area: Fine Arts / Theory
areaFine Arts / Theory
recommending institutiontranzit.org/ERSTE Stiftung
time periodJuly 2012 - July 2012
2008–up to now – Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague (Philosophy)
2001–2006 – Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague (Liberal Arts and Humanities), BA
2006–up to now – Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, research worker, editor-in-chief of the magazine Notebook of Art, Theory and Related Zones
Solo exhibitions (selection)
2010 – In Desert, 36 Gallery, Olomouc
2009 – Father’s Blind Eye, Jelení Gallery, Prague
Group exhibitions (selection)
2011 – All Along the Watchtower, Duende Studios, Rotterdam
2010 – Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2010, Centre for Contemporary Art DOX, Prague
Curated exhibitions (selection)
2010 – Gaspard of the Night, Centre for Contemporary Art Futura, Prague
2008 – Contemporary Czech Cubism, City Gallery Prague
A-i-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2011
Duende Studios, Rotterdam, 2011
International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, 2009
SPACE Residency Lab, Bratislava, 2009
I was happy to read in the call for applications that “the residencies are designed for artists, curators, theoreticians and other professionals”. This formulation sounds promising, because in my practice I constantly move from one of these roles to another, being a theoretician in the morning, a (somewhat slowed-down) artist in the afternoon and a (self) critical critic in the evening. Therefore I always feel limited when I have to choose one of these occupations and to stay within its framework according to the rules of a given institution.
My previous experiences with different “artist/curator in residency” programs gave me an opportunity to realize that the thing I appreciate the most about being a resident is a sort of estrangement or alienation which is essential to this position. I think, that besides the other evident advantages of residencies, such as getting to know a new cultural context, meeting colleagues from different countries, an opportunity to show your work abroad and to use the technical equipment and the institutional support of a given organization, and so on, it is precisely this sort of estrangement that is of the most important value. The fact that you are temporarily cut off your mundane environment, limited in possibilities to keep established social contacts, and freed from the everyday routine of struggling for survival, gives you a unique possibility to concentrate fully on your work. Isolation, which is almost unavoidable effect of being thrown into an unfamiliar place and surrounded by foreign language, forces you to establish a deeper and more intimate relationship with your own mental states. In the same time, encounters with alien modes of behavioral challenge your prejudices, allow you to reflect on your own habits and to realize the relative nature of your values. A residency suspends your normal course of life and gives you an opportunity to assume a critical distance to yourself and to your original context. In the same time, lack of the stable base of familiar things and practices widens your imagination and encourage your creativity.
The aforementioned alienation or estrangement, which supports critical rethinking of what is normally taken as given, is thus what I also expect from the residency in Vienna (of course, besides its obvious cultural benefits). Another, more practical reason why I apply for this residency, is particular kind of work that I would like to do in course of it and for which Vienna could offer especially good conditions. During last years I combined my preoccupation with contemporary art with growing theoretical interest in the legacy of the certain vain in thinking about art, which goes from the German Idealism to the Critical Theory and which is concerned with the dialectic between the autonomy of art and art’s critical function in society. In past I wrote about aesthetical views of Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno (who was a big advocate of the Neue Wiener Schule and even studied musical composition with Alban Berg) in connection with the contemporary approaches in the political art. In the present moment I write my thesis about the romantic aesthetics of Friedrich Schlegel (who infamously ended his career in Vienna under Metternich). During my residency at MuseumsQuartier I would like to write a paper which would examine possibilities to maintain Adorno’s conception of art’s criticality (which sees autonomous art as a “promise of reconciliation”) in the context of contemporary art, e. g. after all criticisms of formalism, aesthetics and autonomy of art, which occurred during the decades after Adorno dictated last words of his unfinished Aesthetic Theory. I believe that Viennese libraries will provide me with more than enough sources for deepening my understanding of the aesthetics of Adorno, while local exhibitions will do the same on the side of contemporary art. I also hope that I will be able to do a large part of preliminary research before the residency and that during my stay I will finalize the paper and will present it in the end of residency as my output.