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Čtyři dny | Four days

Places of Act 2019 – Nobody Has Anything

The site-specific project for Desfours Palace

Exhibitions, performances, installations, theatrical premieres, debates, conferences, and workshops for children and seniors

Desfours Palace (Desfourský palác) – Na Florenci 21a, Praha 1

 

Dear visitors to the Desfours Palace,

The idea of occupying empty buildings and industrial objects was born nearly 25 years ago, when the core of our festival came together at the former Roxy experimental space in Prague. Today, it is quite a common strategy for cultural projects to look for different venues and to use buildings that are waiting to be reused. Those many years ago, it was a way of organizing our event in our own way, differently and freely. This year, we return to the Desfours Palace for the third time in order to bring it to life, and more than two thirds of the projects are thus site-specific projects. This means that, one month before the festival, the artists began creating their works directly in the building, inhabiting its rooms, cleaning, fixing, renovating them…

Many of the invited artists have responded to the theme of this year’s Places of Act, with the slogan “Nobody Has Anything.” And so we are asked to consider how to understand this question or proclamation. What things do we have? And what are we missing? What do we really need? And what is merely the act of collecting experiences, the unfortunate excess of that part of the world that has enough – enough information, technology, water, energy, education, culture, goods? What are our true needs? Seen through this statement, which can feel quite ambivalent if we view it from a purely material viewpoint, it is a recognition of the existence of the mental microcosm found in every human being, the world in which we all have something that is fundamentally ours, a world we can relate to, that defines us and that we try to be, that we agree with and fight against.

This year’s extensive exhibition of visual art has been put together by curator, teacher, and artist Milan Mikuláštík under the title Noteverything in reference to the festival’s main motto. The exhibit presents paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos by more than fifty contemporary artists from the Czech Republic and abroad. The works explore various issues and contradictions found in today’s world that, due to their complexity, are difficult for people to understand, which causes us to try to ignore them. Mikuláštík thus presents a collection of paintings that we do not always want to see as a whole, that we instead watch fragmentarily and without context. He has succeeded in inviting to the Desfours Palace a wide range of artists representing a variety of generations, viewpoints, and opinions.

We can also look forward to several Czech premieres – the artists are preparing their presentations directly within the Desfours Palace – so don’t miss this opportunity to see how they have worked with this specific space! At the same time, the festival presents the latest projects by Czech artists from both the dramatic and the visual arts, thus offering the chance to see their current direction and way of thinking.   

This year we are also presenting several foreign projects in the form of interventions into various rooms inside the building. Socially-engaged Columbian artist Felipe Castelblanco explores questions of ownership, freedom, and movement. Like Castelblanco, French artist Christian Delecluse explores the question of water on our planet while letting us see into a hidden world, a part of reality that reminds us that we only see a part of our world. His “decolonization of thought” rests in creating situations in which we question what we see and how we perceive it.

The Zweintopf art group has prepared a performative action aimed at awakening our perception and awareness, for the situations that we see in public are not necessarily real – they might be acted, i.e., performative. Or is it the other way around? Meanwhile, the artists of Snowball Effect explore the extent of our desire and responsibility, as well as possibilities for coming together to create pressure on the “majority” that influences the large and small communities that we naturally create.  

As I am writing this text, we already know that our educational programs for primary and secondary schools are fully booked, thanks to the excellent events organized by the Do You Have a Knack for Art? organization. Children and adults can learn about contemporary art and find out how to look at the visual world around them. A new addition this year are workshops for senior citizens seeking to learn new artistic skills organized by artist Eva Jiřičká.  

Every year, the festival tries to organize public debates on current issues, and so we have put together an open forum on the subject of “Water and the Future,” and as part of the “Velvet Monument” gathering we will look at the question of the ideal public monument to mark the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. And as part of the Festival School, we will again host dozens of professionals from around the country and give them a chance to create an artistic platform of sharing and exchange.

Last but not least, I would like to remember the history of the Desfours Palace, which stands on the former site of the Teissinger Gardens. The Austrian entrepreneur Albert Klein von Wissenberg purchased a small house standing in one part of the garden, and in 1845 began construction of a three-story building on the site. Two years later, he sold the unfinished building to František Vincenc of the Des Fours Walderode noble family. Although the family’s main residence was Hrubý Rohozec, for practical reasons the count wanted a building in Prague. In addition, the new railroad was being built nearby. Count František Vincenc was not only a good businessman, but also a great collector and supporter of the arts, and so he commissioned a new design for the building, one of the first examples of a large burgher home designed not just for its owners’ personal use but also as a rental building. The stucco decorations, marble walls, cast-iron railing, tile stoves, mosaic floors, and other artistic touches reflect the exceptional quality of the building’s original design. The palace also had a garden with a neo-Renaissance greenhouse with a cupola and two stone gazebos. Its demolition in the 1950s made way for “more important” structures. In the 1980s, plans were made for the extensive renovation and expansion of the Rudé Právo headquarters, although the project was never implemented and even that building no longer stands next to the Desfours Palace. Today, the palace awaits its new function, and we hope that it will be cultural in nature and that it will play an important role for Prague and its residents.

Welcome at Places of Act!

Denisa Václavová
curator of program in Desfours Palace

 

Noteverything

Exhibition for Desfours Palace

Curator: Milan Mikuláštík

Every year, the 4+4 Days in Motion festival also includes exhibitions of visual art. This year, the labyrinth of rooms in the neo-Renaissance Desfours Palace at Florenc will be filled with paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos by more than fifty contemporary artists from the Czech Republic and abroad. The title of the exhibition, “Noteverything,” is a response to the festival’s ambiguous slogan this year: “Nobody Has Anything.” As the exhibition title hints, it lacks a single unifying theme. Instead, it is a kaleidoscope whose individual fragments reflect a diverse range of issues and contradictions from the world today, a world “at a crossroads” that is seemingly impossible to grasp in all its complexity.

more info ›

 

PERFORMANCEs

Lucie Ferenzová, Anežka Hessová, Eva Stará: MY HOOD

The performance mixes of dramatic forms and styles to create its own means of expression, because nomadism is an inherent trait of today’s era – intellectually speaking, at least.

