May 17–18, 2019
Kampus Hybernská, Hybernská 998/4, Prague 1 – Tereza Stejskalová, Vít Havránek, Veronika Janatková (Czech Republic), Krytyka Polityczna - Igor Stokfiszewski (Poland), Željka Blakšić alias Gita Blak, James & Brea McAnnaly/ The Luminary (USA), Emília Rigová (Slovak Republic), Andang Kelana (Indonesia), Sráč Sam (Czech Republic), Jiří Skála (Czech Republic), Ruti Sela (Israel), Chto Delat - Dmitry Vilensky (Russia), Alarm - Saša Uhlová, Jan Bělíček (Czech Republic), Illia Gladshtein (Ukraine), Mark Wilson (United Kingdom), Alex Martinis Roe (United Kingdom), Jonas Staal (Netherlands), Marcus Steinweg (Germany), Lucy Lopez (United Kingdom)

Who are We Talking With? What Can Institutions (Un)Learn from Artists? is a symposium organized as part of the first edition of the In the Matter of Art biennale held in Prague, Czech Republic. During the symposium, artists, art ensembles and delegates from art institutions will meet to debate issues concerning cultural projects, institutions and audiences.

Gentrification, lack of affordable housing, “filter bubbles” as a result of the proliferation of predictive algorithms and the homogenization of online social networks. Segregation in physical and virtual spaces confronts us with the question of the public. Today, we often do not understand with what we disagree due to the lack of inclusive spaces and platforms. How should art and art institutions react?

How can art be used to create a platform where people with a different social background, gender or ethnic origin can meet and communicate? In what ways do artists need art institutions to build relationships with their audiences? What ways of working can art institutions (un)learn from the practices of artists who engage communities, take part in their formation, and in doing so, bring their problems to the forefront? What inspiration can be drawn from the work of artists by art institutions aspiring to become a place for unlikely meetings within social bubbles in both the virtual space and the real world?
The first edition of the In the Matter of Art biennale will examine issues relating to coexistence in society, where people have ceased using a common language. It will focus on areas where language fails, including such phenomena as contempt, irritation, fear, frustration, misunderstanding, anger, aggression, fatigue, apathy, indifference and anxiety. Aiming to find a common starting point, the event will analyze the causes of the emotional state of contemporary society and the conditions in which it exists. Causes originating in both the past and the present will be examined from the perspective of potential future scenarios. The first edition of the event will be held in the summer of 2020. It will be organized by and curated by Vít Havránek and Tereza Stejskalová.

The symposium will be held in collaboration with the Prague City Gallery, with the support of the ERSTE Foundation, the City of Prague and the Czech Ministry of Culture.

event will be held in English
free entrance
barrier-free access
playroom for children with babysitter adheres to the Code of Practice of a Feminist Art Institution.

Friday, 17.5.2019

10:00–10:15 — Tereza Stejskalová, Vít Havránek, Veronika Janatková: Introduction


Igor Stokfiszewski: Loops of Antimatter: What Cultural Institutions Should and What They Should Not Derive from Community Arts


Željka Blakšić AKA Gita Blak: Voiced




— coffee break


James & Brea McAnnaly: Counterpublics + Prefigurative Institutions: Unlearning in Public


Emília Rigová: Roma Artists : From Cultural Appropriation to Self-Representation




— lunch break


Andang Kelana: Visual Jalanan: Visual Performativity as Organic Form of Collective Mobilization


Sráč Sam: The Courage to Peace




— coffee break


Alarm — Jan Bělíček, Saša Uhlová: The Role of Progressive Media in the Age of Information Overload


Ruti Sela: Beyond Jurisdiction



Saturday, 18.5.2019

10:00–10:15 — Tereza Stejskalová, Vít Havránek, Veronika Janatková: Introduction


Dmitry Vilensky — Chto Delat — The Dialectic of Counter-Institution Building


Jiří Skála: Getting Rid of Free Time




— coffee break


Illia Gladstein: Festival of Film and Urbanism "86"


Mark Wilson: What Does Meaningful Engagement Look Like?




