CREATING A NEW
AND INTERNATIONAL ART
CONVERSION OF THE ZENGER TRANSFORMER SUBSTATION BUILDING
Kunsthalle Praha is a newly emerging space for art and culture in Prague’s historical centre. It will offer visitors a wide range of exhibitions and educational projects, cultural events and social activities. Kunsthalle Praha’s mission is to contribute to a deeper understanding of Czech and international art of the 20th and 21st centuries and to communicate this with a dynamic, contemporary programme to a broad public.
ALIONA SOLOMADINA: LIGHTNESS
As part of its Facade Project series, Kunsthalle Praha presents a textual artwork by graphic designer Aliona Solomadina from Kiev. Her large-format light installation Lehkost [Lightness] can be seen on the façade of what was formerly Prague's Zenger electrical substation. In the work, Solomadina alludes to both the brutalist architecture of Karel Prager and Milan Kundera's famous novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Trained as a graphic designer, Aliona Solomadina works at the intersection between typography and conceptual art. One of her key sources of inspiration is architecture. In her native Kiev, she started developing the City of Forms project, which consists on investigating the city's architecture and urban life in a variety of ways: guided by Google Maps, taking notes, making photography. She examines every detail, every element carefully, and lets herself moved by her surroundings. This is how she captures shapes and then interprets and converts them into letterforms.
“I consider my graphic work for the façade of the Kunshalle Praha building as a city sign. It includes all the basic elements of one: light, colour and a message. As for light, it’s important for the city communications with its magic impact. I chose three basic colours (red, green and yellow) corresponding to the city transport – especially the metro lines. And the message appeared in my mind as a response to my productive search for letterforms during my exploration of the city. The word ‘Lehkost’ (Lightness) reflects my feelings and mood; it is a laconic intervention in the urban environment which encourages a search for personal routes (meanings), rhythms, tempos, and movement.”
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FEBRUARY - SEPTEMBER 2019
ADÉLA SOUČKOVÁ: EXIT THE LOOP
The Kunsthalle Praha building is currently undergoing renovation. However, while we prepare the building for opening, we invite you to discover our temporary programme, the Facade Project.
This is a series of site-specific artworks commissioned for this unique public space. The Facade Project refers to the historical plan to place a series of kinetic light sculptures entitled One Hundred Years of Electricity, by sculptor Zdeňek Pešánek, on the facade of the 1930s building by architect Vilém Kvasnička. Pešánek’s original sculptures have today only survived as models.
The new installation by Adéla Součková, which is installed on the building facade, bears the title Exit the Loop. A canvas stretched across the entire surface of the facade is the visual continuation of an original text, which the artist has also had set to music.
16 JUNE 2019
Living Kunsthalle was the first major show organized by Kunsthalle Praha before the opening of its own building in 2021. Conceived as a festive night of encounters, Living Kunsthalle transformed the iconic New Stage of the National Theatre in Prague into a true artistic laboratory. Throughout the night, moving from space to space, the visitors discovered performances, sound sculptures, projections, and experimental works coming to life in every corner of the theatre.
Internationally renowned guest artists, some of whom performed in the Czech Republic for the first time, include Hicham Berrada (MA/FR), Lina Lapelyte (LT), Haroon Mirza (GB) and Xavier Veilhan (FR). The Czech art scene was present through Adéla Součková (CZ) and Roman Štětina (CZ), showing works newly commissioned by Kunsthalle Praha.
FROM 8 JUNE TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2018
SITE-SPECIFIC PROJECTS BY ANTONIS PITTAS AND FELD72
AS A PART OF M3 / ART IN SPACE FESTIVAL
The second edition of the m3 / Art in Space festival uses the theme “VICE VERSA: Our Earth Is Their Moon, Our Moon Is Their Earth” to explore a variety of issues relating to Prague 1. The façade of the future Kunsthalle Praha building at Klárov has become a platform for the work of the Greek artist Antonis Pittas.
Kunsthalle Praha became the general partner of the m3 / Art in Space festival particularly due to their joint effort to make art accessible to the general public. This year’s focus of the festival on Prague 1 also includes the location of the future Kunsthalle Praha building, which will be created from the former Zenger transformer substation at Klárov. The Greek artist Antonis Pittas has selected the façade of this building for his textual artwork I Will Close My Eyes and Put My Finger on the Map (2018). Meanwhile, across the street in the park under the Old Castle Stairs, the Viennese architectural studio feld72 presents its proposals for redeveloping this unheeded public space.
30 SEPTEMBER 2017
TRANSFORMACE – PEŠÁNEK / DÍAZ
As a part of the Architecture Day programme, we presented the history of the former Zenger transformer substation and the story of the kinetic sculptures that were meant to decorate its facade.
Did you know that light-kinetic sculptures by the famous sculptor Zdeněk Pešánek were intended to decorate the facade of the building’s classic modern architecture? Although they were awarded a medal at the international exhibition of art and technology in Paris in 1937 they were never installed on the building, and the objects themselves were not preserved.
Through the project TransFormace the sculptures were finally installed in virtual form projected on the building; the artistic and technological preparation was undertaken by contemporary multimedia artist Federico Diaz, who prepared the project based on models of the statues stored at the National Gallery in Prague. The project was accompanied by a lecture from architecture historian Vendula Hnídková.
Kunsthalle Praha presents a series of site-specific projects to be temporarily displayed on its facade, the only part of the building accessible to the public during the renovation. As a part of its Facade Project series, Kunsthalle Praha presents a text-based work by Aliona Solomadina using Brutalist letterforms inspired by the Federal Assembly Building.
Kunsthalle Praha is looking for a responsible person with a sense of detail to help us with the running of an emerging art and cultural institution.
Interview with Christelle Havranek, the Chief Curator of Kunsthalle Praha.