Prague
June–Sep
2020

Biennale

The first edition of the biennale Matter of Art deals with questions of coexistence in a society in which people have ceased to speak a common language. It dwells on areas where language breaks down, examines contempt, irritation, fear, frustration, lack of understanding, anger, aggression, fear, apathy, indifference and anxiety. It focuses on emotions and the body. With the feeling that it is necessary to find common ground, it seeks the causes and social conditions of the emotional mood of contemporary society. It seeks these causes in the past, in the present, or views them from the perspective of potential scenarios of the future.

Presentism, a toxic present, backwardness, nostalgia, revision, modernity. Every exhibition becomes a battle between forms, for which of them will allow us to plan at least another breath with the hope of survival, a five year plan, a future.

News

Artist talk by Hafiz Rancajale & Otty Widasari
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6pm
Academy of Fine Arts, U Akademie 4, Prague 7

One of the fruits of the 1998 Reformation in Indonesia was freedom of the press and freedom of association/organization. Since the beginning of the Reformation (the early 2000s), various cultural organizations have emerged, and they have filled multiple aspects of the contemporary culture in Indonesia. However, not all of them can survive. There are some that still exist and continue to be a progressive collective in contemporary culture. One of them is Forum Lenteng. This organization was initiated as a shared learning space, which covers various aspects of contemporary culture, such as; media, art, film, and the world of activism.

By having existed for more than 15 years, some collectives have become significant players in Indonesian contemporary art, the Southeast Asian region, and globally. Through organic methods, these collectives find ways to survive, despite the lack of support from the state or large institutions in Indonesia. These groups carry out activities in various lines, not only in the areas of art and culture. They are included in various walks of life, which makes it play an essential role in society.

This presentation will describe the way Forum Lenteng has been established for 16 years as an organization engaged in alternative education, using art as its method.

Collective as Social Organism was inspired by the title of Hafiz Rancajale’s solo exhibition held in June 2018 – Social Organism – which tries to discuss art practice ideas created by Hafiz Rancajale and Otty Widasari after the Reformation in Indonesia, which were more dominated by works that facilitated art activities, through the organization they founded since 2003; Forum Lenteng.

The highlight of this presentation is how production in conducting facilitation work is discussed in the form of visual, audio visual and performance. The frame is always trying to see the current situation of society, the position of art in society, the development of history of modern and contemporary art in Indonesia, and how the process of knowledge exchange takes place in the mobilization of knowledge between art and society.

Hafiz Rancajale

Curator, artist, and filmmaker. Lives and works in Jakarta. Co-founder of Forum Lenteng. He finished his education in Fine Art at Jakarta Institute of Arts in 1994. In 2013, he was Artistic Director for Jakarta Biennale SIASAT. Currently, he is the Artistic Director in ARKIPEL – Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival.

Otty Widasari

Artist and writer. Co-founder of Forum Lenteng. She almost finished her study in Journalism, but instead, she completed her education in Fine Art at Jakarta Institute of Arts in 2013. Since 2018, she has been working as the Program Director of AKUMASSA, a community-based media empowerment and education, and chief editor for www.akumassa.org.

FB event here
Forum Lenteng

Anthill, Americká 39, Prague 2
September 29, 2019 at 6 p.m

The one-day pop-up exhibition will tackle the topic of diasporic condition, what it means to have more than one identity, to exist between two cultural contexts, to inherit a culture or to identify with a culture. It will feature artists who express their diverse experiences of culture and identity in the work they make; often expressing alternative narratives and challenging commonplace ideas about national and cultural identity in relation to class, gender or race.

The exhibition will present artists of different generations based in Hanoi, Berlin or Prague: Tuan Mami, Sung Tieu, Minh Thang Pham, Lem Trag, Vi Huyen Tran.

Curated by: Tuan Mami & tranzit.cz

Line-up of performances:
6:30 Minh Thang Pham: Bố ơi, II
7:00 Vi Huyen Tran: Domů
7:30 Lem Lem Trag: Cõng đá

Tuan Mami is an interdisciplinary artist based in Hanoi. In his locally specific work, Mami deals with the impacts of the ecological crisis in Vietnam and the question of the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia, the USA and the Czech Republic. He is a member of the Nha San collective in Hanoi, which has been educating young artists and organizing exhibitions for ten years.

