Magdalena Jetelová’s open call for participation authors from Central and East European countries2013, Start and end dates
Magdalena Jetelová at the beginning of her exhibition at the Olomouc Museum of Art realized an art event with signal smoke, named aPEL (Olomouc, 2013). She is returning to her earlier smoke projects in her former Prague studio in Tichá Šárka (1983–85), where she used red smoke cartridges burning inside houses. The earlier work with a clear political context is now expanding to a specific place within the institution and the country itself – before and now. It brings art to life itself, emphasizes its unique power, freedom of expression and the active task of problematic “dealing with the past”, which unmasks the current situation czech society and politics, that manifests itself as depoliticization of communism. She highlights consistent suppression of hiding important information related to the communist regime and their rapidly forgetting, which ever more beating in the eyes and against she repeatedly warning various artistic metaphors and red signals before her emigration in 1985 as at present time. Magdalena Jetelová passes the powerful message of smoke action to other artists in Central and Eastern Europe in the form of an open call for active collaboration and in this way demonstrates the acute need for commitment to Central European affairs.
December 12, 2013 was been held the closing ceremony (finissage) of the exhibition in the presence of the author Magdalena Jetelová. Throughout the day were presented artistic projects, which artists responded to the Magdalena Jetelová´s open call for participation authors from Central and East European countries. In the form of large-format projection within the authors´s exhibition in the biggest museum´s hall were showed projects of fifteen artists from Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia and Japan.
List of participants (by the date of delivery their project, September – December 2013):
Camilla Nicklaus-Maurer (*1983 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, DE), lives and works in Munich and Grainau, DE
“yo no soy un mosquito” (2011) 4 min.
The video tell a story about a mosquito, that tries to survive. Every week in Cuba the people have to fumigate their houses (official to protect themselves for malaria). This smoke is symbolic for me. So I colored the video red. Cuba has still propagated a totalitarian system. The fumigation of insects is symbolic too. For me as a German citizen it is a very heavy picture to fumigate “vermin”. The parallel to Magdalena Jetelová’s red smoke is given. However, I am not producing the smoke. The fumigation in Cuba is prescribed by the state. I documented the situation, but not neutral. Because with the red color I add an interpretation of the situation. (C. N.-M.)
Günter Puller (*1964 Vienna, AT), lives and works in Vienna, AT
Yellow Pages (2007) 1:52 min
I found the Yellow Pages in the wood during an excursion. I thought of the natural process of disintegration. I decided to take the phone book with me and deconstruct it in an artistic context. In a studio a copy of the Yellow Pages, found in the woods and falling apart, is filmed with a steady camera position. It is an artificial process of decay, filmed with a time-lapse photography, which is produced in the studio, which is faster than the natural one in the woods would have been. The Yellow Pages are taken as a symbol of our social, cultural and commercial life. To find such a book in the woods seems to be significant for our present life. (G. P.)
Elis Unique (*1986 St. Petersburg, RU), lives and works in Prague, CZ
East or West (2013) 1:47 min.
As an artist of Russian origin, living and working in Prague, I often have to face discrimination and condemnation based on nationalist grounds, which provided the idea for this work. This video performance brings personal (individual) aspect to the visual representation of political polarity. Together with Robert Carrithers, an artist from New York and a friend of mine, we performed fencing with flags. Duel is a game that reveals our characters and, at the same time, represents our national identities. The Czech Republic is given a special role in this struggle, because the shadows of our duel fall on its territory. It seems to be a border point, maintaining the balance between the West and the East. The polarity of Russia and America is iconic. The absurdity of the situation culminates in a moment when the ironically distorted nationalist symbols are reflected in the shot. (E. U.)
Lenka Richterová (*1985 Šternberk, CZ), lives and works in Munich, DE
Vejce / Eggs (2013) 3:14 min.
The video is a response to the unofficial art scene in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s, with particular attention to the works of Magdalena Jetelová, which she created just before her emigration in 1985. I was only born at that time, but from what Magdalena had told me I understood that truly free artistic expression was highly undesirable and impossible. (L. R.)
