Spare Time. Utopias on the Verge of Commonness
National Gallery in Prague - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
Curator: Tomáš Vlček
Manager and Coordinator: Svetlana Michajlova
The international project Spare Time. Utopias on the Verge of Commonness, organized by the National Gallery in Prague focuses on those aspects of culture, which find a place beyond the borders of traditional institutions and genres in modern and post-modern times.
The project presents long-term phenomena that affect life in general and have stimulated social change or at least represented a rupture - however decadent - in established conventions. The 20th century, though a period of great change, grand gestures, and immense human catastrophes and loud calls for humanity and democracy, also encompassed a desire for great empires that has overlapped with the present. Such is the monumental background for inappropriate activities that - with their strange and Utopian character and naïveté - fail to fit into the finer qualities of modernism, which lives on despite the ascent of the post-modern.
National Gallery in Prague will present the following fields of creative activities in this secondary cultural space:
o Tramping: Czech social utopia - curator Milan Knížák
o Be a Rebel! Youth Movements in the Netherlands since 1965 - curator Gerrit Jan De Rook
o Russian roulette - curator Tomáš Glanc
o Utopia on the Brink of an Abyss- curator Mark Divo
o A Naked Body: From Taboo to the Utopian Ideal - curator Oliver Zybok
o The Paradox of Taxidermy - curator Lumir Hladik
The Czech part of the project will reflect on the culture connected with the utopia of the tramping movement, which expanded into a nationwide phenomenon in 20th-century Czechoslovakia. In the first decades of the 20th century, tramping was practiced as a type of escape from the stresses of urban life into nature; by the 1920s and 1930s, it had become a prominent social movement; in the second half of the 20th century, tramping was a getaway from a life ruled by totalitarian regimes. At the time, tramping was also manifested through distinctive forms of architecture, clothing, music, literature, as well as projects carried out by exponents of Czech avant-garde art - for example, the tramping camp built by the Mánes art association on the Malše River in southern Bohemia...
In this connection examined will be such phenomena as squatting, attempts of art movements to shun the traps of the market, different alternative trends, etc.
The National Gallery in Prague also will yield a publication assessing the above-mentioned themes in both image and word.