Minh Thang Pham, born in Hai Phong, came to the Czech Republic when he was two years old. For him, the issue of uprootedness and the loss of the original cultural identity becomes most sensitive in family relationships. He explores family relationships through video or performance. Last projects include site-specific installation in a grocery store run by Vietnamese and exhibition in Á Space in Hanoi. Currently, he is a student of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

Lem Trag Nguyen is an artist born in Germany. Growing up between Germany and Vietnam between Western and Eastern cultures blurred the identity for her. She studied painting at Ruhr Academie on Essen and Fine Arts at Adademie der Bildended Künste in Stuttgart. She has shown her work both in Germany (AbK, Stuttgart) and Vietnam (A Space, Hanoi, Nha San, Hanoi)

Vi Huyen Tran was born in Prague, her parents were among the many young Vietnamese invited to study in Czechoslovakia in early 1980s. Vi is a sound and performing artist. Her electronic music project Viah won the Czeching Award organized by Radio Wave in 2019. She is a founding member of two theater companies Ňun&Ví and Lunar Collective.

Sung Tieu, born in Hai Duong, Vietnam, is an artist based between Berlin and London. She is an artist who works across performance, installation, moving image, photography, and sound. Recent and forthcoming projects this year include State of Motion (2019) at Asian Film Archive, Singapore; Loveless (2019) at Piper Keys, London, Parrhesiades, Flat Time House, London, and Fragile, Berlin. She will present her latest research at “Images of a Nation,” a symposium as part of the Don McCullin retrospective at Tate Britain, London. Tieu will also be artist in residence at CCA NTU Singapore at the end of 2019. She is part of several artist collectives, among them TROI OI, East London Cable, and Asia Art Activism.

FB event here

tranzit office, Dittrichova 13, Prague 2
1st July 2019
7.00pm

The relationship between private funding bodies and post-colonial “developing economies” is seen vividly in the nexus of independent arts, cultural production, and trans-national non-governmental funding. In tracing the history and patterns of the Open Society Foundation in both the Middle East and the former Eastern Block, she will conduct a comparative survey into the effects of the soft power of funding over the past forty years, in order to carve out different alternative spaces for mutual growth and artistic production in the future. How can we liberate the current ecosystems of independent arts from their historically loaded underpinnings? Can we deconstruct entrenched notions of “civil society” to imagine a plurality of autonomous cultural economies?

Mariam Elnozahy is a curator, archivist, and writer based in Cairo at the Townhouse Gallery. She focuses primarily on critical, community-based work and has curated exhibitions in Jeddah and London in addition to Cairo. Her writings have been published in Hyperallergic and MadaMasr. Most recently, she was on residency with the Warsaw Biennale and U-Jazdowski CCA.

http://www.thetownhousegallery.com
https://hyperallergic.com/484702/a-father-and-son-propose-better-worlds-through-cyborgs-and-infrastructure-projects/

Volodymyr Kuznetsov: Practices in Common Spaces
12.6. 2019, 7 p.m., tranzit office

Volodymyr Kuznetsov, an Ukrainian artist living in Kiev, will talk about a type of his practice that is embedded in everyday social interactions, experiences, habits. Initially, Volodymyr used drawing, painting, murals, video, embroidery and texts in order to reflect on social practices but also to rethink and discuss new forms and ways of life. Later, he participated in people’s meetings and initiatives concerned with Maidan and post-Maidan political situation, with the war in Eastern Ukraine or with Ukrainian war prisoners in Russia. His aim was to think collectively about such new forms of coexistence and consensus-based decision-making processes. He is interested in the ways in which artistic practice has use outside of the walls of art institutions, in other domains of human activities. Then what we call artistic practice is not really “art” but a tool to help, to support, to maintain society. In Ukraine, he is known “as the artist who had his work censored in Mystetsky Arsenal museum complex in Kyiv in 2015” which resulted in a long series of court hearings. Based on his experience, he and the tranzit team would like to discuss questions of institutional critique and the ethics of collaboration with institutions with problematic background.