— lunch break


Alex Martinis Roe — Videocontribution: The Time of Relationships


Jonas Staal: Organizational Art




— coffee break


Marcus Steinweg


Lucy Lopez: From Instituting to Infrastructuring: Structures of Care


discussion – Tereza Stejskalová, Vít Havránek, Veronika Janatková (Czech Republic)

Tereza Stejskalová is a curator and a writer working for Her curatorial projects are research-based and collaborative. Together with Zbyněk Baladrán, she recently curated the project
Biafra of Spirit. Third World Students in Czechoslovakia at the National Gallery in Prague. Together with Barbora Kleinhamplová, she curated the exhibitions Fieldwork on the Human Kind; In Dialogue with Harun Farocki, Fotograf Festival, Prague (2015), produced art projects Sleepers‘ Manifesto, New Museum, New York (2014), Sleepers, Tranzitdisplay, Prague (2014), 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016) and co-authored the book Who Is an Artist?, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (2015).
Vít Havránek is an organizer and theoretician based in Prague. Since 2002 till 2019 he has been working as a director of the initiative for contemporary art Since 2007 he has been a co-founder of tranzitdisplay, a resource centre for contemporary art and has been lecturing on contemporary art at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague. He is a member of, one of the three curatorial teams of Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010). He has curated and cocurated a number of exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad as well. He is an Associated Editor of jrp | ringier art publisher.

Veronika Janatková is a new executive director of She is a producer, director and curator. In the last decade she has worked primarily in the field of documentary films with a social-political theme. She deals with the issue of worldwide manufacturing chains and the dynamics of the global north and south, feminist movements in Rwanda and the political reality in the post-Soviet Caucasus. Veronika’s directing debut from 2019 is a documentary film about utopias within the context of space exploration and the cosmic spring. She co-founded DokuBaku, the first independent festival of documentary film in Baku, Azerbaijan, she works as a programme script editor.

Krytyka Polityczna - Igor Stokfiszewski (Poland)

Igor Stokfiszewski is a researcher, activist, journalist and artist. Since 2013 he’s been collaborating with Jaśmina Wójcik in her artistic work engaging local community of the post-industrial district of Ursus in Warsaw. Co-curator of Zakłady. Ursus 2014 [Factory. Ursus 2014] and Ursus – spacer w czasie [Ursus – a Stroll in Time] (2015). Co-author of the script and second director of the creative documentary Symfonia fabryki Ursus [Symphony of the Ursus Factory] (2018) directed by Wójcik. Author of the books Zwrot polityczny [Political Turn] (2009) and Prawo do kultury [The Right to Culture] (2018), editor of the e-book Culture and Development: Beyond Neoliberal Reason (2017) and co-editor of, among others, the volumes: Sztuka ze społecznością [Community Art] (2018) and Built the City. Perspectives on Commons and Culture (2015). Member of the Krytyka Polityczna team, board of trustees of the European Alternatives organisation and the Workers’ Initiative trade union.

Željka Blakšić alias Gita Blak

Željka Blakšić AKA Gita Blak is an interdisciplinary artist who works with 16mm film, video, performance and installation; she explores the politics of lived time through the perspective of particular political and social conditions. Her practice is often inspired by the sub-culture of the 1990s-era in Croatia, when punk, anarcho and eco movements were having a renewal. Resistance manifested itself through the cooperation and gathering of different alternative social groups. This experimental environment became a university of rebellion–a key force, giving voice to new expressions of democracy, justice, common values and free speech. Her recent performances and exhibitions were presented at Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf (DE), Framer Framed (NL), MoMA (NY), Gallery Augusta (FI), Recess (NY), AIR Gallery (NY), Offenbachplatz, (DE), etc. She was a recipient of the 2017 RU & NEA Award for NYC based artist, 2016 Recess Session; 2014/15 AIR Gallery Fellowship in NY. Currently she is working on a project at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, UAE.

James & Brea McAnnaly/ The Luminary (USA)

Brea and James McAnally are co-founders and caretakers of The Luminary, an expansive platform for art, thought, and action based in St. Louis, MO. Together, and as the artist collaborative US English, they have organized over forty exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including the Counterpublic triennial exhibition, on view in over two dozen sites throughout St. Louis from April to July, 2019.

