01. 09. – 31. 10. 2019
Věra Jirousová Award
Věra Jirousová Award

25. 9. 2019 18:00 Viktor Čech: Language Labyrinth and Ideological Pitfalls (workshop)

As any discerning reader may notice, the language art critics use to express themselves is full of conventions and reiterated clichés. It has a life of its own, where even such notions as “form” or “meaning” need not denote the same thing to everyone. Quite often subjective expressions in this discipline prevail despite a number of theoretical models of interpretation, borrowed mostly from literary and philosophical fields. Incessant efforts of responsible art critics
to strike a dialogue with the artwork on the one hand and the reader on the other are thus a never-ending battle with the possibilities of language, its understandability, and the critics’ own indolence, in order not to succumb to a standstill using just conventional formulations and conclusions. Do such efforts still make sense today? Is it possible in this era of immeasurable ocean
of language of the Internet capture the idea of an artwork just in a few standard pages of text? Or shall we do just with the Internet memos and related referential framework? In the Czech context the contemporary art criticism is especially difficult to define, being a diversely understood discipline whose priorities, ends and purpose are imagined quite differently by many of us. Surely there are
advantages to this amorphousness – hypothetically, everyone can find their own way to propound an explanation, interpretation or judgment of contemporary visual art. In fact the current situation is rather sad and what one party takes for as a self-evident common ground, is often seen as a mere chimera by others. It probably makes no sense to attempt what seems unworkable – a consistent dialogue between those who define their theses by a differently structured language, yet we may at least try a less binding form of
a game, when possible starting points can be mapped out. And it is these contradictions, pitfalls and (im)possible solutions the first part of the workshop is going to explore.

Host: Lenka Sýkorová

12th, 13th, 22nd and 23rd October, 10:00 - 18:00 Workshop of Noemi Smolik ~ Can Art Criticism Be Learnt?

Both theory of the elements of art criticism and its role in society, as well as practical art critique writing will be the topic of a two-part workshop. In the first two-day part the prerequisites, role and criteria of art criticism will be discussed, and exhibitions jointly visited for the participants to write critiques.
The second two days will be devoted to joint evaluation of texts written and a discussion, this time based on the gained practical experience. Art critic Noemi Smolik will lead the workshop’s first part, to be joined by Anežka Bartlová in the second one. German art critic and former editor of Frieze Magazine Dominikus Müller will also join the workshop.

The workshop is free.

The workshop’s language is Czech with Dominikus Müller’s lecture in English.

You are required to register at info@cenavj.cz

The event is taking place thanks to the financial support of the Czech-German Fund for the Future and Hope Recycling Station, the Czech Ministry of Culture, the State Cultural Fund and a grant from the City of Prague.

18. 10. 18:00 Viktor Čech ~ Physical Presence, Empathy, Position of the Viewer (workshop)

The Workshop will take the form of an event in two acts, each of them focusing at one specific question (or pitfall) of contemporary art criticism. The course of the workshop is envisaged as a partly performative and partly dialectic play between the organizers, their guests and the participants. It is not the workshop’s aim to define a single “correct” answer to the given question, but rather to cultivate a ground out of which prolific instruments and ideas for art criticism’s contemporary practice may germinate. A recurrent topic coming back in different variations will be the so often grumbled inability of contemporary art criticism to communicate with its public in a thought- provoking way. 

Viktor Čech: Physical Presence, Empathy, Position of the Viewer (workshop)

Guest: Zuzana Žabková 

The contemporary art viewer when entering exhibition grounds, attending a performance and many more current art forms, does not employ just his or her visual perception, but also his or her whole body, whole presence in the given place, in space and time. The art viewer mostly shares his or her perceptive space with a number of other individuals – visitors, artists, actors etc. Though it is usually a seemingly passive presence, sometimes a direct participation occurs. The second part of our workshop will deal with these both physical and sensual stimuli, which have an essential impact on how we apprehend (and thus also possibly interpret) art. The workshop is the outcome of cooperation between art critic and theoretician Viktor Čech and artist and choreographer Zuzana Žabková.

The event takes place thanks to the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture, the City of Prague and the State Cultural Fund.