Zuzana Sceranková and Natálie Rajnišová: A DESERT ISLAND PROTECTS 15,000 INHABITANTS

The goal of the performance is to create the ideal conditions for visitors to the island to meet its inhabitants. The performance consists of a fashion show by the island’s inhabitants, accompanied by a reading of the island’s fictional chronicle.

Lukáš Bouzek, Tereza Hradilková, Apolena Vanišová: LANDING

An intimate testimony of a slowly aging man presents an introverted journey through the long-hidden landscape of his lonely childhood, where time got stuck under uncertain circumstances many years ago.

Viktor Černický: PRIME FIGURES

With its unusual interest in society, Prime Figures calls on the public to take its place not just in the audience, but also on stage. Anyone can become a part of large group that, after three days of working together, will try repeatedly to create a joint self-portrait.

WARIOT IDEAL: Pests

Before using a fogger, you must remove all animals, including aquarium fish. The physical removal process is lengthy, labor-intensive, and ineffective.

Spitfire Company: UNDERDOGS

A family performance combines fiction with documentary theater and the genres of live-cinema with comics, live music and rap, object theater and physical action.

Divadlo KUK/KUKÁTKO: Memory

Imagine a perfect society. A society where everybody is well-behaved, polite, and considerate. Where everybody helps each other. There is no war, no poverty, hunger, disease.

 

 

INTERVENCES / PROJECTS / DAILY

INTERVENTIONS INTO ART

The exhibition gives visitors the chance to explore art in a highly entertaining and interesting manner from the position of critical viewer, creator, and also participant in a conceptual project.

ZWEINTOPF

The artist duo is screening codes and symbols of the ordinary, the public – always in search for that characteristic element of absurdity which is inherent to every human endeavour.

Christian Delécluse: Depuis la Nuit Supendue des Temps

The installation revives an organic and poetic conception of time. It develops an aquatic, luminous and sound ecosystem, in which water nets decompose into a multitude of suspended drops.

FELIPE CASTELBLANCO: DRIFTLESS

The project explores notions of nationhood as a form of contemporary confinement, while embracing on the ocean as a public site for artistic interventions.

WE ONLY HAVE WHAT IS IN OUR HEAD

The artists take us on a journey through the images of how we perceive our surroundings. We pass through the time and space of the everyday.

THE SNOWBALL EFFECT

The show invites the participants to reveal elements of their identity and make decisions around fundamental issues such as freedom of movement, a womans right to choose, the death penalty as a punishment.

 

 

DISCUSSIONS, CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS, MEETINGS

VIKTOR ČERNICKÝ: PRIME FIGURES

With its unusual interest in society, Prime Figures calls on the public to take its place not just in the audience, but also on stage. Anyone can become a part of large group that, after three days of working together, will try repeatedly to create a joint self-portrait.

OPEN FORUM: WATER AND THE FUTURE

Water. Almost every day, the media warn us that there is not enough. Aren’t they exaggerating the danger? Or are they not emphasizing it enough? Water has been a leading topic this summer, and in recent years as well.

PAVLA MELKOVÁ: POETRY IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE FUTURE

Our world is moving away from humanist principles. We are in the grip of a self-centered economic pragmatism through which we are transforming all other values.

THE VĚRA JIROUSOVÁ AWARD

The aim of this award for beginning as well as established art critics is to highlight this important (and in the Czech Republic poorly understood) discipline, to support beginning critics, and to help them find opportunities for publishing their writing.

ALL CATS ARE GREY

Music journalists Karel Veselý and Miloš Hroch will talk about the origins of depression in pop music and why today’s independent music is so obsessed with sadness. Is there a way out of this?

GOOD PRACTICE OR A ROUND TABLE FOR CITY AND REGIONAL ART GALLERIES

The full-day programme will include discussions on the dramaturgy of the galleries, the ratio of Prague, foreign and local artists, and the possibilities and methods of production and contemporary art.

VELVET MONUMENT

Do we need monumental artworks to remember history, important milestones, historical turns of events, or famous people? How, in what form, and where?

Late Breakfast

We invite artists, curators, gallerists, critics, historians, architects, supporters, patrons of the arts, representatives of art institutions, collaborators, and other guests to the Desfours Palace for an intimate gathering aimed at encouraging networking and the sharing of experiences.

 

 

FOR KIDS, TEENAGERS AND SENIORS

Divadlo KUK/KUKÁTKO: Memory

Imagine a perfect society. A society where everybody is well-behaved, polite, and considerate. Where everybody helps each other. There is no war, no poverty, hunger, disease.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR SCHOOLS: DO YOU HAVE A KNACK FOR ART?

Students from primary and secondary schools can look forward to a 90- or 120-minute educational program including an interactive tour of the exhibition and of three floors of the Desfours Palace, plus a creative workshop.

FAMILY ART WORKSHOP

Nobody has anything? That’s right! And do you have a knack for art? Yes? Well, let’s have a look at it – what do we have here? A family art workshop for parents and children ages 5 and up.

PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS

During the festival, we are organizing art workshops for older people who are interested in contemporary art or are looking to learn new artistic skills or techniques.

 

 

THE FESTIVAL SCHOOL

THE FESTIVAL SCHOOL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT

The aim of the festival school is to offer participants a series of lectures and workshops by renowned experts from various areas of artistic production.

 

 

FESTIVAL BAR

BAR PROGRAM