They have presented exhibitions, talks and lectures at venues such as the Walker Art Center, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation with Ballroom Marfa, The Contemporary, Baltimore, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Kansas City Art Institute, INCA, Transformer, Washington University in St. Louis, and Moore College of Art and Design and have served as a Visual Arts panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. James McAnally is a recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing and his publications are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Brooklyn Museum, and more. James also serves as the executive editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review, an international platform for contemporary art criticism that focuses on artist-run and alternative spaces, and is a founding member of Common Field, a national network of independent art spaces and organizers. Brea has served as chair of the St. Louis Mayor’s Vanguard Cabinet Art and Cultural Committee and is a 2019 Visionary Award recipient. Their work in its various forms has been discussed or presented widely through such publications as the New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, USA Today, Art in America, Chicago Tribune, Hyperallergic, Art Papers, ArtFCity, Artnet, BOMB Magazine and Frieze.

Emília Rigová (Slovak Republic)

Emília Rigová (born 1980) is a visual artist coming from the Slovak Republic. In addition to her engagement with art, she teaches art courses (object, multi-media, inter-media) at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. For Rigová, an object in the form of an installation or as a performance or a site-specific intervention is a basic element of her art language. Further, she expresses herself through 2D interface of a computer graphics, informed by the fundaments of classical painting. Concerning the content of her work, she explores intersubjective of emotion modified by a specific socio-cultural environment. The main themes of her works are cultural or social stereotypes, alter ego, the topic of internal and external construction of Romani identity and the appropriation of the Romani body in the long history of European culture. She is a laureate of Oskar Čepan Award 2018 and a laureate of Roma Spirit 2018.

Andang Kelana (Indonesia)

Andang Kelana (*1983, Jakarta) is an visual artist, curator, and graphic designer. One of the co-founder and Board of Artistic of Forum Lenteng. In 2015, he curated an street art exhibition in National Gallery of Indonesia titled "Visual Jalanan: Bebas Tapi Sopan (Free But Proper)". Also he managed–A Journal for recording visual activities and productions on the streets, since March 2012. In 2017-2018 he was co-curator for Pekan Seni Media (Media Art Week) in several locations in Indonesia. In late 2018, he participated as an artist in Indonesian Contemporary Art and Design 2018 (ICAD), with a graphic research and archive from street punk music group—Gamelanoink that was formed in the middle of 1998—titled "20 Years of Nothing”. He already directed two feature-length documentaries, "Rangkasbitung: A Piece of Tale" (2011) and "Tiger of Minahasa" (2015).

Sráč Sam (Czech Republic)

Sráč Sam (1969) - her work involves the reassessment of the linguistic, visual, and social models that grow out of power relations and that are subsequently combined to form the concept of culture. She founded the sam83 gallery, she organizes residencies Artist in Cottage, she publishes the independent magazine Pižmo, and she is the author the books Vanda (2011), Kuniba Likes Things in Threes, 2011), and My Husband’s Fear (2017). By adopting a sense of socio-economic responsibility, she was among those artists who consciously anticipated the ethical shift in art.

The situations that Sam creates are environments in which she exposes the various aspects of manipulation and approaches to reality. In differing proportions, these scenarios move from the distinctly artificial, as explicit performances, to the completely natural, indistinguishable from reality. In every case the result is a new experience for the participant, even when it only concerns the recollection of memories.

Jiří Skála (Czech Republic)

For the most part, the artistic work of Jiří Skála is based on the legacy of conceptual art. He has a long-standing interest in examining the very conditions under which art is created in correlation with other human activities. By uncovering and defining their inconspicuous forms, which he regards as the consequence of societal development, Skála's work is aimed at the future, and it offers an emancipatory force with the potential to transcend the limits of art as such.

Skála has presented his work at a variety of international collective exhibitions, such the GNS at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2003), The Other Tradition in Wiels in Brussels (2011), Manifesta 11 in Zurich (2016), as well as individual exhibitions, such as Exchange of Handwriting at Art in General in New York (2006), Two Families of Objects at the Hunt Kastner Gallery in Prague (2007), Jabberwocky at the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw (2014), and In My Hands, Every Day, In My Sight, Every Day at the Hunt Kastner Gallery in Prague (2017). Skála received the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2009.

