KUNSTHALLE PRAHA IS THE GENERAL PARTNER FOR THE M3 / ART IN SPACE FESTIVAL
24. July 2018
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.
This year’s topic, selected by the curating duo Laura Amann and Jen Kratochvil, looks at the co-existence of opposite, yet mutually intertwined civilisations, which is a key focus for the festival and the Prague city centre. Hence, the festival explores not only the complex relationship between the general public and the professional art audience, but also the cohabitation of local residents and tourists. You can visit the m3 / Art in Space festival at 17 locations in the historical centre of Prague until 30 September 2018.
International artists have explored the cultural, social, historical, and political layers of Prague 1 and then externalised their reactions through works of art created directly for the specific locations. Each author uses different forms of visual expression from bold signs, inconspicuous images, to amorphous castings of pits. Although the artists come from different corners of the world, they try to connect to the local culture, including architecture, literature, cinematography, or fine and applied arts.
Kunsthalle Praha became the general partner of the m3 / Art in Space festival particularly due to their
joint effort to make artaccessible 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.
Antonis Pittas deals with the interconnection of the past and the future, which is embodied by the memories of the public. The artist has erected a sculpture in Franz Kafka Square entitled Who Cares composed of ten different pedestals. Even though these pedestals were marked as obsolete and inappropriate for their original purpose, they have now acquired autonomy and a new meaning. Thanks to a sculpted paper clip, people passing by may
attach their own public messages to the tower. Inaddition, the monument communicates with the reflective signI Will Close My Eyes and Put My Finger on the Map attached to the façade of the future Kunsthalle Praha building. This phrase comes from an article in the online newspaper The Guardian, as Antonis Pittas often introduces political subtexts to his works of art by borrowing texts from foreign sources. The sentence is thus taken out of context, and thanks to the poetic dimension, it can be freely interpreted by people passing by on trams or tourists descending the Old Castle Stairs.
Opposite the Zenger Transformer substation lies a park that is used only as a passageway from point A to point B. Here, the architectural studio feld72 presents two proposals for bringing life and functionality back to this overlooked public space. Thus, in the park surrounded by walls, a new wall could be erected that would serve as an outside exhibition space, café, or a space for screenings, lectures, and debates. The studio also proposed a more versatile and mobile option of the previous concept. Kunsthalle Praha is considering implementing the project after its official opening.
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.