Video: Where Do We Find Ourselves…
Curator: Jen Kratochvil
…In a series of which we do not know the extremes and believe that it has none. We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: Second Series, Experience, 1844
Are we lost? And who is the “we,” considering the current unprecedented societal divide. The seemingly timeless historical lessons lost their relevance because history itself is now at the forefront of our intellectual and physical split. Lacking applicable models, continually searching for new systems, or their negligible conciliated updates make us feel fatigued or almost paralyzed. Bouncing between extremes is indeed exhausting. The middle way is but a bore.
A frog desperately tries to jump through the screen to reach the other side, not really knowing what such a change of environment and conditions would bring, but it finds it important for whatever reason. Its amphibian brain considers such an endeavor meaningful and potentially simple. Maybe, if it jumps as many times as possible, the invisible barrier will suddenly vanish and open up a new realm of potentiality for the frog’s life. The essence lies in the Sisyphean repetition and devotion to it. While the old puppet already resigned from any conscious activity and dove deep into the pleasure of ketamine intoxication, people of the early 70s in the former Soviet block still climb up and down, day by day, on an escalator of the not-yet-existent subway to get around their daily routine. Only a self-prescribed blissful ignorance can make this easy. How to find a crack in the structure of the hierarchically organized and almost eschatologically deterministic fabric of reality? Does having sex with a silicon doll help? Is there something like the power of the crowd that could shield you from responsibility? Do you consult eternal cosmic entities to find your solace? Do you self-organize? Do you isolate yourself in the depths of a primordial forest? Do you establish a commune? Or stick to your keyboard, dazed by its familiar soft clicking sounds? Just be careful to wait till your nail polish properly dries. Layers of the city, landscape, beach, clouds, mind, and its fragile health are all intertwined, all jumping through the screen. One by one, as a group or as an ideology, happily towards something “new.”
“Where Do We Find Ourselves…” presents contemporary and historical artistic positions from the field of time-based media, zooming in and out through threads of causalities and influences leading to our current uncertain moment and further on, out of sight. Grim as it may sound, there always remains space for laughter.
Untitled (Spejbl, ketamine), 2020
Anetta Mona Chisa
Tell me, dust, about your complicated matter, 2020, 9:59 min
Pferdebusen, 2020, 9:01 min
Pelin Tan: A film by Liam Gillick,2019, 28 min
Critchley and Simmons, The Lovers Room, 2020, 4:51 min
Sidsel Meineche Hansen & Therese Henningsen
Maintenancer, 2018, 13:05 min
Gusztáv Hámos & Katja Pratschke
Cities (Potential Space), 2014, 30 min
Atom Spirit, 2017, 20 min
Skuzomeetzah, 2019, 16 min
10 millions + 1 (The Hermit), 2019, 7 min
Frogless, 2020, 2 min
Patric Fabian Panetta
Cafe Durban, 2020, 3:50 min
Jen Kratochvil (1986) is a curator and writer based in Prague and Vienna, focusing mainly on time-based media and architecture related, research-based artistic practices. Together with Hynek Alt, Kratochvil runs a studio of New Aesthetic at the Photography Department at FAMU, Prague. Among other projects, he has co-curated a cycle of exhibitions at the Moving Image Department in the National Gallery Prague; film program at Plato, Ostrava; Fotograf Festival 2017, Prague; m3 art in public space festival 2018, Prague, and currently he is responsible for the film program at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague called Rudolfinum_Time-based. Besides these long term projects, Kratochvil operates as an independent curator. Since 2017 he co-runs Viennese art space Significant Other with Laura Amann. Kratochvil also regularly contributes to various art magazines and online platforms.
With the kind support of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.
Hynek Alt (CZ)
Anetta Mona Chisa (RO)
Katrina Daschner (DE)
Liam Gillick (UK)
Sidsel Meineche Hansen (DK) & Therese Henningsen (DK)
Gusztáv Hámos (HU) & Katja Pratschke (DE)
Ursula Mayer (AT)
Marie Lukáčová (CZ)
Kinga Kiełczyńska (PL)
Martin Kohout (CZ)
Patrick Fabian Panetta (DE)
Agnieszka Polska (PL)
Jan Ságl (CZ)
Max Vajt (CZ)
Clemens von Wedemeyer (DE)