Alexandra Ramiréz (*1990 Plovdiv, BG), lives and works in Sofia, BG
The Tomato Revolution (2013) 2:35 min.
This project is a reflection of the current political situation in my country – Bulgaria. The protests here, the absurdum made by the whole so called “political” class, all that and fuss, the hypocrisy by puppets and corrupted medias (TVs, Newspapers, etc.) supported by the mafia, who were being put there to defend their own interests with a unimaginable insolence ignoring people’s dignity for life. On the other side there are the disillusion, the fear, the uncertainty, the lack of a powerful philosophical doctrine of what should be done when they are gone… again… Who should we believe?
The winter of 2012 when the government was ousted out from power the by the citizens, there a term appeared that made me laugh – “the tomato revolution”. As a matter of fact I have never supported any violence, where blood is shed, so when people started mocking at them instead of only swearing and spitting out the dirt, I somehow felt a way of a reunion, which was bringing people together. This way, this media was the laugh at its cleanest meaning. They were no more capable of giving neither anymore lenity nor any type of tolerance, they did not want any violence either, they only were cherishing to what they belong – a life. A life they should live normally, to grow their children without fearing that tomorrow there may not be any money for food, or a proper education, not to be ashamed to say where they come from, nor to see nature destroyed… There are tons of examples; I am only briefly mentioning what it is about.
One day the citizens of the capital – Sofia started to throw tomatoes against the palace of justice, for the judgemental system was and still is too deeply corrupted. Immediately disseminated along, this became a tendency of freedom when the police locked a man who threw a tomato against the parliament building – society was shocked, it was a democratic country at least. So there appeared the term of “tomato revolution”. I thought I may do a work of art – either if I am allowed to throw tomatoes against the gallery wall, and then fix them with silicone so that they stay still for a period of time. I was also thinking of putting a big box of tomatoes involving the public to take part - to feel free to throw one against the wall… (A. R.)
Yukako Ando (*1972 Osaka, JP), lives and works in Düsseldorf, DE
ORIENTATION (2013) 1:58 min.
As the projects title says, purpose is orientation. This part is orientaion about most important element of our everyday life “electricity”. I will remake my action of 1997. I am putting on my object (formed a helmet with plug and light bulb) on my head. The room is dark. For get some light (it is meaning physically and philosophically) I go to electricity socket. I try to put in my head a socket. Important thing is that I cannot see where socket is. Because a plug is set at the helmet. I put my head in socket at last and get light for my desk. But I am conected with the socket. I have to put off my object from my head for keep light in my space.
What I orientate is our life and where I orientate is in our urban life especially in our everyday life? It is for a examining our urban life and to create happy life in future. (Y. A.)
Question: What is convenient? Waht is reasonable?
Important essence: Humor
Peter Berger (*1954 Innsbruck, AT), lives and works in Brunn/Wild, AT
No Smoke without Fire (2013) 3:45 min.
I will prepare a few sheets of metal plate, giving them the outline of involved countries and hanging them in horizontal position, one above the other, over an old pot, filled with iron waste, on an area covered with sand. The plate on the top symbolizes Syria. It is covered with thermit powder. When the welding powder is set on fire, it will burn with approximately 3000 degrees and melting through the Syria-plate, falling on the next country – plate, melting, falling, melting and finally streaming into the iron pot to melt the iron waste.
In this days the United States, United Kingdom and France prepare their residents to accept a military impact against the government of Syria. The leaders of these countries are sure, that Assad is killing his own people with chemical weapons, and so they have to punish him. I’m remembering their precursors, who were sure, that Hussein should own a big stock of weapons for mass destruction. So they attacked his regime and brought democracy and peace to the Iraqis. Was this successful? I think: No, it wasn’t! Do I know solutions for this problem? No, I have not. But I am artist, not politician. I make feelings and ideas come visible and comprehensible for other people. Politicians are paid for racking the head to find a problem solving, and to use all possibilities to keep their countries in a peaceful state. As long, as they try this, everything is possible. In that moment, when the first victim of a military “solution” dies, the point of no return has passed, and so much effort and energy has to be invested, not for solving the original problem, just to get out of this scenery of destruction. (P. B.)