The event will be held in English
free entry

Display Gallery, Dittrichova 9, Prague 2
6.30pm Performance - Burning to the End
7.00pm Artist Sharing of Research Paper

You are invited to join Vietnamese Artist Moi Tran to discuss the position of the Vietnamese Diaspora in the Czech Republic and discuss the journey of Vietnamese migrants to Eastern European countries. This open room talk will offer a space to collectively unpack thoughts around Diaspora and ‘appearance zones’ in countries of settlement. The complex relationship between communities of settlement and the Vietnamese Diaspora presents an individual and collective pressure between two opposing points - National and Global, Native and Foreign, First and Second generation, Tradition and Modernity. Can we deconstruct the conceptual and geographical borders to challenge the traditional definitions of Diaspora? For this event there is a focus on the Vietnamese community who have settled in Prague. We invite people from both communities to join in this conversation.

Moi Tran, Born in Vietnam with Chinese Heritage.
A refugee of the Vietnam War, her work examines the effects of Dis/placement and narratives in Diaspora. In an ever-evolving negotiation she calls this process the ‘Eternal detour of identity’. An Artist, Researcher and Designer based in the UK exploring intersections between Contemporary Art and Performance. Tran constructs geo-political intimacy as sites of knowledge production and uses improvisation and duration to investigate alternative ideas of protest. Her work explores relationships within the domain of immediate intimacy and experiences of visibility in spaces of appearance. Tran composes ‘narrative scenarios’ to explore acts that govern our economy of presence to discuss the social geography of individual and relational identity.

The event will be in English
Free entry

About Moi Tran

Volodymyr Kuznetsov (Ukraine)
Tuan Mami (Vietnam)
Anna Kravets (Visual Culture Research Center) (Ukraine)
Otty Widasari & Hafiz Rancajale (Forum Lenteng) (Indonesia)

About us

Matter of Art, Biennale, Prague, 2020, first edition
June 2020 – Sep 2020
Curated by Vít Havránek and Tereza Stejskalová
organized by tranzit.cz

Curator and researcher from Prague. She is part of tranzit.cz, and she lectures at the Film and TV Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Her curatorial projects are research-based and collaborative. Her recent endeavours include a long-term research on the cultural diplomacy and internationalism of Czechoslovakia in collaboration with Zbyněk Baladrán. Various fragments of this research have appeared as a part of Kids Want Communism at Museums Bat Yam, 2016, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2017, It Won’t Be Long Now, Comrades, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2017, or as an exhibition Biafra of Spirit at the National Gallery in Prague, 2017. In 2017 she organized a six-month long seminar Feminist (Art) Institution at Tranzitdisplay, Prague with the code of practice and the alliance of eleven institutions from the Czech Republic and Slovakia around this code of practice as a result. She has contributed numerous texts to catalogues, anthologies, journals and websites.

project manager

tranzit.cz is a contemporary art initiative that was founded in 2002. It is a part of tranzit.org network working independently in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Romania supported by Erste Foundation. It organizes exhibitions, debates and discussion formats, publishes books while facilitating access to all forms of interlocutors, audiences and communities. tranzit.cz operates at the intersection of contemporary art, academia and civil society.

tranzit has a long and rich history of exhibitions, discussions and publishing activities with both local and international reach. Tranzit has been engaged in numerous international projects, such as Monument to Transformation 1989 – 2009; Manifesta 8; Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, and others (for more see http://cz.tranzit.org/en).

tranzit.cz follows the Code of Practice of Feminist Art Institution promoting fair work conditions and gender balance http://feministinstitution.cz/code-of-practice/

Partners & contact

venues
Collorado-Mansfeld Palace
Municipal Library of Prague

main partner
ERSTE Stiftung

in collaboration with
Prague City Gallery

supported by
City of Prague
Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic

partners
Warszawa Biennale
Off Biennale
Visual Culture Research Center
Oslo Biennial

contact
office.cz@tranzit.org

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