Ruti Sela (Israel)

Ruti Sela's works have been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions and venues, including the Biennale of Sydney, the Istanbul Biennial, the Berlin Biennial, Manifesta, the New Museum Triennial, Israel Museum, Centre Pompidou, Art in General (NY), Tel Aviv Museum, Tate Modern, Jeu de Paume, ZKM, Ludwig Museum, HKW, and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. In 2009 she initiated together with Maayan Amir the long term art project Exterritory, for which both artists won a Young Artists Award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2011).

Throughout 2011 she was a guest resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. A book about her works titled “For the Record” was published by Archive Books in 2014. She also edited the anthology “Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds” (together with Maayan Amir, Punctum Books 2016).

Chto Delat - Dmitry Vilensky (Russia)

Dmitry Vilensky (born 1964 in Leningrad) artist and educator. He works mostly in collective practices and focus on developing a large scale architecture constructions, educational seminars and learning plays, graphic works, and films. Не is the founding member of Chto Delat (What is to be done?), a platform initiated in 2003 by a collective of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Vilensky is also an editor of the Chto Delat newspaper and main facilitator of a School of Engaged Art in Petersburg.

He is also authors of numerous contributions to art press and participants of symposiums and conferences and guest teacher at many international art academies. He has participated with Chto Delat in their recent exhibitions and performances including: Recent exhibitions include:
MUAC (The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico (solo show 2017); KOW BERLIN (solo show in 2017 and 2015), San Paulo Biennale (2014), Art, Really Useful Knowledge Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014), Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013 – Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2013); FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2013); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012); Chto Delat in Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kuntsthalle, Baden-Baden, 2011; Chto Delat Perestroika: Twenty Years After: 2011–1991, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2011; Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, 2011; Study, Study and Act Again, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2011; and The Urgent Need to Struggle, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 2010.

Alarm - Saša Uhlová, Jan Bělíček (Czech Republic)

Saša Uhlová and Jan Bělíček
Jan Bělíček and Saša Uhlová are editors of a daily opinion website A2larm. In their lecture, they will share their experience on how can a successful progressive platform reach the audience outside of its usual social bubble. A2larm has been established in 2013 as an online media outlet of A2, the leading Czech bi-weekly magazine on art, politics and society. Since its inception, A2larm has grown into a modern platform for sharing political, cultural, and socioeconomic stories and practices and become the most-read progressive online medium in the Czech Republic (with an average of 300 000 pageviews per month). It publishes political opinion pieces, commentaries, news, analyses, reviews, short documentary films and videoreports. Both A2 and A2larm promote a pro-democratic and progressive political agenda and provide space for quality critical and investigative journalism. A2larm's aim is to give a voice to those underrepresented in large media outlets.

Illia Gladshtein (Ukraine)

Illia Gladstein was born in Kyiv in 1985. At the age of 15 he lived through a life-changing experience by accidentally watching “Irreversibility” by Gaspar Noe. Studied medicine but instead of working as a doctor, went for film festival career. Worked as a short film programmer at Molodist IFF for 5 years. In 2013 together with Nadia Parfan he co-founded Festival of film and urbanism “86” in a small town Slavutych, close to Chernobyl. Illia also distributes and produces documentary films.

Mark Wilson (United Kingdom)

Mark Wilson studied fine art printmaking at the Manchester School of Art.On graduating he worked for theatre in education companies, Greenlight and the Waterfall Theatre. He started at the People’s History Museum in 2004, working in numerous roles, including front of house co-ordinator and curatorial assistant. Mark now works as the museum’s Exhibitions officer; he has curated the changing exhibitions Dedicated to all Defenders of Human Freedoms: The Art of Paul Peter Piech (2016) and Savage Ink: The Cartoon & The Caricature (2017) both were informed by his knowledge and interest in historical and contemporary radical print. Alongside these more traditional exhibitions Mark was one the project leads on the award winning community co-produced exhibitions Never Going Underground: the fight for LGBT+ rights (2017) and Represent! Voices 100 Years On (2018). He is currently working on two major projects at the People’s History Museum.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest (2019) which marks 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre; a major event in Manchester’s history, and a defining moment for Britain’s democracy. The project examines Peterloo, it's legacy and the past, present and future of protest. The exhibition includes Protest Lab; an experimental gallery for individuals, communities and organizations to use, share and develop their views and ideas for collective action. Nothing About Us Without Us (2019) Is a long term community lead project, which looks at the representation of people with disabilities and their activism.