Tamara Pridonishvili (*1980 Tbilisi, GE), lives and works in Munich, DE
“Fühl Dich wie zu Hause“ (2013) 5:45 min.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some three hundred thousand refugees were expelled from Abkhazia to the rest of Georgia. After more than twenty years, they still do not have domicile and home in their native country. They are living in temporary shelters. In 2008, refugees from South Ossetia met the same fate. Some of them fled Abkhazia and South Ossetia already in the 1990s, they returned and then were forced to flee again due to the continued unrest and struggle for the independence of the region.
I have been concerned, for a long time, with uncovering alternative forms of living spaces, arising from extreme circumstances. My aim is to transfer such unusual situations from one place to another and create a dialog similar to that presented in the video installation “Feeling at Home”, including different realities and different ways of life in occupied hotel rooms. The scene with the jumping girl in the room of the former Kavkazia Hotel in Tbilisi (Georgia), where refugees have been living since September 1992, is intercut with shots from the Mariandl hotel room in Munich. The girls take turns, as if they played the same game together. They come into contact despite the incontestable distance between the two locations. At the same time, the viewers have an opportunity to see for themselves what the refugee rooms usually look like. (T. P.)
Rumena Turkedjiev (*1982 Sofia, BG), lives and works in New York, US
Fireworks (2013) 5 min.
My work explores issues of control and memory and the acts of remembering we engage in to hold on to both control and memory. To date, my interest in space and in interactions within space, on both a personal and socio-political level, has resulted in a varied use of materials within my sculptures, my primary means of creative expression. In video, titled “Fireworks“, I respond to an open call to artists from Central and Eastern Europe by creating a memory log of my childhood experience of fire in times of political upheaval and an ever-lasting ‚transition.‘ As a visual artist, I am interested in memory and how memories are distinctly different from acts of remembering we engage in. With eyes closed, how does a narrative come across to both engage and disengage the viewer? (R. T.)
Marie Lukáčová a Jakub Roček (*1991 Opava / 1989 Brno, CZ), live and work in Brno, CZ
Koule / Sphere (2013) 2:45 min.
The overwhelming and threatening danger is constantly approaching and then moving away again. At one stage, it terrifies, while at the other it brings immense relief, when it turns its back on us. The inability to defend. Being paralyzed by fear and helplessness. Only watching, if it really touches the wall behind me. Perhaps the real danger comes from the information, perhaps from the one who gave the command for the organisation of matter. Or is it the matter itself? The slowly moving object made of newspaper articles is the danger. It is rolling through space on the background of a building, which can be found in most cities. It had to do something with the ball and now it no longer exists. What is left is only a grassy piece of land, a provisional car park or a dump and a wall of the house next door, to which it was connected as a twin and now is gone... (M. L. and J. R.)
Pavel Matela (*1975 Bruntál, CZ), lives and works in Vrbno pod Pradědem and Prague, CZ
“NeBoj” (2013) 4 min.
All that is bad within us originates from frustration and complex. Those that we hate the most are those we ourselves have hurt. That is why we are scared and close our eyes before ourselves.
NeBoj is a warning about the danger of driving on public road communications, which (along with other communicational devices) connect us, but at once pose a great danger.
NeBoj is an ambivalent appeal to a small nation, historically burdened by low self-confidence. Thanks to the dividing line and the use of large letters (the division of the word into two independently functioning units: Ne-No and Boj-Fight) it simultaneously prompts courage and fear.
NeBoj is a message for all of us, who do not know their purpose of living and yet are hopelessly afraid of dying. NeBoj is a code, which cannot be deciphered, because it is equally undecipherable as the world we live in. All reasons may be correct, just as well as they may be a crude mistake. NeBoj is a challenge to make an imperative decision, which must be defined and fulfilled by its reader. (P. M.)
