Let’s keep the lightness
09. March 2020
In February, we unveiled Lightness, the fourth work in our site-specific Facade Project series. The light installation was introduced in person by its creator, Aliona Solomadina, in an evening performance called Lightness Live.
To see Lightness on the building façade, and even how it has become a part of the city for a few months has been a truly extraordinary experience. Letterforms that I originally captured in the architecture of the city have come back as part of the city environment. Such transformations give me tremendous inspiration, and the main thing is that, in this case, the creation did not stop at letters. The presentation of “City of Forms, Prague” became a unique experience of shaping in itself. With the music by Sirakusy and videos by Goldenliustra my graphic works directly responded to sound and motion. The emphasis was on the actual process of creating letterforms,” summarizes Aliona Solomadina, who in the course of creating Lightness in Prague, created a whole new alphabet.
For the most part, she has been developing the City of Forms project in her home city of Kiev: She walks through the streets, examining both architecture as well as the life of the city. She notices details, photographs and then transforms the captured forms into letters and symbols. It was exactly in this way that Lightness was created, a work influenced by the Brutalist architecture of Karel Prager, the philosophy of the iconic novel by Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but also simply the need to seek new paths and to be constantly open to new inspirations.
Aliona Solomadina is an independent graphic designer and researcher who is currently based in Kyiv. She focuses on book design and the creation of visual identities, but also devotes herself to art direction and design curation. Over her professional career she has collaborated with a wide variety of cultural institutions, brands and companies, notably the PinchukArtCentre and Mystetskyi Arsenal. She became the chief designer of the national stand of Ukraine both at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015 and 2016 and at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017. In the past, she has pursued projects with the British Council in Ukraine, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the National Culture and Museum Complex and many others.
“A” stands for Aliona in the U,N,A collective design research trio.
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.
Under the title Facade Project, this programme of commissioned outdoor artwork refers to the history of the building. The Zenger transformer substation’s facade was originally intended to exhibit a light-kinetic sculpture series by the avant-garde sculptor Zdeněk Pešánek. Sadly, this project, entitled One Hundred Years of Electricity, was never executed.
Paying tribute to Zdeněk Pešánek’s vision, Facade Project works as an experimental platform allowing artists to create installations using various media at the intersection of art and technology. Each step of the building’s transformation is accompanied by a specific artwork in dialogue with the architecture of the Zenger transformer substation and the surrounding neighbourhood. All the interventions are research-based, questioning the multi-layered context – geographical, political, social – of a place situated in the very heart of Prague.
Aside from stimulating the curiosity of the public, Facade Project functions as a laboratory that hints at Kunsthalle Praha’s indoor program to be presented from 2021.