičová

Manager of production:
Ivana Vodičková

PR:
Klára Sofie Střihavková

Production:
Dan Toman, Josefína Frýbová,
Jarka Janíčková

Technical manager:
Martin Pertl

Grafic design:
Jáchym Moravec and David Babka

Web:
Simona Sušková

Special thanks to:
Miroslav Bílek, Blanka Němcová, Vojtěch Pollák, Richard Janeček, Matěj Remeš, Rebeka Široká, Matyáš Kořínek, Vladislav Tesárek – Kladenský pivovar

Patronage

The patronage of the m3 Festival was kindly accepted by:

Mgr. Milan Volf
Mayor of Kladno

Doc. Ing. arch. Petr Hlaváček
Deputy head of the city of Prague

MgA. Hana Třeštíková
Councilor of the city of Prague

Czech Chamber of Architects

MgA. David Kašpar
Deputy Mayor of District P10

Mgr. Ondřej Kolář
Mayor of District P6

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