Alex Martinis Roe (United Kingdom)

Alex Martinis Roe's (born Melbourne 1982, works between Berlin and Canberra) work stems from her ongoing engagement with international feminist communities and their political practices. Her projects trace feminist genealogies and seek to foster specific and productive relations between different generations as a way of participating in the construction of feminist histories and futures. This involves developing research and storytelling methodologies, which employ non-linear understandings of time, respond to the specific practices of different communities, and imagine how these entanglements can inform new political practices. Recent solo exhibitions include: Alliances, GfZK - Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, 2018; To Become Two, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, 2017; The Showroom, London, 2017; ar/ge kunst Bolzano, 2017; and Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, 2016-7. Recent group exhibitions include Fabriques de contre-savoirs, Frac Lorraine, Metz, 2018; Sex, Taxispalais – Kunsthalle Tirol, Innsbruck, 2018; Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Nottingham Contemporary, 2018. Martinis Roe is Head of Sculpture and Spatial Practice at the Australian National University, holds a PhD from Monash University, Melbourne, and is a former fellow of the Graduate School, University of the Arts Berlin. She is the recipient of the 2018 Kunstpreis Europas Zukunft [Future of Europe Art Prize].

Jonas Staal (Netherlands)

Jonas Staal is a visual artist whose work deals with the relation between art, propaganda, and democracy. He is the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit (2012–ongoing) and the campaign New Unions (2016–ongoing). With BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, he co-founded the New World Academy (2013-16), and with Florian Malzacher he is currently directing the utopian training camp Training for the Future (2018-ongoing) at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany. Recent exhibition-projects include Art of the Stateless State (Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2015) and Museum as Parliament (with the Democratic Federation of North Syria, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2018). His projects have been exhibited widely, among others at the 7th Berlin Biennial (2012), the 31st São Paulo Biennale (2014), the Oslo Architecture Triennial (2016) and the Göteborg Biennale (2017). His book Propaganda Art in the 21st Century is forthcoming from the MIT Press in the fall of 2019.

Marcus Steinweg (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Marcus Steinweg, born in 1971, lives and works as a philosopher in Berlin. He is a Professor at the Art Academy Karlsruhe. His recent books include: "Duras" (with Rosemarie Trockel, Berlin: Merve 2008); "Politik des Subjekts“ (Zürich/Berlin: Diaphanes 2009); "Aporien der Liebe" (Berlin: Merve 2010); "Kunst und Philosophie / Art and Philosophy" (Cologne: Walter König: 2012); "Philosophie der Überstürzung" (Berlin: Merve 2013), "Inkonsistenzen" (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz 2015), "Evidenzterror" (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz 2015), "Gramsci Theater" (Berlin: Merve 2016), "Splitter" (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz 2017), "Subjekt und Wahrheit" (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz 2018), "Proflexionen" (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz 2019). Some of his books are published in English by The MIT Press.

Lucy Lopez (United Kingdom)

Lucy Lopez is a curator, writer, and editor, currently Curator in Residence at Grand Union, Birmingham, Research Curator at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, and PhD candidate at Birmingham School of Art, 2016-19. She was previously Curator of Exhibitions and Research at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. She holds an MFA in curating from Goldsmiths, University of London, and co-founded the exhibition space and residency programme Jupiter Woods in 2014. Her research focuses on feminisms, care, and instituent practices. Selected projects include: Ways of Learning, Grand Union, 2018 & BALTIC, 2019; Policy Show, Eastside Projects, 2017; Nicoline van Harskamp, Englishes, BAK, 2016; Instituting for the Contemporary, BAK, 2016; Unstated (or Living Without Approval), co-curated with Maria Hlavajova, BAK, 2016; at continental margins (propositions), Jupiter Woods, 2015; biotic/abiotic, co-curated with Hanna Laura Kaljo, The Gallery Apart, Rome, 2014. Recently, her writing has been included in Temporary Art Review, Art and the Public Sphere Journal and in the Publication FORMER WEST, MIT Press.