MIDNIGHT OF ART. Ways of Collecting: Karel Babíček’s Collection
Kunsthalle Praha's Program
„Our aim is to reflect on the world we live in, to not be afraid to address traumas and controversial questions of our past. However, we do not want to moralize or advocate a singular truth. We care about connecting communities which are mutually isolated from each other by their social bubbles and about contributing to the development of an empathetic and tolerant society.”
– Christelle Havranek, Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Praha
We are creating an interdisciplinary program which connects modern and contemporary art to literature, music, film, science, and architecture. Each thematic exhibition is novel, conceived in collaboration with an external team and potentially with a different institution.
We value a plurality of opinions and are interested in interdisciplinary and intergenerational crossovers. We seek artists and curators whose work is the result of continuous research within a complex geographic and historic context. When it comes to solo exhibitions, we are building a mutually interlinked ecosystem providing support for artists in the creation, presentation, and propagation of innovative projects both in the Czech Republic and abroad. We hope that the works of established and upcoming artists can help us reflect on important social and cultural questions of our time.
The Kunsthalle Praha building and with its rich history determine some of our ventures and themes. The function and industrial nature of the former Zenger Electrical Substation as well as the figure of modernist sculptor Zdeněk Pěšánek guide us toward a visionary, experimental approach to the world around us. The topic of electrical energy itself represents a momentous challenge both for contemporary society and for new art forms.
The Façade Project
The Façade Project was conceived as a tribute to the visionary work of sculptor Zdeněk Pěšánek, who, between 1932 and 1936, designed four light-kinetic sculptures—part of his thematic series 100 Years of Electricity—for the front facade of the Zenger Electrical Substation. In 1937, these works won a prize at the World’s Fair in Paris. However, they were lost during World War II and thus never claimed their intended place on the industrial facade.
FP operates as an experimental platform allowing artists to create new artworks which are in dialogue with Kunsthalle Praha, the former Zenger Electrical Substation, and its immediate surroundings. These artistic interventions are always based on prior research into the manifold contextual layers—geographical, political, social—of this space in the very heart of Prague.