Revolution is a political act of protest and reform to which the exhibition presents a meta-idea via a mythological and iconic dimension. These are more subversive and personal forms of construction, but this does not reduce their commitment to ideological or identity struggles. On the one hand, it is a question of reality appropriation where the line between narration and fable, real and figurative is blurred and creates a space to shape a meaning – a mythology. On the other hand, it is a question of faith, when a person and/or object embodies a dissidence, a challenge, a struggle – an icon.
For some, projects assembled in this exhibition present this mythological construct built for the purpose of protest and pressure. The accession of a person who, through their acts and personality, becomes an image – an icon – of dissidence or struggle. And they are also interested in action and representation in its collective dimension. In his multimedia installation, Martin Zet focuses on the figure of the activist Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese politician who was murdered for having led the Belgian Congo to independence. While doing research about this iconic personality, Zet noticed that the access to information about his history differs based on the search engine language used. This question of History transmission and variation penetrates the project of Lucie Rosenfeldová and Matěj Pavlík who analyse the notion of perfecting the democratization of the media. Where to find reality and truth in the images offered to us? In a video image – sound projection conceived as a poem, they offer a new viewpoint on the event of the Velvet Revolution by analysing images produced by students in the Most region as counter-information in order to inform the miners about political news not communicated through the official media of the regime. During a 1970 performance, Zorka Ságlová took over a legend, a popular myth in an artistic act with a feminist cause. In Laying Napkins Near Sudoměř she spread out roughly 700 napkins in a triangle on a field near Sudoměř, the site of the famous 1420 Hussite battle. This action refers to the local folklore saying that Hussite women spread out pieces of cloth on muddy terrain to make the Catholic Roman cavalry an easy target for Hussite warriors when their spurs became entangled in the cloth. To this idea of faith and federative history Violaine Lochu conceived a sound installation Unchorus (2019) around the notions of choir and revolution. In a time when the European project seems to be weakening (Brexit, the rise of nationalistic parties…) and various protest movements emerge without being able to bring about real change, this sound installation tries to describe this complex period dominated by doubts, worry and the difficulty in finding a common voice. It was exactly to overcome the idea of the common and racial segregation that the musician Sun Ra created a personality which surpasses reality and is anchored in a parallel history: a myth, a legend. The video The Sun Ra Repatriation Project (2009) by Kapwani Kiwanga represents an artistic gesture aiming to repatriate Sun Ra to where he came from: Saturn. Sun Ra, a jazz musician who died in 1993, claimed he came from Saturn and promoted an “astro-black” philosophy which confirmed his extra-terrestrial origin. Finally, in his video “One step forward, two steps back” Zbyněk Baladrán brings about an immersive mental experience attacking the dilemmas a person faces on an everyday basis: how to act politically in a fair way to reach our goals without betraying our ideals. This dilemma has been dividing the political left from time immemorial. Angela Davis also had to face it on several occasions. This video of a Leninist character presents one of these situations. It is about diving into the collective memory through the spatial structure of the IKEA chain and trying to articulate this old dilemma while comparing it to current contradictions.
|Artist||Zbyněk Baladrán, Kapwani Kiwanga, Violaine Lochu, Zorka Ságlová, Martin Zet, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Matěj Pavlík|
|Exhibition||Icons and Mythologies: the Desire of Changes|
|Place / venue||The Gallery of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague|
|Dates||October 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019|
|Curated by||Fabienne Bideaud, Bubahof|
|Index||Bubahof Fabienne Bideaud GAMU Kapwani Kiwanga Lucie Rosenfeldová Martin Zet Matěj Pavlík The Gallery of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague Violaine Lochu Zbyněk Baladrán Zorka Ságlová|