Czech Sources | Contemporary Czech Art of Three Generations | Prague House Brusel | novembre 2008
Czech Sources. The title suggests a banal word play meaning resources, essence and Czech beer. Let us however approach Czech contemporary art without irony. The Czech artists have always remained on the fringes of interest of the grand art world and this situation has not changed much even after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Now that the intervals between the “art news” are increasingly shorter, it is not easy for us to compete with the world.
The art vocabulary has changed significantly in the last twenty years. Art does not want to entrance the viewers. The contemporary artists’ program is a program of misunderstanding. On the one hand, the art communication strategies have become totally globalized, and on the other they get autistically secluded. I believe that today’s Czech art has no specific features and is comparable with the world’s art. It is interesting to confront the artwork of three generations that had quite different conditions for their work. Yet their artworks can exist side by side naturally.
The transgressive presentation inspires the question of what Czech sources of art actually are.
We do not seek to ask questions, however, but present the artists representing the most interesting sources of Czech contemporary art. The oldest generation has already been unambiguously entered in art history. In case of the middle generation, too, the at least pushing market has produced clear names. To choose the artists of the youngest generation is however risky.
When Czech art was exported to Musée de l’Art Modern in Paris in the early 1990s, our professional press admitted that it enjoyed a general lack of interest. I would not expect a different situation today but it does not have to be perceived fatalistically. Many Czech galleries are represented by Western galleries today and Czech artwork is included in major collections. We are however still haunted by the question if we do not delude ourselves.
The exhibition Czech Sources does not aspire to bring something for the future; it only seeks to look at our up-to-date experience with a certain detachment. This experience cannot be categorized according to themes and that is why we have approached the artists of the three generations on an individual basis and that is also how we present them. And that is also the name of our expectations.
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