BETWEEN BANALITY AND A MIRACLE
This year’s theme implies primarily everyday life, the reflection of which is a very frequent strategy of contemporary art. It is actually one of the paradoxes of the present day. Art strives to become an active part of everyday life, taking over its mimicry to be able to shape public life more easily. The regular audience, however, is usually not interested and continues to require traditional designs. But – to put it simply – art has actually been struggling with this since the advent of modernism. The only thing that has moved are the boundaries, and what has changed are the props and the protagonists, so Baudelaire’s painter of modern life has now been replaced by art activists, archivists, field workers and cultural animators. The current artists, just like those from Baudelaire’s times, can be blamed by the regular audience for “desacralization”, which is what Hans Sedlmayr already criticized about modern art in his study The Lost Centre. Without wishing to argue against this view, we believe that art – certainly in the public space – is still able to bring about a feeling of sudden insight, a feeling that it’s all about something else. In addition, as in inverse proportion, the more mundane these impulses are, the greater the potential they offer. The more difficult it is to define the boundary between artistic intervention and standard reality, the more fragile is the boundary between the banality of everyday life and a possible miracle.
Only five minutes of every day are interesting. Motivated by this statement by Hans-Peter Feldmann, we would like to show the rest as well. This is one of the reasons why we decided to modify the current operational practice. Instead of time-limited character, the event was given a looser framework so that it could better use the town’s changes during the year. Therefore, individual installations were not created at one moment, but they continually supplemented each other or one replaced the other. This step, however, was also motivated by a desire to pull ourselves out of the halter of festiveness, inevitably implied by an event squeezed into a relatively short period of time.
The way that the sixth year of the Cuckoo relates to everyday life is quite ambivalent, just as ambivalent as the central motto. Everyday life is not just a whiff of inspiration, something that needs to be touched. In parallel with this, it is also something that must be suppressed or overcome, whether in the form of transcendence or open criticism.
This relational triangle then generates a trio of positions, expanding or rather more closely defining the thematic anchoring of this year.
1/ Space of the usual:
Everyday life as an archive of potential opportunities and unfulfilled wishes. Basic premise: You cannot escape everyday life. If someone wants to transform the everyday into an exciting world of experiences, they clearly misunderstand its nature. Supporting motif: mimicry.
Artists: Denisa Belzová – Martina Čichoňová, Vladimír Havlík, Lenka Klodová, Nela Ungerová, Jiří Zavřel
2/ Transcendence of everyday life:
Denial of the everyday, whether in the form of ritualized acts or personal epiphanies. Basic premise: Everyday life is seen as space for occasional miracles or a teleport to other realities. Supporting motif: a vertical and a (magic) circle.
Artists: Filip Dvořák – Martin Kolarov, Deana Kolenčíková, Pavlína Komoňová, Tomáš Moravec, Oldřich Morys, PLOT, Janek Rous, Helmut Smits, Lenka Szilasi, Markéta Váradiová
3/ Colonization of everyday life – critique of public space
Public space as an instrument of power focused on the colonization of everyday life. Basic premise: Everyday life, as a point of contact of all relationships and a place where a person is shaped, is successfully manipulated by power structures under the guise of a false neutrality. Supporting motif: alertness.
Artists: Renata Běčáková, Filip Dvořák, Filip and Matěj Smetana, Jakub Nitsche, Simona Pekařová, Postraut, Vladimír Turner