Place: Trade Fair Palace
Exhibiting artists: Aleš Čermák, Katarína Hládeková, Anna Hulačová, Matyáš Chochola, Johana Střížková
Guest: Laure Provost (FR)
Exhibition curator: Karina Kottová
Exhibition architect: Zbyněk Baladrán
An international jury has selected the following five finalists of the 27th edition of Czech Republic’s most prestigious award for artists up to the age of 35: Aleš Čermák, Katarína Hládeková, Anna Hulačová, Matyáš Chochola and Johana Střížková. After a series of side events held in the first half of the year across the Czech Republic, the artists introduce themselves at the fall exhibition at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague. For this occasion, they prepared new projects ranging from sculptural and audiovisual installations through experimental work with the medium of photography to short film essays. Their common denominator is the fragile tension between a poetic and engaged approach to the latest themes and challenges. The exhibition is not conceived as a juxtaposition of individual “competing” principles but rather as a space for a generous presentation of five remarkable artists of the up-and-coming generation with the aim of providing them with as much conceptual and production background for their current work as possible. The exhibition is also accentuated as a whole representing an account of a certain time and a certain generation, merging the individual approaches and supplementing them with unexpected contexts.
While the 2015 edition took place in Brno, the exhibition of the finalists of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2016 is held at the Trade Fair Palace of the National Gallery in Prague. It is conceived for the space of the Korzo and the surrounding spaces, often non-exhibition ones, thus continuing last year’s presentation of the Silver Lining exhibition organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Jindřich Chalupecký Award. The finalists of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2016 were selected by an international jury comprising Holly Block, curator and director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, visual artist Jiří Kovanda, art theorist and director of the Slovak National Gallery Alexandra Kusá, director of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo Gunnar B. Kvaran from Iceland, art theorist and curator Pavlína Morganová, art critic, curator, artistic director of PLATO Ostrava City Gallery and former director of the Moravian Gallery in Brno Marek Pokorný, and Marina Shcherbenko, curator and specialist adviser of Bottega Gallery and Shcherbenko Art Centre in Kyiv.
International guest: Laure Prouvost (Turner Prize 2013)
The novelty of this year’s edition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award is the launch of the tradition of an international guest who will introduce his or her project in connection with the exhibition of the finalists. It will be a distinctive artist whose work resonates with the current events on the Czech art scene, although it may not have been introduced here in great detail so far. The guest of 2016 is Laure Prouvost, the first French artist, based in London and Antwerp, to win UK’s prestigious Turner Prize in 2013.
Prouvost employs a truly intermedia approach. She combines video, painting, object and site-specific audiovisual installations in her work, creating forceful, often even theatrical scenes and environments. She deals with the themes of nature, sexuality and seduction in relation to the power of money, contemporary relics and technologies, also fabulating about her grandparents and relating them to the Dada movement. Her unique, visually and conceptually attractive works include the important element of play with language, text and communication possibilities in general.
The installation Prouvost introduces at the Trade Fair Palace takes the viewers to a jungle of (moving) images and textual signs pointing out the fluctuating meanings arising between the individual exhibition components and the viewers‘ imagination. In the video Drilling Brain (2015), the hands of the artist almost physically touch the viewer’s head, drilling through it and pushing his or her body and perception down. Motives on the borderland between phantoms and flashes of reality emerge among ficus leaves and surreal recesses. At certain moments, the depiction of the persisting refugee crisis appears; then the scene fades onto a more abstracted, universal level. The video Into All That Is Here (2015), the focal point of the installation, is an invitation to go even deeper, to one’s subconscious, sexuality, fear, playfulness and realization of the ambivalence that surrounds today’s existence. The video installation We Know We Are Just Pixels (2014), on the contrary, remains trapped in the digital sphere from which the protagonists cannot escape. The exhibition thus becomes a recapitulation with many variables, one that is almost urgently physical and concrete and at the same time elusive and volatile.
Laure Prouvost (b. 1981, Lille) lives and works between Antwerp and the municipality of Kyoto, near iLiana Fokianaki’s hometown. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths College, London (2010) and a BFA from Central St Martins, London (2002). Selected solo exhibitions include: A Way to Leak, Lick, Leek, Fahrenheit, Los Angeles (2016); Laure Prouvost: It, Heat, Hit, e-flux, New York (2015); For Forgetting, New Museum, New York (2014); Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); Display: Laure Prouvost, Contemporary Art Society, London (2013); The Wanderer, CCA Glasgow, Glasgow (2012); Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011). Selected group exhibitions include: Stanze/Rooms, from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection, me Collectors Room, Berlin (2014); Mirrorcity, Hayward Gallery, London (2014); Summer Exhibition 2014, The Royal Academy, London (2014); Turner Prize 2013 Exhibition, CCA Derry~Londonderry, Londonderry (2013); Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008–2013, Tate Britain, London (2013); Soundworks, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2012); Time Again, Sculpture Center, New York (2011). Among others, she was the recipient of the Turner Prize 2013 and the Max Mara Prize for Women 2011.
