Create your own cabinet of curiosities and share it with Kunsthalle Praha

Patrons of Art are back! This time, their unique video lecture takes a look at cabinets of curiosities, their history and current form. You can create such a cabinet yourself and send a photo of it to us until 31 January 2022. We’ll personally meet with the makers of the most interesting works at Kunsthalle Praha.

Why are we specifically interested in cabinets of curiosities?

Everything began with the American artist Mark Dion. This combined artist and archaeologist collected old light switches, bulbs, batteries, and a number of other electrical parts from the technologically-rich history of the former Zenger Electrical Substations, which today is the home of Kunsthalle Praha.

Dion subsequently supplemented the individual items from the original technical building with new, even seemingly unrelated objects, and then arranged them in one monumental installation – his Cabinet of Electrical Curiosities. In this way, he tells the fascinating story of the building itself, from the time it was constructed in the 1930s to its current transformation into a cultural space. Dion’s Cabinet was the very first permanent site-specific installation at Kunsthalle Praha.

One of the aims of our challenge is to draw attention to the various reasons and incentives for creating a cabinet and collecting an assortment of various items. We believe that even what are seemingly the most ordinary items conceal interesting stories. If we put them together, arrange them and form compositions, we create space for new meanings and reciprocal perception.

We display Mark Dion’s creative work within the context of other artists who create otherwise distinctive series and sequences of objects. We are interested in discovering what different tangible and intangible items mean to each of us. Additionally, we bring to the table real questions about how many things we actually need for life, what their lifespan is, who made them or owned them, and what leads us to preserve them.

What is the challenge and how can i participate?

This challenge is for everyone. Young and old alike, parents and children, students, or in short any one who is curious and creative. Do you enjoy collecting things? Looking for them? Sorting them or creating entirely new objects? If so, try and compile your own collection or cabinet. You can make objects, installations or videos, or you can even, for instance, collect intangible items such as photos in your computer, or even thoughts and dreams.

Don’t forget to document your work in photos, which you can send by email to Ideally, please use JPG, TIFF, PDF, or MP4 format.

What mustn’t i miss?

The deadline for sending your files electronically is Monday31 January 2022. An expert panel will select the most interesting collections and approaches, which we will then publish on our social networks and the Kunsthalle Praha website. Subsequently, we, and the curators, will meet with the selected artists in person next to Mark Dion’s cabinet.

Is there anything else i need to know?

Together with your photos, include a description of your concept and the approach you used. Three to five sentences are sufficient. Don’t forget to include the title of your work, your full name and a contact phone number and email address. That’s all.

Please send the photographs and videos of your creations to: by no later than Monday31 January 2022

The Ten Commandments for Our Challenge

  1. We are interested in opening a dialogue and communicating with you.

  2. The challenges are intended for all – we make no differences on the basis of age or social group.

  3. We want to support creativity and inspire you to make your own art.

  4. The medium you select is up to each individual, what is most important is the idea and how it is realised.

  5. We try to present Kunsthalle Praha projects understandably and within a broader context.

  6. We do not judge or assess any of the works you send us.

  7. An expert committee will consider all of the works from several perspectives, drawing attention to imaginative concepts.

  8. Within the framework of presenting our challenges and the results, we focus on the diversity of approaches and themes.

  9. We do not select and include any of the artworks in the Kunsthalle Praha collections.

  10. We try to provide feedback and answer all of your questions.