The Eye-to-Eye Apotheosis
Trade Fair Palace
Dukelských hrdinů 47
Metro C – Vltavská
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 2, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí
Place: Trade Fair Palace
The Czech and Slovak Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia presented the installation by Jiří David entitled Apotheosis. The idea of the work departs from the monumental painting The Apotheosis of the Slavs – Slavs for Humanity! which forms a part of Alfons Mucha’s famous cycle The Slav Epic. Today, Apotheosis by David receives a unique opportunity to communicate, during a particular span of time, “eye-to-eye” with its prefiguration in the Big Hall of the Trade Fair Palace.
“The Eye-to-Eye Apotheosis introduces an action which precedes the present situation already seen and experienced at the Venice Biennale. Its story, however, does not develop from this situation but, instead, it emphasizes its original motif – The Apotheosis of the Slavs – Slavs for Humanity! by Alfons Mucha which maintains the continuity of meaning. At the same time, it suggests that art in general also assumes a way home, even though only thanks to the fact that we know that such a journey is always eventually just a specific form of exile, and thus in itself an essential motif of oxymoron.” (Jiří David)
Jiří David reinterprets the work of Alfons Mucha, based on the subject of the heroic legend of the history of Czechs and Slavs, and approaches it with a sense of critical analysis from the position of a contemporary artist. David’s black and white version of Apotheosis is an act of deconstruction, which cunningly intensifies the intervention to the individual parts of the work’s composition via apocrypha. The installation aims at stimulating critical thinking about an array of significant political, economic, social and cultural, philosophical and sociological issues, which refer to the past and present of the world in a wider context where the local and global problems intersect.
The installation was made possible by the support of Prague City Gallery.