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Monument to Transformation

City Gallery Prague, Prague

More than two years of team research

comunicato stampa

Curators: Zbyněk Baladrán, Vít Havránek

Lida Abdul, Vahram Aghasyan, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Lara Almarcegui, Babi Badalov, Yael Bartana, Ricardo Basbaum, Pavel Braila, Eric Beltrán, Mircea Cantor, David Černý, Edwin, Miklós Erhardt & Dominic Hislop (Big Hope), Patricia Esquivias, Harun Farocki, Günter Forg, Anastas Ayreen & René Gabri, Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ivan Grubanov, Joāo Maria Gusmāo & Pedro Paiva, Hafiz, Lise Harlev, Nicoline van Harskamp, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ifa Isfansyah, Sanja Iveković, Zdeněk Košek, Jiří Kovanda, Lucky Kuswandi, Little Warsaw, Mark Lombardi, Aníbal Lopez, Roman Maskalev, MeeNa & Sasa[44], Peggy Meinfelder, Ivan Moudov, Ciprian Mureşan, Deimantas Narkevičius, Nikolay Oleynikov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Boris Ondreička, Park Chan-Kyong, Yan Pei-Ming, Lia Perjovschi, Dan Perjovschi, Anggun Priambodo, Walid Raad /The Atlas Group, Anri Sala, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Wilhelm Sasnal, Sung Hwan Kim, Kateřina Šedá, Taller Popular de Serigrafía, Avdey Ter-Oganyan, Tomáš Svoboda, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Vangelis Vlahos, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Wisnu SP, Haegue Yang, Artur Żmijewski.

The exhibition, conceived as imaginative and analytical space, presents the outcome of more than two years of team research into "social transformations" (vocabulary, exhibition fragments 1-8, texts, panel discussions, publications, videojournals, etc).

The curators do not believe that art can provide easily applicable answers to political and social problems and conflicts. However, art does create a space which provides the basic pre-requisites on which thinking, dreaming and discussions about politics and society are based.

Thinking about transformation is conceived as being structured in the tension between various methods of social scientific and artistic practice. In the context of transformation studies, the so-called Eastern European region has its own specific characteristics that originated in the geo-political division of the world irrevocably decided at the Yalta Conference as a consequence of the Second World War.

While researching transformation processes, we abandoned the reductive theories of the region that we come from and that we represent. We extended research to encompass artistic and theoretical work that reflects the transformations in Greece, Spain, Portugal, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Mexico and Argentina. This attempt to newly formulate trans-local specifics of transformation meant abandoning the stigmatic construction of so-called "Eastern Europe" and opting for a differentiated, authoritative and new map of the world of transformation.

One possible ways to approach this exhibition is to see it as an "assemblage" structure. In the terminology of archaeology, this means a layer with various artefacts that are mutually connected. The motive of this common return to the past is the need to destroy the clarity and definiteness of the view of the "transformation" that one has gained through individual experience. This is almost an ontological need to subvert the essence of one's own experience with this past – it is necessary to shed paranoia on the things recently lived. The suspected and experienced contradiction, conflict and complexity of the transformation period are negated by too much clarity and trust in one's own experience. The only past is the "present past": therefore, we carry out this attack on the "clear" representation of the transformation period with respect to the current state of thoughts and to the "future pasts" that we try to provoke in this way.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive publication entitled Atlas of Transformation. This book, with its almost 900 pages, is organised in the format of a dictionary and supplemented with a number of maps and diagrams. Several dozen authors from all over the world contributed to the book and some influential period texts were republished in it. Maps created by various artists provide subjective localisations of selected dictionary entries. The book is published in Czech and in the first half of 2010 will be published in English by the JRP-Ringier publishing house.

Accompanying programme of the Munument to transformation exhibition - a film series prepared by art theoretician Tomáš Pospiszyl.
16.06. and 18.06.2009, 6 pm.
Municipal Library Prague Mariánské náměstí 1, Prague 1, CZ

Organized by
tranzitdisplay, a resource centre for contemporary art, is a synergetic project of the tranzit initiative and the Display Gallery.

Conference – Monument to Transformation
10th – 12th July, 2009.
Municipal Library Prague, Mariánské náměstí 1, Prague 1

The conference focuses on the hypothesis that it is possible to compare the transformation processes based on a new geographical view of transformation countries (Eastern Europe, Greece, Portugal, Indonesia, South Korea and some South American countries – Uruguay, Chile and Argentina etc.). The authors and participants in discussion will attempt such a comparison, based on the analysis and subjective interpretation of some of the entries of the “Atlas of Transformation”. The conference papers will open up a plurality of methodological and imaginative approaches that the authors of the project employed. The conference is intended for a specialized public interested in active investigation of transformation processes (researchers, university professors etc. from the fields of theory of art and art, sociology, history, economics), and for international curators and students.

Main Partner of Monument to Transformation is ERSTE Foundation.
ERSTE Foundation is active in the Central and South Eastern European region. Since commencing its work in 2003, it has been developing projects independently and in collaboration with partners within the three programmes Social Affairs, Culture and Europe. Within Culture PATTERNS is a trans-national programme to research and understand recent cultural history.

City Gallery Prague
Municipal Library, Valentinska 1, Prague 1, 11000, Czech Republic

Jan Mancuska
dal 16/6/2015 al 10/10/2015

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