The art group Pode Bal was one of the first ones who, after 2000, brought political subjects to the Czech artistic scene which was rather apolitical after the so-called 1989 Velvet Revolution because Czech art could finally return to purely aesthetic and conceptual subjects after the era of defining itself against the Communist establishment. The basis of the group is the triad Michal Šiml, Antonín Kopp and Petr Motyčka, who were freely accompanied by other members and sympathizers over the years. Pode Bal responded to the contemporary political events in Czech lands by extremely critical and ironical performances and it raised many discussions over the development of Czech politics and society. Philosopher Miroslav Petříček stresses that the group does not attract the attention of the public by provocation or shock but by the active researching social reality. The important aspect of their work is humor, but not the type which would smooth the edges of conflicts but would rather open the way to self-reflection. One of the most famous realizations of the group was the exhibition “Tear the Pinkie”, held in the prestigious Špála Gallery in Prague, when Pode Bal displayed posters with portraits of politicians famous for their past collaboration with the Secret Police. The Pode Bal reaction to the taboo subject of the displacement of Sudeten Germans was the banner “Zimmer Frei” (Vacant Rooms), presented in the framework of the 2000 exhibition “Politik-um” held at the Prague Castle which was subsequently removed by force. Equal criticism is aimed at history of art: the project “Cover Art”, for example, is a parody on the legends of art like Yves Klein and Joseph Beuys.
* 1998, Prague, Czech Republic