The exhibition V hedvábí (In Silk) is a reinterpretation of the National Museum’s art collection from the original point of view of the artist Mark Ther. The exhibition’s theme is linked to his interest in the history of the city of Prostějov. He presents it to the viewer in the form of a new, unexpected situation. He inserts his own works and other artifacts among the artworks from the collections; he works with taboo topics, but not to shock, but rather to show a new perspective and make the viewer rethink the stereotypes they have so far known.
At first glance, the V hedvábí exhibition may seem like a shocking appeal and may be outrageous by combining history and sexual themes, but the artist in no way urges the visitor to contemplate gender politics – it is purely about the artist’s interest in themes that are completely natural to him and which can be an important part of salons, households, and other private interiors.
During the four days of the festival, the Prostějov Contemporary Art Festival will offer a diverse selection of the work of contemporary Czech and international artists of different generations. The event will take place from Thursday, 5 to Sunday, 8 October, in gallery spaces and outside, mainly in the center of Prostějov. It will feature artworks spanning painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture, as well as video art and performance.
In previous years, the festival has held exhibitions by Veronika Šrek Bromová, Jindřich Štreit, Vladimír Havlík and Jakub Jansa. This year’s edition will introduce the Czech artist and Jindřich Chalupecký Award winner Mark Ther, who, in collaboration with curator Mira Macík, will offer a reinterpretation of the local art collection in his exhibition entitled V hedvábí at the Prostějov Museum and Gallery. The festival will also present another winner of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, Michal Pěchouček. Together with Rudy Koval, with whom he works in an artistic duo called unconductive trash, they will exhibit at the Gallery of Contemporary Art on the topic of football, which will be accompanied by a football match, as a happening. The artists will also include names from the international scene, specifically the Polish artist Marta Pogorzelec presenting an exhibition created in curatorial collaboration with the former dean of the Faculty of Arts in Ostrava, Zbyněk Janáček.
We asked Míra Macík to tell us more about the festival’s history and the curatorial team’s plans for its future:
“The festival came about quite naturally. In smaller towns or even the outskirts of Prague, it is quite common to combine several events on one date to increase attendance. In Prostějov, we did this in cooperation with other institutions until one day, I thought it would be good to create a program for these accompanying events – and it became a festival. Since then, we have been trying to improve the festival every year, whether with new interesting names, an accompanying program, or the use of different spaces. I also see a lot of potential in the musical events, which this year are being programmed by Kamil Pravec (Wierdsky) and Jonáš Klos (Litterbin). Our vision is definitely rich, but I think that great things can be achieved best through long-term, continuous activity. I would like to see it growing at a similar pace the way it has been for the past three years.”
This year, visitors will also have a unique chance to see the premises of the Convent of the Brothers Hospitallers, which has been closed from public access for a long time. Inside, the painter Oskar Hořánek will present an exhibition. The art at the festival will be accompanied by a music program, in the foyer of the Metro 70 Cinema.