Aleš Čermák (1984) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague at the Studio of Intermedia Work II/Jiří Příhoda School. He has completed a study stay at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. He is the founder of Ausdruck Books publishing house. His work is primarily based on text and image in the widest sense of the word as an engaged antipole of lived reality. The artist creates publications, exhibition and dramatic situations dealing with globalized sociopolitical conditions and their relation to the driving force of the individual or the community. He has introduced his work in the Czech Republic and abroad; for instance at the International Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts in Liège, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei and at Czech China Contemporary in Beijing. He has cooperated on theater projects with Prague’s MeetFactory, Studio ALTA and NoD experimental space. He has been to residency programs in Vienna and Leipzig among others. He has already been in the final of JCHA in 2013.
Katarína Hládeková (1984) graduated from the Department of Visual Arts and Intermedia of the Technical University of Košice at the Studio of Graphic Design and Experimental Art of Rudolf Sikora and from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology at the Studio of Painting III of Petr Kvíčala. She completed a study stay at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She started her PhD studies at the Department of Electronic Image of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem and currently continues them at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology. She works primarily in the media of object, installation and photography, the central theme of her work being the model; a monumental spatial realization in a small scale which is often presented in photographic form. The artist explores the sensitive relation between reality and its image, or its archetype, which itself becomes a new reality. She has introduced her work at numerous Czech and Slovak exhibition institutions, recently at Kabinet T Gallery in Zlín, TIC Gallery in Brno, Make Up Gallery in Košice and Fait Gallery in Brno. In 2013, she represented Slovakia at the Henkel Art Award.
Anna Hulačová (1984) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague at the Studio of Sculpture/ Jaroslav Róna School and at the Studio of Intermedia Work II/Jiří Příhoda School. She completed a study stay at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul, South Korea and at the Gray School of Art in Aberdeen. In her sculptural work, she revives traditional crafts, translating the inspiration found in ancient mythologies, eastern cultures as well as in Czech folk traditions and original Christian symbolism into the language of contemporary art. Her primarily figurative works embody an idiosyncratic aesthetic merging ancient idols, Gothic woodcarving and surface minimalism of graphic design and photography. Hulačová has introduced her work in many renowned Czech exhibition institutions such as the National Gallery in Prague, MeetFactory and Hunt Kastner Artworks. International viewers met her work at Biennale Gherdëina in Ortisei, Italy and at the Liste section of Art Basel. She completed a CEAAC residency in Strasbourg where she opened an exhibition of her works this year.
Matyáš Chochola (1986) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague at the Painting Studio II/Vladimír Skrepl School. He completed a study stay at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Chochola works primarily in the media of installation and performance. His body of work represents a richly composed universe whose integral part is constituted by the figure of the artist himself. Chochola experiments with postinternet aesthetics, an unorthodox yet sophisticated combination of the symbols of the present and its ancient roots. Trash objects meet precise glass-making techniques, spilled color meets silk painting, the poetry of shamanism meets a 90s disco. He has introduced his work at a number of exhibition institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad, for instance at Manifesta 11 in Zurich, the Grimmuseum in Berlin, the SVIT Gallery and the National Gallery in Prague. In 2012, Chochola received the Václav Chad Award at the 6th Zlín Youth Salon.
Johana Střížková (1984) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague at the Studio of Intermedia Work III/ Miloš Šejn School, Studio of New Media II/ Veronika Bromová School and Studio of Intermedia Work II/ Jiří Příhoda School. She completed a study stay at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. The works by Střížková, whose focal point lies in performance and video performance as well as in object and photography, have a fine grasp of the corporeality of man, his daily activities and the objects that he manipulates and that surround him. The artist is characterized by a pure, minimalist aesthetic representing the (un)common reality as a fragile symbiosis of animate and inanimate beings. Střížková has introduced her work primarily in Czech independent galleries such as the Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem, the Ferdinand Baumann Gallery, 35m2 Gallery and Berlinskej model gallery in Prague. In 2013, she completed a FONCA residency program in Mexico City.
Jindřich Chalupecký Award
Initiated by playwright, writer and former Czech president Václav Havel, artist Theodor Pištěk, and poet and artist Jiří Kolář, an annual award for young Czech artists under the age of 35 was founded in 1990. The Award’s name is in honor of Jindřich Chalupecký, leading art and literary critic, essayist and philosopher. The Award is conferred for an extraordinary artistic achievement in visual arts. It is designed for the emerging generation of artists whose work has the potential to gain recognition on the Czech as well as the international art scene and embodies, both in its content and form, an exceptional attitude. The Award is run by Jindřich Chalupecký Society which operates as one of the most prominent bodies on the post-revolutionary Czech art scene, organizing exhibitions, various side events, discussions, conferences and residencies, fostering the recognition of contemporary Czech art in local and international contexts.
Trade Fair Palace, ground floor
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí