area: Theory, Curator
recommending institutiontranzit.org/ERSTE Stiftung
time periodFebruary 2015 - February 2015
Jan Zálešák (*1979) is curator, critic and teacher. He is a Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Art Education at Masaryk University in Brno. Since 2011 he has been an assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology. The range of his interests is broad: from participatory art practice (he published the book Umění spolupráce on this topic in 2011) to historiographical turn in Central-European art (an exhibition and the book Past Future, 2013), and post-internet aesthetics.
Thinking about motivations for applying for the tranzit MQ residency, there was a strong need to take just a little break in a full-time teaching job – the break that could be filled with research and creative thinking; those vital activities are too often becoming too painful in a day-to-day routine.
I want to dedicate my time in Vienna to research related to the exhibition I will curate at the Emil Filla Gallery in Usti nad Labem in spring 2016.
During my month in Vienna I intend to spend a good deal of time in the Erste Stiftung Library which I have already encountered as a very useful resource of information. The topic of the exhibition is still kind of shifting, yet it should be connected with exploration of a hypothesis that there is to be found a distinctively contemporary approach to fields of interest that have been predominant in Central&Eastern-European (examinations of memory, identity, “socmodernism” etc.).
As I had suggested in my letter of intent, the purpose of my residency was not connected to any outcomes directly related to Vienna. During my month at the residency, I managed to find enough time to work on projects that were situated back in the Czech Republic. One of them was an exhibition of Katarina Hladekova and Ondrej Homola in the Kabinet T Gallery in Zlín, which I curated and also contributed with an essay that was part of the installation as an audiosculpture. The documentation of the exhibition is available here. I could also use my time to contribute with an introductory essay to the exhibition Telepathy or Esperanto curated by Jan Brož in the Futura Gallery Prague. Documentation of the exhibition + text in English is available here. With this essay I elaborated on the long term collaboration with Jan Brož, which has already resulted in two catalogue texts and one exhibition. The publication that was released at the occasion of the exhibition at Fait Gallery Brno (available here) was also one of the books that I brought to the library of Erste Stiftung where I spend some productive afternoons during my residency. Though February is not in particular a month where there is extremely much going on in the city, some of the exhibitions I could visit were really informative for my current pedagogical and curatorial practice – especially Rare Earth in TBA21 and The Future of Memory in Kunsthalle Wien. I was lucky to take part in specifically orchestrated artist talk that followed the opening of the Rare Earth exhibition the next day and right now I am in the process of persuading Iain Ball, one of the participating artists, to take part in the Apocalypse Me exhibition that is due in March and April 2016 in the Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem. I started to elaborate a concept of this exhibition during my residency in MQ and in this sense I hope I managed to get the best out of my time in Vienna.