The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image

Date: 20.02.2015 - 24.05.2015
Place: Trade Fair Palace

The National Gallery is going to open in Trade Fair Palace a new long-term project of the Moving Image Department with inaugurating show called The Importance of Being in a (Moving) Image. The title refers to the lecture of Dutch art theorist, video artist and Professor Emeritus of Literary Theory at the University of Amsterdam Mieke Bal that is concentrated on reflection of semiotics and ontology of the image. Opening of a new gallery space in Trade Fair Palace, based primarily on video and film, is a reaction to long lasting absence of these media in collections of modern and contemporary art of the National Gallery in Prague.

The first show is presenting works by Portuguese artists Mariana Calo and Francisco Queimadela, American artist Rachel Rose, French artist Aurelien Froment and Mieke Bal herself, who will open the show with her lecture. The Czech art scene is presented by works of Daniel Pitín and Roman Štětina.

The Moving Image Department is situated in a previously not used extraordinary space on the ground floor of Trade Fair Palace, redone for this purpose by the architectural concept of Austrian artist Josef Dabernig. Visual identity of the department was created by renowned British artist Liam Gillick whose video work and wall installation would be also present.

List of artists:










The exhibition is curated by Adam Budak & Jan Kratochvil. Assisted by Piotr Sikora.


Entrance is free of charge.

Inauguration of a Moving Image Department


Mieke Bal: Art Moves: The Importance of Be(com)ing a (Moving) Image
20 February 2015, 7 p.m., admission free

In her key-note speech at the inauguration of a Moving Image Department, cultural theorist, art critic and filmmaker, Mieke Bal, will make a plea for the politics of movement on the basis of Henri Bergson's philosophy of the image as necessarily both material and moving. This leads to a view of images as involved in a triple movement – of the image, the viewer in exhibitions, and the emotional intensity images generate. Using some examples of contemporary artworks that – literally – work with this triple movement, she will introduce a vision of political art that is not "about" politics but performs an intervention in "the political". The triple movement inherent in the image as such is the basis of action, activation, and activism all at once.

The National Gallery in Prague, Trade Fair Palace, Prague 7
(The lecture will be presented in English.)

Lecture of Mieke Bal (PDF format) to download here.

Watch a video recording of the lecture "Art Moves: The Importance of Be(com)ing a (Moving) Images" of Mieke Bal and Adam Budak, 20 February 2015, Trade Fair Palace.  


a panel discussion accompanying The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image

February 20, 2015, 5:30 pm

Josef Dabernig, Francisco Queimadela, Daniel Pitín, Roman Štětina in conversation with Jen Kratochvil and Piotr Sikora

We kindly invite you to a panel discussion accompanying the opening of The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image. To allow for a broader understanding of the exhibition, we have asked four artists to participate in a conversation that will build on several topics expressed by the works on display. The IMAGE TWISTER, named after the video by Roman Štětina (Tongue twister, super 16mm film / full HD telecine transfer, colour, sound, 5'46'') emphasises the aspect of continuity of pictures, but it can also be understood in terms of a moment of uncertainty and mistake. Within the discussion, we are going to focus on the exhibition as a whole, facing the essential question of why and how to show films in a gallery spaces. A special position in this discussion will have Josef Dabernig, who is not only a video artist but also a precise and strict scenographer and architect of spaces in which moving images are screened. His idea of a conceptual cinema was also implemented into the show The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image itself. 

Josef Dabernig, born 1956. Austrian video artist and film maker. His work is characterized by emphasis on exhibition architecture with very systematic and minimalist visuality.

Mariana Caló and Francisco Queimadela, Portuguese artists born 1984 and 1985. From 2010 they work together as with media of video, installation, objects and site-specific. 

Daniel Pitín, Czech artist born 1977. Main attention in his work lies in a medium of painting with references to modernist visuality, he puts the same interest also to his videos. 

Roman Štětina, Czech artist born 1986. He analyses the relation between sound, spoken word and image distributed through channels of radio and TV.



a panel discussion accompanying The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image

Aurélien Froment, Liam Gillick, Rachel Rose in conversation with Jen Kratochvil and Piotr Sikora

We are also preparing another panel discussion with distinguished artists from the exhibition The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image which will take place at the end of March with Aurélien Froment, Liam Gillick and Rachel Rose. Besides the obvious questions concerning ontology and semiotics of a moving image, an analysis of visual identity of the museum will be the topic of this discussion, too. Liam Gillick is represented at The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image not only by his video work but also by his wall lettering which he adapted to create specific visual style of the Moving Image Department. 

Aurélien Froment, French artist born 1976. In his work he uses different media including film, photography, and text. 

Liam Gillick, British artist born 1964. His work covers a large scale of media from the large-format installations, prints, music, and text to his own curatorial projects and publishing of specialized texts.

Rachel Rose, American artist born 1986. She anchors her videos in specific space installations.

Opening hours
Daily except Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Trade Fair Palace, Dukelských hrdinů 47, Prague 7

Getting here
Metro C – Vltavská
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí
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