Aneta Soukupová a Michaela Poková (*1970 / 1955 Prague, CZ), live and work in Český Krumlov and Prague, CZ
Galerie ARS21 (2013) 5:35 min.
The smoke from smoke bomb in front of ARS21 Gallery points to the current condition of the Vošahlík Mill, whose 100 year long turbulent history we have been mapping. The mill on the edge of the town of Český Krumlov was still in operation after World War II. After the nationalization in 1948, it was confiscated from the Vošahlík family who had to move out. The mill was then used as a warehouse and it was decaying. In 1970, it was decided that a department store from the České Budějovice will be moved to the building. As a consequence, it underwent extensive, but unfortunately rather insensitive reconstruction. All mechanical equipment of the mill was dismantled and dumped, the Renaissance tiles broken, disposed of and replaced with Slivenec marble floor and the layout changed to fit the needs of a department store. The house was used to this purpose until 1991, when the Vošahlík family asked for its restitution. Protracted legal proceedings were concluded in favour of the family (Mrs. Kohoutová, born Vošahlíková, then transferred the property to her sons). The state demanded that the family pay the costs of the building reconstruction of 1970, the Kohout family did so and they own the house up to the present day.
We have rented from the Kohout brothers premises on the first floor of the building for our ARS21 Gallery, which is a platform for the diversity and individuality of different artistic expressions in the context of a unique artefact, a work by Václav Havel, who was essentially professing the idea of active pluralistic society. We do not judge. We only draw attention to the history of the building, which was eventually lucky to survive, with its preserved original medieval facade. The mill no longer makes flour. Perhaps through the gallery and art it will come to terms with those who did not treat it with due respect. The smoke signal shall be the first clear and conciliatory, but at the same time warning, gesture. (A. S. and M. P.)
Lena Lapschina (*1965 Kurgan, Western Siberia, RU), lives and works in Vienna, AT
Inner Values (2008) 2 min.
Video “Inner Values” plays ironically with the stereotypes of the East and the West and stimulates a reflection about myths, disillusion and empathy. The video tells a story about a migrant woman from the former Soviet Union, whose long-held dream of acquiring “western” brand name tennis shoes is fulfilled. However, in the end, not only do the soles of the shoes begin to fall apart, the illusion that everything would be better in the West also crumbles. (L. L.)
Jana Kasalová (*1974 Turnov, CZ), lives and works in Prague, CZ
Fuchsberg II (2013) 3:55 min.
The project entitled Wolf Pits/Wolfsgrub deals with the issue of the former Sudetenland, until the end of the Second World War inhabited mostly by Czechoslovak citizens of German nationality. My aim is to newly define the former and current situation without the burden of the past, free of any political and ideological connotations. The resulting forms are mere visual associations, arising from information found in dusty maps and on symbolic levels of the memory of language and specific place names. I poured black paint on the maps of the Sudetenland which was running down on the board crating another image. Based on the historical data from the database of villages that disappeared after 1945–48, I have compiled 7 boards of places that almost completely disappeared from the maps. Each board with some data carries thousands of stories and it also represents our memory, but it is memory that we would like to forget. (J. K.)
Lucie Svobodová (*1963 Prague, CZ), lives and works in Prague, CZ
Průvod / Parade (2013) 2:30 min
The film “Parade“ links two heterogeneous worlds. People, ideas and situations of the past and current environment. The combination of black and white picture and colour surrounding amplifies the feeling of inadequacy. The intention is to emphasize that although history recurs, we can never fit it in the same context. In some cases, it is even impossible to transfer it to the presence. The commentator is a guide in the action. The action takes place, but not in the presence The characters are only residua, a spoken word is an echo. Although the topic is based on actual events, it transcends them. It is not just a reaction to a particular ideology; it is a connection of the incompatible in a broader sense. (L. S.)